Generating the Power of Love
If it’s starting to look like your Valentine’s Day cards from your secret admirers must’ve got lost in the post, don’t despair – perhaps a city break’s the answer to your relationship worries.
David Seng certainly found his visit to Generator London life-changing when he visited back in May 2007. Little did he know that within just a few years he’d have gotten married, moved to the USA and become a proud parent to young Vincent. All thanks to the charms of a certain lovely lady he met in the Generator bar!
My brother and I came to London when I was 25 to celebrate his birthday. We were both living in Boise, Idaho (USA), at the time but he had spent a couple of years living in London back in 2001 and was keen to go back. He therefore booked us into the Generator as he remembered it from his previous time in the city.
We were given drink coupons when we checked in and, sitting with my brother in the bar, we soon started chatting with the people at the next table about where everyone was from and what had brought them to London. The conversation moved on to who had heard the most ridiculous national stereotypes and, upon hearing I was American, a table of neighbouring Canadians were eager to point out they’d heard many more American stereotypes than I had!
When it was my turn to list those I’d heard about people from Canada, the ears of one of their group pricked up and quickly joined the conversation.
Her name was Eliane, she was also 25 and as soon as she joined our table we got on famously.
Eliane (far left) takes advantage of the Generator bar on her 1st night in London
By now our group had grown to include several tables pushed together with people from all over the world bonding as they eagerly shared their American jokes.
I soon learnt that this French Canadian / Portuguese beauty was travelling through the UK on a month-long backpacking trip on her own. She’d booked into the Generator because she’s seen it recommended on a backpacking website as she was doing her research. Her intelligence and great sense of humour shone through as we chatted (she tells me it was the same qualities in me that she became most attracted to) and it was little surprise to learn she was taking a well-deserved break from working on her PhD in Social Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada).
The day after meeting at the Generator bar Eliane invited me to join her on the next stop on her backpacking trip, Bath. I happily ditched my brother and his anti-sightseeing ways for the day and headed West. We had a great day and I caught one of the last trains back to London. As soon as I got back to Generator I quickly stocked up on Internet usage so I could keep in touch with Eliane – I have fond memories of spending an hour or so each evening sitting in the computer room messaging and emailing her for the rest of my time at Generator.
Back on US soil I quickly bought an international calling card so I could hear Eliane’s voice again. We spent the next few months talking everyday, sometimes for over five hours at a time! While she finished her PhD and I completed my studies, we used every holiday and long weekend to travel to see each other. As I finished my Secondary Education certification first I stayed with Eliane in Canada until she’d completed her doctorate and we decided where we would go from there.
Eliane & David Seng – married
Eliane was offered a position at the University in Odessa, Texas (USA) so we decided to postpone a Canadian wedding so we can move there. Despite the culture shock of life in Texas, we managed to plan and celebrate our wedding in July 2010 on the beach in Waldport, Oregon.
The next chapter of our story arrived in October 2010 with the birth of our son, Vincent, and last summer we had the enormous good fortune to move to Providence, Rhode Island, forever leaving Texas behind!
With our third anniversary coming up this summer, we’re hoping to return to Europe – and to Generator London – in a few years time when Vincent’s a bit older to celebrate our fifth anniversary.
Eliane & David Seng with their son Vincent, aged 2yrs
And David has a final word for anyone worried about travelling alone.
Eliane and I both really enjoyed how easy it was to meet people at Generator and, given our subsequent stays at other hostels, we both feel that Generator is definitely one of the most welcoming properties. It’s great for those travelling alone as well as groups thanks to the friendly staff, clean and safe building and numerous places to hang out and meet people. We would 100% book at any of Generator’s hostels when travelling in the future.
You can’t beat a London love story. A heart-felt congrats to David and Eliane on your upcoming anniversary celebrations from all at Generator and thanks for sharing!
At Generator we love nothing better than hearing back from our guests with heart-warming tales and serendipitous stories of how we helped bring them together so if you’ve got one of your own, please do drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org. And if we use it on the website we’ll even send you a goodie bag as a thank you.