A Brighouse man who set out to teach in Japan for 12 months has ended up living in Asia, finding his dream job and romance along the way.
Neil Donovan graduated in 2006 and flew out to Japan as part of the Japanese Exchange Teaching Programme and ended up staying for three years.
“I really got into teaching out there and I thought this is the career for me,” said the 34-year-old.
Since then he has travelled and worked across the continent in countries such as Malaysia, China and Burma to name a few.
“I went to Indonesia and set up a language school and I have been working for the British Council in Singapore for eight-and-a-half years.
“In that time I have also been training other people to become teachers.
“It is great working in Singapore and working with adults, seeing them through their courses to become teachers.
“I just love it and having the opportunity to go and travel and see a lot of the world.”
During his time in Singapore, the former St Joseph’s Primary School pupil found romance six years ago and met his future wife Veronica.
“We met through a mutual friend and we spent more time together and there was an obvious chemistry there,” said Neil.
Sharing the same birthday as Neil, Veronica, 32, from Venezuela, explained that she was teaching Spanish in Singapore at the time.
“Not many people from Venezuela come to Singapore to teach Spanish so I think there was a little bit of fate meeting Neil,” she said.
After travelling with her and being taught Spanish, Neil eventually popped the question on a deserted beach in the Maldives.
However, he explained he was more nervous asking Veronica’s dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage than actually proposing.
The couple had a busy 2014 as they had three wedding ceremonies - one in Singapore, one on the island of Margarita in Venezuela and one at the end of the year at St Joseph’s Church in Brighouse.
“It was a wonderful experience in Margarita as it was the first time the families met each other,” said Neil, whose mum Sue and dad Jez live in Hove Edge.
“It was also great to come back here to Brighouse and have a ceremony at St Joseph’s as my mum and dad had got married in the same church.”