My relationship with the USA began in 2012, unexpected.
At the time I was living in Rostock, in north Germany and studying to become a teacher. In May a guy from the USA requested to surf my couch through the couchsurfing website. Couchsurfing had been a gift to me – a channel to meet wonderful people and make friends. I was eager to give back to the community.
At the time I was slightly frustrated with the local population of men (at least the ones I had come in contact with) as they all seemed to shy away from commitment, hunting for adventure. Thomas – my American couch request wrote charming and polite messages and I came to think “maybe it is nice to be close with someone for a moment, share a good time, knowing that there is only this time frame.” There would be no expectations and consequently no disappointments.
We shared pizza and vodka with orange juice. We talked late into the night at some point he asked if he could kiss me. He never slept on the couch.
The following three days, we spent talking, watching movies, talking, celebrating father’s day at the beach and being close to each other. It was time for Thomas to continue on his four week roundtrip through Germany and Austria. I was going to my hometown Schwerin, which was in line with his next destination Berlin. So together we spent some hours, walking around town, eating an original Amsterdam brownie and laughing about ducks in the park.
We said goodbye and somehow I was sad, really, really sad and it had only been three and a half days. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me but I let myself delve in the missery – briefly – because I don’t like being misserable. We exchanged romantic/cheesy virtual love letters and soon a plan hatched, following the motto “enjoy life” (and fuck this thesis I am supposed to write) and I suggested to travel together for a bit. Two days later I arrived in Berlin at midnight and stayed with a friend. In the morning Thomas and me were reunited. We spent some days in Berlin, walking through the city and then we continued to Dresden where we did the same – couchsurfing, talking, walking, eating, talking, loving, hiking and talking.
At the end it was almost two weeks and this thought creeped in “if I let this go, I will always ask ‘what if'”. But a long distance relationship to another continent? I voiced my thoughts and got silence as a response.
Before Thomas left (literally), we spent another 24 hours together. He took an eight hour train to get to me and an eight hour one to get to the airport. By that time, we both agreed, we at least had to see where it would go. I said “I want to see everything anyway, so might as well go to the USA, travel, and visit and we see.”
In August of the same year I went on a seven week trip to the USA. And then again in December for Christmas.
And then another five years. Together but far apart. In those five years we spent 59 weeks together, devided into 20 visits – 5 in Germany, 1 in Portugal, 2 in the UK and 13 in the USA. In those five years I spent 45 weeks in the USA.