February 14, 2012

Timeline of Our Across-the-World Lovin’!

Happy Valentine’s Day you lovebirds!! I love Valentine’s Day because it’s not only the time to spend with the one that you love, but the people that ya love! I spent plenty of Valentine’s days eating my favorite chocolates with my mom or watching the sunset with my best friends. But I DO have a little lovebug to spend this year with :). Tonight, Christian and I will be cuddling up next to the fireplace at a cozy little Irish bar in Amsterdam (pub food is delicious!) and my last name is O’Banion, gotta represent the Irish at all times! (Google 'Dion O’Banion', yep MOBSTER!)

But but but!!! I have a little Valentine’s treat for you guy…a little look at Christian and I’s transatlantic love that we had to endure for a full 365 days :(…but it wasn’t all that bad :). After Christian and I spent 6 awesome months as exchange students in Finland, we had to return back to our respective countries and do long-distance FOR A WHOLE YEAR!!! Luckily, we got to jetset out and see each other quite a bit! Then that wonderful day in June 2008 came and I hopped on the plane to reunite with my Dutchy once and for all!

Have a fun-filled day of love!!

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MET IN FINLAND

JANUARY 2007

I left my warm beaches behind and arrived in Finland in the dead of winter in January with with an open passport, open mind and open heart. Actually I spent a few days in Amsterdam before I continued on to Finland :). Christian had just arrived from the Netherlands…and then we met, aaaand we were basically smitten from first sight! :)





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OUR FIRST DATE

JANUARY 2007

We spent the afternoon walking amongst frozen Finnish lakes, drinking hot chocolate and ended the night when he made me dinner.







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WE SPENT ONE OF OUR FIRST TRIPS EXPLORING THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, FINLAND

FEBRUARY 2007

We took the train for 12 hours to Northern Finland and spent a few days snowmobiling and dogsledding!






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OUR FIRST OVERSEAS TRIP TO SWEDEN

APRIL 2007

We joined two of my friends from California on the 17-hour party cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm! Cruising through the Swedish archipelago watching the sunset, karaoke to Finnish music and a ball pit? It’s more romantic than you think! :) It was a blast!




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IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE FINLAND, BUT I STOPPED TO VISIT HIM IN THE NETHERLANDS

JUNE 2007

We said our goodbyes to our new friends and 6 amazing months in Finland. But I visited Christian in his hometown (Maastricht, NL) for a week (ironically, my return flight left from Amsterdam)! I met his friends, family, we celebrated his birthday and he took me on a roadtrip to Luxembourg. Then we said our tearful goodbyes as I returned back to California...boo hoo :(.


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I TOOK A 10-DAY BREAK FROM THE FALL SEMESTER AND WENT OUT FOR A VISIT!

SEPTEMBER 2007

We planned on not seeing each other until November but we just couldn’t help it! One-ticket to Amsterdam, please! We drove around the Netherlands visiting cute Dutch villages and we soooo stoked to see each other after 3 months apart.



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…THEN HE CAME OUT FOR A VISIT! CALIFORNIA, VEGAS & A REAL AMERICAN THANKSGIVING :)

NOVEMBER 2007

His first trip to America!! And it meant we got to wiggle our toes in the California sand, visit Vegas, San Francisco and celebrate a good ol’ American Thanksgiving with my whole family.



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WINTER BREAK + EXTRA AIR MILES MEANT I GOT TO VISIT AGAIN FOR 3 WEEKS! AND WE WENT TO BRUGES, BELGIUM

JANUARY 2008

I got to celebrate New Year’s Eve with him and his friends while we drank into the wee morning hours. Then he surprised me with a trip to Bruges, Belgium, for my birthday :).



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SPRING BREAK AND EVEN MORE AIR MILES MEANT 10 DAYS IN EUROPE AGAIN! AND A WEEKEND IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

APRIL 2008

At this point, I was accepted to the University of Amsterdam, got the great news about my scholarship and just had to go for another visit (I also got to move some stuff over..hehe)! My Dutchy took me to Vienna, Austria, to celebrate that we’d be united in 2 short months!




COLLEGE GRADUATION: CHECK—BAGS PACKED: CHECK—READY TO MOVE TO EUROPE: CHECK!

JUNE 2008

I finally boarded my one-way flight bound for Holland! After graduating from college, packing my bags, and spending 2 weeks with family and friends, I was on my way. My parents came out a few weeks later and we roadtripped around Belgium and Germany. We spent the first half of the summer lounging in Maastricht and watching European Cup hysteria hit the Netherlands, camping in Belgium with his family, soaking up the thermals baths in Budapest and he took me to see my favorite band (Death Cab for Cutie!), which just so happend to be playing in Amsterdam that summer. The below pic was the day we moved in! We spent the remaining part of the summer getting to know our new city we’d call home, Amsterdam…Home Sweet Holland!!
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And now…5 years later (almost 4 years since I moved to Amsterdam!) and we are oh-so-happy and ENGAGED!!
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9 comments:

Jenna said...

This is such an adorable idea - I may just have to copy this at some point. :) You two are too adorable for words, I love stories where long distance ends up working out!

AND we are practically twins, Jurgen and my story is almost identical. 2008 semester abroad in SA, within 2 weeks meet and start dating jurgen, go on a month long africa trip in June 2008 but cut the trip short and fly back to SA for one last week with him before going to the states, in September can't take it anymore and buy a 10 day plane ticket out to SA to visit him. Christmas, he come to Cali to visit family. Jan 2009 move to SA to do another semester abroad, May fly back to the states to graduate, fly back to SA and relocate permanently - and the list could go on! See!? Twins!

Happy V-day lady!

xxx
Jenna

wishful nals said...

aw, this is so sweet. you are a travelin' woman! happy valentine's day! xoxox

wishful nals said...

just read that christian is from maastrich! seriously one of my favorite places. i went there as a kid and professed that i would marry in the town church, buy a big old house and raise a huge family there. need to go back!

stephani said...

Oh Sweetheart, this is darling! What a lovely Valentine's present! Thanks sooooo much, XO Aunt Steph

Meagan Murtagh said...

what a cute timeline! so sweet~ happy vday~

xo the egg out west.

Rachael said...

Hey Jenna! Steal away :)...I agree, showing that long distance love can work out is something I admire when I read it from others...but also think that if its both whatcha really went that it ain't tooo bad ;). Wow we do lead parallel lives! Loved reading your comment, I cracked up at the "see?! twins!" Let me know when you do a timeline post of you and Jurgen! would love to read it!

Rachael said...

Wishful Nals - Maastricht is really cute and beautiful! Such a different pace than Amsterdam.

Meagan - Thanks for the thoughtful words! Happy V-day to you too!

Aunt Steph - I'm always thinkin of you! Can't wait until we reunite in Portugal this summer :)

Karm said...

What a wonderful love story. Traveling and making memories... the best thing ever!! I want that for my sons, so I am hoping to take them places even I have never been (:

Simone said...

What a nice story and it all began in Finland :)
I am from Germany myself - living only 2 hours away from Amsterdam - and was married to a Finn, during your stay there I still lived there as well. Did you study in Helsinki?
Following the split I moved back to Germany in 2008 and am now happy with a Dutch ;)
Life writes weird and wonderful love stories, I wish you a great life with Christian!

Simone**

P.S.: I do miss Finland. Is has something that just grabs you and won't let go anymore.