“Are we really going to do this?” I asked giddy with the idea of doing something so crazy, “Yes!” he insisted, “It’s the perfect spot!” As I clicked the “Book Now” button I thought to myself, this has got to be the most insane thing I’ve ever done…
Date: May 25th, 2016
Time: 10:44 a.m. – 10:44 EST
Location: Airbnb – Venezia, Italia
As we sat on the tram ride facing each other, we could feel an undeniable spark – something was growing between us. We alternated between sitting in perfect silence and arguing about politics and philosophy. Eventuall
we got onto this tiny tram that basically led into the bottom of a mountain, at which point we would go separate ways. When we got off at the final stop, he surprised me. “I’m torn, I want to go on this hike alone, but I also want to go on this hike with you,” he said. “Let’s just go with the flow, and enjoy this beautiful place,” I responded taken aback.
I silently led the way and he silently followed. We quietly continued taking in all of the beauty around us, alternating between him being ahead of me and me walking along faster. I fell in love with the mystical mountains I saw everywhere, and the greenery that formed a beautiful landscape took my breath away. Maybe it was the magic in the mountains or maybe it was the chemistry between us, but when we sat down to eat lunch he said, “When you arrived at the hostel yesterday, I couldn’t stand you. You were so loud and obnoxious, but all I could think to myself was, ‘Wow, she is beautiful,’ and now that I’ve spent time with you I realize how wrong I was to just look at your beauty.” In that moment, I knew that I would remember every moment of this epic hike.
After we finished lunch, I asked him, “Where are you going after Zagreb?” and he responded, “I don’t know yet,” to which I said, “Come with me to Split. Tomorrow.” He told me, “I already thought about that, but maybe you should wait until the end of the hike to make a decision that important.” “Well, in this moment, I want you to come with me, so I’m just letting you know,” I said stubbornly. We dropped the subject and instead continued hiking. Although the view was amazing, my legs felt extremely sore as we continued going up in elevation, but when we reached the top my jaw dropped. Wow. What an amazing view.
There were a bunch of little restaurants at the top, so we sat down somewhere with an amazing view and ordered drinks and pastries. We didn’t discuss whether he would be coming with me onto the next city, but while we held hands and gawked at the view, it didn’t feel like we needed to. When we finished drinking and eating it was already past 5:00 p.m., “Do you want to hitchhike back down to the bottom? It’ll take us over two hours to get down, and it’s already starting to get dark,” he asked. I nervously told him that I’d never hitchhiked before, and he laughed and told me about how him and a friend hitchhiked all the way through Spain. “The most important thing is I get in first and get off last. Don’t worry, it’s a lot safer than you think it is,” he explained.
After hearing his story and thinking about the woman I met in Amsterdam, I decided why not? So there we were, with our thumbs out – just waiting for someone to pull over and offer to help. Within 15 minutes, a nice looking couple stopped and when we told them where we were going, they said that that was conveniently on their way. We hopped in and made small talk with them joking about how lucky we were to have found them. The drive back down the mountain took less than 20 minutes, and when we got back into the hostel, everyone could tell that something had changed between us.
“What do you think about getting an Airbnb instead of a hostel?” he asked. “Perfect!” I shrieked with excitement. We found a spot for the equivalent of $35 a night each and booked it immediately. That night we fell asleep snuggled up in his bunk together, nervous and excited about the prospect of a new adventure…