Updated: Oct 20, 2018
“A relationship built out of a bag”.
Imagine your first year dating, you decide to travel the world together....
Countries: Thailand, Bali, Croatia, Germany, Mauritius Africa, India, Nepal, Vietnam, China, America, Burma
Here, you’ll find out how for a year, we lived & explored our love in 11 countries on a backpackers budget. The culture shock we encounter, booking jobs, curating experiences, as a young #couple abroad.
Not to mention, we come from opposite sides of the planet and our native languages aren’t the same (German & English) which leads to multiple cultural misunderstandings.
Let’s start from the top.
In 2017, we met at a funky beach front reggae festival (Old Man’s) in Bali, Indonesia.
I was whining my waist on the dj booth and a tall, tanned hunk walked in…
We locked eyes and our whole world froze.
From across the room I watched this thing called, “love at first sight” commence in slow motion.
Little to no words were exchanged that first hour, just toasts to a good night and plenty of dancing.
My friends all watched this happen, cheering us on from the middle of the dance floor.
We quickly skipped all the mundane talk about our favorite colors, present careers and neighborhoods we grew up in.
Instead, we talked about societal constructs we wanted to dismiss.
For 10 days he showed up to my villa with offerings of 5 different types of foods and a new vibe I never experienced.
Zooming on motorbikes around rice paddy fields & exploring the hidden treasures Indonesia had to offer.
The catch you ask?
I had to return to work in Thailand with the possibility of never seeing him again.
That's typically how these vacay romances end.
But this time was different,
I knew it would be, even when he might have thought otherwise.
He gave me a painting and on the back wrote a beautiful piece & one of his first ever love poems.
This “goodbye” was my first time realizing he was also an artist.
A light feeling followed me back to my little town Khon Kaen, in North East Thailand.
Shortly after, I received a call from him asking where I would be a few days later.
His Indonesian visa was expiring and he would have to leave the country.
I laughed, realizing a fantasy we both wanted, was soon to bloom.
We reunited in Bangkok, a place never on his to-do list, and a blurry couple of days of exploring followed.
We were both nervous, filled with butterflies as we now were in a vulnerable state of admittance.
| We were falling for complete strangers, and not afraid to jump in.
We moved in together a few days after. Yes, moved in together (sorry mom) in my town where I was teaching Business English at a university in Khon Kaen and quickly learned that our story would be anything from ordinary.
Not only were we living in my tiny apartment in the middle of the “poorest” city in Thailand, but we were also navigating how to balance growing on another person's time.
Many would call this; “a bad idea, strange, or unsafe”, but for us, it just smelled right.
Instead we tried to learn about each other's insides, and we realized our life goals were very similar:
Freedom of location, Artistic endeavors, and an ever expanding Love.
Before we met, he took a hiatus from his job as a doctor in Switzerland and decided to use a more creative side of his brain.
His love for surfing, painting, writing, and poetry were a few things I learned about him months into our journey. We intersected in the middle of his voyage of "self discovery".
One that I was playing with for a a few years after leaving California, straight from undergrad.
| When we had “problems” they were mostly due to communication errors, or lack of privacy when it was needed.
Can you imagine a German/African & a Jamaican/American trying to discus ideals like dating culture, when we did not even use the same words to define these societal constructed stages?
At some point I asked “when will you ask me out?” for him “out” didn't mean the same thing.
In his mind, his commitment to journeying to another country, bringing his life belongings (a huge ripped duffle bag) was a display of his mental stage of our ‘relationship’.
But I still, for some reason, I was hung up on the “girl friend proposal” subconsciously ingrained in me from American music & television.
This was one of the first ways we realized that our upbringings would actually have an affect on our partnership, if we clung to them so heavily.
So instead of arguing, we learned to be more patient, and to express ourselves in ways that we could both understand.
Clear WRITTEN communication.
Giving us the chance to think critically about the words we used and how we delivered them, so we would not offend each other and could be more direct about our feelings.
A strictly “No games” type gig.
This was just the beginning, one month, and two countries into our "Love in Strange Places".
The video below is one of our first collaborations together, portraying our year traveling SouthEast Asia with only what our backs could carry.
Catching flights, trains, planes, motorcycles, boats, tuk tuks & hitch hiking just to live a life we have never imagined.
Written & Audio By: Gen3ration Y
Video Cut By: Vagabond Jazz
When our eyes met, time froze. The universe swirled and stood still at once. Forever was a moment and space the size of a pea.
We live and die through action. It is all we can do. But it is not the content of life. It is just its currency.
Locked eyes don’t move. We escape the scourge of perpetual motion through them,
Stillness is non-existence, non-individuality, non-independency. In stillness we are one.
Your eyes are my escape route. A place of no actions and thoughts a sea of tranquility The only space I’ll ever need.
The non-space in which we dwell together. Free of the burden of collective reality. Outside the limits of descriptions and words. Our limbo, our nothing and plenty thereof.
In all my dreams, I looked for you yet finally when you were here I let you go, I made no move, the culprit was my fear.
I know I want to be with you, I knew it all along. I don’t know why we’re acting like we don’t know you’re my home
have no more doubts, that eat our hearts fear that destroys our souls. you know, I know, we’re made for love. no I, just us, no you.
Want to read more
New videos, poems, shorts & live podcasts recorded throughout our journey will be released here.
Follow the hashtag #loveinstrangeplaces