In many ways it is the typical boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. In many ways it is not. Greg is an American, Lana (Svetlana) a Russian. Both had made some mistakes with earlier partners, but were still in the "game" of finding the special person, the soulmate. The unusual features relate to the way we met and the life we follow. Certain key elements were in place without which our marriage would not have happened. Greg is more or less monolingual although he can manage through a menu in at least three foreign languages and find the WC. Lana speaks fluent English and a smattering of Spanish and lately German.
We met on the Internet. Both were dissatisfied with the "local talent" in our respective countires, and being computer literate we expanded our search beyond the usual places where couples meet. In the Spring of 1997 while sifting a personals web site specializing in women from Russia and former eastern block countries Greg came upon Lana's profile. He noticed her smile. She seemed to be genuinely happy not just posing. Perhaps this was an indication of her inner spirit. Greg was looking especially for a happy woman after finding so many that had found life's glass half empty. At the time Lana was culling through over three hundred e-mails she had received from gentlemen all over the world in response to her profile. It appears that she knew something about men and how to interest them. Of course the pretty smile was part of it, but as Greg came to find out Lana's perception/intuition of people was highly developed. Although she was educated as a biochemist she naturally gravitated towards psychology and in particular "type watching". Ask her to explain it if you are curious.
As for our lifestyle, it could be discribed as "nomadic" although our long term goal is to find that "special place" where we can semi-retire. We expect to continue moving about with open eyes. Neither of us have a real home town that is drawing us back. Greg used to call Seattle home, but has no compelling reasons to return. Lana is from Novosibirsk and would like to try a year there again with Greg but agrees that it is probably not the best choice for a long stay. We have talked about many possibilities including buying property on the Black Sea coast, moving to Australia, settling in Vermont or New Hampshire, even staying right where we are at the moment near Munich, Germany. The point is that there are many interesting places to experience and we haven't made any decisions, but we have developed a sense of what we like and the lifestyle the suits us. We've decided that in comparison to many folks we are material minimalists and pleasure maximalists. Freedom from giving care to material possessions is important. Free time and the resources to travel are paramount. We'd rather move on than up.
Important for us is that we enjoy each other, never tire of being together and have fun each day. We are each others best friends sharing common interests yet retaining identities and separate activities. We talk about what is going on in our daily lives. Our previous experiences with partners, the learning process of failure, has helped both of us value and protect this relationship. We both took risks to make this happen; maybe we just were lucky or the stars and planets were favorably aligned. Whatever theory applies we are most grateful for the chance to share the time we have with each other.
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