Jan Eycken said with her trademark sense of humour, “In his profile picture he was standing in front of a caravan and I thought, you beaut! He’s a traveller!”
The RVer couldn’t hold back smiling as she lovingly held her husband, Rob’s hand while reminiscing about how they first met six years ago.
The memories of how serendipity brought the pair together came flooding back, as Rob and Jan prepared to tie the knot in front of more than 50 close friends and neighbours in the gardens at RV Homebase on January 27.
It was the second time the couple had said “I do”, after recently discovering that their first wedding, having been performed in international waters, was not considered legal in Australia.
“We had a laugh at first, but then we had to take it seriously, and well, why not do it all again if it makes it official?” Rob, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness last year, said.
The Eycken’s love story began six years ago after they were “matched” on the online dating site, eHarmony.
“We began talking on the phone and then decided to catch up for a coffee, but the problem was that Rob lived three hours away, so first we had to find a place to meet,” Jan said.
“We settled on having lunch instead, which turned out to be a five hour-long lunch — and probably the best lunch of my life.”
The relationship blossomed when Rob invited Jan to travel Tasmania in his motorhome, although the experience didn’t end without its quirky hiccups.
“She was like a bull in a china shop,” Rob said, with a laugh.
“First she blew up the stove top, then she broke the shower and the blinds. Let’s just say, Jan didn’t know how to live in a small space.”
Jan replied, “Well at least I didn’t drink your chardonnay!” Referring to the time Rob accidentally drank her favourite drop one night while travelling the coast of the Apple Isle.
“He made it up to me though, calling the vineyard and ordering 10 bottles to be delivered to my home before we got back.”
After 10-weeks of travelling Australia’s most scenic state, Rob and Jan decided they would move in together, settling for Rob’s “breathtaking” property at Lake Eildon in Victoria.
While moving, Rob discovered Jan’s 10-year bucket list hiding under her bed and took it upon himself to see her dreams come true.
“Route 66 was also on my bucket list so I said, ‘Let’s go!’ And we did.”
The couple also travelled to New York, after which Jan boarded a cruise ship bound for Bermuda with friends.
It was on the ship that Rob surprised Jan with not only a proposal but a wedding.
“It was lovely and wonderful,” Jan said, describing the day.
Now with their union official on Australian soil, the couple said they would be taking each day as it comes, with fingers and toes crossed that Rob’s health remained stable.
“Last time we got married only a few people we knew were there to witness it, this time we were surrounded by so many great friends at RV Homebase,” Jan said.
Rob said after the ceremony, “It was fantastic, I have to say that the guys from RV Homebase were just terrific. I am not feeling great and it was just fabulous that they were able to help Jan as much as they did.
“As you would expect too, all the neighbours put their RV hats on and chipped in, which just made the day.”
Congratulations Rob and Jan, and all the best. We are thinking of you.