JACQUI TAVIS, 48, Hometown Anchorage, Alaska / Current Hometown, San Diego

JORGE RAMIREZ, 47, Hometown Tijuana, Mexico / Current Hometown, San Diego

I always wanted to be a cross between a jet setter and a gypsy, but I probably fall more into the gypsy category. I like to get off the beaten path and away from the tourist zones.  I am curious about people and lifestyles, and ask a lot of personal questions.  I hope people take that as a compliment. I like to try things that scare me a little.  I like simple and casual.

My typical good time would be kayaking in San Felipe.  Maybe sailing in Belize, or riding horses in Catalina. I probably would never choose to stay at an all-inclusive hotel. I am not the office type, but have been very fortunate to have held great positions in the corporate world.  I have worked for Fortune 500 companies that have treated me well.  Although I've loved most of my jobs, I am probably better suited to be a newspaper reporter.

I met Jorge many moons ago in a hotel swimming pool in San Felipe, Mexico. We definitely hit it off quickly.  I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and he was living in San Diego.  I moved to San Diego a couple years after meeting him. 

I thought he was so interesting because he grew up in a much different world than mine.  Sometimes our different backgrounds and cultures make it hard to understand each other, even now.  

Jorge has so many great qualities, but I really love his competitive and adventurous spirit.  One time he ran two marathons, three weeks apart, and he's not a "runner".  He introduced me to the beauty and wonder of Baja.  On our countless road trips in Baja he would play the music he grew up with and translate the words into English for me.  Now he doesn't need to translate the songs because I know all his favorites. He grew up in Tijuana, and he knew about lots of interesting places.  Communities that had no road signs or markers.  We have discovered even more together. 

Jorge is also one of the hardest working people I know.  Since he is also very intelligent, he has something to show for his hard work. I love that he never feels the need to show off with material things, yet sometimes he can be a little cocky. He is also resourceful and he makes own opportunities. He always knows somebody who can get something done for you.

Our long standing problem is that we both like to be in charge.  The good news is that he likes a lot of my ideas or plans - so I usually come up with the great ideas and plans for us, and then he is mostly in charge when we are making my ideas or plans happen.  Since I trust him I can live with that.

So if I remember correctly, the year off and the road trip to Panama was my great idea.