Romance on the Road Part 3: I See Stars

Alright, brace yourselves people because the islands is where it starts to get REAL romantic, REAL fast. Our first day in Santorini was cute. We went to the beach, went to dinner and had a little alone time later where we went stargazing at the beach. But I REALLY want to get to the next day because the last eight hours of the next day were possibly THE MOST romantic hours of my entire twenty one years of living.

So, we were all at the beach when Dean went off with another girl we met at the hostel at around 4pm, leaving me and Jack alone.  We swam, we cuddled on one beach chair, and he even slowly removed my top to give me a back massage and re tied it without trying anything (which basically made me go insane).

We knew we wanted to catch the sunset in Oia that night as it is considered, perhaps, the most beautiful sunset in the world and around seven we realized we needed to get a move on, as Oia was on the other side of the island from where we were. We put some clothes on over our swimsuits and rented an ATV. The man at the rental shop asked us where we were going that night and when we told him, he gave a chuckle and said we couldn’t possibly make the sunset tonight. Challenge accepted.

We hopped on and RACED across the island. We didn’t have a map or wifi, we just used the street signs and intuition to cross the island. About halfway through our ride, we rounded a mountain and saw the sun start to set over the water. It was such a movie moment. I got goosebumps and threw my hands in the air and yelled. It was exciting, amazing, exhilarating…. there’s almost no words for that feeling in that moment. We finally got to our destination and ran up to the viewpoint. We had made it for the sunset with LITERALLY ten minutes to spare. We watched the orange sun dip below the pink sky and of course sealed the sunset with a kiss (I’m seriously not making this up folks).

After watching the sun disappear, Oia was bathed in a purple, gold glow in the twilight so I made Jack run around with me to take pictures using this magical lighting. My hair was a mess, we were still covered in salt and sweat from the beach but we were having the most fantastic time. Eventually the light got darker and we snuck out on to the top of one of those white churches (just google ‘greek island’ and I guarantee those churches pop up)  and watched the twilight turn to stars. We talked and kissed for a while and then decided to go and get dinner. We raced back across the island and sat in a seaside restaurant to eat and watch one of the last games of the EuroCup. We ordered a ton of food and ate like barbarians (I’m a savage eater, but Jack thought it was cute anyways). We made bets on the game and were just completely on a high from the sunset. After dinner we walked around and talked and sat (and may have fooled around…) on the beach (where there was a METEOR SHOWER) until about four in the morning before finally making it back to the hostel. How’s THAT for romantic?

The next morning we managed to get up relatively early and go get breakfast together before Dean woke. Once we all got together, we packed up and went down to the port to catch the ferry to Naxos. Now this is how I KNOW Jack was into me. Naxos is not a touristy island, like, AT ALL. I wanted to go because I had been to the touristy ones already, the only reason for Jack to go was… me. Regardless, we arrived in Naxos and we could tell our time was winding down.

Naxos didn’t have the same speed as Santorini so we lounged on the beach, watched some games, and ate a lot of food. After Naxos was where we parted ways. I was planning on meeting my family in Mykonos and the boys were headed to Vienna. At breakfast on our second day in Naxos, they were figuring out travel plans and they realized that they couldn’t stay another night in Naxos like they had originally planned. Logistically, to save both time and money, they had to leave that evening, on the last ferry back to Athens. I could see the wheels turn in Jack’s head, trying to think of a way to get around this issue, but there wasn’t one. Instead of another day, we only had a few hours. Dean knew what was going on so he made a solid effort to give me and Jack some alone time until the ferry left. We of course went to the beach, and played in the water and then decided to have a solid talk.

We talked for a LONG time because this was a big predicament. We both liked each other a lot but our travels were taking us separate ways and although we do live on the same continent, we don’t live near each other at all. What to do? Well, against all of my cynicism, and rules and whatever, we decided, right there, on the beach in Naxos, to give this (whatever “this” was) a try. We agreed to keep talking and to maybe meet up when we both got back home. This decision tore me in half. I wanted to be hopeful because I really liked Jack, but I also knew he had some things to take care of at home and how unlikely long distance relationships can be. We texted and FaceTimed throughout the remainder of our respective trips but then we both returned home.

Once we got home, my cynicism actually began to ebb away bit by bit. Jack has visited me twice now. We met in the middle the first time and he drove fifteen hours to Chicago to see me the second time and things just get better and better each time. We talk all day and make sure we FaceTime every night even for just a few minutes. It’s honestly unbearably cute and if I were looking at myself from the outside I’d probably VOMIT, but because I’m in it, I can’t help myself.

I’m unsure how to conclude this story, perhaps because there is no clear conclusion. This whole story is so unlikely and so romantic I had to stop many times while it was happening and check that I was awake, that I wasn’t a character in some cheesy chick flick. But it did happen, I actually met someone amazing in the most romantic of ways and we are continuing the relationship on home soil. It’s insane, ridiculous, and heartwarming all at once. I have no advice for replicating this experience, so my only tips are to be open to all kinds of people, especially when traveling. But also be selfish. Once you really start feeling yourself and only worrying about making yourself happy, all kinds of things open up. *WINKY FACE*

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