“In a world where there is so much sadness and so much to be afraid of, good things do happen to people. Romance is still something we can find even if we’re not consciously looking for it”
Given that I can confidently say that my most stable relationship until now it has been with my faithful backpack, I should be the last person to write about romance. On the other hand, I may be actually the only person that can super honestly tell you how it REALLY is because I’m lucky to have experienced romances that will gladly be stuck in my spicy memories foreverJ; I have met the dirty backpacker, the romantic dreamer, the exotic local…you name it!
Sometimes I feel like a book with a brilliant start but a disappointing end (because great romances never end well) Keep reading and accompany me in the fascinating yet complicated world of feelings that get multiplied by thousands when they are experienced under a full moon on a Thai beach or a kiss stolen in a pool with the Sri Lankan sea as the only witness, or a tender hug surrounded by beautiful paintings creation of an exotic man that whispers words in your ears in a strange language that sounds like music…Yep J
Romance travels with each of us. We may not all be aware of it but it does, is like a silent friend that is always right behind you, sometimes is so silent that you don’t notice is there and one day…boom! It just appears. It does it fiercely and you can ‘t ignore it because romance is very strong, addictive and maybe secretly inside you, you know you have always dreamt with the moment that it will unexpectedly break your plans into tiny pieces of happiness and your tomorrow will be scarred forever with those memories.
Romance changes everything.
For a long time I was always too focused on being a responsible backpacker. Yes, I went in search of adventures and I looked for them but I was determined not to let distraction get on the way, I did not know back then that romance was walking right behind me.
I would set my mind on discovering a world that presented itself scary at a times, if of an extreme beauty, full of uncertain places, with unknown flavours and smells, with curious eyes, of exotic languages, with a beautiful diversity of skin colours, good hearted people, full of moments that put me to the limits and taught me that we are all, without exceptions, surprising human beings with strengths much bigger that we think.
Romance appeared in my travels on very inconvenient days; I happened to be often tired, affected by bad bus journeys, dirty and looking in urgent need of a shower, mostly in bad spirits. Maybe that is what caused it, the fact that I was not looking for it.
How many times we have all heart that good things happen when you least expect them? Words that they happened to be true for me.
I will share with you this very precious moment of one of my trips because when I think about it, it brings a smile on my face and just the memory makes me shiver.
Sri Lanka presented itself like a place that I couldn’t quite manage to figure out. I was blessed with magical moments but I also found several challenges while travelling. This day, right at the end of my last week there, I took two buses to get from Polonnaruwa to Uppuveli. My day already started bad; a monkey stole my banana which it happened to be my only precious breakfast while visiting the ancient site in Polonnaruwa, where I was taking a break from the extreme heat as I rented a bicycle and cycling was proving harder than climbing Kilimanjaro!
On the first bus the driver was completely suicidal and I spent hours on that bus, while cramped on the corridor among what I felt like hundreds of locals, believing that I would die before I could reach the sea side and kept praying through my journey to all God names I could remember while feeling like crying for the entire journey to the delight of the locals, as I was providing them with free entertainment with my terrified facial expressions.
By the time I got on the second bus, the one feeling suicidal was me. I looked around (once again I was cramped on the bus corridor) and I could see this other traveller that was enjoying the bus ride as much as I was. Two backpackers united by desperation…I almost died earlier; he was almost dying of pain as his legs were touching his chin from where he was seating. What a great bus journey that was.
To a dreadful day followed a wonderful night. Romance decided to appear on a day where two people were consume by exhaustion, tired of the journey and yet grateful of the final destination. At long last, the Sri Lankan sea as final destination.
What unites two backpackers? Is not mystery, it is what unites every single being; conversation. But conversation between backpackers is intense. There is a sense of empathy, a desire to be particularly honest about life, there are no boundaries and I felt that every word was pronounced with true passion and honestly.
I felt truly connected. Could it be that I spent the last few weeks travelling alone? Yes, definitely. I felt immensely happy to be talking to this man and I badly wanted to tell him that he was the best thing that happened to me in a long time and how lonely I felt until then. Instead, we spoke about our lives and it felt liberating, there were no judgements at all and that took the conversation to magical places.
We went to swim late at night; when the world was sleep we ran to the sea throwing our clothes to the sand and swam. I could see a curtain of stars in the sky, the sky didn’t feel real, so extreme was its beauty that it brought tears to my eyes and I felt thankful to the Universe for allowing me that moment of magic. . In that precise moment on time, I felt happier than never before.
Suddenly, he told me excitedly to look at the water. That moment was too beautiful to make it justice with words. The water was full of sparkling lights and I thought I was dreaming. Was that real? I was swimming with the stars, there were in the sky and on the water. I wondered…was that moment real or happiness brought me to an imaginary world of beauty?
It’s called bioluminescence and there is a scientific explanation for it but never mind that then because the moment was unique and I felt we were in a parallel universe, far from anything and everything. Then, right there and then I thought that no matter what life will throw at me, no one and nothing would take that memory away from me.
That night, we made love and it was beautiful and passionate. I sometimes think that only when you are so far away from the familiarities of your world, you allow yourself to feel with such intensity.