I didn't have many expectations for Panama City, flying in from Havana and more than a little sad to leave Cuba behind me. It was the starting point for an overland trip I'd signed up to, Panama City to Antigua, Guatemala.
April 20 was the start of the group trip. After a few days exploring the city by myself, I attended the pre departure meeting and the first of many group dinners. I made some snap judgements on who I was travelling with and looked forward to the next 28 days. Of the people I met that night, I'm still in touch with many. One in particular though, captured my heart. You've may have heard of him on this blog from time to time.
To say we started a year ago isn't entirely accurate. Sure, we met a year ago but we didn't really talk that night. Both of us a little shy in big groups, it was only a few days later in Boquette over some coffee that we got chatting, again as part of a group but this time a much smaller one. Both being from Melbourne, it was a natural topic of conversation.
A few days later again, this time in Monteverde, Costa Rica we enjoyed a night out dancing and drinking where things took off. Over the rest of the trip we enjoyed a light hearted holiday dalliance. No expectations, no talk of the future. Spending some days together and some days apart, we had a blast. Deep sea fishing off Roatan, skinny dipping off Isla de Ometepe, hiking volcanoes in El Impossible and long nights around campfires, chatting, laughing and having fun.
All too quickly, we reached Antigua where we were going our separate ways. After a great few last days in Antigua we said our goodbyes. Still no talk or thought of the future, a lasting hug and a see you in Melbourne. The boy flew south from Guatemala to Chile for a few days in Santiago before returning to his life in Melbourne. I continued on through Guatemala and Belize before flying home from Mexico a couple of weeks later.
You can probably work out where this story is going now. After spending a few days at the parents' farm in Gippsland, the first person I saw when I got to Melbourne was the boy. We've been pretty inseparable ever since then. The boy? His name is Rob and he is my love. With the convenient timing of Easter, we're once again travelling together, this time around Malaysia.