Personal Stories with Mana & Alejandra

Mana & Alejandra, Lesbian Love Story ❤️

From the serendipitous meeting on a dating app to enchanting proposals under the stars, their love story is nothing short of magical. Meet Mana and Alejandra Shaw-Rodríguez. Mana, 33, dedicates her days to empowering others through her work at a nonprofit, where she offers vital sexual health testing, education, and counseling. Meanwhile, Alejandra, 29, is a savvy business owner, managing properties. Together, they embody the spirit of Aloha. Newly married for a year, they are forging a life together on the enchanting island of Maui, Hawai. Join us as we delve into their inspiring journey and discover more about Mana and Alejandra.

How did you meet?

We met on an app called HER. We both lived on Maui, however we both lived in different parts of the island. Luckily, we didn’t live far from each other, so our first date had us driving 30-40 mins to meet in a different area of Maui, the west side (Kaanapali). On our first date we went to a Venezuelan restaurant for lunch, met up again that day for a beach sunset and dinner. We were inseparable ever since!

How exciting it must have been to finally meet you in person after chatting online! The anticipation of that first meeting, driving across Maui to meet in Kaanapali, … truly exciting!

Everyone likes romantic stories, so, we would like to know, how long have you been together and who first expressed their love?

We met in April 2022. We had met through an app called HER. We both matched and  started talking! Mana said that she got worried that she was getting cat fished because Alejandra only had one photo and she was so beautiful! We had been talking nonstop from the moment we finally matched. Neither of us got much sleep that week texting before our first date! 

When we finally met up on our first date to get Arepas, the moment we met we knew we were meant to be together. We already had such a strong connection from constantly messaging and talking prior to meeting up! When I saw her in person, I knew she was it for me (tell Mana). It just got more and more validated the more we spent time together. 

Mana was the first one to say “I love you”. We were inseparable and spent any moment possible together. 

How beautiful and serendipitous it is to find love in unexpected places, such as through a dating app. Their love story is a testament to the power of connection and destiny.


When it comes to finding a committed relationship, 24% of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults who are partnered – that is, married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship – say they met their significant other through online dating. According to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey

Are you engaged or married?

We got engaged soon after dating. We had talked about getting rings and one day we went and picked them out together. We decided we wanted to have a chance to propose to each other at some point. Alejandra surprised Mana by proposing one evening after dinner. We had actually been house sitting at a beautiful area of Maui. Alejandra surprised Mana with an amazing backyard picnic for watching the stars together. As soon as we got out there, she got down on one knee. So sweet and a moment that we will always remember! We saw so many shooting stars that night. It was very magical! 

Mana proposed one night after she took Alejandra to their first date spot to watch the sunset. We went to a local hotel to grab drinks and dinner. After eating, we went down to an area of the hotel with a fire pit to talk more. After talking for a bit and waiting for the best moment, Mana read a letter to Alejandra and got down on one knee to propose. 

Grateful we both got propose to each other! 

We always knew we wanted to spend our life together and start our life as a little family. 

We  got married in February 2023 last year! We knew we wanted something intimate and decided to get married at one of our favorite beaches on Maui. We got married in the early morning and it overall was a beautiful ceremony! The next day we had a wedding celebration with more family and friends. 

Mana, Alejandra & Ariana in Baltimore
Mana, Alejandra & Ariana in Baltimore

It sounds like an incredibly romantic and memorable series of events leading up to your wedding! The intimate proposals, each with their own unique touches, must have been such special moments for both of you. We love how you both had the opportunity to propose to each other, creating beautiful memories that you’ll cherish forever. It seems both of you took turns in making the ultimate romantic gesture. Thank you for sharing your love story with us!

So, where did you go on your honeymoon?

We have yet to go on our honeymoon! We hope we can go to Bora Bora. We would also love to go back to Costa Rica, where Alejandra was born. 

Oh wow, Pura Vida, Costa Rica is an incredible place, I have amazing memories, I have had the opportunity to get to know the country well since 1997. I even lived there in 2022 for a while. 

Why did you decide that place? Were you both clear about it from the beginning?

We both had desires to go to Bora Bora prior to meeting and getting married. We love that Bora Bora is a LGBTQ+ friendly destination. Very early on, we agreed that Bora Bora would be perfect for our honeymoon, so we cannot wait to travel there, hopefully soon! 

Without a doubt, a paradise destination for a perfect honeymoon. Girls, Bora Bora is waiting for you!


Bora Bora is committed to preserving its natural environment and marine ecosystems? The island has implemented strict conservation measures to protect its coral reefs, marine life, and pristine landscapes.

Talking about trips, have you ever taken a trip alone? How old were you, where did you travel and what was the experience like?

Mana – I’ve been fortunate enough to do some solo travel to different areas of Europe. In high school, I became very interested in studying languages. My parents were generous to help me travel to Paris and stayed with a host family while taking French classes. I also traveled from there to Switzerland to see a potential college! 

Yes, It is inspiring to see how travel undoubtedly helps in learning languages and getting to know other cultures.

Do you have children?

We have one daughter, Ariana,  who is 7 years old (soon to be 8).

That’s wonderful to hear! It sounds like Ariana is about to embark on an exciting new chapter as she turns 8 soon.  Happy Birthday Ariana!

Have you ever traveled with your daughter? What unique experiences or challenges have you encountered as a lesbians moms traveling with a child?

Mana, Alejandra & Ariana in Baltimore
Mana, Alejandra & Ariana in Baltimore

Yes, we’ve done some different traveling with our daughter, Ariana. We have been able to travel to Oahu, Orlando, Baltimore and NYC as a family. 

Luckily we’ve had really positive experiences when traveling as same sex couple with a kid. 

We have a few trips lined up this coming year. We love traveling as a family! 

We celebrate that you are a truly traveling family, knowing your country first.

What are some important factors you take into account when planning family vacations? How do you ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for your family?

When planning a family vacation, there’s some different and important factors that we keep in mind. The main factor includes making sure we are staying in LGBTQ+ friendly places. 

Luckily we have stayed in places that are very open to lesbian and LGBTQ couples. Safety is a priority for us, so we always think of destinations that will be safe for us. 

We do not want to put our family in situations and destinations that would be homophobic and discriminatory. 

We also like to research the areas to see if there’s gay friendly places to visit and support. 

Sure, it’s commendable how you prioritize safety and inclusivity when planning your family vacations. Researching LGBTQ+ friendly destinations ensures you find a welcoming environment.

Have you ever encountered discrimination or challenges while traveling as a family? How did you handle the situation, and what advice would you give to others in similar circumstances?

Fortunately we haven’t experienced much discrimination when traveling as a family. Most of the challenges we have encountered is strangers staring at us and our daughter commenting that people may be watching. This typically happens when we are holding hands or going in for a quick kiss. 

Through my social media account on Instagram and especially Facebook, we’ve received a lot of homophobic comments. Sometimes I delete them and sometimes I will report or reply to their comments. While we find it unfortunate at times, this will not stop us from sharing our love and being visible within our community. 

At one point I dealt with a bunch of anti LGBTQ accounts trying to take down other LGBTQ accounts. Luckily after having my account get taken down twice, I was able to get it back! 

Like I said before, we will keep posting our love and our family, because visibility is so important! 

Dumbo, Brooklyn NYC (PC: Flytophotography, Sehee)
Dumbo, Brooklyn NYC (PC: Flytophotography, Sehee)

Your resilience in the face of adversity is truly inspiring. It’s disheartening to hear about the challenges you’ve faced, both in person and online, but your commitment to visibility and love is commendable. Keep shining your light and sharing your story – you’re making a difference in the world!

Follow their journey! @manacs1 &

What destinations are on your wish list for this year and/or next year? Alone or with kids?

So far, we are traveling as family to Arizona and Baltimore this spring and early summer. We are hoping to travel to Costa Rica at the end of this year as a family. 

Our honeymoon is something we are slowly planning for, but we are waiting until February of 2025. It would be a special time for us since it would be our two year anniversary. This would be a couples trip! 

Your upcoming travel plans sound absolutely wonderful! From a family trip to Costa Rica, and the special celebration of your honeymoon in 2025.  Wishing you all the best on your adventures, and we’ll be eagerly following along on your journey.

Have you ever traveled with a travel agency specializing in LGBTQ or lesbian women's experiences, such as Lesmon Experience, which organizes small group tours for women, including families?

No, we have never traveled with a agency specializing in LGBTQ or lesbians experiences, such as Lesmon Experience! However, we would love to! 

We would love for us and especially our daughter to meet other LGBTQ families and be able to travel and learn about other cultures!  We would love to be a part of traveling with other lesbian women and families.  We always talk about how we would love for our daughter to meet other kids who also have two moms, or same-sex parents.

Absolutely, traveling with other LGBTQ families can offer such enriching experiences for everyone. It’s a chance to connect, share stories, and create lasting memories together. We hope you have the opportunity to embark on these types of adventures in the future with us, and we would love to see more LGBTQ families join us on these amazing family trips!

Can you tell us an adventure or (positive) experience that you will never forget from a trip?

We have a lot of great memories from traveling! When traveling to NYC, we loved how LGBTQ friendly it was! We got to visit the Color Factory. It was very kid friendly including interactive activities, artistic sets, tasty treats, and photo set ups! The staff were super friendly and we felt very comfortable there! 

We didn’t know about this place in NY, it seems very fun as a family activity, here we leave you the website for curious women like us: Color Factory

Finally, what advice would you offer to other lesbian couples who are considering traveling with their kids?

​Our advice to any lesbian couples with or without kids is to always research the destinations and/or find a LGBTQ travel agency that can provide guidance to better understand LGBTQ laws and protections. 

Traveling with kids as two moms is a great experience for everyone! Safety should always be a priority. Make sure to check local views on PDA when visiting areas that may not be especially friendly. 

We are grateful that Lesmon Experience helps so many lesbians travel! We love that you help immerse travelers in the culture and have unforgettable experiences! 

Thank you very much girls, it has been a pleasure to know your inspiring story. We wish you great family trips and especially a happy and romantic honeymoon in Bora Bora. We will follow you on your social networks to learn more about your experience as a traveling family.

Follow Mana & Alejandra’s journey on IG @manacs1 &

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At Lesmon Experience, our mission is to create safe, inclusive, and empowering travel experiences for LGBTQ+ women worldwide. We are dedicated to designing culturally enriching trips in collaboration with our local suppliers. Our goal is to celebrate diversity, foster meaningful connections, and promote positive social change through every journey we create. Through our commitment to sustainability, authenticity, and community engagement, we strive to be a trusted ally and advocate for LGBTQ+ women travelers, empowering them to explore the world with pride and confidence.