Photo of Romi & Stevie from barefootstories in a tree

Our Story

“Our goal is to take on every challenge that life offers us with humility, patience, gratitude and optimism. And in between we plan to travel. Life is not perfect, but it sure is beautiful.” — R & S

Romi was born and raised in a small town in the Czech Republic called Prostejov. As a young girl she had big dreams beyond the borders of her own country, but the communist government came with many restrictions which limited her ability to roam freely. Then came the Velvet Revolution, a non-violent transition of power which saw the collapse of the communist party. In this same year Stevie was born (he likes to think this had something to do with the revolution) across the Atlantic Ocean thousands of miles away in the Canadian Prairies. He too had big dreams at a young age, and very quickly began pursuing his dreams of playing professional soccer which took him around the world. Meanwhile Romi began to travel all over Europe… her long delicate features, pretty eyes and dazzling smile offered her opportunities to model abroad (with a few star appearances on film ;)).

Their fate was not to meet just yet, as they continued to pursue their dreams unaware that it would all lead to one pivotal moment in the future where their lives would collide. Romi’s travels through modeling eventually took her across the Atlantic to New York for a brief visit. Although she couldn’t speak a word of english during this trip she was absolutely blown away and knew that this is where she wanted to be. So upon returning to Prostejov she made it her goal to return to the United States. In the meantime Stevie’s path also took him across the Atlantic to Europe where he ended up in Germany playing soccer just outside of Munich. While Stevie’s focus was directed to the soccer pitch, Romi’s new life began in New York, and shortly after she made her way down the east coast to Key West, Florida.

Injuries plagued Stevie’s hopes and dreams to continue his career in professional soccer, and this came with a realization that it truly was not the environment he wished to be in, as he started to become a man he did not admire. A difficult, but necessary, decision to return home to Canada took place, which lead him to the west coast of Canada for University where a new seed was planted. After three years of a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education he found the Baha’i Faith and shortly after declaring set foot on a new journey. Stevie packed up all his belongings (gave most of them away), with $300 in his bank account, a guitar, and a 1995 Buick Station Wagon he said goodbye to his wonderful new community on Vancouver Island.

For 4 years he traveled, living in his car until he sold it, playing guitar on the streets, and hitching rides whenever he could including sailboats. He walked miles from country to country in Central America, sailed oceans through the Caribbean and out into the Pacific, carrying his belongings on his back, in search of his Beloved. In this time Romi was creating a new career path for herself, one that was ingrained in her as a child, to be on the other side of the camera this time. The moment she picked up the camera and started clicking she could feel the excitement flowing through her. She became a creator!

On Stevie’s third visit to Key West, after 7 months living in a cave in the Bahamas, while deeply engaged in service with the Key West Baha’i Community, he was invited to an Acro Yoga session at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. At the same time Romi was invited to the same gathering. Through a misunderstanding Stevie, when seeing Romi arrive, ran over and gave her a big hug (he thought he had met her before). Romi was a little taken aback, but she noticed that “he smelled really good for a homeless guy”. Neither of them were very good at Acro Yoga, or maybe it was just Stevie that was bad, but after a few attempts Stevie picked up his guitar and started to play ‘Let Her Go’, by Passenger, which happened to be Romi’s favorite song. The second he looked up and smiled at her was the second she opened her heart to him (as cheesy as it sounds, it’s true).

From that day forward, despite efforts to stay solo on their own paths, their lives grew closer and closer together, and their love blossomed.

Many adventures were soon to come for this young new couple…