When Katrina Burgoyne left Australia to pursue her lifelong dream of singing in Nashville, she did not expect to meet her future husband. But five years later, she is preparing to tie the knot.
The musician became engaged on Christmas Eve when her boyfriend Steve Kinney dropped to one knee, flourished a diamond ring and popped the question under a canopy of lights.
Burgoyne said she started to cry and could only nod her head in affirmation. They were quick to share their news with family, but Burgoyne will have to wait a little longer to hug those she loves best.
"Christmas Eve is always a hard day for me. Steve made it new and something worth celebrating," she said.
Loneliness was a close companion for Burgoyne in her early years in the US as she tried to adjust to a new life in unfamiliar surroundings while battling ongoing sinus infections and laryngitis.
Many times she came close to packing it all in and moving back home, but something in her held on. And because she stayed, she met Steve.
"Steve and I met in November 2018 in a bar downtown after I had finished a gig. My guitarist wanted me to come out and celebrate his sister's birthday ... honestly, I remember not wanting to be there and wanting to go home," Burgoyne said.
"By that stage I felt burnt out by Nashville. I had been sick for a year with sinus [infections] and laryngitis. I was flying home to Australia in four weeks time and meeting a man was not on the agenda.
"Steve and I caught each other's eye across the room and he ended up photo-bombing me. Good ice-breaker. He asked if I'd be interested in going to dinner with him sometime. I hadn't had a man be such a gentleman before and I thought, 'Sure, here is my number'."
Three years later, they are living in Hendersonville, producing music together, and pampering their German Shepherd Eli.
"I miss Australia and I miss my Mum, but the USA is home now," Burgoyne said.
"I had a teary moment over Christmas while feeling homesick and missing my family, watching my dog and Steve play ball. This is my little family now."
The singer-songwriter said they will have a small informal wedding in the US this year, "but I won't have the white dress until I can have my dream wedding back home in Australia".
Burgoyne will also apply for a permanent resident card this year "to give us more security in knowing I can make an income doing anything if the chips are down or we go through another 2020".
She has plenty of other goals as well, including releasing five new songs, land on USA Spotify and Apple Music playlists, produce a full band original show "with all the bells and whistles", hook an agent, and add a female German Shepherd to the family - "Eli needs a girlfriend".
"I'm a big goal-setter ... basically, I'll break each goal down will targets I need to hit on a monthly and weekly basis," Burgoyne said.
"I've had 'get a record deal' as a goal for many years, but that kind of goal is out of my control, so I just focus on what I can control and contribute to.
"I am learning how to produce my own music. I'm not good enough for commercial release but I'm starting to be proud of my demos."
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