love on the road, long term travel and love. Is possible to combine love and travel?, long distance relationships

From my Balinese Engagement to Ballet/English Teacher in One month.

Clelia Mattana ASIA, BLOG, FUN CORNER, INDONESIA, THAILAND 61 Comments

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 LOVE ON THE ROAD. FAIRY TALE OR JUST AN ILLUSION?


WARNING: This may be the last post you read in here. I expect my family to murder me after sharing so many personal memories with you..


love on the road, long term relationships


I pondered whether writing about this or not. I know people are curious. I’m sure some of my friends back in Sardinia were just waiting for this post to be published. I can totally see you wondering “Engagement??moving to Thailand? Ballet?… “WHATTT”?!’


In the end, I thought, why not? that’s my trip, and this was a huge turn in it. It deserves to be documented properly.So…let’s get started! sit down, make yourself a cup of tea or grab a beer and keep reading!

 


HOW DID I END UP BEING ENGAGED AND MOVING TO THAILAND  AS A BALLET/ENGLISH TEACHER, 3 MONTHS INTO MY TRIP?

The short answer is a fat  dose of good luck!

However, I  know exactly where all this started: my hostel room in Siem  Reap. I was pondering about traveling solo for a while, and I finally decided to buy a one-way ticket to Bali.


I still remember that evening: Sitting on my bed, I couldn’t stop putting my hands on my face, laughing nervously and saying: “Oh my God. I can’t believe I just did it!”


Me, Tomas and the cute little Thai Kids

Me, Tomas and the cute little Thai Kids


In case you’re wondering…No, I didn’t choose Bali because I hoped to live my very own “Eat, Pray, Love”  fairy tale. I aint no Julia Roberts here!


What I didn’t know at the time was that even without being Julia, Bali would have changed the course of my trip forever. What if I hadn’t decided to travel alone? what if I had chosen another destination?None of the events I’m about to write would have happen. Life it’s just a fricking Russian Roulette, isn’t it?


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 BALI CRAZINESS part I: “THE MYSTERIOUS ROOM MATE”


 


So, what happens in Bali, stays in Bali right? not quite!


Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived in Indonesia. When deciding where to stay, I kept changing my mind a million times. I wasn’t sure whether to try a dorm or stick to a single bedroom. In the end, I compromise and booked a 2 bedroom at the amazing “Big Pineapple backpackers“. That place  is absolutely magic (especially for romance!  There is even a group where all the people who met in there can post their pictures, so cute).


When I arrived, my roommate wasn’t there, and I was pretty shocked when I discovered that he was a guy! I might be naive, but I thought that hostels arranged the rooms according to genders. I was obviously  mistaken.


I got comfortable in my room and started taking a look around. I saw a pile of stuff on my room mates bed, and I decided to check it out.

 

 

No, wait.



I didn’t check all his personal belongings like a stalker! I just wanted to have an idea on who this guy was before meeting him. I mean, a stranger sleeping in my room?  I needed to make sure he wasn’t a creepy perv or worst a serial killer. Right?

Here is what I found:


A pair of quite weird, short flippers:  “Is he a  surfer or something”? being in Bali, the odds were quite high. A surfer. No records for surfers serial killers. Good.


What else? A small backpack, a white shirt, a pair of sunglasses and some perfume..I start  trying and figuring out the guy by these items. All I got was the image of a hippie in sunglasses and a surfboard with flowers.


My room mate, as i imagined him :)

My roommate, as I imagined him 🙂

Late that evening, the mysterious roommate finally showed up. Surprisingly, he  wasn’t that far from the idea I had of him.


Blond hair, blue eyes, and a tiny figure. In a hippie outfit. Bingo! I must have a future as a private investigator! He was just missing the flowery surfboard. Pity.


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 THE MYSTERIOUS ROOMMATE REVEALED:


tomas

I introduced myself with a smile and I gave him 2 kisses on the cheeks. He stood there for a second, with a face half surprised and half embarrassed. Obviously, he didn’t know that this is a common behavior in Italy.


I thought he must be shy. He thought I must be a slutty girl, other than that, we didn’t have any special thoughts about each other.


The following day we met again in the hostel swimming pool. We started chatting casually and we didn’t stop since. He was a nice, funny, interesting guy. With an impossible surname and a funny South African accent.


Some people may assume that, since we were sharing the room, everything was  speeded  up. Not at all. Our room temperature was about 40 degrees and the  poor guy always wore  pajamas to go to bed. Out of respect.


The subtle flirting started after a while. Innocent flirt. You know, the kind you see in middle school. Talking about it now, we weren’t even sure that anything would have happened at that point. I guess I’m not that much of a femme fatale while traveling!


We simply enjoyed each other’s company and  we valued our new friendship more than anything else. Which is a very valuable (and rare) thing nowadays.


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THE ENGAGEMENT:


From innocent flirt to being engaged? how is it possible? yes! we got engaged old school. We hadn’t  even kissed yet.


One night, at dinner, he saw my mother’s engagement ring and we created a plan to get engaged, just for fun. We had to choose a proper location and he had to go on his knees and propose with a real ring.
Disclaimer! None of us had any plan to get married in the immediate future! Personally, the idea of marriage freaks me out. But I wanted to try the experience. After all, not all the marriage proposal have a happy ending.
We went on a day trip to Ubud, and he bought me the ring you see in the picture in a local market. He chose it among some really ugly rings. Apparently the guy has good taste!
My beautiful, cheap Engagement Ring!

My beautiful, cheap Engagement Ring!

The following weeks in Bali and Gili’s, we were re-named “the happy couple”. People assumed we were on our honeymoon, which was perfect, as we got to experience the whole romantic thing. Including candlelight dinners on the beach and breakfast in bed 🙂


We never, ever stopped talking and laughing about everything. It was crazy!


I got everything:The romance, the laughters and an incredible guy on my side. But I didn’t fool myself obviously. I knew this had to end.


 


 FROM THE ENGAGEMENT TO MOVING TO THAILAND:



From my decision to continue the trip by myself, to meeting Tomas  and moving with him to Thailand . How did it all happen?


Tomas and I had to say goodbye after 1 month of unforgettable adventures. He had to go back to  Thailand where he is an English Teacher.The day he left I was obviously heartbroken. What do they say: “You don’t realize what you have until you lose it” right? yeah, true. But that’s life, and I tried to deal with it.


During our travels I mentioned my idea to be a teacher . I wanted to try the experience and  I was working on it even before meeting him.


As soon as he got back  to Thailand he told me that they were looking for another teacher at his school.  If I decided to accept the offer I had to fly to  Thailand by the next Monday (it was Friday when he gave me the news).


You can imagine my reaction: I thought it was a joke! when I realized that it wasn’t, I felt happy, scared and excited. All in one. Before taking such an important decision, I asked for advice from everyone. Meaning I was just missing the Pope’s advice and I was done 🙂


On the one side there was my trip: accepting the offer also meant putting my trip,my plans and my dreams on hold for a while.On the other side, there was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience life outside my comfort zone.


Tough decision. When  I woke up the next morning  I knew what to do. I went online and bought a one-way ticket to Phuket. I was  ready to start a new chapter of my life in the isolated village of Map Ammarit.


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 FAST FORWARD 50 DAYS LATER:


 

Map Ammarit located on the map.

Map Ammarit located on the map.

Fights with Scorpions and huge spiders. The unbearable heat. Spicy Thai food all over the place. A squatting toilet, and 2 classes of adorable, screaming little pests  in pink tutus…


Does this mean that I’m regretting my decision? Not at all. I had some tough times in the beginning, trying to  cope with the cultural shock.


If I look at what I got now: the opportunity to be more than a tourist in Thailand, being a ballet teacher -which I love- and living with my wonderful, messy, sweet boyfriend.  I can only feel blessed as this is so much more than I had planned for my trip.


Everything happened so quickly, just one month. And I learned another couple of lessons from my trip.


Every single decision can affect the course of the events. Everything happens for a reason. It is scary as hell. Painful. Tough sometimes. But if you are not willing to take your chances, you’ll never know what life has got for you.


As you can see from my story, sometimes life can surprise you with wonderful things!



Have you ever had a story where a decision you made changed your trip/your life in a significant way? I’d LOVE to hear your stories too!

Cheers!

Cle

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FAST FORWARD 1 YEAR: DID THE HAPPY COUPLE  LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER?


 

love on the road, long term travel and love. Is possible to combine love and travel?, long distance relationships

Pretty cute huh? so what happened next?


Ahh I bet that you  want to know what happened to this cool happy couple on the picture above one year later right?.Did we survive the test of time? did the fairy tale is still on?


I’m sorry to disappoint all the romantic hearts out there but no, the story ended in October. We had an amazing time together but not all the fairy tales have a happy ending. This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t special, or that it is not possible to find the love of your life on the road, so don’t lose your  hope 😉

Even if we split up, we managed to stay good friends and we still chat from time to time. After a few months back in South Africa he decided to go back to Map Ammarit to be a teacher again, whilst I decided to continue my travels and visited some of the most amazing countries, collecting incredible memories and life experiences.


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IS LOVE ON THE ROAD JUST AN ILLUSION?


I don’t regret my choice to follow him to Thailand, that experience taught me so much and I’m sure it will remain in my memories for many years.


So people, even if this story didn’t have a happy ending, don’t lose hope. I still believe that love on the road is definitely possible, it just takes sacrifice and a strong will to be together no matter what the obstacles are.


I met many people who fell in love on the road and they are still happily together. Traveling is just part of life so, regardless of where you meet your possible soul mate, I don’t see the trip as an obstacle, on the opposite, it can even be the main factor to keep two people together.


I’d like to end this post with a quote by Confucius:

Wherever you go, go with all your heart


Safe travels everyone 🙂

 

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love story like film eat pray and love, hope you will happy ending

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If I may Clelia… (with warm smile)

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

You embody exactly what Emerson speaks of and more! Bravo!

P.S. I too thoroughly enjoyed the personal (engaging? – wink) story-sharing! Humanity, the human touch is what makes ‘traveling’ the globe life-fulfilling… life-changing… life-giving! 🙂

I have been traveling around the world since 2002. This whirlwind engagement is typical of many of the experiences I have encountered on the road. Especially when you first start traveling. But as you get older (now 40) you come to see these experiences for what they are. You meet someone you connect with and you begin to recognize it as just another enjoyable experience with no significant meaning other than to enjoy the moment itself. We tend to idealize people when we first meet them, especially when we are traveling abroad. We get caught up in the excitement of… Read more »

[…] again, here in a fantastic Hotel in Sri Lanka. I was so excited! Should I take this as a sign to change my mind, and finally overcome my aversion to getting married? who […]

Such a great and unexpected story. Love the little twists in your stories.

You shared this story well.

I just read this now. I, too, followed someone to Thailand and lived with him there for 4 months. We met in a hostel in Saigon in 2013, and he followed me to the Philippines. He couldn’t take my country’s heat so we decided to be based in Bangkok for a while. Alas, it ended too soon. Still, like you, I believe we can also find love on the road. xxx

[…] I moved to Thailand, after my crazy engagement in Bali, I settled down in a small village near Chumphon, only 2 hours away from Koh […]

[…] again, here in a fantastic Hotel in Sri Lanka. I was so excited! Should I take this as a sign to change my mind, and finally overcome my aversion to getting married? who […]

Hey! Amazing love story and great blog!

My love story is different…
It started during a hot summer in Sardinia and is still going on in the South-east Asia!

After some months together we decided to travel the world!

A pity I just read this right now because we were in Phuket and Krabi region just only few weeks ago!

Anyway… I wish you all the best with your life!
R.

I love this story. Mainly for the fact that you took a leap. I’m not in a romantic situation but I’m about to do something crazy too. I’ll write a post on it but this is a beautiful story. Live life without regrets, you’ll have these amazing memories to pass on one day. Isn’t that what we travel for? These crazy situations that we get ourselves into. Its so unpredictable but I love it. I agree it is tough, but later on the reward will be great even if you don’t see it yet. Thats what I’m telling myself.

<3

Awesome story! I didn’t know you were close where I live, we should’ve met. Of all places too, Bali is such a romantic place where you meet wonderful people and potential lovelife. Yet for those who still have a real itchy feet, it Bali romance just doesn’t last. 🙂 Well, lucky for those Bali romances that lasted. <3

Hope one day to meet you on the road.

That story is fantastic. You do never know where life is going to take you. enjoy every day and live life to the fullest.

[…] Thailand, in a remote village on the East coast, with an adorable boyfriend (met during my trip to Bali) teaching English and Ballet. I don’t have a TEFL certification. I am here because of […]

Ohooooh, tears of both joy and warm, romantic feelings are slowly spreading to my dark, Danish eyes….
Miss K…wauw and lol and oooohhhhh and…
Sorry, I just need a minute…

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Helene Combert

Love this story!! Lucky you!i bet everyone is now rushing to buy a ticket to Bali 🙂

Roxana

What a wonderful story! How long are you staying in Thailand for? And i agree with Stephanie…i need to buy a ticket to Bali 🙂

Wow, the second engagement story I’m hearing today! It’s such an inspirational story and i bet that you are glad that you followed your heart!

I guess I’m gonna have to book a one way ticket to Bali to find my prince charming 😛 x

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What!? I had no idea you got engaged. Congratulations on that. So, so, so happy for you. I’m also super excited for your wedding. Any plans? Any ideas? I wanna know it all! As for the teaching, I’m happy once again for you. Although you got stuck in a remotely located Thai village, you will quickly pick up some Thai and get familiar with the locals. By the way, how’s been your Thai language so far?

Silvia

a nice blog 🙂 and an amazing story! after few days in Italy with him and a long weekend in NY I got engaged to the man who now is my husband, so I know how you feel 😉

Roxana

Inspiring post, i’m so glad i found it! I’ve had a similar experience.Four years ago i was promoted and my boss told me i could choose to be relocated to Seattle (i’m from Houston). After 1 really painful week i decided to take the offer and i moved there. I’ve never been happier with my decision. I met my wonderful husband on my second day in the office. And the most incredible thing is that he also moved from Huston! Same office, we never met there! 🙂 I wish you all the best for your story and also for your… Read more »

Oh my goodness! Lovely story but you leave me hanging! What happens now? I’m so glad to hear your conclusion to this story. Of course life is about taking chances and living in the moment. I think whether this turns good or bad it is important that you experienced it. There is nothing worse (in my opinion) than the “what if?” of regretting NOT doing something. I find life so amazing… that ONE decision can completely change the course of your life. Where would we be if we chose the other option? I’ve had so many of these experiences and… Read more »

chris

glad to see ur still alive and happy and thanks for have given me a preview on that engagement story when i asked you back then. you can imagine how much pressure i got from our common friends to get the details for them lol

take care and keep smiling!