06 Jun Mystery Man
If you’ve been following my personal Instagram lately you’ll notice something a little different about it, and by different I mean.. there is a boy in my pictures. I probably shouldn’t say ‘boy’ though, he’d prefer ‘man*’ (Mystery man.)
Before I reveal the identity of ‘mystery man’ I want to tell you a little bit of a story, more specifically the story of us.
He walked into my life on a Wednesday night in Santa Monica and we had something in common from the moment we met. We were both New Zealanders and coming across another Kiwi in LA is well.. about as rare as coming across a real kiwi bird in New Zealand, highly unlikely. That familiar accent was music to my ears and man did he sound good.
Having our nationality and love for traveling in common we ended up on the roof of my apartment talking about everything and anything until the sun rose over the palm trees and a pink haze replaced the few stars that had managed to twinkle their way through the light pollution. That night we talked about the countries we had visited, our families, why we were in LA and just.. life. I very quickly decided I liked this human being, I liked him a lot.
After one night of meeting each other he convinced me to jump on a train to San Diego by myself so I could see him again. His friends were playing in a band and we watched them sing into the crowd as we played games like Jenga and shuffle board with drinks in our hands smiling the night away. It took one night for me to jump from my world into your world Stephen (that’s his name, by the way, I feel like it’s time you guys know that.) He inspired me and coming from someone who had lost a lot of her own inspiration, that was life changing. After a few weeks of spending every moment together, biking between the palm trees, picnicking on cliff tops and exploring the streets of downtown LA, he left the day before Christmas, but he never left my mind.
After two months of long distance calls I flew halfway across the world to then fly into his arms. Both back in our home country I ran away from my life and responsibilities with him. We rented an old Kombi van and escaped the world into the depths of New Zealand beauty. We drove almost the entire length of the country, or I should say ‘He’ drove almost the entire length of the country, I had no idea how to drive a 1969 manual van.
We lived by our own rules, waking when we felt like it, eating as we passed through small towns and sunset chased the days away. After awhile we switched our ‘manly’ green van for a pretty blue one that matched the colour of the sky. As pretty as she was, that van broke down about one hour after driving it and we were suddenly stuck outside in the freezing cold at 2am. Attempting to fix a broken fan belt with a pair of craft scissors and a butter knife isn’t easy.. or so I was told anyway. My (very important) contribution was holding up my phone flashlight while he did all the dirty work until we hit success. We managed to continue our way through the night to then later encounter more adventures such as our door swinging open on a highway corner and a truck almost running over Stephen’s laptop that had fallen out. I will never forget the road trip of a lifetime and the memories we made, I had never felt more free or happy.
When it was time for me to return to the states, it was back to the daily phone calls.. but only for a month this time because he was heading my way. After four flights and 30 hours of straight travel he made it to New York where we replaced the palm trees of Santa Monica for skyscrapers as we biked our way through Manhattan. Exploring that city is like no other and after a week of broadway shows and busy streets we boarded another flight, together for a change. Back in Santa Monica he moved into my apartment and I watched him unpack his clothes into a wardrobe for the first time since traveling for over two years.
I still find it funny that it took both of us traveling to the other side of the world in order to meet each other, when neither of us actually needed to go further than our own backyards. As to why he’s mystery man? Stephen and I wanted to take things slow and wait until we were ready to share our relationship with more people than just us. We wanted to be happy and sure that this was real before we dived into the social media world together. We’re diving in and couldn’t be more excited for the rest of our story to unfold with time.