A true love story never ends. However, it does have a beginning.
This is the story of Monica and Frank. Best friends...They knew everything about one another. They helped each other out in times of need. Cheered each other up when life handed them setbacks. Together they hung out, traveled, and shared priceless memories. When they were down they both knew the perfect person to call. They stood up and supported each other through it all. They knew so much. But what they didn’t know was that they were perfect for each other...
Born in San Diego, Monica experienced early childhood moving up and down the California Coast. She enjoyed at an early age the Golden State’s four seasons...fire, flood, earthquakes and riots. Eventually, her family headed north and settled in Central Oregon. It’s not a place you move to. It’s a place you end up. Kind of like Denny’s at 3:00 in the morning. Monica’s adolescent years were spent growing up a small town girl. Sisters, Oregon is a wonderland of lakes, mountains and rivers. It’s a place of exploration and adventure. Sisters is a destination like no other. A town so small that if you didn’t know what you were doing, someone else did. Nevertheless, Monica didn’t let small town life make her life small. When Monica left Sisters in the Fall of 1997 for Arizona State University, its population went from 959 to 958.
Monica chose ASU over accredited schools because she heard they salted margaritas in Tempe and not the sidewalks. She ultimately declared a major that had a 7% less chance of moving back into her parents basement. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Travel and Tourism, Monica took her Sun Devil education South of the Border to the Land of Tacos, Tequila and Timeshares...
Across the Great Divide, 2,500 miles away and 12 years earlier, Frank was growing up on the shores of the Great Lake Erie in a turn of the 20th Century Industrial City. Cleveland, Ohio is the never-ending butt of satirical one-liners and the occasional tornado where residents are instructed to take shelter in Browns Stadium where there is little chance of a touchdown. Frank attended St. Ignatius High School in the heart of the City. A Jesuit, all male, College Preparatory school where unlike Jesus, you couldn’t wear your hair below the collar, have your shirt untucked or sport open toed sandals. Frank chose Marquette University in Milwaukee, or it chose him, to continue his Jesuit education. He pursued a “no job major” and learned everything you need to know about beer, cheese, the Packers and Wisconsin - an inhospitable place where 40 degrees can bring joy to so many people. After graduation he spent 20 years in the Commercial Insurance Industry chasing premiums, deductibles and the“American Dream”. Prior to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the biggest challenge Frank experienced being self-employed was believing himself when he called in sick.
At almost 40, Frank didn’t retire. Instead, like most insurance policies, he simply expired.
Before Monica and Frank found each other, they had to find themselves. Destiny is all about the chances we take and the choices we make. Although they came from different backgrounds and had different experiences growing up, they shared a common passion and courage to follow their heart and live a life they always imagined. Travel opened their eyes, broadened their minds and filled their souls. Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport. Monica and Frank met in 2007 on the “other side of the wall” in the sleepy resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where 90 minutes could mean all day and mañana doesn’t mean tomorrow. It’s whenever they get around to it. Vallarta is a place where the only thing people do fast is drive and a two-car collision could involve 20 Mexican lives. Monica and Frank’s journey from strangers to friends to husband and wife began 12 years ago selling travel, adventure, and two weeks of time for the price of one. Their personalities and approach to the industry couldn’t have been more different. Frank’s laid back demeanor would encourage clients to take time and think about their decision, because he didn’t want to miss his 12:00 P.M. Tee time. Monica on the other hand if told, “we need to sleep on it” would remind her clients she wasn’t selling mattresses. Nevertheless, love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.
The best relationships begin unexpectedly. Sometimes you meet someone who is unlike any other. It’s so clear that the two of you, on some level, belong together. You meet these people once in your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest of circumstances, and they help you feel alive. Everything in Monica and Frank’s lives led them to each other. Their choices, their heartbreaks, their regrets. Everything. And when they’re together, their pasts seem worth it. Because if they had done one thing differently, they might never have met. So in 2012 they closed their eyes to old ends and opened their hearts to new beginnings. Meeting each other was fate, becoming friends was a choice but falling in love was beyond their control. Love happens naturally when two people are meant to be together. Love isn’t pretty and romantic. Love is stumbling through life with your best friend.
People that are meant to be together always find each other in the end.