It is not uncommon for Richard to spend a few weeks in Jordan, then fly to Egypt, then fly to Mexico, Micronesia, Maldives or Indonesia to entertain divers with the magic of the underworld.
When it came to his romantic life, the divemaster decided to meet a scuba instructor or someone on a trip with the same nomadic nature. After all, he looked at the laser on his mission to empower women in the male -dominated scuba profession.
Of course, nothing could separate him – not even the disease – but Richard was wrong about one thing. The love of his life was not a mentor he met at a live club in Raja Ampat or a hotel on Socorro Island. He is an asparagus farmer from the southwest of England.
Out of the way
It began with a visit in mid -December to his hometown of Hastings, on the south coast of England, for Christmas 2018.
After living and diving in Mexico for four months, Richard was in the city for a few days and had a full schedule of vacation activities. One morning he took the train to London for a day to reconnect with friends he had met while living in Hong Kong a few years earlier.
“I don’t usually go to London … forever,” Richard recalled. “It was the first time in different years.”
After a day out with his friends, Richard had to return to Hastings, about 90 minutes southeast by train, for a relaxing party at 9 p.m.
But when it arrived at the metro station, it was closed for repairs. He hurried to pick up an Uber at the London Bridge base in the middle of Ladana hoping to catch the next train but got lost due to the heavy traffic.
Richard sat on the stage for an hour. At that moment, his cell phone was dead, and he could no longer contact his friends in Hastings.
“Finally, I got on the train, and it’s coming from London, and I’m really excited to go to the party. And everyone has to leave. And I’m like, come on. .. “
His long night of walking continued – he had to return to Ladan and sit on the platform again for 90 minutes. Now, he was waiting for the last train of the evening.
“Because my phone was dead, I had no way to get myself on the train,” he said. “I just said to myself, ‘What do you do if you’re on a train in a foreign country? You just talk to someone.’
That’s when Joel Gostling went and sat down.
Love on the bridge
Sarah Richard traveled relentlessly to host diving trips and events prior to the illness.
“When Joel got on the train, I was like … ‘Hi.'”
They quickly nodded, talking the whole run to Hastings. He made a strong first impression – “a real English boy” who was humble to the world and easy to talk to, Richard said.
“She has her own asparagus garden, which is very unusual, and is very happy to be outdoors.
“Joel thought I went and the places I enjoyed, but he also thought the life he built for himself and his farm was fun – and he was.”
Gostling grew up in a village called Dalwood in southwestern England, Devon, where his primary school had 30 children, and he envisioned home on a farm, in school. Or hanging out at a local gym.
After working at a well -known restaurant and cooking school, River Cottage in Devon, Gostling converted one of his parents ’farms into an asparagus farm in 2015 and sold the selected asparagus. restaurants around the country.
At the end of the trip, Gostling asked Richard what his number was, but he did not know what it was. He exchanged a Mexican SIM card for a UK number, and his cell phone died.
“I don’t really know my number but I wish he could pick me up. So I said, ‘This sounds arrogant, but if you Google’ Sarah Richard ‘, you can when I get on Instagram and get my email. ‘”
Gostling wanted to seduce him.
“She was interesting, beautiful, mysterious, intriguing. I was amazed at how well we went so quickly, and I knew I couldn’t leave the train without asking to see her again,” he recalled. he is.
Richard returned to Hastings and flew to Finland the next day to spend Christmas with his brother and family.
He wanted to hear Gostling but he didn’t think. After all, Richard had a full calendar before, with plans to fly back and forth between Mexico and the Middle East for scuba trips.
Gostling will no doubt watch Richard online. One email later, their relationship began.
They started to stick around for a long time, with Richard doing pittops in the UK between trips for two to three weeks.
“I felt good about being on my way. I was like, ‘If you want to come, come for a run, but I’m not coming,'” he said. “My itinerary was important. He knew it was my life.
The dynamic worked well for them. They both thought about what they loved most while appreciating their time together. In 2019, Richard and Gostling moved together, which further enhanced their relationship.
“I knew that having someone who was really against me was what I wanted. So I could do my thing and then come back and want to find something different to talk about,” Richard said.
“Of course, the only thing that changed was that he was there to pick me up at the airport. It was really nice because every time, he got a different sign with a different word on it.”
Gostling doesn’t mind, and all the time, he cooks a recipe to show Richard how much he cares about him. “When you know, you know,” he said.
It’s an amazing idea
On December 15, 2019, a year after they met on the train, Gostling set a precedent.
Richard’s best friend Lucy invited him to see the song “Lion King” in London.
“By the same token [route]The same scene, Joel jumped on the train and got down on his knees and asked me. “
Gostling always said it was “painful”. It took a lot of time and effort to put together – “I started planning on October 6th, and then I applied on December 15. It was just as long!”
After their engagement, Richard continued his journey while Gostling worked on his farm. In early 2020, Richard turned his interests to Jordan, where he hoped to establish an Eastern arm of Scuba girls.
They moved to Jordan and began to live there. Gostling planned to work remotely, returning to England during the harvest. They were there for four days before the Covid-19 pandemic took place.
“The UK ambassador arranged the flights, and we ended up flying home, but it was worth £ 3,000 (about $ 3,920),” Richard said.
This meant that Richard could no longer go on his diving trip.
“By the end of the trip, I had spent most of my money on taking people on trips and events. [because he worked in the restaurant industry]. I have no money. It’s terrible. ”
The final test
Meeting with chef Andy Tyrell, Joel Gostling opened Soulshine in May 2021.
With no office or income, they had to move with Gostling’s parents to Devon.
For Gostling, moving home has been a blessing. Chef Andy Tyrell, Joel who worked with River Cottage, invited Joel to join him in setting up a pop-up kitchen.
It’s called Goose & Badger, and while they drive the locks a lot of times, they’ve established a following for their many board games and fat burners.
Although Richard soon ended his life, he found diving spots on the coast of England and continued to build his online community.
“It was an opportune time, and even though it was a difficult time, we were very confident in the knowledge that we were with the person we were supposed to be with. Time,” he said.
Gostling could no longer agree. “Even after hiring all that time, I like him,” he said. “It was a good test, really – we knew we could get something.”
‘Everything else is a bonus’
The men, seen in Gostling’s asparagus garden, hosted a small outdoor event for 12 people and then a big celebration in September 2021.
Initially, the couple expected to have a 200-person wedding by June 2020 at the Gostling parents ’garden, but they canceled that plan due to illness.
Instead, they had a small outdoor event for 12 people and postponed a big celebration until September 2021. “Basically, we got married for two parties and two parties – it was great!” said Richard, who is accompanied by Sarah Gostling.
After getting married in September, Richard chose his destination and has since flown around the world. “It’s like riding a bike. It’s normal to go again,” he said.
“It is amazing to see other people go back to the ocean and see what connects us [scuba diving] community, and it’s just beautiful. ”
The husband also took a late honeymoon, staying for three weeks in Lapland, Finland, where Richard’s brother and his family live, and Turkey.
The newlyweds live in an igloo with a sauna, ride a car pulled by a reindeer and go on the ice for the first time. They traded ice rinks for a day and a good meal in Istanbul, then ended the honeymoon in Cappadocia amidst all sorts of rocks and hotels.
“As for the wedding gifts, we received some honeymoon money donated by our friends and all our family, so it was important that we go to these places because of the gift and our friends and our family to us, ”Richard said.
Looking back, Richard says he thinks they are on the “other side” of the disease. They’ve got a rental house, the Gostling restaurant is growing, and Richard’s diving community is riding a wave of time.
So far this year, Richard has hosted two girls on scuba diving – the first in the Galapagos, followed by another in the Red Sea.
“In hindsight, it was only three years. But in those three years, we had a terminal illness, he lost his job, I lost all my money, we had to go back with his parents to ours. 30 years, ”Richard said.
“We’ve had a lot of problems. It’s just that we think we need each other, and that’s it. Everything else is a bonus.”