Tomorrow Luke and I will be returning to Pau, France to attend a friend's wedding, after nearly four years of being away. Pau holds special significance for us as it is the place our relationship began and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share our love story.
In January 2009 I left Las Vegas to study abroad at the Université de Pau in France. Whilst there I lived with a French woman named Domi and her son, Yann. It was Domi who told me about an English stagiaire who worked for her that she wanted introduce to me. Sure enough, when I checked my Facebook that first night I found a message waiting in my inbox.
Luke and I met that Friday and while I wouldn't call it love at first sight (I don't believe in it) there was a definite connection from the moment we met. We began seeing each other soon after and it was just casual. I was going back home to America and Luke was returning to England after our time together in France after all.
I stumbled across you on the Pau study abroad group. My boss has just taken in an American called Erin and I put two and two together.
Hope you're settling in and getting on with Domi.
If you want to be shown around or need any advice I'm happy to help. I've been here 4 months and my flatmate is French so we could be useful. Lol.
PS Domi has my number
|The first night we met at L'Esprit in Pau. Paul-Etienne (L) is our friend getting married.|
I don't think either of us ever thought it would turn in to anything serious but much to our surprise it did. We're not sure exactly when, perhaps it was when we went to San Sebastián together, you can read more about that here. Next thing we knew I was going on holiday with him to meet his family and my parents were flying over to France to meet him! As my host mother often teases, meeting Luke certainly didn't improve my French.
|Meeting Luke's family at Park Güell (Gaudi Gardens) in Barcelona|
|Meeting my parents at Place Clémenceau in Pau|
After my time in France, I spent a month in England with Luke before I returned to America to finish my university degree. Leaving Luke in England was one if not the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I sobbed from the moment I walked through security at London-Heathrow and didn't stop until I landed in Las Vegas.
Having a long-distance relationship was hard, anyone who has ever had one can tell you that. We missed each other a lot and it's difficult to be apart for special occasions. Even when I was enjoying myself I always knew one thing that would make any occasion better - his presence. I never felt like we weren't going to survive the distance. I think a lot of people are sceptics when it comes to long-distance relationships, I myself used to be, but for the right person anything is possible.
In June 2010 I graduated from university (with a BA Honors in Film Studies and French might I add) and after what seemed like an eternity, made the move across the pond to England. You know the story from there.
|Luke and I at Disney's California Adventure (December 2012)|
Q: What is your love story? Do you have a place that has a special meaning to you?