Watch This Long-distance Couple Reunite in Austin, Texas for Travel + Leisure's 'Meet Me in the Middle'
Long-distance relationships are hard — and no one is more aware of that than the couples who are in the thick of it. Take Ruta Gebreyesus and Jason Ogbeide, for instance. The two began dating after meeting at San Diego State University, but now, they couldn't be farther apart: while Jason remains in Southern California, Ruta is living in Atlanta pursuing a graduate degree. The lovebirds hadn't seen each other for six months — and then Travel + Leisure got involved.
In this episode of Meet Me in the Middle, watch as Ruta and Jason reunite and reconnect in Austin, Texas over incredible meals, kayak races, a luxe stay at Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, and more. Find out what the couple had to say about their weekend of memories below.
Travel + Leisure: Did your first meeting in such a long time play out the way you imagined it would?
Ruta and Jason: "It was everything we expected and more! We felt like it was our first date all over again. We had butterflies in our stomachs laying eyes on each other [for the first time] in so long."
How did meeting in Austin add something special to your reunion?
Ruta and Jason: "Meeting in Austin was special because this is a place we likely would have never elected to go visit. Austin was amazing — the food was great, the people were great, and the hotel we stayed at was amazing! Meeting in Austin also afforded us the opportunity to connect with one of our mutual friends that we haven't seen in a year."
Can you talk a little bit about your experience staying at the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt?
Ruta and Jason: "Kimpton was a beautiful hotel and was so much more than we imagined. Of course what stood out to us the most was the room! It had both a classic and modern feel. We also loved and enjoyed the pool area — it was very clean and relaxing."
What would you say was the most unforgettable part of your trip?
Ruta and Jason: "The most unforgettable part of the trip was the first time we got to see each other in the hotel. It was such a rush of emotions! It really felt like the time we made our relationship official."
Ruta mentioned at the end of the episode that she'd be moving back to LA! While these reunion trips won't be necessary anymore, have you two planned any future trips together? If so, where?
Ruta: "Yes, we have! Jason is visiting [me] in November during which we will road trip to New Orleans."
Jason: "[And] Ruta is planning on coming back to LA for the holidays."