Long-Overdue Update

Hello everyone!

Wow, it has been over a year and a half since my last post! I will honestly say that that comes as as much of a shock to me as the fact that I am nearly done with my second year of my Bachelor’s degree here in England. I have filled my life to the brim with different obligations including working as a shift supervisor at my local Starbucks, acting as a course representative for nearly two years and a PAL leader (assisting first year students with their studies) for one. I can happily say that even though my silence and dedication to my studies have lead to burn out on a couple of occasions (now being another one of those periods), I finished last year with straight As and have continued the trend this year, so far. Exams are around the corner though and I feel far from prepared, but fingers crossed that all of this pays off.

Remember Luke? The guy I met in Ibiza nearly 3 years ago? I am writing this blog post from our first flat together (I said “flat,” what’s happening?! I also say “crisps” instead of chips now – BAD Bethany). One year ago to the day we also stood at the airport and I revealed to him that we were about to board a plane to Rome. Six months later we also flew out to Zakynthos, Greece to visit some old entertainer coworkers of mine, so I undoubtedly have more (pictures, videos, hilarious and unfortunate stories) to share. I also have much more to tell about my experience of settling into another country (some things positive and some less glamorous), but first it is time to get these two last pieces of course work and my annual exams out of the way! *deep breath*

I hope that wherever you are, this post finds you in a place of happiness and if not, then I am sending all of the positive vibes I can muster! You can do this! 🙂

xx
Bethany

Advertisements

Announcement!

School is important to me. In fact, other than travelling and spending time with loved ones, education is the most important thing to me. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge; thus, I would not mind being a student a whole life, but then I remembered that life is a school in of itself and we never stop learning. Either way though, I made the decision of quitting a job that allowed me to move to a new place every 6 months in order to finish my degree. Sometimes I still question whether or not I really had my priorities straight considering my passion for travel, but then the words my boyfriend said a year ago flood my mind (words he said to help me find what should be my priority): “Would you stay with me if it meant you could not keep your job?” “Yes, I would.” “Would you stay with me if it meant that you could not complete your degree?” “No.”

Suddenly, e14021701_10209318614456381_6883339336657601462_nverything became clear. Since then though, I felt afraid whenever my mind referred back to the conversation as I had my mind set on gaining acceptance into a Swedish university and completing my degree there. My boyfriend moved to Sweden in November and despite the many wonderful and beautiful memories that resulted from our time together there (love love love), it was difficult as in order for him to receive any help in finding a job or learning the language, we would have had to show that we had lived together in another country before his move there. Unfortunately, we could not fulfil such a request and I was left feeling helpless, unsure of how to proceed and how to help, and I began to question if we would really be able to keep the relationship going while I complete my degree. He told me that if school in Sweden was the only option, then we would find a way, and even though I found joy in the idea of him standing in the middle of the fire with me and not shrinking back, I still found myself unable to shake off the fear that gnawed at my bones. I then thought that maybe, just maybe, there was another option…

I then set off on a journey of emailing universities across England, explaining why I should be considered an EU student despite not living in Sweden for the past 3 years, and checking if both I and the programs themselves would qualify for Swedish financial aid (and hoping to God I filled out the complicated form correctly). That was only the beginning though as every week an obstacle popped up and unveiled a situation where everything depended on said mountain being abolished. Each time though, my boyfriend said, “Don’t worry, everything works out in its own way,” and every time I thought that that might be it, the universe proved me wrong as if it was telling me, “This way – I’m not stopping you anymore.”

The long nervous wait to find out if I would receive financial aid from Sweden has ended and I am so happy and excited to say that on September 26th I start the Biochemistry program at University of Bedfordshire outside of London! In less than three years I will finally hold my Bachelor’s degree in hand and it will be the end of a long fight and one of the happiest days of my life.. And my only hope is that my boyfriend, friends and family will be there to celebrate with me.  ❤ Thank you so very much for all of your support, everybody – it means everything!

xx
Bethany

Encouraging Words and Advice When Moving Abroad

Hey guys,

As some of you may already know, my boyfriend moved from England to Sweden a few months ago. And as many of you may know, moving away from what you know throws you into an unparalleled journey that will teach you more about life, love, and fear than any education or book ever could, but before that come the feelings of loneliness, doubt, and homesickness that undoubtedly leave you trying to remember what brought you there in the first place.

So in light of this I reached out to people all over the world who have experienced this and asked them to share their story in hopes that it will put a smile on his face. 🙂 If you fall into this category and are reading this, my hope is that it will put a smile on your face too, and help you remember why you decided to set out on this journey to begin with! 🙂

“It does get easier. During the first couple of months everything is new and exciting and after that comes a period when you feel totally lost and alone. When we moved to France we didn’t know the language and didn’t know a single person in the village where we live. The best decision we’ve ever made was to take French classes. There we meet others with the same “problems” that we can share our experiences with – both good and bad. Now, after just about a year in our new country, we have become somewhat used to all the new things, we’re beginning to understand what people say and we have built a nice and calm every day life for ourselves. We run our own business from home and are starting to make french friends.”
– Pernilla

“My husband moved to Sweden 20 years ago. He was younger than me and he had never lived outside Miami where he grew up. It was of course very exciting at first, because he came early summer, but until he got a job in December it was hard for him. But then he got a job and that changed everything. We moved to the states after 5 years but that was because I wanted to try America. He still talks about our years in Sweden with affection and he loved so many of the things there and he and I both miss the traditions and how organized everything is. The only negative was the weather. For your boyfriend it may end up being a little bit easier since his family is not so far away and flying in Sweden is cheap compared to flying from here. Speak to him in Swedish and make him learn the language, because it will make things so much easier. I don’t know where you live, but in Stockholm there are plenty of English people to connect with if he misses that. I have lived in many countries and once you understand that to be happy somewhere depends on you (and not anything outside yourself) you can be happy anywhere. It is a choice! And an opportunity.”
– Wenche

“One has to give it 12 months I’ve learned from culture shock experts, and I know some who just wanted to go back so badly after a few months, which of course took some months to arrange as well. By the time it was time to go they didn’t want to leave and had changed their minds because now they loved it! If he loves you he needs to give it a year. At least. And resist the urge to jump back to UK ever so often to see friends and go to the usual pub etc, which of course is so easily done from Sweden.”
– Pia

“I moved to Switzerland in 1986. I wanted to stay for a year but I am still here. The first months were not easy but I didn’t give up.”
– Anders

“What’s something he really enjoys? Plan a little outing for the two of you. He’s probably struggling to figure out how to take care of his own needs, so if you help him, it might give him the boost he needs to stick it out for a bit. It also might help him see how he can still be himself and enjoy life in Sweden. And, when all else fails, plan a trip — could be back to England, could be to a sunny locale (because it’s dark and pouring with rain here in England right now). Above all, good luck!”
– Erin

“Leaving your country is the most exhilarating and life changing thing you can do. Fear is part of the growth that you experience when you do this, and no place is farther away than a plane ticket when you feel homesick. Do it now, while you are young. Give it a chance, face the fears and overcome them and you will feel yourself grow in the process. I left Sweden at the tender age of 18, completely fearless and clueless, and have somehow made it through 30 years abroad. Listen to what Pia says further up (yes, she is a friend of mine, but a very wise one) and remember nothing is a life sentence! Best of luck to you both!”
– Lena

“It is emotionally exhausting to move from what you know to something that is yours to create. Enjoy the journey, it is worth it!”
– Suzanne

“I have lived in Finland for 40 years. I did move back to Ireland after a number of years thinking it was better back home in every way. Only to realise that I was actually happier living in Finland. I feel happier and more free to do what I want over here, without being judged. It is a very much more relaxed lifestyle.”
Britt

“My Greek-Swedish daughter took her Greek boyfriend to live in Sweden. Blood, sweat and tears! Now after 4 years he says that it is the best decision he has made in his life. He didn’t know one word of Swedish, but now he speaks fluently and got a permanent job! As my daughter use to say, if the love is strong enough! I say the same after 30 years in Greece!”
– Lene-Marie

“I wish you both the best of luck and wish you no fear, just do it!”
– Lina

“They say a dip comes just before 6 months and if you pass a year it gets better, then you are over the “worst” part. I have lived in three different countries outside of Sweden and think it is about what I experienced. Good luck and don’t give up!”
– Sara

“I’ve lived in the US for almost 25 years now. When I first came I was in a “in love phase”; I loved everything about it and I was happy just walking up and down the streets of New York City. I never wanted to go home.  Then I met my husband and we decided to live here, and then reality set in and I realized that I had actually emigrated. It is a much bigger deal than you think and it takes a while to get used to the idea. At first I tried to suppress everything Swedish because I got too homesick thinking about it. But it doesn’t work too well in the long run. My advice is to embrace it. Celebrate English holidays, make English bread, watch English TV. You are lucky to live close to England, take advantage of it and go home and visit even if it is just for a long weekend.
You are also lucky to have moved in a time when the internet makes everything closer. You can listen to English podcasts, Skype, e-mail, Facebook, etc. Take advantage of all of this. You CAN have your cake and eat it too. That is kind of the trick to cure homesickness. You don’t have to choose. Just make both countries work. Moving to another country was the best decision of my life. I have grown tremendously and I wouldn’t replace it for anything.”
– Helen

“My husband is English and moved to Sweden 16 years ago with me (we had lived together in London for several years). It was his idea to try Sweden and it has obviously worked. He hasn’t really had any periods of doubt or regrets because he is the sort of person, I think, who rarely looks back. I, on the other hand, experienced exactly the same as your boyfriend when I moved to England. First a month or so of joy and then quite a long period of homesickness. After about two years I was completely settled and rarely felt homesick. After six years my then boyfriend dropped the bomb that he wanted to move to Sweden and I was like “No!” but then I thought about it and told myself that this opportunity will probably never come again, so I decided to agree. We moved in 2000 and now 16 years later and two children we rarely look back. We both love UK and if there is one of us who could move back it would be me! But the quality of housing, schools, childcare etc we get here outweigh everything. Give it at least 1-2 years and if he still feels unhappy you probably have to reconsider. Good luck!”
– Sophie

“I was thinking of one thing he could do to get new friends and get into the Swedish culture. How about school – school is free and there is komvux or university. Most people speak English at university level and often the books are in English as well and most of all, people love to connect with others at schools. It’s so much easier to enjoy your new country if you make new friends. And not just friends native to the country, but foreigners or even English people in Sweden whom you can talk to, exchange experiences with, relate to, whine to (if it’s just one of those days), or receive advice and tips from (like where can you find Stockholm’s best Fish n Chips)… Otherwise there are tons of other stuff to do, depending of what interests he has. We have all been there and sometimes you just want to go back to your home country, but then things get better and you don’t. Tell him to not leave before spring and definitely not before midsummer, because it’s all worth the wait; he’ll then see what Sweden is all about. Maybe while it’s still winter you could take a weekend off and go skiing in the mountains, or learn how to ice skate on the lakes. Sweden is a lot about being outdoors you know. Show him the library where he can borrow books, magazines, games or even CDs with Swedish-lessons for free. I do feel homesick at times (most of all at midsummer) but I have never regretted moving abroad. Good luck and cheer up! :)”
– Christina

“It gets lovely if you LET IT. It stays a struggle if you FIGHT IT… Trust your gut and your loved one’s… You only live once, so live now.”
– Marie-Louise

I did move to New Zealand for love and five years later I am still waiting for my kiwi to consider us to live in Sweden. I love NZ and especially the climate, but there is so much more in Sweden that is way more better than in NZ. In the future I hope to live in both countries and make the most of it. Give it ago and see. It enrich your life.”
– Åsa

“Focus on the things you like about your new country (in this case Sweden) and what you don’t like about your old country (in this case England). Try to find an English friend that you can talk to about strange Swedish customs and behaviors, and watch ‘Welcome to Sweden’ and laugh about it.”
– Patrick

“The only thing harder than moving is returning home! He will be feeling helpless and lonely… Learning a new language… And the darkness of the winter days is something that should not be ignored. From my experience it takes 6 months to not hate a new place, a year to feel as though a new life might be possible, and two years to make it a home. Spring is coming… Try to encourage him to step out of the house and even meet new people, and above all, be patient! Are there any other interests he might have? Good luck! Trailing a heavy-hearted partner is hard too, so take care of yourself.”
– Katherine

“A couple of years abroad, in Sweden. What an experience! How many Englishmen can say that they have actually lived in Sweden? He has to spend approximately two years to be able to say he has really lived in Sweden and got to know the Swedes. And that way he really gets to know the UK, watching from the outside, so to say. If he goes back earlier, he will regret it, don’t you think? I have lived in Greece, Italy and now in Germany for 28 years. My life is so much richer than it would have been without this experience. And ask him to learn Swedish. You can’t get a grip on a culture without learning the language! And that way he will understand you better…”
– Ninnan

“We have had a vote, we don’t want him back! All jokes aside, there’s nothing in England, it’s hard to find a good job here and they want to pay minimum wages, the government is cutting back on everything. It’s a rat race, plus you cook bacon for breakfast, Chin Up”
– Norman

“Hey dude, you’re with Bethany, and she is a dreamsicle and Sweden is like one of the best countries right now. I would almost trade places with you but Beth and I aren’t trying to be in love and all that awesomeness. LOL”
– Gaby (I HAD to put that in here, because hahaha)

“Love conquers everything!!!”
– Marie

 

I love you ❤

There and Back Again

A Hobbit’s Tale by… Okay, people call me a Hobbit sometimes, but all of my shortness aside…

I have been meaning to update you all in ages! Here I am after settling back into what is now a very snowy Sweden after 6 incredible and sunny months in Ibiza. In fact, Luke and I just returned home from a walk through knee-deep snow (we decided to take a short cut to our destination that turned into…. Oh my god… My legs will never be the same) and my 6-month long stay in Ibiza feels like a distant memory, or even an entirely different life.

As soon as I set foot in the airport in Ibiza I entered the haze I would remain in for the next few weeks. As soon as I walked through the door I caught sight of a familiar face – one of the reps I had worked alongside with – who was in the middle of an airport shift. He often mentioned those shifts and suddenly I was there, just another customer myself, but with a familiar face… What a mixture of feelings I experienced. Months of sleep deprivation led me to the brink of exhaustion long before that moment, but new experiences and invaluable memories pulled at me like a magnet trying to keep me right there.

Ibiza 2

I do not remember passing through security nor do I remember boarding the plane, but right before we passed through the clouds I woke up out my trance to a sight I dreamed of witnessing long before leaving for the Balearics – lush green hills, rocky cliffs and clear, azure water… As soon as the island disappeared from my view I fell into a slumber so deep that I failed to feel the tires’ jerky impact against the ground… And then it was like I woke up out of a dream. Suddenly I was in Barcelona – so far from where I was, yet still so far from my final destination. I was ecstatic, but then it’s me we are talking about here – the girl who gets excited as soon as she heads out the door.

I’m fortunate enough to conclude that listening and speaking to locals and hotel staff for 6 months improved my Spanish, for suddenly I found myself ordering coffee and having a conversation with a barista, but then as soon as I was about to board the plane to Sweden and found myself surrounded by Swedish speakers, I automatically began to think in Swedish again for the first time in months. Languages constantly swirling around in my head… And I can’t say that a thing has changed since. ❤

As soon as we passed over widespread lakes and vivid green pine trees I felt I was home… Well, for the most part. What a peculiar feeling it is to feel at home in many places, like you have left a little fragment of your heart and soul in many places, scattered throughout the world in the hands of people you have met – people who have moved you, inspired you, or made you laugh – and buried on sandy beaches, snow-covered mountains and at the top of skyscrapers overlooking massive cities that never sleep.

sweden1

As I stepped foot on the train that would carry me along the East coast of Sweden, overlooking its colorful buildings and the Baltic Sea I felt wanderlust and love for the world and the things I have not yet discovered come flooding back, as if I dove into a welcoming ocean of motivation. This is who I will always be… Forever stepping into the unknown and never stopping, leaving a fragment of my being on every plane, every train, and every bridge I cross. 🙂

Thank you for being patient with me and I promise to keep you updated more often now that everything is in order. So much has happened since then and I will surely write all about it as soon as I get the chance! I hope all of you had a phenomenal Christmas and New Year’s and that this new year follows suit!

Bethany x

What It Means to be an Entertainer (For Me)

Now that I am back home I am able to recount the experience that was working as an entertainer – an experience that greatly surpasses anything I thought I’d ever experience; it was so different: so tiring, but so rewarding.

What I feel it means to be an entertainer:

#1 – Being exhausted all the time

So many people have in some shape or form claimed that we do nothing when we in fact work 12-14 hour days and most of our breaks go toward rehearsing for dance shows and prepping things for other types evening shows. That is the hardest part; the past few days my body has literally felt like it’s wanted to crumble. I would walk up stairs and my legs would literally cramp up, I’d have a hard time eating because my stomach just wouldn’t want to ingest anything and the room would spin, yet once I had a brief break to try to use for napping my mind would literally not want to relax. Today on my day off I slept so many hours, but I am still tired…

But let me tell you a secret: It’s worth it.

#2 – Making people smile

That is my favorite part. We are already complete fools by nature (one reason I love my team so much), but our job brings it out of us even more than we thought possible. Dancing around the pool and right in front of people, trying to drag them up out of their chairs, performing comedy sketches on stage and adding a few random ingredients of our own right there on the spot, putting on clown outfits during mini disco and grabbing little kids by the hands and swinging their arms around, and going up on stage after shows and bouncing around with guests with no care in the world as to what we look like… In the beginning I was worried about how I looked and thought, “These people must think I’m insane!” but then I would look out into the audience and see so many smiles and instantly think, “This is what I live for.”

#3 – Giving kids self-esteem

A few times throughout the season, parents came up to us claiming that their kids were so shy when they first arrived at the hotel and that they’d never picture them coming up on stage in front of everyone let alone even come up to us and talk, but that a few days later they suddenly came out of their shell for the first time in their life and seemed much more confident… I love love love that!

#4 – Meeting amazing and inspiring people we would’ve never met otherwise

I met so many fun and inspiring individuals during my stay in Ibiza who sometimes recounted their experiences and gave me advice that I otherwise could have only learned through experience.

#5 – Foreign languages

Like my coworker Charley said halfway through the season: “I can’t think of the last time we didn’t use 3 languages within the same 5 minutes. Even if we aren’t great at some of the languages, we at least try.” We used Spanish as much as we used English and then there was of course Italian, German, Polish, Danish to name a few, and oh I was clueless, but there is no better way to practice than to get thrown right into it. Of course I also had a fangirl moment every time a Swedish family would visit and I was able to use my Swedish – a language I speak fluently, but barely got to use during my many years in the States where Swedish nearly seems like a fairy tale language.

#6 – Learning

From foreign words and figures of speech to life lessons, this has been the greatest experience of my life, like any challenge can be if we open ourselves up to the opportunity and are willing to step outside of our comfort zone.

There are so many more points to add, but I found this post in my drafts from back in 2015 and had to make it public. If you want to change your life and light the spark that will ignite an inextinguishable fire within, never hesitate to step outside of your comfort zone. Many doors exist that are only designated to open when we put ourselves out there, despite fear and despite that invisible rope that tries to yank us back to what is familiar and comfortable.

Ibiza Town

Ibiza Town (“Eivissa”) – the beautiful capital of the enchanting island of Ibiza with its narrow cobblestone streets lined with white washed houses with colorful shutters, breathtaking harbor, and medieval castle and walls with multiple vantage points overlooking the azure-colored sea and red rooftops… The day I found out that I was going to be working in Ibiza I took to google in an attempt to learn more about the place I would soon call home, and the first thing that caught my attention was pictures of its capital city. I fell in love with it instantly and the day I finally got to step foot in the harbor I was nearly as excited as I was when I stepped foot in the town square of Munich, ready to start my European adventure after 10 years in the States.

20151006_153006[1] C360_2015-10-06-13-33-57-141[1]

Today I got to go back to this town with its fresh fruit markets, Medieval towers and underground tunnels, seafood paella and sangria, and stands full of white knitted shirts and beaded jewelry. After a bit of a wander, my colleague Dorota and I headed up past one of the vantage points to one of my favorite cafe’s in the world – S’escalinata – a cafe with multiple terraces lined with multi-colored bean bags and fresh sandwiches and coffee to die for and last, but definitely not least, one of the best drinks I’ve ever tried in my life: fresh strawberry juice 😀 ❤

C360_2015-10-06-15-12-28-773[1]

Today I sadly had to bid farewell to the cultural center of the island that I have loved from the very start as the six months in Ibiza have almost come to an end and it will soon be time for me to venture back to my winter wonderland. I wish I could put into words how much I wish I could take this little town with me along with its crumbling ocean-side platforms that I spent an afternoon jumping along in order to find the Medieval castle, and its exotic red flowers and tiny winding paths leading to mysterious places and secluded beaches… And oh how I wish I could bring along the adorable pastel-colored ice cream parlors and their mouth-watering flavors of ice cream, its nightlife and unique bars, and the kind-hearted Spanish locals. ❤

20151006_153826[1]

Until next time, Ibiza Town! x

<3

You may recall me writing a blog post on June 7th where I said that I have faith that one day I’ll meet someone who makes my soul come alive and vice versa. Long before that I had reached a point in my life where I enjoyed my own company and did not feel compelled to seek happiness from anyone else; I found all of that within and I felt happy and inspired, and felt like there was nothing else I could possibly need. But on June 7th I finally felt all of those feelings and realizations truly manifest themselves; instead of telling myself that I finally accepted everything that happened, I finally did and for the first time I promised myself that I would stop looking for someone, because I felt no need to and besides, people always told me that the moment you stop looking is when someone truly wonderful finds you.

Only a few hours later I met a guy who would end up changing my entire world: a guy named Luke who joined us for darts with his friend Dan. It was his birthday, but that’s not why his name stuck. He was extremely attractive too, but that’s not why his name stuck either; in some strange way I just felt pulled toward him. I instantly wondered who this guy was every time I saw him and felt compelled to talk to him and get him involved in the activities we put on. Now I kind of laugh at myself for being so silly, lol, but when my colleagues noticed they began to ask when I’d write to him and try to see him outside of work. In my mind I thought, “What’s the point? I feel really drawn to this guy, but in a week he will be gone and I’ll probably never see him again,” but then it hit me: “Wait, he has a whole week left,” so I went against my nature and wrote to him one evening and thought to myself, honestly what’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, he could totally think I’m totally crazy for reaching out because I’m an entertainer at the hotel, but the exact opposite ended up happening. Life is freaking crazy haha…

Over the course of the next few days I found out how much we actually had in common – way more than I could’ve possibly imagined and I could relate to him in so many ways; I had never experienced that before – the feeling you get when you can connect with someone right away and feel like you’ve known them for years – that feeling was so foreign to me but is one of the most amazing things in the universe. I loved every second, but I knew he would be leaving soon, and I remember feeling sad the last day and I asked myself, “What’s wrong with me? I’ve literally only known this guy for a week,” but some things cannot be explained and simply remain a mystery… But even though I felt hazy, one thing that I remember clear as day is my reaction to what I was feeling – I felt so alive and I remember thinking: Why is it that for so long I haven’t felt anything; when I left 17 years of my life behind in the US I didn’t feel sad and when I left Sweden behind a couple months back (at that point) I didn’t feel sad, but now that this guy is about to leave I feel like a huge hole has been ripped through me – what’s up with that? I spent so many years shutting out and refusing to acknowledge emotions, but somehow all of them are rushing back to me at the same time and I am actually letting it happen – what’s happening?

And I think the answer is that that’s what happens when you start actually letting yourself fall for someone and you feel so vulnerable and so afraid, but you let it happen anyway, because your feelings for them are stronger than your fear of losing everything…

So then the end of my work day on his last night arrived and I kept thinking, “Don’t get too close, don’t get too close, he’s leaving in the morning and you may never see him again,” and with a heavy heart I approached the table where he, Dan and a girl they met were sitting and thought to myself that I’m going to enjoy the evening as much as possible regardless, because YOLO, except I didn’t say that last part, because I’m fierce and yeah :’). So we all went to go get pizza at Valentino’s and as we walked there, I thought to myself, “That girl is so beautiful,” because you know, girls are stupid like that sometimes, but then immediately after that Luke put his arm around me and kissed me on the head and I felt like the happiest person on earth and I thought to myself that no matter what happens, this moment will make it worth it, even if this is one of the only moments, it’ll be a moment I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life… And after that we all parted ways and Luke and I wandered on to the beach, the widespread sun loungers empty and the gentle sound of the waves being all we could hear… And we laid down on a sun lounger, my head against his chest and looked up at the stars… And me being the science fanatic I am I began to name off various constellations and star clusters and I didn’t realize at the time that it just went over his head, but to this day he reminds me that even though it does he loves hearing me talk about it because it makes me smile and that in turn makes him smile ❤ This is what I’m talking about hahaha ❤

And I still remember how my heart stopped when he came back to mine and said that he really likes me and when we sat on the balcony overlooking the ocean and he said that he is going to do everything in his power to come back before I leave in November, and I sat there in a state of shock thinking, “That must be too good to be true…”

And I remember how the next morning we woke up before the sun had risen and he slid the bracelet he bought me at the hippy market over my wrist, shortly followed by one of his own beaded bracelets and I felt the tears well up, but thought to myself, “Don’t be ridiculous, Bethany,” but in that moment I truly realized how much he already meant to me… And I swore to keep that bracelet on until the day he came back and every day when I looked down on it I felt a bittersweet smile form on my face knowing that I was wearing the bracelet he wore so many times – in a strange way it felt like he was still with me and it somehow made me feel like he was coming back no matter what, so I kept wearing it in hopes that one day he really would and… He did.

For 2 months we talked and I counted down the days, and whenever I had a tough day at work I’d try to pretend I traveled into the future and I’d envision him being there and it put a smile on my face every time.. For 2 months straight he made me smile all the way from England, even when I didn’t have my phone on me. Time flew by, but the last two days before his arrival were some of the slowest of my life. Let’s not even get started on the last 5 minutes; Dan’s grandmother was visiting and stood next to me with one of the reps and laughed at how anxious I was, haha, I didn’t quite know what to do. I swear those last minutes felt longer than most of my life, but as soon as he arrived and I jumped out from behind the massive flower pot that served as my hiding place I felt like everything was right with the world again, even though nothing was ever really wrong… You know the feeling when you suddenly feel at home as soon as you’re in someone’s presence? I was a foreign feeling to me; I’ve always felt alone in relationships and outside of relationships I have never really known where “home” is, but suddenly for the first time in my life I felt like I had come home. I thought to myself that I didn’t change surroundings, so what’s going on? But it’s him and I’m convinced that I would feel at home anywhere as long as he’s there.

For the next week I got to fall asleep next to him and wake up and pull him closer to me and I can’t remember ever feeling that complete in my life, and I tell myself that over the past couple of years I thought I was complete; I felt happy, ecstatic to be alive, and completely in love with the world, but something about this guy makes the world burst into brand new colors and I have a powerful desire to share every single thing I love with him and show him exactly why I love the world so much. Likewise I feel this urge to take him down every street I roamed when I was younger, and show him everything that has ever bore any sort of meaning or significance in my life. For a while I tried to comprehend why I feel that way when I normally don’t care as long as I personally understand why something is so significant to me, but I realized that the mile thick impenetrable walls that I normally build around myself are slowly falling apart, block by block, because if it means giving him a chance to get to know me possibly better than anyone else does, then it’s worth the risk to me. That’s a crazy statement coming from someone who refuses to ever be vulnerable and prefers to forever remain mysterious and unknown to most everyone. It’s been really challenging for me sometimes, because one second I feel okay with being vulnerable and the next second I feel terrified and have the urge to back away as a result, but there’s something about this guy that made me think, “Okay, out of all of the people in this world this is the guy I want to give a chance I normally wouldn’t give anyone,” and it’s one of the most amazing things in the world ❤

The next week consisted of trips to the beach, running away from jellyfish (xD Like seriously, come on Ibiza, we wanted to freaking swim and you know, stuff you normally do at the beach), ice cream, a paint party at the biggest club in the world, eating pizza on the beach while watching the sunset <3, a freaking awesome carnival ride, amazing Chinese food, strawberry juice, more food (hahaha), biking across a smaller island off the coast of Ibiza, and laying in bed listening to all of his favorite music… And a week of witnessing the little things he does that I love – from the noises he makes when he moves around in bed to his random singing to the way he says “Hey” and “I’ll have you know” to him claiming that he is fierce like a dragon (haha I have to remember that one for the rest of my life) to his random body language like biting his fist to taking random selfies when he’s had a bit to drink hahaha, to his smile that lights up an entire room and is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen to the way he would kiss my head to his calm breaths while sleeping that would instantly put a massive smile on my face to the way he’d pull me closer to him in the mornings when neither of us wanted to get out of bed… Have you ever looked at someone and they do something and you suddenly think, “I don’t know what it is, but I just love you“? I’ve thought that so many times and I am so glad I can say that now, because there were a few times when I really wanted to say it, but wasn’t sure if I should.

And even more can be said now that I have little things he does online and on the phone to add to the list, like his random guitar playing while on the phone that makes me smile because guitar playing =  hot and he one of the best guitar players I’ve ever known… To him wanting to get to know me so much that he actually read my blogs and scrolled through my Instagram and asks me questions… To him being able to hold a conversation (one of my absolute favorite things) to his intelligence and strategic mind (not many people can hold my interest or challenge me like this guy can lmao), to him encouraging me to sing and make music with him to him writing me random messages in the middle of the night telling me how much I mean to him (the best thing in the world) ❤ I’m seriously sitting here smiling bigger than I thought I ever could just thinking about all of that, because being able to witness the things he does – every single thing alone makes me feel like the luckiest person alive – and all of it combined… Don’t even get me started. I’m having a serious fan girl moment here, but really… I’m so lucky… He has been so understanding and so encouraging, and so incredible in every way possible – in ways I didn’t even know were possible. He’s made me laugh so much, and feel things I didn’t think possible, feelings I didn’t think existed, feelings that I thought only existed in my dreams. I’ve experienced so much uncertainty and heartbreak and I began to believe that that was just a given, but he’s proven me wrong… I thought I was complete; I thought there wasn’t a missing puzzle piece as I felt okay with being on my own, but then he came out of nowhere and showed me why it never worked with anyone else and let me know that I can count on him and that I don’t have to be strong on my own anymore (one of the things he said that will always stick with me). The world works in mysterious ways, but the tiny coincidences that eventually brought me all the way here… I know it was so that I could meet him; I feel like he was meant to be in my life all along, but it just took a while, but now that I know he exists I never want to let him go…

And the morning he left the second time he put the two bracelets he gave me back on, and then slipped two more on and said, “This black one here, I’m not giving it to you; I’m letting you borrow it, and when you’re done here I’m going to reclaim it,” and let me tell you, I’m definitely still wearing them, waiting for that day ❤

IMG_20150827_144450.jpg