This is a true love story of one of our American readers who fell in love with a Filipina traveler. Dylan McConkey, messaged us and shared his story of meeting and falling in love with Khristine.
When do you think of your future spouse, your confidant, your partner in crime and your best friend who do you see? I often think times we see people similar in appearance to ourselves, with backgrounds like ours, and traditions we can relate to. World travel has not always been as easy as it is of late and seeing the world opens one’s eyes to the beauty this planet contains.
My story begins as an American guy born in Northeast Ohio. German immigrants settled in Ohio and Pennsylvania and there is a very strong Amish population very close to where I grew up. The traditions around me stemmed from this. An example is a meal I always, grew up eating on New Year’s Day, sour kraut and pork. I’m not even German. I am Scotch-Irish on my dad’s side and Italian on my mom’s. I grew up in part of the country that is not as racially diverse as other parts.
Either coast of the U.S. has many different Nationalities and Ethnicities, while the more rural areas are predominantly Caucasian. I found myself thinking my future spouse would be similar to me in culture, tradition, looks and family structure. I have traveled quite a bit to some awesome places, I’ve been to Mexico multiple times and in different locations, Islands in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and traveled with People to People Student Ambassadors to Great Britain and Ireland. Although I had traveled often, I never saw myself living anywhere other than Ohio.
That changed in 2009 after I graduated high school. I found a small school in Kansas City, Missouri that I wanted to attend and, did just that. I moved to KC and fell in love with the city and the people. My circle of friends suddenly grew more ethnically diverse; Korean, Native American, Mexican, African American, and Caucasian! I started to appreciate other people’s culture and way of life. I realized that not everyone had the same upbringing as I did and this is right here in my own country. The last five years really prepared me for what happened next.
Upon completion of my education, a group of students wanted to go to Hong Kong for a chance to experience another culture and get involved in missions work. I wanted to visit Asia because it seemed utterly different than any culture I had a opportunity to visit. Geographically, Hong Kong is such an excellent place to visit. The mountains, islands, ocean and bustling city make for a very cool place to see as well as the age of the city. So in August 2014, I decided I would go and experience Asia for my first time. The city was absolutely wonderful, but there is one reason Hong Kong will always have a special place in my heart.
Enter Khristine, or Tin which is her nickname. She is a Pinay or Filipina who is working in Hong Kong. While I was in Hong Kong, I met her and knew I wanted to spend more time with her. We began to spend our free time together as well as go out to dinner together. I felt like she really understood me and she was so sweet. I loved that we just enjoyed being around each other and we did not even have to be doing anything.
Finally, as we ate at a small curry restaurant in Mongkok, Hongkong I asked her to be my girlfriend. Thankfully she said yes, and we have been growing closer ever since. Sadly enough my time to leave Asia came and I headed home to Kansas City, but with a beautiful girlfriend halfway around the world. We have been apart for a while now, and it is most definitely hard, but I know she is worth it. I can not wait until we can be together once more.
I never thought that I would be in a relationship with a girl who is from another country, but then again life is not always cut and dry, black and white, easy to figure out. If you are open to new experiences, you may find yourself in the least expected place having the time of your life. This is true for me. I am happy to be dating Tin, and I am so eager to learn more about the Philippines and the culture that she grew up with. I know life with her will be very interesting as we discover our similarities as humans, but differences culturally. I want to say that just because someone grew up differently, that doesn’t mean its wrong or right.
There are things that I appreciate about my culture and upbringing, and there are things that I can learn and love from Tin’s upbringing. She and her family speak Tagalog which is one of the languages of the Philippines. I am so excited to learn, and she has already started teaching me phrases and words. I want to learn her language because I feel that if I don’t put the effort in, I am missing out on an amazing part of who she is.
She is not an American, and I don’t want her to simply give up the beauty of who she is. I don’t want her to lose sight of her families past and her connection to her people. I love who she is, and I am so proud to say I am with her.
You truly never know where life will take you, or what circumstances will come your way. Make the best of every situation and enjoy the journey. I’ve had a wonderful journey so far and found an amazing girl who wants to be by my side. My journey doesn’t stop here though. I have to explore the Philippines sometime, and I, have Tin to explore it with. I am so blessed to be in a relationship with her and am excited to see what’s next. Salamat po!
About the Writer
Hi, I am Dylan McConkey, and I am from the United States. I have gone to school for Biblical studies and am wanting to go to school for Cosmetology and Barbering. I love traveling, seeing the world, experiencing different cultures and enjoying all the people on this planet. I want to do barbering because it’s a job I can take anywhere and can help people to just feel good about themselves after a fresh haircut. I also love writing and feel honored to have been able to write this article for Tin and for Two Monkeys travel! Thanks!
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