Whilst procrastinating on Pinterest, I came across this idea for creating a Love Map.
It got me thinking. My “met, married and live” are all in different countries. I am a very fortunate person whose life has been very adventurous so far, and I am grateful for the beautiful life that my husband and I live and for our wonderful love story, which I can’t wait to repeat to our children.
Although I am unable to obtain actual maps of the places we met, married and live (except for maybe the latter), I thought I’d do this fun activity using Google Maps.
I had completed my Bachelor of Education and thought I’d better lose the travel bug before I settled down with a real job. So I pursued my dream of travelling all throughout Latin America. On my second week of travels, I found myself in Lima, Peru.
I was staying at a charming hostel in the trendy beachside district of Miraflores.
The hostel was really casual and the owners very friendly. Whilst making dinner, I encountered some New Yorkers who invited me to the backyard to socialise. Timid me agreed, and out I went. As I sat, a boy across the way caught my eye. He was devilishly handsome, with deep brooding eyes. And he was staring at me! I couldn’t believe it. I got the courage to flirt with him but all that came out was the very rude sounding, “What are you looking at?” I never learnt to flirt, obviously. Somehow this slip of the tongue did not concern this Costa Rican – he was still interested. I can honestly say it was love at first sight.
I went to bed that night dreaming of lover boy. As my travel agent had booked me a flight to Costa Rica one month later (“I don’t even know where that is!” I recall protesting), I thought I’d mention this to aforementioned boy in hope that we could meet up there. I planned to leave a note for him with the receptionist in the morning.
The following morning I went to Huaca Pucllana, an ancient pyramid in the heart of Lima. As you do. This site was full of relics but also hairless dogs, local plants, and Peru’s two most famous delicacies – alpacas and cuy (guinea pigs). I think I’ll pass.
I returned to the hostel at 11am, ready to write my note before my departure. And wouldn’t you know it – lover boy was actually in my dorm! And he was still asleep! So confident me strutted over there, woke him up and gave him my note. I told him he better e-mail me.
So I dreamed of Costa Rican boy for one month, until there were only two more days until I would leave for San José. Still I had not heard from him. I had lost hope, when all of a sudden, there was an e-mail from him sitting in my inbox, with one day till departure. How he knew the exact date I’d be arriving, I’ll never know. He always tells me it was his intuition. I’m still suspicious!
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
So eventually I arrived in San José, and only had time to meet with Costa Rican boy once (or “Alex” as I now call him). We had the most amazing night out. We went out for a scrumptious Middle Eastern dinner which was followed by some bar-hopping. He walked me to my hostel at 6am and he departed. I assumed it would be the last I’d see of him.
That day I was to leave for Mexico, and as check-out at my hostel in San José was at 10am, I only got about three hours of sleep and was utterly exhausted. My plane wasn’t leaving till evening, so the hostel folk kindly let me use their balcony for sleep-related matters. But I was awoken! The receptionist alerted me that I had a visitor! So I looked over the balcony, and there I saw him, my Romeo! Yes, it was all very surprising and romantic. And here I thought I’d never hear from my Alex again. Little did I know this was only the beginning.
We went for lunch and decided to keep in contact. And it was settled. We said our sad goodbyes, and I hopped in a taxi to go to the airport.
We chatted online for the remainder of my trip, and fell even more in love. When I returned to Australia I made the decision to move to Costa Rica. It was a big risk, but something told us both that it would be worth it. Three months later I was settled into my new home in San José.
Alex and I got along amazingly. Our first year together was amazing and full of adventure. Some time later we went for a picnic lunch at a nearby park. When we got up to leave, Alex tripped over on something. I put my hand down to help pull him up and he fell on one knee and proposed.
Alex planned the entire wedding, due to my lack of decent Spanish. We married at a resort in Tamarindo, a beachy town on the west coast of Costa Rica. It was the perfect location for a perfect wedding.
And now we bring the beginning of our story to an end. We decided to move to my hometown of Melbourne because, as beautiful as Costa Rica is, we felt Melbourne would be a safer place to live, and with more opportunities.
If I could make one more Heart, it would be a Retirement Heart, with a map of Málaga on it! If you could retire anywhere in the world, where would you choose?