It was May of 2010 and Jack was preparing for his first trip across the ocean. He’d stumbled upon EF College Break online, and decided to spend a few weeks traveling on European Panorama. He signed up solo and was looking forward to making new friends during his 25 days traveling, and knew that traveling would change his life. He didn’t anticipate was meeting a woman would completely change his life.
From that very first day they arrived in Dublin, he noticed Marissa, a grad student from Pennsylvania. Jack (a Kentucky native) and Marissa quickly hit it off, and started spending more and more time together. “When you’re on a trip like that, you just find yourself gravitating towards certain people. We clicked from the beginning and just sort of stuck together” Jack explained.
Jack and Marissa, London 2010
It didn’t take long for Jack realize there was something special with Marissa. About a week before the trip ended, they sat in Florence and talked about the future. He lived in Kentucky and she lived in Pennsylvania--a seven hour drive apart. While they both admitted there was something between them, they agreed the distance would be too much once they returned to the states.
They enjoyed their last few days together in Europe, then said their goodbyes-- not knowing if they’d see each other again. When Jack landed back in Kentucky and turned on his phone, there was a text from Marissa waiting for him. They kept texting back and forth and it was clear they didn’t leave their feelings behind. Two days after they returned from Europe, Marissa drove seven hours from Pennsylvania to see him. “I got home from work that night, and she was there waiting for me.”
Jack and Marissa spent the rest of the summer making trips back and forth to see each other, though Jack admits Marissa may have made more of the sacrifice. “I still owe her gas money. A lot of gas money. I should probably take care of that...” The distance was tough, but for they made it work.
One year--almost to the day--of Jack and Marissa’s European Panorama trip, Jack accepted a job with EF in Boston. Neither of them had ever been to Boston, but they decided to make the move together.
Now, the couple is approaching their three year anniversary (they celebrate on May 24, the day they met in that Dublin airport). They’re planning a trip to Turkey and Greece to celebrate.
Have you ever met someone special while traveling? We want to hear your story!