As graduation ceremonies end and graduation parties start up, you can bet the “So what are you going to do next?” questions are piling up. It seems like everywhere I go everyone always tends to ask the polite question and I always eventually tell him or her my plan. Anyone who’s recently graduated would agree with me.
A lady I’ve never met before asked me what I was planning on doing next, and I replied with my usual speech about moving to Australia. She looked at me with familiarity and exclaimed she’s “heard of me before” and that “I’m the one with the boyfriend.” I wondered how many people have heard from a friend of a friend of a friend some version of my story; some version of “moving for a boy.” And while I don’t owe anyone an in depth explanation, I owe our story a voice to be heard.
While I’ve posted about how my boyfriend, Sam from Sydney, Australia, and I met in Dublin, I’ve yet to post about the happenings afterwards, leading me to this point of making quite possibly the biggest move of my life, literally and figuratively. This is my short story right now and hopefully the beginning of a very long novel I’ll be proud to tell for the rest of my life. It can touch you deeply or just make you gag. Whatever works.
And if you don’t feel like reading through all of this, feel free to watch this video on the whole story:
A Global Affair: Europe
After two days of meeting Sam on a pub crawl in Dublin, holding hands while touring through the streets, roaming the Temple Bar in Christmas sweaters, and swing dancing to “Grease Lightning”, we came to the point where I had to keep moving along with my travels. We said our tearful goodbyes, and as he began to walk away from me headed toward his infinite journeys ahead of him, I wished for him to turn around, to give me one more sign that this was for real. And before I could finish my wish, Sam turned around, gave me an exasperated look, and ran towards me, picked me up and kissed me. I’ve never had a doubt in my mind since.
After traveling through Ireland for another week, I returned home to the States toying with the idea of meeting Sam in Europe once more to spend his last ten days traveling with him and to celebrate the New Year in Berlin. I asked everyone for advice, and while most called me crazy – with good reason – for flying overseas to reunite with a guy I only knew for two days, the only people I really took advice to heart from were those who had traveled extensively, including my parents. Most everyone who I listened to were in agreement with the fact that this was yet another opportunity to travel, but more importantly, to hold onto something, someone, who could potentially change my life. I couldn’t pass that up.
I was so nervous to ask what my parents thought about the situation, but within three hours of bringing it up with them, I had booked a flight from Miami to Barcelona. Three weeks of Skype calls and iMessages later, I was finally back in Sam’s arms and back in one of my favorite cities, Barcelona.
We spent the next ten days traveling together through Barcelona, Berlin and London. We hiked to the top of Parc Guell, partied with our closest million friends at Party Mile at the Brandenburg Gate, passed the bouncer’s test at one of the most renown underground clubs in Berlin, and spent a gorgeous London day browsing through Camden Market.
And if there is any way to truly test a couple’s compatibility it’s through travel. Between disconnected hotel phones, almost missed flights, hangovers and layovers, language barriers, getting lost for miles and miles, inside out umbrellas in the middle of a rainstorm, a mile long stampede of New Years Eve party-goers, a warzone of fireworks, one bathroom to share between three guys and one girl, falling asleep on the dance floor, death metal rock clubs and surviving hypothermia… There is no other way to truly stand the test of time together, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I laughed through it all, and even when faced with challenges I would normally find too difficult to face, Sam showed me how to smile through it. Sam showed me the person I knew I could and wanted to be. He’s never stopped doing that for me.
Our last day in London, Sam gave me a ring he had bought during his travels in Cambodia and had worn for many years. I knew how much this ring meant to him only because of the drastic indentation and tan line on his right index finger, indicating it had been there for a very long time. I was so touched by the gesture, but even though we had ten incredible days together, I still wasn’t sure where [or how] our global affair was going to take off from there.
The last night before I departed from Heathrow to Miami neither of us could fall asleep. Until the early hours of the next morning, we discussed the future – what was to come, where we wanted to go, how we would make it work. We talked about traveling the US, Australia, Asia, everywhere. We shared dreams and fears and embarrassing childhood stories. Shortly after, we officially declared our relationship. According to Facebook, our relationship started on January 3, 2014. But we both knew our journey began on November 24, 2013 on our first night in Dublin.
Before I booked my flight to visit Sam in Europe, he made a promise to me that he would fly to the United States at some point after our trip together, pending it went well. We kept telling each other to take it “one trip at a time,” but we were both too excited for all of the adventures to come. After saying goodbye at Heathrow and embarrassingly crying all throughout security, prompting the TSA agents to search me thoroughly, Sam and I began our [very] long distance relationship. A month later, Sam flew to the United States, as promised, for the first time to continue our story together…