The story of how James Sanford and Daron Fowler met has the hallmarks of a romance movie.

They didn’t cross paths at a birthday party or link up on a blind date. It was a chance encounter at an airport in the Dominican Republic, and years later, their love is as fresh and palpable as it ever was.

In August 2013, while Sanford was waiting for his luggage to arrive at Punta Cana Airport, he looked up and spotted Fowler for the first time. It may not have been love at first sight, but the attraction was immediate.

In their interview with CNN Travel, the men explained how sparks flew and became a flame with time.

Why Were They In The Dominican Republic?

Sanford was in the Dominican Republic for the LGBT+ Pride festivities in 2013. His best friend was also in attendance.

After spotting Fowler’s eye-catching style of dress, Sanford struck up a conversation.

Sanford told CNN Travel, “[Fowler] happened to come and sit beside us. And so I sparked up a conversation. I don’t usually initiate conversations, but something was just saying, ‘say hey.'”


Fowler Was Reticent

There’s nothing wrong with respectfully shooting your shot, but that doesn’t guarantee the desired outcome.

Fowler was also in the Dominican Republic for Pride.

He admitted to CNN Travel that he thought Sanford was attractive, but was somewhat reserved due to social anxiety.

Conversation Flowed Eventually

Fowler pushed his reticence aside and engaged with Sanford.

They were amused to discover that they both hailed from Atlanta.

When Sanford’s bag arrived, they parted ways without exchanging information.

But that wasn’t the end of things.

They Spotted Each Other At Pride Events

CNN Travel reports, “there were lots of other people at the event, and over the course of the weekend Sanford and Fowler didn’t directly cross paths. The two caught sight of one another from afar a handful of times.”

In an even wilder twist of fate, Sanford and Fowler bumped into each other a third time in Atlanta. It happened at a nightclub.

CNN Travel writes, “over the next few months, they remained in one another’s orbit, occasionally crossing paths at events and parties.”

Sanford asked Fowler on a date.

Travel Was A Way For Them To Get Closer

The men shared a great deal in common, such as love of dogs and travel.

Their first trip together was on board a cruise.

CNN Travel explains, “the vacation only brought them closer together. Not long after, Fowler was meeting — and charming — Sanford’s mother.”


The Question Was Popped Years After Their First Meeting

Fowler proposed to Sanford in 2019.

Fowler told CNN Travel, “we did a photoshoot at this park, not far from our house. His birthday is in November so it was beautiful — orange and yellow trees. There’s a lake there, and we took pictures with the dogs.”

Family and friends were with them to celebrate the happy event.

The marriage took place on April 3, 2021.

All those years after their chance meeting in the Dominican Republic, Fowler and Sanford’s relationship remains stronger than ever.

It goes to show that love can fall into your lap when you least expect.