Yahoo Travel profiles readers who came back from a trip with the best souvenir ever — true love. Got your own story? Tweet at us with the hashtag #YahooTravelLove.
Who: Andrea Chalupa (writer) and Julien Serdaru-Barbul (software engineer)
First Met: Paris, July 2006
Relationship Status: Married
(As told by Andrea)
I was backpacking in Ukraine after college and a village spiritualist told me I would soon marry a man with dark hair who was close to me but I hadn’t met him yet. After my sister and I drunkenly won a charity auction for a stay in a Parisian apartment with a wraparound terrace and view of the Eiffel Tower, we decided to use it to throw a party to celebrate my parents’ 40th anniversary.
Our first night in Paris my family had dinner with Julien’s family. Our parents are old friends, having double-dated while our dads got their PhDs at UCLA in the 1970s. I had met everyone in Julien’s family except for him — his brother even stayed with us for one summer when he was 16. Over the years Julien and I kept missing each other until that first night in Paris. He surprised everyone by putting on old home movies of our parents in LA together, young and hamming it up for the camera.
On the night of the anniversary party for my parents, Julien and I were standing alone on a balcony staring at the Eiffel Tower. I sighed and said, “Can this night get any better?” Then the tower started sparkling and he leaned over and kissed me. It was our first kiss. Then my dad burst in looking for me!
I ditched my family that week and saw Paris with Julien — my own personal tour guide. A month later, I repaid the favor when he visited me in NYC. We went back and forth like that for two years! On his 30th birthday in Paris we found out that he got into NYU business school, which meant we could finally be together. It was tough and extremely expensive to long-distance date, but it was worth it. If anyone needs advice on long-distance dating let me know!
Julien and Andrea when they met in Paris, 2006