The night started off like any other. The bars were packed with travelers from all over doing the usual circuit through Southeast Asia and taking advantage of the ridiculously cheap alcohol. Amidst the sea of people, I made eye contact and exchanged a smile with a guy nearby.
We somehow got to talking (we still disagree on who started talking to who first) and ended up hanging out not only the rest of the night but pretty well the whole time he was there, drinking out of coconuts, visiting the temples and bargaining in the market.
After three short days it was time for him to go. We said our goodbyes, obviously not knowing if we would see each other again (although I think we were both hoping we would.) He continued on to Japan where he spent a few months teaching skiing and where I paid him a visit in January. I told him I was thinking of heading to Melbourne, Australia to look for work come the spring, so after his contract was up in Japan that's where he went.
I met up with him there in May and we were both set on working in Melbourne for a while. We hadn't planned on living together but an opportunity arose for us both to live in a flat with some other travelers, and although we'd only spent a total of about three weeks together face to face by that point - we went for it. We've now been to seven countries together, and plan on visiting many more.
As my best friend said to me before I left home to go traveling, "Just think of the people you'll meet!" How right she was. A year ago today I was lucky enough to meet someone who not only became my boyfriend but an awesome travel buddy as well.
Ben and I, around the world