Two strangers who coincided in time and also in space and a destiny that capriciously brought them together. An argument that can be the plot of many “romantic” movies became a reality for Krystina Burton and Gabriel Solberg, who went from “hate to love” between a flight and a seat. According to CNN Travel, in July 2018, when Krystina met Gabriel, she couldn’t be further from loving him. She, a 30-year-old dancer, was working in Los Angeles and waiting in a New York airport to go home. She had arrived first.
Between the empty rows of seats, Gabriel, who was returning from a trip to Europe after visiting his family, chose the closest place. that pissed her off, and he couldn’t help but think that this guy had no space awareness. He was sitting so close that even he could read his ticket and the worst came later, they would have to meet again because he would have to travel together. That was the first sign of a capricious destiny.
The version that Gabriel tells CNNTravel it is different. It is justified because in her memory everything was full of people. When it was time to board the Alaska Airlines plane and she saw that this young man was sitting in her row, the woman tried to avoid any contact.
“Hey, weren’t you sitting next to me in the terminal?” He heard a voice say to him, smiling. It was Gabriel.
Gradually that first impression faded. The second twist of fate came when the captain announced that the plane was delayed and that takeoff would not happen soon. Burton and Solberg took the opportunity to talk.
“We talked about everything,” remembers Gabriel. They both loved travel. He was half French, half American and grew up in Germany, while the Burton’s work took her around the world. Little by little they began to feel that they had known each other for years, although only a few hours had passed. Still, there was something that made them wary: his past, the romance was far from his mind.
“I had never dated anyone before,” she told the quoted media. For all this, their unexpected eight hour plane date was a surprise to both of them that, among so many coincidences, they had an instant crush.
When the flight landed and the passengers disembarked in Los Angeles, Solberg and Burton they prepared to take different paths.
“I told him, ‘Hey, there’s something going on here. I’ll be back in a week and then we’ll see what it’s all about,’” recalls Solberg. “Personally, I didn’t think it was going to happen,” adds Burton. “I knew we had some kind of connection cause I could feel it, but I was like, ‘Oh sure, are you going to come back to LA and hang out with me? That’s going to happen.’ She just wasn’t convinced.”
And although they thought they would never see each other again, deep down they sensed that it was not goodbye. “I met the girl of my dreams”, Gabriel told his friends after that fleeting encounter.
They meet again
Fortunately, both had shared their phones and talked for hours on calls, agreeing on their next meeting. When his relatives found out what had happened on that flight, the idea seemed crazy to them, because they wanted to go to a cabin in Topanga Canyon, in the Santa Monica mountains, in California.
Burton was not sold on the idea of a “murder shack.” She was excited, yes, but her friends and family were genuinely worried about her traveling to an isolated location with a man she had just met. However, they ignored the warning voices and arranged their meeting, in which they enjoyed walks and had deep conversations. Laterthe idea of separating became difficult to profess and they were together for a few weeks in New York.
Even so, Kristina Burton made it clear that her career as a dancer came first. When her agent contacted her about an exciting audition opportunity, she cut the trip to New York short and flew back to Los Angeles. In the end, the two spent only a couple of months traveling back and forth to see each other before deciding to live together.
the big step
This love story did not find an end and, in October 2019, about a year after that meeting on the plane, Burton and Solberg became engaged during a vacation on the Italian coast.
The proposal took place on a rooftop, with amazing views, and their photo shoot was in the place that brought them together: the airport. Her wedding invitations were tickets, but when everything seemed to be taken from a fairy tale, fate did its thing and, although they had planned a destination wedding in Saint Lucia, the Covid pandemic put a stop to everything.
In recent months, the two have started preparations againwhich are complicated by the fact that Krystina is currently working in Germany, starring in a production of “Aladdin”.
This couple is made up of two very different people who complement each other: Burton says that she is more logical, while Solberg is driven by emotion. They also have different backgrounds: Solberg grew up in Europe, while Burton grew up in the US. He comes from an Orthodox Jewish background and she is Catholic. In addition, they form an interracial couple. None of this is an impediment to their love. For both of them, a first date on the plane from New York to Los Angeles was the perfect springboard in which a coincidence made sense.