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A service for global professionals · Friday, May 7, 2021 · 540,546,975 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

They met on an airport layover and fell in love

(CNN) — August 1991. Irja Uotila, a Finnish publishing employee living in New York, decided to finally fulfill a long-held dream of visiting Latin America.

She’d fantasized about traveling through the region’s archaeological sites and picturesque towns ever since she was a teenager growing up in Finland, poring over travel brochures and daydreaming about future adventures.

Now in her early thirties, Irja was exhausted from a long summer navigating layoffs at her workplace, and dealing with some challenges in her personal life.

This was the time to go for it, Irja decided, she was going to take those vacation days and enjoy that dream trip.

She wanted a vacation where she could relax, but also get to know the culture and history of the destination. After extensive research, Irja pinpointed Oaxaca, Mexico as the perfect spot.

There was only one issue. There were no direct flights from New York City to Oaxaca City, so she’d have to change flights in Mexico City and stay overnight.

“I was…

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