It’s been awhile, but here’s another train blog entry from yours truly!
I’m beginning this entry while sitting at passport control at some station called Dobova at the border of Croatia and Slovenia. As always, the passport people either give me the third degree, or they inspect my passport at great lengths – looking at all my many stamps. This time, I even had TWO inspectors check it out. Not sure what that’s all about. I know I’m not the only American with this many stamps in my passport.
Anyway, we’re now out of Croatia and in Slovenia. This morning, Miloš’ mom picked us up at 3:50am so we could go to Zagreb and drop him off at the airport. (Needless to say, we didn’t really sleep.) After he got through security, I got a cab to the train station so I could hop on a train and head back to Vienna.
If you follow my blog or if we’re connected on Facebook, you know I’ve been in Croatia for the last two months. Originally, I was supposed to fly to Vienna last week, but I had a two month Rail Pass that started today – the exact day Miloš had to leave for the ship. So I skipped my flight last week and got an extra 10 days with my man.
As I’ve said before, each parting is emotionally harder than the last one. Especially this time, as we had really gotten used to seeing each other every day for a nice extended period of time – which was truly wonderful. I shed quite a number of tears in the last three days.
Fortunately, Miloš’ ship will be on the Danube for a good deal of the season, and he’ll be sailing through (and stopping in) Vienna a few times. So I’ll get to see him every few weeks without having to travel to various foreign cities to do so. Once he gets on board the ship, he can let me know the exact dates. (We had to do preliminary speculation on when he’ll be in Vienna based on the passenger end of the company’s website.) And since I’m just a couple weeks away from officially being an EU citizen, I’ll get to stay in Vienna (and Europe in general) without any kind of time restrictions.
Last night after packing and cleaning, we decided to go for one last walk around Crikvenica. We were hoping for it to be a good distraction from the melancholy feeling that was hanging over us. We’re both really used to that “last night” feeling by now. How the last few hours of being together go by way too fast. It’s really terrible to have to be apart. But by now we have goals in place for our future together. Now it’s just a matter of working hard, and trying to save money so we can get a place of our own, and have less and less time apart. Hopefully, eventually, no time apart.
Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of frustration. I’ll admit to succumbing many a time to it. Frustration at the endless string of challenges that life keeps throwing at us, when it seems that some people have lady luck at their beck and call. Many of you know the obstacles Miloš and I have been hurdling just to be together. When you’re from two different countries, different CONTINENTS, you encounter lots of challenges that some people can’t even imagine. First we’ve had to deal with the bureaucratic challenge of me not being allowed to stay in Europe for more than three months at a time these past two years. (As an American citizen, you can be in Europe for 90 days in a six month period – which meant lots of three month stretches apart for Miloš and I.) Now that I’ll be allowed to stay in Europe, there will be no more three month stretches, but it’s still the challenge of not being able to be physically together, like a normal couple. I feel that so many couples out there take for granted their ability to be physically together on a daily basis. The one good thing about having to endure stretches apart, is that you develop a true appreciation of the time you do have together – and you never take that time for granted.
In the midst of feeling frustrated over our situation, as we walked along the park by the beach last night, I was given a little mental nudge from beyond. (I usually chalk up those kinds of messages to my late grandfather, who I consider to be my guardian angel.) I was reminded to think about how lucky we are – that the two of us found each other.
In this big crazy world of so many people, we actually met.
So many factors had to fit together just perfectly for it to happen.
Call me cheesy all you want, but who would’ve thought I’d meet my soul mate, the love of my life, while on vacation in Europe? And that I’d end up in Croatia, of all places!
Let’s just say that I am trying to stay strong and think positive. Even though Miloš is away at work, we get to see each other more because I can live in Europe. Even though we’re apart, we’re working towards a shared future of being together.
But I won’t lie – these first few days apart are always the hardest. I know in the next couple days I’ll have a few breakdowns where I just sob uncontrollably for a few hours.
Anyway, that’s it for now. And if you get to see your love everyday, give them an extra hug and remind them how lucky you both are!