**DISCLAIMER :: FULL OVERSHARE AHEAD**
prequel/background info for my
23 Days In Venezuela
SO how'd this happen? A Venezuelan and an Aussie? Met on a dubious site called Spinchat 18-ish months ago? Yep, I don't know what to tell you. That's what happened.
We're both online peeps who live online together, hanging out, scheming and dreaming, learning things and stuff, testing apps and programs, building ideas and possibilities for when we are IRL together.
I mean, we're online anyways, yeah? May as well make it count, and spend time with a gorgeous brain and delicious personality literally on the opposite side of the globe (well... almost literally)
We've been through all manner of times together, day in/out, our patterns in sync etc etc blah blah countless hours of fun in conversation, life and LDR-ness.. building our relationship over time and with ridiculously massive amounts of communication
Days we'd known each other before trip
Days since first meeting Miss_L @ Caracas airport
Average hours of trip between
Kilometers between us
Hours time difference (+30min)
Timeline Of Events..
meeting on spin
Though she denies it, I tried my hardest to meet/talk with Miss_L, and proceeded to chase her relentlessly, however I’m not going to SAY that, I’ll just say ‘we grew together from mutual respect and admiration’ instead
Hanging out daily long before this
Well.. we started hanging out and then we REALLY hung out – like for up to 12+ hours each day. It helped that I was at home all day every day trying to stabilize my condition, and Miss_L worked on translation jobs online
Mini 'break up' era
This was a strange thing, Miss_L wouldn’t admit we were in an actual relationship @ this time, though we managed a 24hr break-up whilst being not together… yeah. But we couldn’t stay away from each other, so it was a fail of a “break up”
Miss_L deigns to officialize our LDR
Yeaaaaah babe! Finally! WooT!! She owned up to me 😛 I cherish our thing every day, and am amazed that we can have such an in-depth relationship under such circumstances! Technology ftw!
First Trip to Venezuela
First of many, no doubt. I was truly concerned about heading there, however Miss_L and her family convinced me I would get out alive, so I feigned bravery and held my breath
Returned to Australia
Was so SO sad to leave, though full of glee that we were REALLY a thing, once our meatsuits met and we discovered the other person was definitely a human we found delicious
Begin working together, and on visa application
Turns out, we both have incredibly similar interests professionally, and we have managed to start a venture together, using our time productively, whilst same time putting together our application for Miss_L’s visa to Australia
So at the start of November '16, I did make the journey to Venezuela to meet the amazing Miss_L in person... WOW! The trip was life changing, and life moving forward is to a shared purpose now - blah overshare ick WOW feels ew NOM um...
Bris to Syd to LAX to Houston to Caracas = 37-38hrs each way..
So after a fkn looong flight, sleepless the night before boarding from nerves etc, I cleared customs, and walked through this amazing carpet to a hall of sorts, with Miss_L and her Aunt, who was more familiar with the airport and an all round champion, waving at me from behind a roped section - follow the rope! And then.. it gets kinda blurry, I can't really remember the events properly, it was like meeting a face, a voice you know so well, but..REAL.
Fox from Little Prince.. the mascot
I was really grateful to be picked up at the airport in Venezuela by Miss_L, her father and aunt - from landing to leaving, I was looked after and kept safe etc by those awesome people, my newly Other family. Just as well, too, for my Spanish is totally shit xD I was completely dependent on Miss_L's good graces. No fear about that, just a healthy respect I guess (:
Is it a fair a question, stepping into the country of your LDR,
to wonder what surprises there might be?
Have I been catfished in some unusual manner?
What if it only exists online, not in person?
Will the family object in some unexpected manner, throwing shade?
..yep, fears etc are a thing, I guess - you just choose how you deal with these, and regardless of how steely your nerve, when you get boots on the ground and a smile you can't turn away from, all manner of strange pops up outta nowhere
It was like meeting a celebrity, someone you've thought about so much yet been so so far from, then BAM!
<-- 1st pic :P
This vantage from this rooftop, circled by mountains and a completely different world, was truly humbling to experience.. To be standing there, witnessing the dawn terminator claim the day and feeling safe, I was SO thankful I made the trip.. Seeing her same sunrise, her same weather, same birds.. Being welcomed by her whole family in such ways.. of course, though, I came bearing many gifts and obvious good intentions - wore my heart on my sleeve, as it were.
a new world to me.. a completely different reality. Venezuela..
yep, I love it there - it scares the shit outta me a bit, but feels like life.. not having the same priorities, living to a different rhythm, just different.. some things not available, but that added to it - nothing is taken for granted, as in the way of Australian society - it seemed to add gravitas that we should be grateful wherever we find ourselves in life, because it's ours - it's breathing
Before leaving for our trip away together, I asked her father, with the support of her mother, permission to wed Miss_L - I posted something of it in a blog on spinchat.. but yes, that happened. It was important to me that her family knew my intentions, rather than just be some foreign sex tourist with weird eyes and an overly expressive demeanor 😛
I wanted for us to do the thing honorably, with inclusion of her family. So that's what we did. To be honest, I googled Venezuelan wedding traditions and followed that like a playbook xD it happened to be the perfect thing to do at the time, and the experience of the wholly heartfelt spectacle was appreciated by all
After some days with Miss_L and her family, the two of us headed to the town of Colonia Tovar, settled by Germans in 1840+ up and along a really impressive mountain range, in country that would have been much to overcome by building there. Yet they did. An amazing place of ups and downs, roads darting here and there, invisible signs directing traffic in unfathomable ways..
This tree was SO AMAZING! The root system, washed out with torrents of rain over time, were like veins spearing the soil of the hill, steely chords of determination anchoring this fig against the elements... so fkn cool
Not sure about anyone else in an LDR, but Miss_L and I love watching various random shows about online relationships and meeting and such, like Love Prison, 90 Day Fiancee, Catfish, various documentaries - so we set ourselves up in Colonia Tovar for such an experience - just getting to LIVE together, in our own space with minimal distraction, to try some POWER COUPLE experiment to see if we are really the right stuff or no
We set up for ourselves a mini Love Prison situation
Various Couples Selfies For Our Own Memories Of The Thing - click pic to see better
THE MOTH INCIDENTSo we were watching Cake Boss (love that show) and Miss_L swiped at a moth with a pillow... which sent it straight down my right ear hole - aaaaaaall the way in there.We ended up at a medical centre where those champions took the damn thing out of my ear, which had been buzzing and freaking out about its predicament, thereby making my OWN predicament that much worse xDEveryone but the moth made it through alright
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand back to 'reality' in Maracay, engaged to be wed after proposing to each other, full of certainty and massively in love
The trip to and from were up an impressive mountain range, a journey of some hundred+ kms with questionable roads, angles and gradients - so we headed back to Maracay and prepared for the family reunion, now become an engagement announcement and Miss_L 'coming out' to her whole family about our heterosexual LDR situation 😀 - only a day away
The day of the reunion we went out early to prepare - a party supposed to go from 5pm-7pm with maybe 30 ppl total in attendance. So we headed to the market, to the liqueur store for 2 cases of Zulia cerveza, down town burning in the sun and looking for extra special shoes, and then the hairdresser to complete the hectic morning. After a small nana nap, we got ready and lived through the event - it was a night of laughter spent in excellent company and in great spirits 😀 People left the gathering around 9pm, everyone with smiles
I'm not adding group pics, just this one family representative, who gave a moving speech at the reunion. As did Miss_L's mother, introducing our story to date and telling something of us to them. It was really quite moving, I'm a bit of a sucker at those kind of things - there were tears as I stated my introduction and 'case', translated flawlessly by my love, well..
..it was a massive moment, can't lie. Looking around me, there were tears in the eyes of many at that time. After speeches, I was officially claimed by the family, who said I must be Latino to be so like them, speaking from the heart and so obviously loving one of their own - I count that an honor tbh
Getting the rings organized...
In Venezuelan tradition, you buy your wedding rings upon engagement, engraved with your person's name on the inside, and worn on your right hand, same finger - until the wedding is official. Then onto left hand. So this is what we are doing (:
the night of the lights..
On my last night in Maracay with Miss_L and her family, we went to the Christmas Lights display at the main square of the city, with the park fully decked out in various displays of awesome
We were headed back to the car when we started smelling something terrible, like electrical tape burning. Turns out, one of the big balls, or 'bombs' as they looked to be, had caught alight - many thousands of individual light strings joining at the top of the shape, were now a pillar of flame and noxious smoke xD It was quite the send-off
as with all good things, alas
Our short time together came to an end
We were supposed to be up at 3.30am, but instead we stayed awake the whole night, making the most of our last night together. We wrote letters to each other to keep and read later, then doing our best to try look lively, we bundled into the car and headed to Caracas Airport, with me getting to see my second dawn in Venezuela.
One last coffee with my future father-in-law, hugs all round and promises to be back as soon as possible - it was a heartfelt farewellCan't wait until I go back!
To be continued....