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Love Story: “Our International Love Story”
By: Emily Grace
Story: When I was 10 years old I fell in love with the French language. Growing up in Southern California it was unusual to study French, but even at such a young age I was determined to someday be fluent in the most romantic language in the world. I was also determined to one day live in this distant and enchanting country.
Eleven years later I found myself in the Los Angeles Airport with two big suitcases. My dream had become a reality and I was actually moving to my beloved France, the South of France to be specific. Aix-en-Provence, the petite ville situated amidst olive trees, vineyards and lavender fields was now my new home, at least for the summer. I had no idea that this summer of 2006 would change my life forever.
After an amazing two weeks in Paris, I flew into the airport in Marseille and moved my things into a tiny flat just outside of Aix’s centre ville. To my surprise the guy that had rented the flat before me had moved out just one week earlier and had left a bus schedule, map and tea pot for me. That first week I began to work as a Children’s Director and French Translator for a church in the town. I soon found out that a young American guy had been living in the flat that I was renting. As I met different people both American and French I continually received comments from people saying that I would have loved the guy who moved out of my flat. People said that we were practically the same person, that we wanted to do the same things in life and that we had the same passions. I thought this was really unusual because people never say that about me. I thought that this guy must be amazing, but I knew that I would never meet him, so I let it go and I prayed a simple prayer. I said, God, if you ever want me to meet this amazing guy then I’d love to, but if not I’ll just keep living life.
Five months later, I moved back to Southern California when I received an email entitled ‘Outta Nowhere’. The email said, “Hi! My name is Sean. Apparently we rented the same flat in the South of France…” I sat at my computer and my jaw dropped open. What?! This was the guy who I had heard about five months earlier while I was living in France. I had no idea that he knew I existed! Apparently our friends in the South of France had talked to Sean and given him my email. We were both single at this time and they knew we were supposed to be together.
Sean and I started emailing almost everyday for the next month. At this time, Sean who was born in Arizona had moved to Australia where he’d been living for the past three years. Sean had only lived in France for a couple months because he was on a trip around the world. Sean and I wrote emails back and forth for a month and then started talking on the phone. We talked on the phone for six months while Sean traveled from Australia to India and Nepal doing humanitarian aid work. I was living in San Diego, California finishing college at this time. While talking on the phone, sometimes 5 hours a day, we started dating without ever seeing each other in person.
On March 2, 2007 after hearing about each other for a year and talking on the phone everyday for six months we finally met face to face. The day before we met I flew to Oahu, Hawaii (where my mom’s family is from) from California. On March 2nd at 10am I met Sean for the first time at The Honolulu International Airport. You could say that it was love at first sight, but truly we already loved each other before we ever met face to face. He walked out of the terminal carrying his guitar in one hand and suitcase in the other, my six foot three surfer, tanned from the Australian sun, with sandy blond hair and green eyes. We hugged each other, laughing, smiling and shaking from nerves! We held hands and it was just like Sleepless in Seattle. We could barely look at each other, but no two hands have ever fit more perfectly together. It was the most incredible feeling in the world. For the next week it was a process of connecting my mind with my heart, my heart that knew him so well and my mind that had never seen him in person.
Three months later I graduated from college and moved to the Sunshine Coast of Australia where I worked with the same non-profit that he’d been working with. We recently moved back to America and are now living in Santa Barbara, California. In a few weeks we’ll be celebrating our one year “in person” anniversary. Today, we are more in love than ever and I am eagerly awaiting engagement!