Before you dive into this one, I just gotta warn you, it’s a sappy travel romance story (actually I don’t know if it’s sappy…cute maybe? I don’t know, you can decide).
In traveling you meet a lot of amazing people. With those amazing people you have some incredible times.
This is one of those times. A possibly romantic, possibly cute, possibly something else time. Either way, one of the best days I’ve ever had…so now
Un Dia en Bocas
Now imagine your screen goes hazy, and you’re mentally transported to a little island off of Panama called Isla Colon.
I had just arrived via water taxi to the cluster of islands known as Bocas Del Toro. It was early morning. The sun had only been up for going on an hour when I entered my hostel.
Arriving so early and without reservation it took some time before my hostel dorm bed was ready. I decided to lay in a hammock. After 15 minutes of dozing in and out I was handed my room key.
As I was walking to my room she walked by. She was about 5’6 with blue eyes and shorter dark brown hair. She had these colorful owl earrings, white headband and amazing smile/smirk.
Our eyes met for a second and I froze. I didn’t say or do anything, not even good morning or hello. nothing… so stupid.
I walked past, head shaking, straight to my room to finally get some rest.
I was there, in that hostel for a few days. Every day I would walk past her. Each time I couldn’t bring myself to say or do anything. I even asked my dorm mates about her. Who is she? Has anybody talked to her? Is she with anybody?
She was stunning, I wanted to say hi and hold a conversation but just couldn’t do it. What made it worse was that we would always look at each other. I thought/hoped that she wanted me to say hi too.
Fast forward through those few days of me being a pansy to the day that I leave. Finally, it was going to be my last morning there, I was going to hop in a water taxi and keep moving on. I had it set in my mind. It was time for me to go. Another day there would have me fearing that I would get stuck in Bocas.
I get up and go to make breakfast and it’s pouring outside. This was a sign. For the past few years, every time I was on a trip, the day I would leave, it would rain. It was like a ritual by this point.
A couple of friends are in the kitchen and there she is, sitting in the corner just listening, watching and drinking some coffee. I was debating with my friends on whether I should stay or leave. They all wanted me to stay one more day, they weren’t leaving yet. Throughout the conversation I kept glancing towards her to see if she had any reaction.
Finally, I talked to her. I asked her, “What do you think? Should I head out or stay one more day?”
“Do you have to leave?”
“I probably should, but I don’t HAVE to leave.”
Decision made, the gorgeous girl said yes, I stayed. “Hi, I’m Pablo by the way”
And that’s how we first introduced ourselves.
We went on to talk for a bit. I was telling her how it always rains when I leave, but how since I was staying, I might have to explore the town while it rains. I don’t always get to do that and that’s one of my favorite things to do.
I threw out the idea that she could come with me. I can’t quite remember the response. I just remember, that it seemed like she said yes but she may have just been nice.
I head upstairs to change and get my umbrella hoping that she’ll be accompanying me for the rainy day adventure.
When I walk down I didn’t see her in the kitchen or the living room area. Right as I figured that I was going to be on my own, there she is, already waiting outside with her raincoat.
“Still planning on walking around in the rain?”
“Definitely, just had to grab my umbrella.” I say smiling.
So off we go into the rain into a somewhat unfamiliar little town. We walked everywhere that day.
Initially we walk up this street and come across the body of an old plane with some of the guts still inside. She pulls out a camera to take a picture then has me hold her coffee and be her “coffee bitch for the day.” That had me laughing. This is when I find out she’s a high school Spanish teacher from New Mexico
My entire family is Mexican, I was raised speaking Spanish and still am fluent, but I’m betting she knows more Spanish than I do. haha
We keep walking and slowly moving towards the shore. Before reaching the beach, we come across the base cement structure of a building that was never finished. Balancing our way across the cement walls, which are upwards of 10ft off the ground, we go to the edge and look out over the beach and ocean waters.
It reminded me of the beach on the opening scene from Across the Universe. I remember telling her the same thing.
We’re walking along the beach now and find a starfish that wasn’t fast enough to go back in with the tide. Being that she is an ultimate frisbee player I tell her she should frisbee the starfish back to the ocean.
Good deed done for the day.
We walk up and off the beach and back into town. We take a few more pictures, explore a cemetery and continue our adventure.
Making our way back to the hostel, all I can think is, “she has to be tired of me.” I’m just thinking I could easily spend the entire day with her.
It’s about lunch time when we begin getting closer to the hostel.
“Are you hungry?” she asks me.
I smile, I guess she’s not tired of me. “I could eat.”
She drops off her bag, we get a suggestion for food by our buddy Juan Pablo and head out again.
We enjoy some lunch all the while talking. Around this time we start talking about how she plays the banjo.
Right? Pretty fricken awesome.
We head back to the hostel and relax on top of the roof. It’s like a living room commons area. We hangout there until early evening. We share some music. I saw her hilarious class video. She shows me some stuff on her banjo. We realize we have a lot of weird coincidences and things in common.
This moves us on to the night. We separate to get ready before a party at the hostel and before going out to the local bars.
I come down from showering and getting ready. I see her in a black dress that ties around her neck, leaving her back exposed. I didn’t know what to say…
I was stunned. I didn’t say anything, I probably just looked stupid with a boyish grin on my face.
On top of looking and being amazing, what does she say?
“I just went out and bought some beer, do you want one?”
Of course I took a beer, how great of a night was this starting out to be?
We stick around the hostel for the birthday party then leave a little early to one of the bars.
The bar has a dock out back over the water. The water is lit up and you can see starfish hanging out and schools of smaller fish swimming around. We talk and flirt with each other, feet in the water, laying down looking up the stars. Our friends show up and we make our way inside for a little bit of dancing before we head out to another bar.
We decide to leave and check out this other place.
Quick note – Throughout the day, from my point of view, it seemed like we both enjoyed each others’ company but were afraid to say too much. Maybe not, I know on my end that’s how I felt. I was afraid that I would say or do too much and scare her away.
On the way there I decide that it’s time I do something to make my interest evident. I’m the fun/sappy type and came up with a risky idea that could be fun.
I asked if she wanted to play a game. The object of the game was to not have to pay for a single thing at the new bar we were going to. The way to do this was to go in as newlyweds on a honeymoon. After I said this, I stuck out my hand in hopes that she would stick hers in mine and she did. She said she loved that idea.
I tell her, in order to sound convincing, we need to get our story straight. So fingers interlocked, strolling down the middle of the street we began to reminisce about the past two years, where we first met, what we did, how I proposed, what our plans are.
I asked her if she remembered how I proposed. She quickly jumps, “I remember exactly how that happened. I’ll tell you that story.”
She begins going into detail about how 6 months earlier we were off traveling somewhere around the world. We were walking through a city while rain was pouring down. There, in the middle of the street, I stop, I look at her and say, “It’s time.” She responds with, “time for what?” I look at her, “time for us to get married” and I propose to her in the middle of a foreign city with rain coming down all around us…
We get to the new bar, which the entire place consists of paths of dock lit up over ocean waters. Fish and starfish are seen everywhere moving and swimming around. Christmas lights hang from tropical trees. There’s only roof cover over the bar so the stars are seen beyond that. I walk her to the furthest part next to this gazebo overlooking the water away from the people and music.
At this point, we’re both in awe of each other, it was like a climactic build up to this one moment. She was talking about something, I don’t remember what exactly. I put my finger to her lips to stop her, looked her in her eyes, slight smile, and I moved in and kissed her…
Romantic first kiss right? I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. I’m not lying when I say that. Not just the first kiss, but every kiss was like that. My heart was freaking out.
You would think that was the end of it… psh nope haha
We leave enamored with what had happened, each other, the night, the island,everything…
We make a pit stop at the hostel to grab her ipod and mini speaker. She put on some songs and we walked around the town under the street lights with our own personal theme/movie music. Dancing, smiling and enjoying each others’ company.
After a trip to the dock at night we head back to the hostel together.
The next morning we wake up and spend some time together. I make my pancakes and she has her coffee. Then I pack my bags, meet her outside of the hostel and we say goodbye…
Un Dia En Bocas