Hello there, big, shiny, beautiful world!
I am now saying SCREW IT to getting a dream job after graduating (unless one of you fine readers happen to have connections to my dream job…definitely send me a message). I am prioritizing adventure. And this adventure looks like moving to Germany to be with my boyfriend, who lives in Lower Saxony.
Do I speak German, you ask? No! But damn it, I am trying. I am enrolled in my university’s 100 level course, where I am “taking it back to kinder” as my professor gleefully informed us.
Now, being in love is awesome. The rush I feel as I wait at the international arrivals gate for his face to emerge in the crowd is unmatched. My heart only beats that hard when I’m waiting to give a poorly prepared presentation, but even then the pounding is matched with dread, not the joy I feel at the airport.
Being in love long-distance is expensive, man. And David, (that’s his name, David, and we’ll talk about the fun of pronouncing it next) does most of the heavy lifting here. Ever since his first big romantic gesture, he’s been flying to see me almost every month for a week at a time. Those flights add up! And if you’re concerned about the carbon footprint, check out this post.
And so far, I’ve visited David once! But I’m the one moving there, so it evens out in the end, I think.
Okay, so David. There’s been great debate over the pronunciation of his name. Dăvid? Davēd? Dāvid? Dave? He’s called all of them, depending on where in the world he is. I love it! He says he loves it! But I know you really want to hear about this first big romantic gesture I mentioned…because you, like me, love that shit.
We met on the Camino de Santiago when Alea and I were walking and became friends with a group of youngins’ from all over the world, David included. When I saw that 6’4 man (I am 5’2, for reference) I was head over heels. As we walked next to each other, I took two or three steps for each of his strides and we spent the next few weeks getting to know each other while he read me poetry and we shared stories of our various childhood scars.
Soon things progressed between us and we were sneaking off on even more walks once we arrived into towns, sharing music and talking about our futures. And the whole time in the back of our minds loomed the reality that we would have to separate in only a few days. But in our true youthful fashion, we did not talk about that.
So then we reached Santiago. It was beautiful and full of joy as we saw all of our friends, but again, the looming dread of leaving each other was omnipresent. So when it came time to walk on to the coast, we had to choose between two routes. Alea and I were going to walk two days north to the town Muxia, and then one day south to Finisterre, while David was planning to only walk south to Finisterre. He left a day before us, chasing his friend down. But that night as I mourned my European fling, I received a ping on my phone. A Whatsapp message! Of course, it was David. He told me he wanted to meet me in Muxia and that he would take a bus there once he reached Finisterre.
Flustered about my life turning into an actual fairytale, I agreed. But knowing travel plans can always be finicky, I tried to not get my hopes up. So I spent my next days staring at my feet as they traversed 60 more miles across the country. Left foot, he loves me. Right foot, he loves me not. No attempts to shut off my brain’s doubts worked.
Two days later, Alea and I reached the coast. We walked the last kilometer into Muxia on a boardwalk over the beach, and as we rounded the corner to make our last leg into town, she whipped around to stare me down.
“I just saw David on the beach.”
“Bullshit.” My heart began racing harder than it had on any of the hills we trekked.
But there he was, waiting on the boulders for us. Left foot, he’s here. Right foot, what do I do? Left foot, he’s HERE! Right foot, what do I do?!
He saw us and waved as he got up to begin his tall-man jaunt towards me. We sped into a walk-jog and gave the sweatiest hug I had ever experienced (we walked roughly 20 miles that day).
“Katie! I missed you!”
“David…I missed you, too!” I panted as we walked up to the final destination of the day, the cross on a hill in Muxia. I kept stealing glances at him, unable to believe the events that were unfurling.
He had booked a hotel for our time in town with a view of the ocean. We ate seafood as we watched the sunset and chatted with our walking buddies, and still avoided talk of the future.
The next morning, I sent him off on a bus to Santiago, where he would fly home to Germany. We hugged with dry eyes, both saying an 8-hour time difference wouldn’t keep us from keeping in contact. Alea and I ate a quiet breakfast and took up our packs to walk our last day of the Camino, it was emotional, to say the least.
But then, as a surprise to us all (me), David and I kept up communication… for three months. And after three months, he flew to see me in Colorado. And the month after he flew again, and came to California for Christmas, and will keep visiting until I move this summer to live with him in Germany.
So maybe this blog post is actually a love letter to David. Maybe it’s me attempting storytelling after a rusty few months. Maybe, probably, it’s both.
Other life updates: