Europe is home to some of the most romantic places in the world, in fact, I recently shared My top 5: Most romantic places in Europe, explaining why they will always hold some of the most memorable experiences to date.
In July 2014, I embarked on a 3month trip around Europe with my best friend.Three weeks into my trip, I started a tour with TopDeck and met 40 incredible people. I quickly formed a group of girls that I stuck with throughout the trip.
During our time in Venice (half way through our trip) I started to notice one of the boys on our tour. We had spent some time talking by the pool and I couldn’t help but pay attention to his kind eyes (It is always the first thing people say about him… he looks kind). After a few drunken hours talking and dancing we shared our first kiss (naww).
From here we moved onto Rome, then Florence. We quickly became inseparable, forming a close little friendship group with my friend and another boy. For reasons that I cannot remember, we called ourselves the salmons. The four of us did everything together for the next ten days.
In between each country, Jay and I started to sit together for the enormous 9-12hour drives. Each trip, we grew to know one another more and more, sharing intimate details about our life, dreaming up future travel trips and deciding we didn’t want an ordinary life. With the back drop of the Swiss Alps and picture perfect lakes, we made the decision to ‘live a life worthy of a novel’, hand in hand.
Switzerland was rainy, yet beautiful. As darkness fell, the four of us climbed up into a wooden cubby house with a bottle of wine. We could hear the distant sound of the waterfall crashing down the giant cliffs edge of the mountains, while the moon lit up just enough to slightly see one another. I can’t explain what I was feeling but it was a very special moment. There was a slight presence of sadness and a knowing that in a few days time we would all go our separate ways, with no idea if we would ever see each other again.
The next day, we arrived in Paris- the city of love. We decided to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel tower at mid-night. Once again, the four of us took off on our own adventure, excited to watch the iconic statue sparkle. After a few posed (and necessary) photos of the Eiffel tower, Jay disappeared. I looked around me and there he was, standing behind me with a rose.
Seriously? A rose, under the Eiffel tower, at midnight, IN PARIS. Is this real life?
I knew he was a keeper and it made the thought of leaving him even worse. The next day we decided to ditch the typical ‘touristy’ activities with our group and even ditch our salmons group so that we could go on our first ‘date’ in the city of love. I have to admit, it was a little accidental as we slept in and missed the bus but the day slowly became one of my favourite memories to date.
We spent the day walking around the city, posing for photos and getting to know one another a little more. We sat on the side walk of a beautiful Persian café and people watched for hours. Towards the lurve, we came across a ferris wheel set up. Obviously, we had to go on.
The view from the top of the ferris wheel was impeccable. There was something different about our time together, our first time alone in one another’s company. I would use the word awkward but that’s not entirely accurate. I suppose It was exactly what a first date is. Special, nerve wrecking and unpredictable.
The night of our final day on tour was the eve of Jay’s birthday. He arranged a little party with those who were staying in London for the night. Jay was busy on his phone on our way back to London. He had booked us a hotel in the heart of London. We had a fun night out in the city and woke up together on his birthday morning… the day we had to say goodbye.
That evening, we shared a teary goodbye and wished each other all the best. I know it sounds strange to say goodbye to someone who you had grown so closely with but I was moving to London and he was returning to Australia.
The months went by, I had finished travelling and moved into my new place in London. Jay had returned home and although there was thousands of miles between us, we made sure the gap didn’t close up too much. After four long weeks apart, Jay shared the news that he was applying for a visa and moving to London. To many, it seemed insane. Infact, to us it felt insane. We had spent a total of 11 days together and now he was packing up his life and moving to the other side of the world.
Weeks before he arrived, we made an even crazier decision to move straight in together. I moved out of my work environment (live-in nanny) and found us a small studio-style place. Sure enough, Jay arrived to London and I came home to find him sitting inside my house… well, our house. We knew we were being nuts, so we chose carefully who we told about our decision. We made out it was a temporary arrangement, knowing that it was far more than the easier option.
We know that it could have gone terribly, terribly wrong. Moving in with your partner is a big step in life. Moving in with a stranger is an even bigger step. Some how, it worked. We fell more and more in love while getting to know one another, sharing a home and finding our feet in a new city. There was many people who thought we were living in a fantasy world, “It’s not real life, things will be different back in Australia” they told us.
Well, two years later and we are back in Australia, living in a little unit by one of Sydney’s beaches and still crazy about one another. We are in the process of planning to start up our own business, saving to buy a home and still find ourselves laughing about the time we moved in with someone we barely knew.