Gaurav and Carly’s story begins like all great love stories -- at the indulgent weekend birthday party of a charismatic man named Hiro. The setting was perfect: sunset on a Caribbean beach with Carly’s favorite music playing softly in the background. It was the second night of the party, and Gaurav had arrived late. After making small talk with his friends, he went to get a drink from the beach bar. And out of the corner of his eye he noticed a cute blonde standing there as well. So he struck up a conversation.
The conversation was fun. She was smart, with a quick sense of humor. She was Californian, which intrigued him. And she was successfully running her own company, which impressed him. Meanwhile, Carly (the blonde) was trying to figure out whether his accent was Australian (fun!) or British (meh). She found him intelligent, handsome and witty, and was impressed by his ambition and sense of adventure. Admittedly she had had more than one drink by this point, so her judgment may have been impaired, but we’ll never know.
Unfortunately the conversation was brief. They each got pulled away by their friends to celebrate the birthday, and they passed the rest of the weekend quietly noticing one another (or at least Gaurav did). Nevertheless they left an impression on one another.
Their timing, though, wasn’t great. See, Gaurav was about to go away on a six-month sabbatical and travel the world. He wasn’t exactly looking for love. And Carly was focused on her company. She was traveling back and forth between New York and San Francisco, and wasn’t really searching for the man of her dreams.
Fast forward three weeks later to New York. It was a week before Gaurav was to start his travels. He decided to go to one of his favorite bars in the city, The Wren, for a farewell drink with some close friends. And who should he happen to bump into there? Carly, with one of her friends, having a girls night. After some laughs at the coincidence of it all, they resumed their conversation and realized there was a connection there. They exchanged numbers, and agreed to stay in touch.
But Gaurav realized something that night. As cliché as it sounds, he realized that this woman could be “The One”. He only had a week left before he started his travels, but he wasn’t going to waste it. So he proposed a series of dates in New York: 5 dates in 7 days to be exact, but who’s counting? They shared a romantic drink overlooking the Hudson River, they watched Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew in Central Park, and enjoyed a late night stroll along the beautiful Highline. He thought he was impressing her, and he was right.
A night before Gaurav’s departure, they shared one last date. Towards the end, Gaurav brought up his upcoming travels, and mustered the courage to ask her a simple question: would she visit him in Spain, a month later, while he was traveling there? He was confident she would say yes. After all, they had just shared an incredibly romantic week of dates, they laughed, found each other attractive, had mutual friends, and enjoyed many of the same things. It was obvious that she would say yes.
She said no.
She had her reasons of course. They had just met, and as much as she liked him, it felt like a big commitment. She was busy with work. Spain was a long way to go. Yada yada yada. Blah blah blah. Who says no to a trip to Spain? Seriously. That’s what Gaurav thought. He said he understood, and they agreed to stay in touch.
But honestly he was a little heartbroken. He had met a beautiful woman and thought they were great together. And she’d just told him she didn’t want to see him, at least for 6 months until he came back. And who knew if they’d both be single then? Dejected, but also excited about his travels, he set off for the first stop on his trip: France, for his friends wedding.
But it turns out Carly couldn’t get Gaurav out of her head as much as she tried. They continued to text, flirting with one another across the Atlantic while Gaurav traveled. Finally Carly realized she’d made a mistake. She did want to visit him in Spain. So she sheepishly told him so, first dancing around the topic, then confessing her regret, finally asking if the invitation still stood. Obviously Gaurav said the invitation remained. This time, she took it.
Their trip in Spain started in Sevilla and ended in Madrid. But it was the island in the middle, Menorca, that really captured their hearts. Strolling the streets of the Ciutadella and hopping from beach to beach, they realized that they were falling for one another.
The rest, as they say, is history.