This post was contributed by Rachel Gallagher.
When you’ve booked a six week travel bonanza between semesters studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain, the last thing you expect is to meet the guy of your dreams. You’d never expect to see him, tall and handsome standing outside your hostel in Berlin the same night you check in. You definitely wouldn’t go up and talk to him while he’s smoking a cigarette, you’ve always sworn you wouldn’t date someone who smokes, and you certainly wouldn’t follow him into the hostel’s elevator asking where he and his friends were going out that night. Especially after telling your friend you were too tired to go clubbing with her, then dragging her with you to the club she didn’t want to go to so you could be around some guy you don’t even know.
Neither would you expect to be 24, in a long distance relationship (LDR) two and a half years later with the same man you met in the middle of January outside a hostel, bundled up in cold Berlin.
And, to top it all off, you’d never have thought that a pandemic would hit Spain right before your birthday, and said boy would get on a flight the day before nation wide lockdown hit, trapping him in Valencia with you for four and a half months. But here we are. And if you read my last contribution to the legendary Shut Up and Go discover page, you’ll already know that I lived pretty damn well during quarantine. I mentioned the cheap mozzarella, the refreshing gazpacho, but I failed to mention the wonderfully hilarious man who kept me company during those otherwise lonesome and daunting months.
The night we met, I was 20 and ambitious. I wanted to go everywhere, see everything, and for cheap (I budgeted roughly $40 a day, including accommodation). Experiences were the name of the game, I seldom said no, and to anyone who will be studying abroad or traveling, I’d suggest doing the same. Yes, yes, yes. Be a yes person. If I hadn’t been a yes person, if I had let the exhaustion from traveling to Berlin from Prague take over, I wouldn’t have met my fantastic, loving, hilarious boyfriend. I wouldn’t have spent the night waltzing to drum and bass (yes, you read that right, we did waltz to drum and bass).
I wouldn’t have stayed up dancing till morning, nor have shared a coffee with him outside the hostel, snow swirling down whilst our Argentinian friend played guitar. The romance!
Yes, you read that right, we did waltz to drum and bass.
And when you’ve had the pleasure of traveling with your long-term lover to Spain, eastern Europe, around the U.K., and Morocco, you know what love’s like when life is exciting. My second silver lining, however, is knowing that without all the excitement of traveling and meeting new people, our love sticks. Unlike the snow that January morning in Berlin, through the thick and thin of doing long distance and the highs and lows of quarantine, we’re still going strong.
So, please, when people are allowed out into the world again, go talk to that cute stranger, buy that handsome human a drink, make your interest known! You might get lucky enough to be quarantined with them someday.
Anyone else dating their travel trophy wife? Or have any romantic quarantine tales to tell? Share in the comments below!