“So how did you two meet…?” Part I

Alex and I get asked this question a lot.

The surprise is understandable since it isn’t a common thing for a small town girl from Texas and a native Athenian to be coupled together in Greece…

The story is quite bizarre so we just tell the general public “I met him while traveling around Europe”. Which is true, but of course, you get the full story here ;)…

It was November 2014, and my volunteering trip in Sri Lanka was coming to an end. But on the breaks between our volunteering jobs, my friends and I were inhaling every last bit of travel we could get into our systems before we all had to leave… and this time, we were in Weligama at Mirissa beach. During the course of that weekend, I decided last minute to accompany a couple of friends of mine from Norway and a friend we all met partying the night before from Italy, to a Yoga retreat nearby in Talalla.

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Weligama, Sri Lanka (Mirissa beach)

At the retreat, between yoga sessions and their open buffets, we were trying to find good surf spots since my friend was really into surfing. I joined him one morning to a private beach that our tuk-tuk driver suggested had decent waves, (one of those random locations only a local can know of) and there, besides us, a bunch of monkeys and a tiny bed and breakfast, were two couples from Greece.

Since surfing between jagged rocks and coral wasn’t really the other two girls and my thing… we bonded sitting in the sand exchanging life stories like girls usually do. One of the girls’ names was Mahi… and though I honestly don’t even remember this, she tells me the whole afternoon she kept making side comments on how awesome her best friend and I would get along; and that I must go to Athens to visit her and meet him.

I probably don’t remember this because it most likely went over my head. I was planning to move straight to L.A soon as I headed back home to study with an acting coach I worshiped (I dropped out of my university at the time to pursue acting), and traveling again wasn’t necessarily in my plans for a while. But we exchanged Facebooks, kisses and unrealistic but hopeful promises to see each other again one day. I really had no idea how much meeting her would change my life.

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Mahi and I (bottom left) and Katerina and I (bottom right) in Talalla, Sri Lanka

A few months later I was home again, planning not to move to L.A… but adventure round two, (I was officially bitten by the travel bug). I had to go back. Somewhere. L.A could wait… but my restlessness to leave again couldn’t. I had made my mind up about that. So, I bought the biggest backpack I could find and called up my volunteer buddies from all over to let them know I was going backpacking in Europe and would love to visit them. And of course, I messaged Mahi.

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Facebook messages between Mahi and I organizing my trip to Athens (originally I was going to travel with my best friend– but I ended up going solo)

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When she suggested for me to stay with Alex… honestly, I didn’t think twice about it. I trusted her enough to feel safe with her recommendation; and of course, after a good old Facebook stalking, the fact he was super cute (and well… Greek), did more than help his resume to be a good tour guide for me.

So on April 10th, 2015, I met both Mahi and Alex at the airport. My plan was to stay ten days… and after the rest of my travel plans, I swore to myself I would stop procrastinating L.A and finally make my move.

Well. Obviously, the universe had other ideas for me… coming up in part II of this story!

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