Being David’s girlfriend was the best. I loved our adventures, our random afternoons of television and Kraft macaroni and cheese after class and before I had to leave to go to work, just all of it. We saw each other almost every day, and we both got very spoiled.
The semester was going by quickly and we both had big plans that summer: He was going on a two-week mission trip to Ethiopia and I was studying abroad for the entire month of June in Europe. After being together so much, we knew that the summer was going to be really difficult.
We tried not to be one of those ridiculous couples that can’t go a day without seeing each other without feeling lost and alone, but it was just fun to be together all the time, especially in the beginning of the relationship.
David left for Ethiopia in May, only a few weeks after the semester was over. It was tough because I knew we wouldn’t be able to talk much at all. He obviously wouldn’t have his cell phone to text me and his Internet access was going to be extremely limited. He emailed me when he arrived, but I didn’t hear from him for several days after that.
Luckily, I had planned to go on a girl’s trip to Lake Nantahala while he was gone, and that helped take my mind off of how much I missed him. We had a great time at the lake, and I was so blessed by the other girls on that trip. Unfortunately, we had no service there, and I did miss a call from David that I hadn’t expected to get. I had a sweet voicemail when we got to a place that had service (the Cabbage Patch Hospital, actually). His voicemail consisted of telling me how much he missed me, even more than he missed flushable toilet paper. Needless to say, that’s a lot.
Even though he was only gone for two weeks, it felt like so much longer. When he finally got back, we only had a very short space of time before I headed out on my own adventure.
Carrollton and LaFayette are about two hours apart, so we still didn’t get to see each other much, but we did plan to go to the Shorter event they had when they changed its name from Shorter College to Shorter University.
It was a long, superhot day, and I was moody the whole day because I was sad that it was the last time I’d see David for a whole month (not to mention I was honestly really nervous about going out of the country for the first time with a group of people I didn’t know very well).
We said our goodbyes that evening and two short days later I found myself at the Atlanta airport. I was excited for what this month would hold, and I still couldn’t really believe that I was going to Europe. It just didn’t feel real.
After a seven hour flight and landing in Ireland, it still felt like I was just dreaming (except for the fact that I desperately needed to pee, seeing as I was too scared to actually get up out of my seat on the plane for fear of falling over or something). We spent the day in Dublin touring Kilmainham, a super creepy but fascinating jail. I then proceeded to fall asleep on a tour bus, only waking when my head slid down the pole it was resting on and hitting my chin on the ground. That’s just talent.
We spent three very rainy days in Ireland, where I bought a throwback Nokia phone so I could call David, only to find out after spending a tiny fortune that it cost David something like a dollar a minute to talk to me on. I was less than happy about that, just wanting to be able to communicate while we were so far apart.
I didn’t spend my whole trip sad and missing David, though. Don’t worry. I knew that this was a trip of a lifetime and I had an amazing time visiting various landmarks, staring in awe at incredible green countrysides, and eating some awesome (and not-so-awesome) European foods.
We spent three days in Dublin and then flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, for three more days. Scotland was by far the greatest place I’ve ever visited, and I cannot wait to go back someday. I was obsessed with Highland cows. Everything was just so beautiful there, but it was definitely cold. My time in Scotland was the only time in my life I’ve had to wear two hoodies in June (I even bought a seriously overpriced one in the Edinburgh Castle gift shop just because I was freezing).
I was sad to leave Scotland after only three short days, but our first-class train trip to London was amazing. I had never ridden on a train, so that was a fun adventure. We all sat around and pretended we were on the Hogwarts Express on our way to Hogwarts (even though we were technically heading away from Hogwarts), and when we arrived at King’s Cross Station, I was immediately in Harry Potter Heaven.
I got to visit Platform 9 ¾, walk the Millenium Bridge featured in the sixth Harry Potter movie, see a play at the Globe Theatre, trek to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, attend an organ concert at Westminster Abbey, ride the London Eye, see Stonehenge, and visit several museums and beautiful gardens. I took well over a thousand photos, falling in love with everything about that city.
While I was having adventures every single day, David was back in Rome, taking summer classes and working a full-time internship. We messaged each other every day on Facebook, and I still have every single message. We talked on Skype, and I even met his summer roommate that way (I was describing Scottish adventures; David was showing me his brand new toothbrush).
One morning that we didn’t have anything on the agenda, I had planned to sleep in. A few others were planning on visiting a Doctor Who museum (so sad I wasn’t a Whovian yet!), when I got a text that I needed to come down to the lobby. I was confused, afraid I’d slept in the wrong day and was late for our next outing. I quickly changed my clothes and came downstairs. There, waiting for me, was a single yellow rose and a card that David had arranged to arrive for me on our six month anniversary.
Everyone was super impressed that David had pulled that off without my knowing. I am horrible to try to surprise, but he did it that time. I was so excited but it also made me miss him more than ever.
The next two weeks flew by, as it does when you’re having adventures every day. We saw Wicked and Les Miserables, visited John Keats’ house and read his poems in his front yard, ate at the first ever Hard Rock Café,
completed a scavenger hunt, visited Hillsong London, and, somewhere amid all that, wrote about five papers for the classes we were taking while there.
It was finally time to come home, and, though I was going to miss Europe tremendously, I was ready. I was excited to have air conditioning again and to have ice cubes in my drinks. I was ready to eat Chick-fil-a and see my family and, most of all, see David. [Side note: If you want to see more pictures from my Europe trip, they’re all in Albums on my Facebook. Feel free to creep!]
The ten hour flight went by really quickly (it probably helped that I got over my fear of airplane bathrooms), and we were finally back in the country. I worried as we went through Customs that they would take my Kinder bars away from me (that is seriously the best candy I’ve ever had), but I made it through without incident. Finally, we headed up the escalator, and there was David, standing beside a family welcoming home their daughter with huge posters (I love you, Meg!).
We had made it. We got through a summer that had us in different countries for six weeks. We knew that if we could make it through that, we could make it through anything.