The two weeks I spent in central Europe this past December 2018 was a milestone for me in many ways. I haven’t been traveling at all that much lately as I’ve taken on a few responsibilities that keep me planted at home. So one day, on a whim, (heh heh), when I was feeling a bit bummed out with “real life” and in desperate need for at least an armchair adventure, I fondly recalled my foreign pen pal from back in the 90’s and wondered if the concept of pen pals still existed in the current era. A quick online search led me to a language exchange site where I sent out a few simple messages along the lines of, “Hi, I’m Wendy. I see that you’re interested in improving your English. Care to chat?” One person in particular (we’ll call him George) responded with a funny and heartwarming response that instantly won me over. As the saying goes, he had me from hello, but in this case it was more like from ahoj, as that is how you say “hello” in Slovak. (Ahoj is pronounced like the ship lingo ahoy, ironically). George just happened to be Slovakian. And as I would soon find out once we exchanged pictures, a very handsome Slovakian at that.
It wasn’t very long before George and I were taking our email correspondence to the next level in the online world – texting, calling, and video chatting. Life had grown to become quite dull and routine for me and meeting George had given me something wonderful and exciting to look forward to again each day. I knew I was falling for him. I had two weeks vacation from work coming up and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to spend it with him. Luckily, he felt the same. We chose to meet up in Europe to tour his hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia with stops in Budapest, Vienna and Prague. There would be many firsts on this trip: my first European train ride, my first bite of Slovakian halusky, and a level of comfort I’ve never quite felt before with any man.
My time in Central Europe was nothing less than magical and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to spend it with. George was the perfect tour guide! Thankfully, time seemed to slow down for us and our two weeks together felt more like a month. It didn’t make it any less hard to leave him when the time came, though, but there were no doubts in either of our minds that we would be together again someday soon. That someday is now only three months away, and this time George is flying to me where it will be my turn to show him around. I can’t wait to see America afresh through his eyes!