Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The first time Christina Burton met Gabriel Solberg, she left him.
Burton, a 30-year-old dancer at the time, lived and worked in Los Angeles, waiting at JFK to return home from an audition in New York.
It was early in the morning and the airport terminal was empty. In front of her was a long row of benches, but a man had placed the bag on the floor in front of him and was sitting right next to it, which upset him.
This was Solberg, who was 34 at the time, returning from family to visit Europe.
Tired of stopping at the airport overnight, he paid little attention to his surroundings.
“This guy has no spatial consciousness,” Burton recalls.
The two strangers were sitting so close that Burton could see the seat number printed on Solberg’s ticket when she realized he was sitting next to her on the plane as well, which only made her feel uncomfortable.
She was not in the mood to sit for 6 hours next to someone who had no sense of personal space.
It was July 2018, and given the moment when Solberg is quick to face himself, he recalls events a little differently.
“This is from her point of view,” Solberg told CNN with a laugh. “When I entered that building, it was so crowded, I barely reached an empty seat and sat there for five minutes.”
Burton reports that Solberg sat for a short time because he was thrown from the spot the moment he announced his ride, confirming her suspicions about his arrogant nature.
When Burton finally boarded her flight to Alaska Airlines and saw Solberg already sitting in his seat next to her, she tried to quickly put on the headphones to avoid any conversation, but she was not fast enough and he started talking to to immediately.
Indeed, Solberg did not notice Burton in the passenger cabin, but he did notice her as soon as she boarded the plane and approached the row of his seats, noting that her smile shook her.
With a smile, he said, “Welcome, weren’t you sitting next to me in the hall?” Burton replied with a smile on his face: “You are the one standing next to me.”
Burton’s first impression of Solberg as arrogant and selfish faded quickly and the two began to talk.
romance on the plane
The captain announced over the loudspeaker that the plane had been delayed and would likely not leave the airport for two hours. Burton and Solberg sat in two seats, while the passenger by the window fell asleep almost immediately, so they felt alone.
As they waited for the plane to take off, Solberg and Burton were moving from the recognition phase to the broader topics.
“We talked about everything,” Solberg recalls.
From their jobs, where they live, to why they travel to Los Angeles.
And the couple discovered that the love of travel unites them. Solberg is of French and American descent, growing up in Germany, so he has spent his life traveling, while Burton’s work as a dancer has taken him all over the world, from shows on cruise ships, to tours across the United States. United.
When the flight finally took off, the pair felt like they had known each other for years.
Despite watching movies on board, they talked and laughed throughout the flight.
“I told her how horrible her film choices are,” Solberg says.
“We were trying to watch Planet of the Apes, which I thought was a good movie, but he said it was the dumbest movie he had ever seen,” Burton recalls.
She was fascinated by Solberg’s sincerity and humor, and he was definitely a good person.
The six-hour trip allowed them to have even more serious conversations, as they touched on spiritual topics, religion, and their outlook on life.
Solberg explained that at the beginning of the flight it was clear that they were strangers, then the passenger in the window seat slept throughout the flight and woke up to find them drowning in conversation.
However, they were cautious for a variety of reasons.
Sloelberg came out of a long relationship about 5 months ago, spent the summer visiting his loved ones in Europe, and when he met Burton, was on his way to Seattle to visit his family and says the romance did not cross his mind.
“My attitude towards relationships was, they do not suit me,” he recalls.
Similarly, Burton says she was not seeking a relationship either.
“I have never met anyone before, I have lived my single life with a good friend of mine in Los Angeles,” she said.
The eight-hour “meeting” on the plane was a surprise for both of them, although it was not an immediate fascination. They thought their communication was natural and easy.
“It made sense,” Solberg said.
When the flight landed and passengers landed at Los Angeles Airport, Solberg and Burton prepared to embark on their journey.
“I told her, ‘You know something’s going on here,'” Solberg recalls. “So I’ll be back in a week and we’ll look at it together.”
“Personally, I did not think it would happen,” Burton explained. “I knew there was a kind of connection between us because I felt that,” she said. Before continuing on her way, Solberg hugged her and although Burton thought she could no longer see her, she texted her sister and friends to tell her what had happened.
“I knew I would come back,” Solberg says, sending a message to his brother, “I met the girl of my dreams.”
A week passed and Solberg returned to Los Angeles and invited Burton to schedule the meeting. This contact lasted from two to three hours.
Solberg recalls how embarrassing it was, having just talked on the phone with someone who still classified him as weird, as if he had known her for years.
“It’s very strange, as if we have known each other for a long time,” he recalls.
Burton suggested going out for dinner and a movie, and Solberg said it was a long way to go to see it and so they had to do something more interesting, and he suggested renting a hut in the Santa Monica Mountains, California.
Burton was excited to see Solberg again, but her friends and family were really worried about the idea of her traveling to an isolated place with a man she had just met.
Although the property was more rural than Solberg expected, they both had a good time there.
On the day Solberg had to travel to New York, the two went out for lunch and discussed the course of their relationship and found it difficult to separate again.
“We were frustrated,” Solberg recalls. The two decided that instead of saying goodbye, she would accompany Burton Solberg to New York to continue the adventure there.
As for Solberg, he admits that while he says his relationship with Burton was not official, his actions “did not really reflect those words”.
However, Burton made it clear that her career as a dancer was first. When her agent called her for an exciting audition opportunity, she interrupted her trip to New York and returned to Los Angeles early.
Burton and Solberg discuss how her career has given her the flexibility to live anywhere. In the end, the two spent just two months traveling back and forth to see each other before Burton decided to move with Solberg to New York.
In October 2019, about a year after they first met on the plane, Burton and Solberg announced their engagement during a vacation on the Italian coast.
Solberg almost forgot to take the ring with him and Burton’s mother had to wait for him at the airport to hand it over without Burton knowing.
When the two decided to book an engagement photo shoot with photographer Tyler Petty, the location was clear, the airport, especially in Terminal A at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, a transportation hub with a large historic terminal designed as a backdrop. perfect.
Their sweet meeting was also reflected in the wedding invitations, which were designed to resemble airplane tickets. Burton and Solberg planned a magical wedding in St. Lucia.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has left plans pending, but in recent months, the two have begun planning their wedding again. The preparations are complicated by the fact that Burton is currently working in Germany.
The pair admit that long distances are not easy, but both enjoy seeing each other progressing in their careers. They agree on their long-term goals and ambitions.