Manage episode 301038718 series 181562
All I want in my life is tons of adventures to look back on.
The train ride to Copenhagen from Hamburg was incredible because the train would drive into a gigantic ferry boat to continue the journey at sea. By the time we had settled in it was close to sunset and I was mesmerised with the view from the top deck of the boat.
Rikka, my Danish friend who I had met in Barcelona two years ago in a Spanish lesson, came to pick me up at the station in Copenhagen. She had invited me two years earlier when she left and we'd always kept touch. Although we had only briefly met and shared a meal once in Barcelona, I felt like we had been friends for a long time. Rikka struck me as a very gentle woman who had great taste and philosophy in art and life when we first met. She was also passionate about art and had been dedicated to helping artists get their work seen and appreciated around the world for many years. She was very warm and open with me, taking good care of me while I was in Copenhagen and showing me around the museums and cafes of downtown Copenhagen. There is something very special about reconnecting with old friends I met on the road in their home cities.
Then Palli decided to fly out from Reykjavik in Iceland and visit me in Copenhagen! Palli and I became really close after I visited Iceland early that year, and we had traveled to many cities together after my visit to Reykjavik. He had come to stay with me in Barcelona in March for a week. Then we visited Vilnius in Lithuania in May. We also had a summer camping trip to the Westfjords in Iceland and had often talked about visiting Copenhagen together.
During the three years I was in Europe, I had been out on dates with some incredible men, however the only one I had a unique connection with was this Icelandic man. Palli was tall, good-looking, intelligent, strong in character and had a heart of gold. Although he was six years younger than I was, we could talk for hours on many different and interesting topics. Most importantly, he could understand my humor and always responded back with quick wit. I enjoyed looking at his grey eyes and hearing his life stories and traveling together.
Palli was also the only person who I had shared a train ride with on this Eurail journey, which made him even more special and unique in my life. We took the train from Copenhagen and went across the border to arrive in Malmo in Sweden, where we rented an Airbnb. I finally had some rest after 40 days of non-stop moving and meeting people. With Palli, I could be totally relaxed and let my guard down, and even be vulnerable at times. I felt Palli was the person who understood me the most in the world.
While Palli was with me, bad news came from China where the publisher made a sudden decision against publishing my book due to the tension between China and Taiwan. I had spent 2000 euros hiring an illustrator, sent the draft, and finalized the book and all the contracts that were sent from China and sent back from Spain. All the back and forth now seemed like a useless act. Losing money also made it feel like a scam as this book had been part of the reason that I wanted to move back to Asia. I had even planned a book signing in Shanghai on Christmas day. I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Seeing Palli lying by my side, I felt I might have made a big mistake by leaving Europe and having sold all my things in Spain, there was no turning back. I felt so humiliated and also saddened by the situation. Palli knew that I had been working on that book for the whole year, with all of the ups and downs that come with writing a book. He got up and played a song on his phone. My tears dried up quickly. It was magical.
“Always look on the bright side of life…” He also sang along with it.
Like each of us, Palli had experienced some unpleasant events in his life but he was also often the brightest and the most positive person I knew. If he could still see life this way after all the unpleasant events, I could too. Maybe something better was meant to come later. I was also thankful that while I was having the hardest moment of my trip, I wasn’t alone.
Time seemed slow and the air had a bittersweet feeling when we were in Malmo. However, it was also time to say goodbye to Palli and continue on the rest of my journey before leaving Europe. Palli gave me lots of kisses in those three days we were together. Even though that could be our last meeting, we both knew we would cherish those memories we created dearly.
Stay tuned...there’s much more to come!
In the next episode I’ll be sharing interesting stories that occured in Budapest, Hungary.