Woman talks about her international relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic travel ban

As the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life, it's also keeping international families and couples apart.

The travel bans in effect have been devastating to international families and couples, just like Alexandra Boles, a Tempe woman engaged to a Frenchman.

They should be planning their wedding but now they don’t know the next time they'll see each other.

Facetime calls are the only way Boles and her fiance Nicolas Caron are able to see each other. It's been like this for 6 months.

"I miss everyday life. I miss cooking with him, goofing around and folding laundry," Boles said.

The international couple met while they were both studying abroad in Edinburgh. After getting engaged last year, they had plans to start their lives together in the US, but then the pandemic hit and travel bans went into effect.

"We are dependent on the government to be together and start our lives together," Boles said, adding, "It has been very, very difficult, frustrating."

They are just one of the thousands of couples kept apart by the travel restrictions as the US has banned most foreign travelers from Europe since March. The European Union stopped Americans from visiting in July.

"I feel deeply on this issue. It is not just me. There are women who have gone through entire pregnancies alone who are US citizens," Boles explained.

She's constantly advocating not only for herself, but for others, by reaching out to national and local leaders on social media using the "Love is not tourism" hashtag.

"Countries like Denmark and Norway, Austria, have already found a way to make exemptions for unwed partners in serious committed relationships to be able to see their loved ones," she said.

She's hoping the US will follow suit because she and her fiance are ready to finally start their lives as a couple, together, in the same place.

"We are willing to do a lot to be with our partners," Boles said.

She and her fiance are working through the process legally by trying to get the K1 Visa but she says the process has been incredibly slow.