Lizzie + Niko: An FTLO Love Story (Greece Edition!)
From vibing on the turquoise beaches of Greece, to putting a ring on it! Here's the love story of two amazing humans who met by chance during an FTLO trip to the Greek Islands.
Niko and Lizzie in Monemvasia, Greece
(Photos: Courtesy of Lizzie, #FTLOALUM)
How it all began...
Lizzie was living in a small town in Alabama, where she had been practicing law for several years. Though she loved her job, she was missing the sense of adventure and freedom that her naturally vibrant personality and spirit longed for; she was missing the very thing that made her tick. She was also entering her 30's and had gone through some major heartbreak in her life that left her feeling as if she might never find love - which is something she really wanted in her life.
So she took a leap of faith.
"I wanted to specifically go to Greece. I had tried to force several people to go with me and no one had the time, the money or the want to go. So I googled travel group to Greece for young people and FTLO popped up. I was on a hunting trip in Nebraska sitting in a cabin watching Harry Potter. It took me less than ten minutes on the site to make the down payment."
*Fast-forward to the actual trip!*
While hanging by the cabanas on a beautiful beach at Paros island, Lizzie spotted a local hottie in yellow swim trunks just across the way ;)
"We started just sort of staring at each other for about an hour before he got up to go down to the water. I devised a plan to see if he was interested. As he walked back up to the seating area after his swim, I snuck down to the beach to gain a vantage point. I wanted to see if he noticed that I had left. As hoped, he took a look around before heading back down to the water. I knew that he was interested! I waded out in the water waiting for him to approach me, when another guy yelled, 'Hey, aren’t you that girl from Alabama?' Niko swam past as I belabored myself in conversation with another guy. Niko exited the water and returned to the our seats. Finally, I went back to the seating area, where Niko offered me his chair and struck up a conversation. We had instant chemistry and he met us out for drinks that night. We ended the night with a walk on the beach and watched the sun come up on the lounge chairs at the hotel pool. We have talked every day since."
Niko is from the city of Heraklion in Greece.
Despite being from vastly different parts of the world, the two quickly found that they had a ton in common and after visiting Greece again twice, Lizzie decide to move to there permanently and now they're getting married!
"It was really just a gut feeling that led me here permanently. I felt it was a now or never thing to take our relationship to the next level. My life in Alabama was stagnant, and I felt that Niko and I were compatible enough that a life together was worth taking a leap of faith for."
For the Love of Travel
Thanks to Lizzie's courage in taking the first steps to infuse her life with more adventure and more travel, she was able to open herself up to new friends, new experiences, and ultimately she met the man of her dreams (and Niko met the woman of his dreams!).
"When I met Niko, we all called him Turtle because he had a turtle tattoo. We took a boat out in Paros on our free day and saw a sea turtle that waved its fin to us. My friend Marissa said it was a sign that we would get married…and here we are having conversations about those very plans," says Lizzie.
"I could not be more thankful to FTLO for creating an environment where I felt alive and open to allowing love to come knock on my door!" says Lizzie.
Though we're not calling ourselves match-makers...we don't mind the side effect! ;)
Congrats to Lizzie and Nico on a life of adventure and fun! Don't miss us too much while you're enjoying the beautiful beaches of Greece!