If somebody says they met their partner at a work related event, it doesn’t sound all that exciting, does it? What if that event took place at high altitude? Our pilot Rebecca met her partner at the annual ballooning event in Mondovi, Italy, 2017. A skydiver and pilot himself, Simon shares the same passion for aircraft rides and adventures.
Together with many of her colleagues, Rebecca was flying in Mondovi ahead of the start of the new ballooning season in the UK. European balloonists gather there to carry out annual flight checks required of all commercial pilots, while also enjoying some fun competitions among themselves. That is where our pilot’s love story started.
Hot Air Ballooning Meets Skydiving
Simon was training at the time towards his Balloon Private Pilot Licence, which he successfully obtained later that year. He was already flying a Twin Otter aircraft at North London Skydiving Centre, where he works. Their shared passion for flying brought him and Rebecca together.
She fondly remembers how they not only kept in touch after Mondovi, but also soon started collaborating up in the skies.
“Simon asked if I would pilot their club hot air balloon, dropping himself and other sky divers from the balloon. We had lots of fun and I became quite involved, which led me to taking up skydiving and gaining my A licence. This seemed only fair, it was time for me next to jump from their plane!
I did question this on the odd occasion. But on the day I stood at the plane door saying yes I am ready. I got the bug and went on laughing and further working on my exit style.”
Since they already did so much together, Rebecca said that she wasn’t sure when he first asked her out if he meant it as a date or not. It turned out it was their first date and now the two of them are in their second year living together.
Catching Each Other In The Air
When we learnt that Simon also flies as a professional pilot, we wondered what their schedules look like. At a first sight, having a profession governed by the weather sounds like the main challenge for a hot air balloon pilot’s love story. We wanted to learn how the two of them manage such a lifestyle as a couple.
“We both have a good understanding of what each of us does, and how each of us is committed during our flying seasons. We often say I am not sure, depends on what the weather is doing when being asked if we are working.”
But then they do run into each other at work, and the sight is like no other. Rebecca said:
“Sometimes we get to catch each other in the air when I am flying in his area near Peterborough. He will give me the odd flyby and wave. Nothing feels as awesome like putting on an air show for the passengers!”
There is more to how they mix passion and profession together. Rebecca’s two daughters too love joining in. On certain occasions, Robyn (16) and Poppy (7) meet Simon at his drop zone. They all then go help their mother with the hot air balloon.
Both girls seem keen to follow in the adults’ footsteps. While Robyn is convinced she is ready for skydiving, Poppy kept saying for many years she wanted to be a hot air balloon pilot, like her mum. Now the younger of the sisters thinks she wants to fly a plane too.
Make Your Romantic Hot Air Balloon Ride Dream Come True
Are you dreaming of love at high altitude yourself?
Or maybe your other half has always been fascinated by the idea of flying gently away in a hot air balloon?
Take advantage of our 2020 Valentine’s Day offer now to turn this dream into reality. Remember to choose delivery by email to get your vouchers straight into your inbox if you want them with you this weekend.
Book your own hot air balloon ride adventure of a lifetime.
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