Born and raised in Ukraine in a village in the Kherson region, Larisa is an only child but, never alone. Her mother and father raised her to be strong and independent. Her grandparents gave her family and wisdom.
Growing up in Ukraine has never been easy but, for many before 1989, life was considered good. Job security, a place to live, land to farm. Life wasn’t so bad. The 90’s was a much different time.
Larisa started her search by signing up on a dating website in early December 2006 just weeks before we met on the Internet. Thankfully, she agreed to chat with me after my first “Hello”.
That was mid December just after my return from Russia. Over the next few months, Larisa and I communicated on a paid dating site daily with few exceptions. We discussed many parts of our lives. The more we wrote to each other, the more we understood there was something special between us.
Impossible to explain even today. I just know that whatever force allowed us to find each other was like magic. Looking back at that time, there were many elements that fell into place. To fully understand what we were doing with our long distance friendship wasn’t easy. We just let life guide us knowing everything would be okay.
The First Phone Hello…
It was mid March 2007 when we decided it might be a good time to speak with each other by phone. Just one small problem; we didn’t speak the same language. The good thing was that, language difference didn’t matter.
Just listening to the others voice would be a great start to a future relationship. We spoke to each other for the first time by phone with the help of a lady that spoke a little English. It was just enough to help us say hello to each other.
Actually, saying hello was the easy part. My “How are you?” and her “Giggle” was enough to seal the deal. I knew I needed to get on a plane and meet Larisa in person.
The First Handshake…
Just weeks later, I made my way to Odessa Ukraine. Larisa was standing in the lobby with a look I will never forget. Can you imagine a Ukrainian woman with the look of fear written all over her face?
Ukrainian women are taught from birth to be strong and serious with a twist or two and a special smile… They need to be strong and focused. It’s what Ukrainian society is all about. Well, more about that in our book.
I can just tell you that after a quick handshake and a peck on the cheek, Larisa smiled and I followed. We found our way to the taxi parked just outside the entrance. The taxi driver was polite and accommodating.
The First Trip Together…
Larisa and I jumped into the back seat of Vadim’s black sedan and off we went. Interpreter in the front seat and Vadim navigating through traffic. The two hour drive felt about as long as a heartbeat.
Larisa and I passed the electronic translator back and forth the entire trip to Nikolaev. The interpreter riding shotgun, hardly spoke two words. She spent most of the trip on her phone. Larisa and I were able to understand each other even though we didn’t speak the same language.
In fact, except for that two hour ride, we have never used the services of an interpreter. We just knew that there was something special about our ability to understand each other without language.
Those Beautiful Sad Eyes…
As we drove through Nikolaev, I felt right at home. It was an odd feeling but comfortable. Vadim pulled up to the apartment building where I had rented a one bedroom flat for the next ten days.
As we entered the flat, Larisa seemed a little nervous. I paid the interpreter and off she went. I told her that we wouldn’t be needing her services any longer. Larisa sat on the sofa and I made my way to the bathroom.
After a quick shave and a splash of cologne, I stepped into the front room to find Larisa looking up at me with beautiful sad eyes. As I walked up to her, she handed over the translator. I sat down beside her and read her translated words.
I Don’t Speak English…
I will never forget those words. It was to be the beginning of something special. While reading Larisa’s message, I realized there was no looking back. Just look into the future and understand that everything will be okay.
Her message read “I don’t think this is a good idea, I don’t speak English”. Having just traveled around the globe to meet this special woman, I had just one thought for her. “Life is an adventure, let’s go”. She smiled and we went for a long walk. It has been ten years since we first met. We couldn’t be happier.
We hope you find our articles and stories interesting and useful. Our goal is to help others understand that there is a way to improve your odds of finding that special someone.