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An online match in China turned into a successful marriage and then a successful business of the shores of PEI.
Who: Montgomery Gisborne, 55, and Daniela (Luo Dan Ni) Gisborne, 37, co-owners, Chinese Junk Tour.
Relationship status: Married since 2017.
One mom and a baby
Montgomery: We met on a website that matches professional foreign men with professional Chinese women. I was doing a lot of business in Asia at the time and became totally fascinated by the culture and the people.
Daniela: My best friend had married a man from England and when she came back to China, I was divorced and she said, “Oh, you should find a foreign man.” She showed me this site and I decided to use a photo with my daughter because I wanted to make it clear that I was looking for a serious relationship.
Montgomery: I remember seeing this radiant woman with her little Dominica, who was only two at the time. That was unusual to include the kid in a profile photo, and I just thought it was charming. I have a daughter from my second marriage. Given my age, I thought the window for having another child had closed.
The man in the computer
Montgomery: We spent a few months talking on a Chinese version of Skype. One of the stories I love from back then was that Dominica had never seen a white person before and she thought that I lived inside the laptop. When we finally met for the first time, she wanted to know how I had fallen out.
Daniela: I remember going to the airport to meet him for the first time. Right away he made me laugh and was very friendly. All my life I wanted to find an interesting guy. I thought, okay, he could be my husband.
Montgomery: We spent a couple of years living in China, but eventually we decided to move back to Canada. We basically threw a dart at a map and landed on Prince Edward Island.
The language of love
Daniela: My English has improved a lot – I try, and we definitely laugh. I think a lot of our communication isn’t in words. We know each other in a way that’s hard to explain.
Montgomery: My girls have been so great at adjusting to life in Canada. At the same time, Chinese culture remains a big part of our home. And now our professional life, too. Last year we bought an authentic Chinese junk boat, which was built in Hong Kong in 1968. It’s a style of boat that became popular in the second century. We started doing tours last summer and it has turned into a real business. People love to go out on the water, learn some history, eat some delicious authentic Chinese food.
Daniela: I think Monte may be more Chinese than I am! He knows so much history, and I think he knows every Chinese person in PEI. I joke, but it makes me very proud to introduce my country and my culture in Canada.