A Travelers Puzzle of Love

thom_renate_forest_netherlands

While the snowflakes come down…

Today I woke up in a warm bed. Outside the temperatures are -10 CΒΊ and the mountain scenery is quite different compared to where I come from. Hiking up a hill is something that exhausts me because I grew up with low and flat lands. I don’t mind going down hill though, especially when there is enough snow and I can use a snowboard to do so. Staying in the Italian Dolomites lets me discover more about myself. About why the Netherlands isn’t really my thing the whole year through since right now I can be in surroundings with extreme nature. Huge mountains, snowy peaks, frozen waterfalls and lakes, curvy roads and wild foxes that take my breath away as they appear so suddenly.

Traveling gives you a lot of impressions. Every single day there is something new happening to you that you’d love to tell your friends about. The only problem there is that your friends are likely to be at what you call home, where you were once living and probably going to school. They can’t always understand all those things that are happening to you while abroad because they are not close to it and have different things going on in their lives. Things like a new restaurant that opened up just around the corner. The same goes for having a relationship. If he or she is not there with you… well, I can say that it’s hard to talk and share your day-to-day life with each other when you’re not capable of having a real relationship. Hate me if you must, but your love is in the online world of Skype and WhatsApp messages. You can’t share real experiences with each other.

I fell in love abroad

A few months ago I woke up in a hot bed. The strong, dry north wind of the Aegean Sea was blowing through my bedroom window and this made the heat in the Greek building disappear for a few minutes. I would walk to my kitchen sink in the mornings to put on some coffee and I’d always be greeted by a white mother cat with her young one. They’d climb on top of my garden table and then straight up to the kitchen window where they’d both purr against the fly screen to see if I’d have any milk for them. During the day I worked on the whole island and in the evening I went out for food and drinks in the harbor of Pigadia. That’s where I met my partner in crime.

He was working every night at the same place where I’d pass by to get some food and a drink. We started talking and hanging out together. He loved traveling, thought of diving adventures and being outdoors, enjoyed being active, was very attractive and I felt I could trust him. You do the math. One plus one is two. We started seeing each other and after a short while we decided to move in together in Karpathos. We worked a lot, but during our free hours in the afternoon we’d take the scooter to the beach, go for a dive or simply watch a movie in the apartment. Normally I’d say this would be something that is still meant to be doomed, because you both take a different path after a while. However, this time, we were on the exact same track. We started sharing our ideas and plans for the future and it was as if an easy puzzle was placed in front of us.

His piece fitted into mine.

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.

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