An Unexpected Spark. - My Family Travels

JULY 2010.

It’s a Thursday morning at Tampa International Airport. As I grabbed my bag and gave Mom a hug goodbye she said, “Have fun with Jake!”

“Yes, Mom. I’ll see you next week,” I answered and began to make my way to the security checkpoint to board my flight to Nebraska. That’s right, I said Nebraska. I’m sure you’re asking what is a girl from the east coast going to Nebraska for? Well if I were in your shoes, I’d be asking the same thing but never would I’ve thought that after this long, I’d still be in touch with, let alone be going to visit a person that caught me so off guard and changed my life in such a short amount of time…


When I first signed up to go to London, Paris, and various cities in Italy with a few classmates from my school in Florida, the only thing I’d think about was how good going abroad would look on a college application and the beautiful sights that I would see. Little did I know, the most memorable part of the trip would be the relationship I’d be creating.

Our trip consisted of students from five states. At our first dinner with everyone, my friend Rachael and I scoped the group, like any teenage girls would, for any cute boys accompanying us on our trip. I saw a few, but one was cuter than the rest. However, I wasn’t jumping at the bits to talk to him. For the most part, everyone was very shy and didn’t really wander away from their groups in London and Paris. We didn’t start mingling and becoming friends until we were on the night train making our way to Florence, Italy.

We shoved all of us into one couchette and just talked all night. While we were all talking I noticed Jake, the cute guy that I noticed at dinner whom I hadn’t even spoken to for the first time until we were in line at the Eiffel Tower, had a girl on his lap and there was an unexpected spark of jealousy. I tried to ignore it, but found that the next day it seemed like wherever I was walking, he was walking and we’d always find ourselves talking to each other.

That night, the group went to a club in Florence and I built up the courage to ask Jake to dance. We danced all night and towards the end, without even realizing I kissed him. The following day, we had about a six-hour bus ride to Assisi and later to Rome. I didn’t want anything to be awkward after what had happened the night before so I asked if I could sit next to him. For the next two days we were talking nonstop. He would say something he liked about the world in general and vice versa. We were able to talk so easily and really got open up and get to know each other. It was then that I realized the kid was amazing, but I also realized that we were leaving the following morning. We stayed up all night wishing that we didn’t have to leave or that we could go back together…

I originally thought that after a week, we’d just stop talking and that‘d be the end of it. It would’ve just been a summer fling. Now a year later, we’ve spoken everyday since and use Skype at least twice a week to see each other. To put it simply, we fell in love from a distance.


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