With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought we’d reveal one our favorite real-life love stories. Meet Rocio and Mauricio – two former EF students who met in Brighton in 2003.
They fell in love, married and eventually (spoiler alert!) moved to Tulum, Mexico to live their own “happily ever after.” We sat down with Rocio, who took a break from running the couple’s kiteboarding and paddleboarding center, to learn a little more about their story.
When were you in Brighton?
I was living at the EF Residence in Hove from September 2003 to April 2004. Mauricio had already finished his EF program, and was working at the Brighton Marina.
What had made you want to go abroad with EF?
One of my best friends had recommended EF. As for Mauricio, he’d been with EF on a previous program in Santa Barbara, California. He’d had the time of his life!
Can you tell us a bit about how you met each other, and about your first date?
We actually met at a friend’s party, and boom! It was love at first sight. And then our first “proper” date – not at a club – was at the Marina Cinemas. We’re both big movies fans.
Where did the wedding take place?
After Brighton we moved around a bit, and eventually settled in Barcelona. We got married there in 2006. At the time Mauricio was doing his master’s in Spain, and I was working in an office. Then in 2011 we decided to quit our jobs, leave our city lives and start a new life on the beach. So we moved to Tulum, Mexico.
Wow! That’s impressive. What’s life like in Tulum?
We started our own little business here – a kiteboarding and paddlesurf school (you can read more about it on our website). Then in 2015 our baby, Maria, was born!
What is your day-to-day like?
We wake up and go walk our dogs, Pancho and Rosita. We then have breakfast with our little Maria, before going to work at one of the best beaches in the word. We are living the dream.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to study with EF?
Just do it. Travel, learn, study, fall in love … Sometimes it works despite the distance, despite the cultural differences – despite everything. EF was one of the best years of my life and the best decision I’ve ever made. Mauricio and I have been together for more than 13 years now, and it’s been the most amazing adventure of my life. If I had not gone to Brighton, I wouldn’t have the life I lead now.
Where do you think you would be if you hadn’t gone to Brighton?
I would be working in Barcelona, as a tax lawyer in a big law firm – having a busy city life, not the simple Caribbean life I have today.
Last question: How did the EF course benefit you?
It was the BEST decision we’ve ever made. We learned English, met great people and found the love of our lives. So we couldn’t ask for more.