Both working for the same travel company at the time, we met during a work trip in Barcelona. We instantly became smitten with each other but once the trip ended, we returned to our home countries. Talking every day since we met, I traveled a few months later to Rome to visit him and our long distance relationship continued for quite a while afterwards until I decided to leave the desk life to pursue La Dolce Vita in Rome with him. The rest is history; we've been together for about 3 years now and we’re going to tie the knot with all of our wonderful family and friends in 2018!
We’re both from the South! I’m originally from Houston, TX (the South of the USA) and he’s originally from Calabria (the South of Italy).
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
We met in Barcelona, Spain in 2015. I was working for EF Tours in Boston at the time and each year they send their employees out on one a tour to audit. I was assigned to this European tour that started in Barcelona- low and behold Emilio was the Tour Director of our tour! So when we met, we were technically colleagues and Emilio was to lead the tour I was going to be auditing for the next two weeks.
Who made the first move?
We still are trying to figure out that answer. As I mentioned previously, we started out as colleagues; therefore, we didn’t want to cross any professional boundaries. We spent two weeks together on tour, but in a work setting. What started out as colleagues turned into a close friendship and once the tour was over, not a day went by that we didn’t talk. You could say we both made first moves by maintaining such a close rapport after our work trip, but it was me that suggested a trip to come visit Emilio in Rome just a couple of months later, and then the rest was history!
Where did you initially think he was from?
Because he was the Tour Director for our tour, I already knew his background and that he was Italian. And he already knew I was American because of the group I was traveling with!
What was your first impression of him?
Since he was leading our group on this European tour, I first saw him to be quite serious and very professional. I was sort of intimidated by him, because after we first met I had a go and attempted my very elementary Italian with Emilio, and was reassured by him that it was indeed very elementary! But as we got to know each other, I thought he was extremely funny, blunt, and a complete straight shooter!
Where do you live now?
We both live in Rome! Emilio has been living in Rome for over 15 years now, and I’ve been living here with him for almost 2 years now! Although I love Italy and it’s Emilio’s home country, we do talk about a possibility of moving together to the USA in our foreseeable future.
Have you learnt each other’s languages?
Yes! Emilio already knew English before we met, and although I studied Italian in University, I was not conversational by any means when I first moved to Italy. I took an intensive 6 month language course when I first arrived in Rome and having been immersed in the culture for the last 2 years, I can officially say that I’m now fluent!
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
We did long distance for about one full year until we decided one of us had to make a move. I think if you are doing distance and know you want to be with that person, make an end goal or plan to make the day to day easier! Communication is key, and don’t forget to have fun and mix it up with Skype dates, and daily phone calls etc.
Mixed culture relationships, albeit different and exciting, can be challenging at times! Whether it’s a language barrier or a culture difference when around friends or family of your significant other, just remember that patience is key and it will eventually become ‘normal.’ Never give up! It will all be worth it in the end.
Submitted by Sofie.
Here's how you can connect with Sofie:
Vi auguro tante belle cose and a beautiful wedding this year. xoxo
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