**This is going to be a very personal post so I’m going to change or leave out a little of the actual details to protect the identity of the person and to avoid readers who personally know me to make an actual guess**
Just a newbie travel junkie then and fresh from one of my biggest trips, my course had a school tour offered at the end of the semester. Of course, who was I to refuse a trip legalized by my course, right? Like any other tour offered to me where my parents wouldn’t think twice to object, I went, even if I had no close girl friend (in fact, most of them were only acquaintances)to bunk with and the only people I was kind of friends with were guys. Even so, I tagged along, I am partly autistic, after all, when traveling because I kind of just stagger off everywhere.
It was an educational tour and a seminar was held in the afternoon in the 4 star hotel we were staying. I didn’t know him yet then. In fact, the tour was making me feel a little left out especially during the convention where I was sitting in a table with a bunch of people I didn’t know.
Everywhere I looked, the tables were filled with groups of friends, laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves. I, being alone, must’ve looked sad.
The next day, after a night of wandering the halls of the huge hotel (kind of creepy, as I was alone) and gotten spooked by a night guard who had crept up to me from who knows where, I woke up ready for a big breakfast and a swim in the pool.
I had expected to swim, I really did. But when I went around the pool to the other side, my eyes immediately paused on the gaming area where a table tennis had been placed. One of my friends (the guy) challenged me to a game and I agreed.
The game started off well and soon my friend and I were playing.
However, as time passed, the gaming area was joined by a group of schoolmates from another course.
As the game my friend and I played got more intense, HE asked to join the game. My friend and I soon switched into a game of doubles with HIM and a friend and a game of singles with exchanged players.
Later on, my friend got tired and chose to move on to the billiards table where the rest of the guys were playing. HE and I were left playing table tennis.
I have trust issues so I don’t usually talk much about me to strangers. However, there was something about this guy that had my attention. He and I began talking. Over our game. As we tossed and hit the table tennis ball, we exchanged thoughts, a little thing about ourselves to one another and it wasn’t long before we were telling stories to each other like we were long lost friends. He was just as competitive as I was so he and I exchanged smashes even if we were in the middle of an intense topic.
He was a traveler too; a mountaineer to be exact and he also had a wild addiction to adventure and nature that may be the reason why I was immediately attracted. He’s had a lot of experience and he seemed excited to share them with a kindred spirit. I was happy to have met someone like me. That adventure and thrill seeking aura and attitude? It was a refreshing feeling to find someone like that, and just out of the blue!
The hour we played went by like a breeze. I think I talked to him in that hour more about myself than I’ve ever talked to the guy friends I had come with to the tour. He was really nice, asked questions, told me about himself and he had a smile like the sunshine – or at least it felt like it that day. I have a weakness for nice smiles so it was truly unfair every time he’d smile and I’d get distracted and lose the ball somehow. I had my guard up that day, or at least I was pretending to, because I didn’t want to look obvious that I was crushing on him already.
I couldn’t deny right then and there that it was an ideal moment for me – to have met someone like me while on a tour, even if I wasn’t sure if I’d ever meet him again.
I remember every moment, possibly more vivid than any other dream. It was kind of a coincidence somehow, that I’d end up meeting him, in an educational tour of hundreds of students, it had to be HIM I played with.
It was sad when the hour was over. I didn’t know how I was going to say goodbye with my heart pumping noisily into my ears. We bade goodbye in such a lame way (I, blushing heavily, clumsily turned away, saying “bye”) and ended up exchanging looks instead during the rest of the tour. He wasn’t in my bus so when we all headed home, I lost all contact with him.
After I met him I thought I wanted to fall in love that way. To find a kindred spirit, to enjoy several adventures together, to challenge each other competitively and to find a way for me to put down my heavily built guard to trust in love.
It was definitely one of the most unforgettable moments on the road.
I have a photo of us playing. But that would be for me to know and reminisce on and for you to… well, imagine. 🙂
By the way, we did find each other again. HE happened to be in my class the next semester.
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ September Blog Carnival to be hosted by Marky Ramone Go of Nomadic Experiences.