RELATIONSHIPS, NON-RELATIONSHIPS, LOVE, TRAVEL AND REFLECTIONS: Europe Edition

RELATIONSHIPS, NON-RELATIONSHIPS, LOVE, TRAVEL AND REFLECTIONS: Europe Edition

It’s been a common theme in my life to meet people and say goodbye, adios, ciao. . . to meet funny, loving, sweet and beautiful people different than me, and then leave the place where I meet them.

It’s also been a common theme to meet people who are in a completely different moment in their life than me. Sometimes I was the older one of the relationship, but even when I wasn’t, I felt like I was still more mature. Sometimes they were further along in their set life path/career than me, and if you know me at all, you know I can’t live my life planning long term. I’ve gotten further and further away from that notion, that success is measured incrementally or that life is a linear path. I was willing to allow sparks to turn into romances, flames, even when faced with a four letter word followed by an even longer word. . .

L O N G  DISTANCE

If you want to check out Part 1 which highlights my Long Distance Relationships in the Americas, please head on over. This is the Europe Edition, so let’s get to it.

Long Distance. . . Why do it? And why do it time and again? Probably stupid of me.

But not really, it was all part of your womanly journey.

Sometimes they lasted only months, and most people would consider that a failure. And there was the one that lasted nearly two years and then took months (my life kinda in shambles when in ended) to get over, to let go.

What kind of measurements are these anyway? Did you LEARN? Did you GROW? Did you LOVE? Then each relationship was exactly what it was meant to be for that particular time in your life.

What about taking a break from the whole Long Distance thing and trying a local relationship, one that feels more tangible? Could that be what I need to snap out of the Long Distance pattern?

Perhaps. Only you can know what’s right for you. Go for it, but most importantly, listen to HEART.

Woods of Lugo, Río Miño views here in Galicia, Spain
Lugo’s Río Miño, the most important River in Galicia

And this brings us to Europe, España to be more precise, and the city of Lugo in Galicia if you want to get all stalker with it. I landed in Lugo in November 2015, ready for a new chapter of my life to begin. Not just related to Love, but in all aspects I was ready for some serious Transformation. And this is exactly what life in Spain was for me, a transformation from the inside, from my core and gut, to the exterior, my light shining outward attracting opportunities, encounters, others. Though the first month of life in WET AND GLOOMY GALICIA was challenging, I still managed to immerse myself in this new culture and physical space I was inhabiting halfway across the world from everything/everyone I knew.

So it’s no surprise that with that need to immerse, to understand better this place I now called home, that I attracted to me a Gallego (someone from Galicia, Spain).

El Gallego

Certainly an exciting and beautiful time: to open yourself up to someone, to think of the possibilities, to enjoy the early stages of a new connection. All these things were true for me. But for whatever reason, I opened up quickly and I fell quickly for him. I would say that within a few months I WAS IN LOVE, but a silent love because I felt he was holding something back. He wasn’t opening up as I was. Could have been either that he was afraid to, or that it wasn’t something he wanted. And here is where I could have done a dozen things differently. I could have given him more space. I could have left it because all the signs were pointing to an Unwillingness from him to go deep. I could have enjoyed the present for what it was, and maybe someone else would have come along (I had just began my life in Spain after all). Vitamin D deprived and constantly experiencing the highs and lows of my life in this new city halfway across the world, my emotions ran high in this relationship/non-relationship; LOVE, FEAR, INSECURITY, HOPE were all amplified at the time. I didn’t like the feeling of being wanted, then ignored; of feeling connected and then so disconnected. We lived on the same street for shit’s sake. Finally I had manifested something with someone in the same coordinates as me, Long Distance almost a distant memory, and yet there was a BIG SOMETHING THAT WAS OFF. Our needs/goals were not quite mutual. They didn’t align. He wanted freedom. I wanted a partner. He wanted to keep everything light-hearted. I wanted to go deep with someone, especially someone who I saw had the potential to do it.

All things aside, I couldn’t keep to myself anymore what I had been feeling for over a month already. I mustered up the Woman BALLS to tell him one night that I was in love with him, and that moment is probably what really set the tone for the next four months. He was shocked. He said it was too soon. He said you needed to know someone a long time to be in love. And in that moment, I could only feel rejection. In that moment, I could only hear, Love? Preposterous. I could only see that what I had to offer was not good enough (The older and wiser QU-EEN sees much from this moment which I will address later).

We kept seeing each other exclusively (as far as I could tell because I had made that explicit), and we grew pretty close in those months. Nothing was perfect, but it was our journey. I experienced a range of emotions and he always preferred to turn things around to make everything light, not so serious. And so Galicia for me became forever entangled with Him. We cooked together a lot, and often would take long walks by the river, and even picnic with our food if weather gods were in our favor. He was studying to be a Chef so anytime there was food involved, we indulged happily. It was comfortable. It was easy. I shared recipes of Mexican Cooking with him and we collaborated a lot on new recipes like a Gallego Cheeseburger (Local Hard Crust Raisin Bread, Goat Cheese from Cataluña, mixture of Beef and Pork meat from the local butcher, some grilled onions and peppers) that is one of the best things I ever ate in my 2 years there. He also cooked me a lot of Gallego recipes and invited me to share traditional meals with his family at times. We were a good team, complimented each other, and I felt safe and cared for by him. If there was anything I needed, he was there. He treated me like family. BUT. . . there wasn’t full transparency. He was holding back. When we addressed this one day, and I was honest that I was indeed in love with him, he admitted again that anything serious wasn’t for him, as he wanted to have options, in case someone else came into the picture. The conversation quickly filled me with tears. It was painful that I had kept hoping something might change in him. That day we almost ended it. . . and what is it you might ask? (our relationship/non-relationship) I used to just call him my lover of the moment to friends and my sister because I didn’t know what else to call it. Even though I wasn’t seeing or thinking about anyone else. Even though I was deep in it. Even though everything about us screamed RELATIONSHIP. . . except of course that we didn’t both see it this way. Other times we almost ended it too. Lots of tears were shed, over the phone with friends back home, or over copas de Vino in Lugo, and especially when no one was around, when he wasn’t around. So even if it’s not the long distance getting in the way this time around, RELATIONSHIPS ARE FUCKING HARD and I was trying to work it all out.

Finally, in June I went to Amsterdam for a few weeks, but told him we should go our separate ways before I left, and once there kissed a rando who had the worst Cigarette breath known to man. I guess I wanted to go back to Galicia like “well there you have it, I kissed a Giant Dutch Man, I’m over you” (needless to say I didn’t tell him or hardly anyone about this blue eyed bad breath dutchman, until now). I needed to get el Gallego off my mind. I needed to move on. But instead I came back completely sure that I now had to undo our ending. I didn’t want to stop spending time with him, or loving him for that matter. There were even a lot of subliminal love messages like these throughout Amsterdam, which made me think back to him a lot in those two weeks.

Love Signs in Amsterdam, Nederland
Love Signs in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Because I finally have an excuse to post this CUTIE

Amsterdam, NetherlandsWooden Shoes in Holland

Relationship/Non-Relationship

Mid June I returned and we tried to start things again, to start our relationship/non-relationship. He said it was so confusing because I kept changing my mind, and said he had already come to terms with our end when I left for Amsterdam. The way I saw it, Amsterdam was an opportunity to go away and clear my mind, to explore somewhere new and re-evaluate what over six months of living in Europe had brought me. Had that transformation come? After evaluating it all, it seemed that the best thing I had received was an OPEN HEART again, and the CAPACITY TO LOVE. We are always so worried after a “serious relationship” ends, worried that we won’t want anyone else ever again. We worry that we can’t love or be loved the same way again. But here in Galicia, all these worries seemed null. I had become open and willing to love again when the time was right. It’s a natural part of life that our old wounds do heal, and we never remain protecting our heart under lock and key forever. So we did our thing in June, continued our connection, though he moved back home to another city nearby for the summer. And we got really close again, only to have FEAR and INSECURITY creep up again when there was some Distance. We talked less. We saw each other less. Summer was beginning and something was happening to our connection; I could feel the difference. I was willing to make one last attempt for us by suggesting a camping trip together before I’d leave for an entire 3 Month Summer of Travel which was kicking off in France.

And ladies, this is when INTUITION is a key tool for us. Intuition warned me that something was OFF. The setting was the absolute most gorgeous place to explore, the sun was shining on us, it was pure summer and we were free to enjoy it all. A few hours driving, then an hour ferry and we were on the ISLAS CÍES. The short story is that camping turned out to be a mix of highs and lows. I’ll spare you most of the details. Our days hiking and witnessing the most incredible sunset were the highlights. Walking on the beach and briefly swimming in the icy waters helped get the edge off a bit. So much tension in our final days together. I was picking up on something, on his energy. . . Some unsaid thing was floating around in the air, suffocating me, making me feel once again, that I was not good enough.

Views of Isla Cíes, Galicia, Spain
Hike up for these views on Isla Cíes, Galicia, Spain
Las Islas son tienen un encanto
These views, Island Views

Atardecer en las Islas Cíes

There was someone else, or others. . . that’s the short story. The long story is the one I’ll keep, because what’s important to share with you is that I finally realized we weren’t meant to carry on anymore. What mattered was that the Universe was giving me exactly what I needed, TIME AND SPACE to heal yet again, to move on. I left for France (and we were on okay terms) and had agreed we were better off not thinking about each other. It was fucking hard. My heart felt like it had taken a beating, and yet here I was finally traveling around Europe for an entire Summer like I had dreamed of for years.

With a bunch of unknowns there was so much magic at my fingertips to tap into, so many people I could attract to me if I could only put my energy and focus on the Present.

ISLAS CÍES nature's high!

All Relationships are a MIRROR (friendly, familial, romantic) and as such, THEY REFLECT BACK TO US ABOUT OURSELF, to help us see more & learn more. They help us know what it is we want, or don’t want. They show us where we need to work, really work hard and where we could heal too from past relationships. And if we can look at past lovers as teachers, as people that served their purpose at the time, then we can’t have malice nor ill will toward them when it ends. When the flame dies let it. Accept it and Release it. And take the time needed to once again build yourself up to become OPEN for new things, flirtations, sparks, magic. Relationship or non-relationship, boyfriend or lover, those are semantics and you yourself know in your heart what it is that you shared.

I didn’t even know it was happening, but I was opening myself to love from the moment I left Galicia. Because let’s face it I’m a GODDESS. I deserve my counterpart. I have the world to offer and I am worthy of love. IT FEELS DAMN GOOD TO SAY IT, TO WRITE THESE WORDS!

I HAVE THE WORLD TO OFFER, AND I AM WORTHY OF LOVE!!!

But love starts with the one that matters most: ME/MYSELF/I. So love yourself FIRST! Love yourself BEST! It’s so powerful to love yourself so Deeply, that your love trickles out, flows through the world and reaches others. I don’t talk much about my current relationship on this blog because I have wanted to protect it, like I was protecting my heart before. I wanted to see what was going to become of it before sharing that I had a new partner and LOVE! We met just a few weeks after I left for France. We started dating during that Magical Summer 2016 when I was traveling throughout Europe with no set plans. Plans, 5 year plans, life plans? Good citizens have them. All neat and orderly. I plan nothing that far ahead. I’m not like them. The less I plan, the more I risk, but the more my life makes sense. But great gifts do I receive when I just go for something. . . the Universe conspiring with me all along the way. We met in Germany; he’s Italian. We had Berlin as our playground that summer, which is why Berlin holds such a special place in my traveling heart. Since then we’ve traveled to Roma and a few other cities in Italia together, Copenhagen and Malmö (Denmark and Sweden), Berlin and Stuttgart in Deutschland, and just a few weeks ago he came to my new home in Mallorca to spend some sun-kissed days on the isla with me before I started teaching for the third year in Spain. Then he went back to Germany, which means, YES I’M IN A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP AGAIN. And I’m learning to navigate this relationship the best way I can. Right now what matters is that we have a mutual love, and we both are working to make it work. I love our present journey, unconventional as it is, and wouldn’t trade it for anything conventional, or for some 5 year plan. I just wouldn’t.

I’m blessed that each and every MIRROR served their purpose, shared and exchanged with me, and then exited stage left … to make room for another. Although it’s not known for how long this feeling, this connection will last, MY PRESENT is riding the waves of these Seas with him, il mio Romano, ever evolving and ever understanding that we are complex spirits with complex histories. No judgment, just as we don’t want to be judged. WE ARE FREE SPIRITS. Free to love. Free to fall in love quickly and deeply, or not at all. Free to stick with someone for as long as you want or need to before your HEART says, I’m done, I’m tired, I’m ready to release. That’s something I couldn’t see back then when I said I love you and heard a nervous and scared response to my truth. But that’s just it, it was My truth, not his. And it feels good to RELEASE, like a long and deep breath feels good when it leaves your body, so too does it feel good to release them, the past, the teachers, for the Present is enough. 

il romano en Roma
The Roman showed me the best of his city, Bella Roma
Snowballs in a Berlin Winter are necessary
Snowballs in a Berlin Winter are necessary!!!
Mallorca Spain with the Roman
Mallorca lovin’

I’m not ready to say goodbye. Not the permanent one anyway. That one always hurts the most. I prefer the temporary watery goodbyes at Ubahn stations, Italian airports, bus stops, train terminals, at least a dozen of them already in this relationship. It’s all part of the adventure, and I’m ready for the next. Ciao! See you in Berlin next week! I’m ready to play in my favorite German city with you!

“For a moment he thought, ‘I could give up magic for her’, but immediately realized how foolish that thought was. Love didn’t require that kind of renunciation. True love allowed each person to follow their own path, knowing that they would never lose touch with their Soul Mate.”  -Paulo Coelho’s BRIDA

 

15 Responses

  1. Great perspectives! My first relationship was with an Australian which ultimately ended because I wasn’t staying there permanently. Also, I love the style of your blog!

  2. Thank you for opening up you heart and your personal journey. Great read. You sound like a very wonderful and love filled, mature woman.

  3. This was a great & well written post. I really loved your perspective on relationships. I fell in love with someone from another country as well so I really felt a connection to parts of this post. Really like your blog 🙂

  4. As I read this, I realize the importance of teaching my girls to always be honest with themselves. Listen to that voice that tells you something is ‘off’ in a relationship. And never settle for less than you deserve in a relationship. <3 Wishing you the best!

  5. Nina te amo! So proud of you, your journey, your travels and your dynamic transformations. Viva el amor! 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for sharing, I completely agree. I think the important thing is being able to still love moving forward, beautiful post!

  7. It’s great to see a nicely written personal travel post! It’s refreshing to read about personal experiences sometimes instead of always reading travel guides. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Long distance relationships can survive 🙂 I’ve been in one for 1.5 years and then we got married )

  9. Long distance relationships are hard but they can survive. And I have my own that is the proof. Sure, it’s hard, it’s so hard, especially when we had a few years of living in the same city and then poof… he moved to another country. But we survive, we miss each other and the visits are always full of happiness.

  10. Loved reading your post. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Long distance relationships come with their own unique challenges, and I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly but long distance relationships can survive ! I’ve been in one for 2.5 years and… then we got married. It was 10 years ago 🙂

  11. Really love your vulnerability and honesty, it’s very refreshing! As someone who’s done long distance, hang in there, it’s so worth it when it’s with the right person. Glad this story has a happy ending and that you’re with someone who makes you smile. All the best!

  12. So much vulnerability and honesty–it’s a breath of fresh air! I always believe when you know, you know. And if it’s meant to be, it will happen. And you get what you give to the world. All the best in love and travels! 🙂

  13. Loved reading your story. It’s so crazy how full of surprises life has in store for us. And it’s so important to live and enjoy the moment, so many of us still don’t.

  14. This post was everything I needed to read. Thank you! I feel like every woman needs to read this. I’ve had my share of international romances and heartbreak! I resonate deeply with the importance of trusting your intuition. And kudos to you for acknowledging your worthy of love! Once we put that energy into the universe it comes back to us. Great Job!

  15. Thank you for being so honest! I love hearing authentic stories about LDRs.

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