#RealTravel: I Met My Fiance on Study Abroad in Spain

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The couple took this engagement photo in 2014.

Who: Jacque is a manager of teacher leadership development at Teach for America. Dan is legal counsel for the Success Academy Charter Schools.

Where we met: Seville, Spain

When: 2006

Relationship status: Engaged, getting married on October 11th, 2014.

(As told by Jacque)

Dan and I met studying abroad in Seville, Spain during our junior year of college. He went to UCLA and I went to the University of Nebraska. I remember grabbing my bag in the Madrid airport and going to find the meeting location of our study abroad group. Dan was sitting there with others and something about him immediately caught my eye. When we boarded the bus for the hotel, he and I conveniently sat next to each other and started chatting.

That afternoon, students started breaking off into groups to venture out into the city. Dan will tell you that he made a point to join whichever group I ended up going with. We spent that day visiting the gardens of the royal palacio and sipping on sangria while getting our first taste of some Spanish tapas.


Jacque and Dan drinking sangria on the first day they met in Madrid. (Photo: Jacque Schneider)

Upon returning to the hotel after dinner, Dan looked at me and asked if I wanted to stay out a bit longer. This was his way of orchestrating some one-on-one time together, and I of course agreed — despite being extremely jet-lagged. We hopped into a bar next door and talked until 3 a.m. (more sangria and tapas were involved, of course).

We took classes at the Universidad de Sevilla, but Dan and I spent all of our free time together. We were inseparable. We even planned trips to Italy and France for the two of us once we finished our studies. My parents actually got to meet Dan for the first time when they came to visit me in Pisa, Italy. That night, we all had dinner before he and I headed off to Florence and my parents headed back home to Nebraska.

Eventually, our travels and time together had to come to an end in Milan, Italy. Dan was heading back to the states and I was continuing to travel with a friend from college. We said our goodbyes and didn’t know when we would see each other again. It was really sad because the whole situation was uncertain. We lived in different places, and I knew it would take a while before we could be a couple in the way my gut told me we would someday be. We did our best to keep in touch, even visiting each other during our senior year of college.


In the gardens of Versailles, 2006. (Photo: Jacque Schneider)

After I graduated in 2007, I moved to New York to do Teach For America. Dan took a year off to travel some more and save up money before starting law school. He visited me in New York that February to visit law schools. However, he has now admitted that the only reason he was looking at schools on the East Coast was to be close to me. Dan has always been adamant that he didn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship.

The stars aligned and he ended up getting into Georgetown in D.C., which is a five-hour bus ride from New York. We made our relationship official on Columbus Day weekend in 2008, and have been together ever since. Dan spent his summers working in New York to be close to me, and we each made a trip to visit the other once a month (so we could see one another twice a month in total.). Over those three years, we took far more bus rides than we would have liked, but we also got the unique chance to spend time together in other cities. Also, with Dan being in law school, it was probably best for his grades that we weren’t in the same city.


The couple ride a camel in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. (Photo: Jacque Schneider)

Dan moved to New York in May 2011, and we literally couldn’t get our head around the fact that we would finally be in the same city. He proposed to me on the Fourth of July in 2013, and we are getting married in New York on Oct. 11th, 2014 (Columbus Day weekend, six years after we officially got together).

We got to fall in love traveling the world together: Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal. We fell in love with traveling and love to travel together — our next adventure is taking our honeymoon in Southeast Asia!

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