She Could Have Told Him to Take a Hike, but Adventure Awaited
Meera Hemant Patel and Trevor Logan Burbank were married April 12 at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville. Bob Mendes, an at-large member of Nashville’s Metro Council, officiated.
The bride, 31, is an illustrator and writer based in Nashville. She is the author of “My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown” (Penguin Random House, 2018). She graduated from Rutgers.
She is a daughter of Bindu Hemant Patel and Hemant Manubhai Patel of Sayreville, N.J.
The groom, 29, is the city pricing manager for Opendoor, a real estate technology start-up company in Nashville. He is also the board chairman for Nashville's affordable housing nonprofit New Level CDC. He graduated from Vanderbilt.
He is the son of Diana De Alejandro Burbank and Richard D. Burbank of Dallas.
Ms. Patel and Mr. Burbank met on Coffee Meets Bagel in Nashville in May 2017. Ms. Patel, still reeling from the breakup of a one-year “terrible relationship,” as she called it, was in the midst of an eight-month solo trip around the country in search of herself.
“I was determined to finally pay attention to my own needs,” she said. “I was scared of a lot of things, so I decided to face those fears. I quit my job and sublet my Brooklyn apartment. I wanted to see what else was out there, so I hit the road.”
Ms. Patel’s trip began in February 2017 with stops in Chicago, Miami and Orlando, Fla., before she arrived in Nashville, where she met Mr. Burbank online, initially dismissing his profile. “He was a white, Christian man from Texas,” she said. “He was also two years younger than me, the opposite of everything I wanted, but he was so handsome."
That left the door slightly ajar for Mr. Burbank, a native of Dallas who had lived and worked in New Orleans for the better part of a decade. They agreed to meet and go for a hike at Shelby Bottoms, a nature preserve in East Nashville.
He offered to pick her up, but she politely declined, choosing instead to get there by taxicab.
“When she got out of the cab, she was clutching her purse,” Mr. Burbank said, laughing. “I thought to myself, ‘Now that’s a real New Yorker.’”
Mr. Burbank tried to impress Ms. Patel with his familiarity of the trails at Shelby Bottoms, but they got lost in the woods for four hours. Ms. Patel became frustrated, but rather than tell Mr. Burbank to take another hike, she decided to stay the course, and they went to Rosepepper, a Mexican cantina in East Nashville, where they drank margaritas and shared a meal during what turned out to be a very successful nine-hour first date.
They dated for the duration of May before Ms. Patel continued on her journey to Chicago, Utah, Arizona, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia. She briefly returned to Nashville to visit Mr. Burbank, and then went off to complete her trip, visiting Chicago again and then North Carolina and New Jersey before returning in October 2017 to Nashville, and Mr. Burbank, for good.
“There was something very natural about my relationship with Trevor,” Ms. Patel said. “There were never any games between us.”
In April 2018, the couple bought a farm in Nashville, which they share with five chickens, a Border-Collie mix and visiting wild turkeys, coyotes, raccoons, vultures and hawks.
“My life is the opposite of what it was two years ago,” Ms. Patel said. “I went from living with two roommates in a basement apartment in Brooklyn to sharing 20 acres with my partner, and I get to write and draw and travel for a living.”
Mr. Burbank said he admired Ms. Patel’s “work ethic and discipline.”
“She’s someone who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work on the things she is passionate about, like farming,” he said. “Oh yes, this Brooklyn girl can farm.”
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