Victor is in the red. Blaxmo is in the blue. And Chala is in the white. I am smack dab in the middle, and well, a girl.
This is a letter to Victor, Blaxmo (Anton), and Chala. These are three Swedish friends that I met during my backpacking trip in Milan, Italy. I am forever grateful for the memories made with them.
To the Swedes:
I still remember checking into Ostello Bello Grande in Milan, Italy. I had just come from Florence where I spent two days alone to re-cooperate and recover in an Air BNB. I knew that staying at Ostello Bello would be a more social environment. I came into Ostello Bello full of expectations. I was thrilled to meet new travelers. Although y’all probably did not notice me during check in, I instantly noticed y’all. You guys just gave off amazing vibes and colors. And to be honest, y’all reminded me of something that Mumford and Sons would create in real life. I was determined to make y’all my friends. However, I did not in the moment.
Later that night I went to dinner in the hostel. I was thrilled to find the three Mumford band members at a four-seated table. It was my chance. I remember walking to the table like my name was on it and enthusiastically asking “hey! Can I sit with y’all?!”. I still remember seeing Blaxmo and Victor’s face filled with discomfort and uncertainty. But of course, y’all were not about to be assholes and reject a lonesome looking girl.
From that point on, we were a clique. That first night y’all introduced me the difference between Tuborg and Turborg red (red has a little more alcohol content). Each new red glass we drank was filled with more laughter and slurred words. I thrived off of entertaining y’all with my Texan-ness and my overuse of the word y’all. I was equally amused: three Swedish men, one Texan woman, in Milan. I remember thinking how funny and strange life is. I can’t express how appreciative I am for you three absorbing me into your group. I felt completely cared for and safe when I spent time with y’all. You three made me feel like we had been life long friends.
Victor, thanks for being such a fun person to talk to, I particularly enjoyed that day in Milan we got to explore the city and I got to know you more. I will never forget when I said I don’t feel the vodka and let you show me an appropriate amount. Blaxmo or Anton, I adored talking to you. You made me laugh and once you broke through your timidness, it was fun to watch your wild side come out. Thanks for not putting that roofie in my drink (LOL HORRIBLE JOKE). Chalaaa, you are so special to me. Two nights before our last night in Milan, you shared your dreams and aspirations with me. And that meant the world to me. Thanks for your kindness and craziness, you made that night such a blast.
The last night in Milan, we never got to say a formal goodbye. Yet I am okay with this, because I know there will be an upcoming reunion in the future. I gotta see my boys after all.
When I was in Dublin, Ireland Chala called me and said that y’all got a tattoo in honor of me. I could not believe it. I was sent a video with a corny, country song in the background. Words cannot express the emotions I felt when I saw that video. The kindest gesture I have ever received. Although when you are old and gray, y’all will probably be wondering what the hell this word is and where it came from. The fact that our experiences now has a permanent landmark means the world to me. My heart still warms up thinking about y’all and all the memories we made. (see video posted below)
Chala, Victor, and Blaxmo, thanks for making me feel at home in a place that was not even your home. I wish I could be drinking a Tuborg red with y’all and laughing about life. But until then, CHEERS Y’ALL.
Kim Crosses Borders: THE DIARY OF A SOLO FEMALE BACKPACKER
I’m Kimberly, or you can call me Kim for short. I am a twenty- something year old Texan gal, who travels extensively around Europe. I backpacked solo around 5 different countries in Europe after college within a month time span, and caught the travel bug ever since then. Here, I share my personal stories, advice I have picked up along the way, and my personal pictures as a digital nomad. I am so ultra excited to bring you along my journey!