In 2014 I decided to quit my job in Toronto to take a timeout and explore the world. Most of my friends got to do this after University but I had gotten pulled into the rat race of a full time job in recruitment. The cure? 4.5 months on a solo backpacking tour of Europe with little plans or prescriptions - just me, the open road, and the internet (obviously!).
Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
Sono Canadese! But I have Italian heritage on both sides of the family so it was important for me to make a stop in Italy during my journey. Dami is from Fano which is an adorable beach/fishing town on the East coast of Italy's Le Marche region.
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
I met Dami a mere few days after arriving in Italy for the first time EVER in Rimini where I was staying. It's a short drive from Dami's town so he and a friend decided to spend their Friday night about town in Rimini. I was with my newfound Scottish travel companion to-be who was working in my hostel and challenged me to a night of drinking whisky and dancing. We ended up at a beachfront club called Coconuts and we stuck out like two sore thumbs strictly from our choice of shoes Dami would later tell me. Sparks flew between Dami's friend Stefano and my wee Scottish friend Lisa so while they were engaged in a lip lock, Dami and I took to the beach for a chat! The day was May 9th in 2014 and I remember it well because I would later commemorate it with a lock under Juliette's balcony in Verona.
Curator's comment: The photograph of the lock is shown below. Can life get cuter than this? Also, whisky and dancing sounds like my ideal Friday night so Briana, I think we'd get on fabulously.
Who made the first move?
The first 'move' largely consisted of me clumsily nosediving into the sand and then, in an effort to save face and to hide my accidental tumble, I pulled Dami down with me for a sandy first kiss under the stars. I remember giggling as he was making exclamations of joy in Italian between kisses - it really seemed like something out of a movie.
What was your first impression of him?
I was cautious of the smooth-talking Italian men I had heard about so when Dami invited me for a passeggiata on the beach my first response was "I don't even know you!" and he said "you're right!" His ego-free reaction caught me off guard and intrigued me very much so I decided that we should have that walk after all. Once I started opening up to him I was impressed that he was patiently listening so intently as I rambled on and that he seemed to understand me. In this day and age being listened to is a novelty and quite romantic in itself!
Since I already shared about our first kiss I can tell you that our second kiss was pretty funny too. It was after a long day of the 4 of us exploring Fano and also San Marino (not many people can say they visited another country on their first date!). I had made a wish that day in San Marino at a water fountain that Dami liked me as much as I liked him. I had developed a schoolgirl crush but knew that when you're traveling, people can leave your life as quickly as you found them. When the boys dropped us off in the evening at our hostel, Dami was leaning on his Panda in this 'smooth, cool-guy' fashion. Not knowing if this would be the end or the start of something really lovely, I decided before leaving to give him a small kiss goodbye. At this point Dami lost his composure and his arm went sliding off the car and he stumbled forward a bit. It is still one of my favourite kisses of our relationship!
Curator's comment: I also made a wish on my first trip with my now-husband when we were in Disneyland. Moral of the story girls- keep on wishing, preferably at a magical water fountain in San Marino or at Cinderella's castle. I'm also in love with this imagery of Dami leaning on his Panda. TOP.
Have you learnt each other’s languages?
Luckily Dami spoke some basic English which he had taught himself over the years by watching English movies in their original language. On my first visit back to Italy, I enrolled in a 2 week intensive course in Urbino to reciprocate the effort of learning Dami's language. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself here a few times in Italy (including this year!) so I am making progress little by little or piano piano. Dami's English is near perfect as he spent a year in Canada and has a passion for learning languages.
Where do you live now?
We are in Italy together this year as I am here on a working holiday visa! I am able to do some freelance writing/resume coaching remotely while I work on my Italian and Dami works as a Production Planner. We are enjoying this time together very much after seeing each other only 2 times last year.
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
We have been doing long distance for the better part of close to 4 years and let me tell you, it hasn't been easy! The truth is, there is beauty to the distance in that you really relish in your time together. After being apart for 3-6 months, even going to the grocery store together seems like a gift. When you're apart I think it's really important to share about your day, how you're feeling, and IF you're dating an Italian, what you are cooking and/or eating! Also change it up, use voice notes, video messages and small romantic gestures via snail mail interspersed with the Skype calls and texts to give you something special to look forward to. Gratitude and persistence in equal measure play a really big part in the success of our relationship.
Submitted by Briana.
Vi auguro tante belle cose. xoxo
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to "dare un'occhiata" at all of the Love Story Lunedì. There are now over fifteen amazing stories to read about and I promise, there are many more to come. I've got a loaded inbox!
Finally if you're a bit of a hopeless romantic, read ten very short stories which are now available as a cute collection in my first eBook: This Sweet Life. You can download it for FREE in my store! Or read the included pieces as individual posts:
Creative Writing: The Letter R (Explicit)
Creative Writing: Dear Italy (A Love Letter)
Creative Writing: Airport Arrivals
Creative Writing: Tanqueray and You
Creative Writing: A Thousand Lives
Creative Writing: A Sunday Kind of Love
Creative Writing: Perfect Strangers in Switzerland
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
Creative Writing: Mulberries in Sicily