A 16 Day Journey with Your Ex Lover.

Travelling with your ex-lover. Sounds daunting? Near impossible? It seems like we have no qualms about it. Early this year, Erik and I decided to go on a trip together and here it is, two days before we depart to London, Prague and Vienna! We decided to document our trip by answering a few set questions which we’ll share by the end of it when we come back (hopefully with exciting stories!). But first, here’s a quick run down of how we feel before leaving (thanks Erik for coming up with the questions) (And if you haven’t already known, or figured out from this paragraph, Erik and I used to be…a couple, whatever you call it!)

LILLY
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Why are we writing this travel journal? For you? For friends to share an experience?
Why the hell not? :)

How do you feel about leaving for the trip in a few days’ time
It’s 12:09 on a Friday afternoon. I am feeling a little overwhelmed (to the point for numbness) by the panoply of emotions shape shifting in and out. Of course, I’m excited- fuck yeah, we are going for a holiday. And not just that, I’m going for a holiday with someone who is dear to me. I’m not sure what to expect but it’ll be fun. Friends sometimes question the purpose of this holiday: “Will something happen between you two?” “Are you two getting back together?” etc. But really, what makes this trip exciting isn’t all these at all. It’s just knowing that we’ve come this far from being strangers to friends to lovers to…this! Strangely, I also feel heavy-hearted for leaving- I will miss you tremendously.

Favorite travel quote? 
“All of life is a foreign country” by Kerouac- which happens to be shared by Erik early last year. This quote resonates with how I feel waking up every morning into the strangeness of life. Every gesture and every word has a possibility to be foreign even after countless encounters, and that is beautiful. One morning you wake up, thinking that things will be the same. And they sometimes are or aren’t. However, if you take the time to notice, you’ll realize the same old half-moon staring back at you, asking you to love her back. Sometimes, you find yourself in the comfort of strangeness of one’s company, and you think to yourself, “I’m happy”. The ordinary and extraordinary are one and the same.

Song that makes you feel like travelling? 
Anything by Beach House makes me want to travel with a loved one- discover new places together, have a cup of coffee and talk/not talk, bask or slow dance in the sun and rain etc., Another would by Honolulu by Last Dinosaurs because it sounds like I should have Sangria by the beach sort of thing :)

Film that makes you feel like travelling?
Before Sunset- it’s an immersive film about two very indulgent people in a foreign country. And even though I personally think it’s an unhealthy predisposition, I’d love to take you with me to a random city and walk and talk, walk and talk and end our story with a love song. Into The Wild; no need for explanations. Lost in Translation; because of its sense of abandonment I’d love to discover in a place so different and so alien, where you have no one else to turn to but your own fears and own modes of consolation.

Fact about yourself most likely to annoy the other person
My being impatient, other than that I’m pretty much awesome to travel with.

Why you might enjoy travelling together
I think it’s easier because we enjoy similar things and passions. I remember once, Erik and I went for a road trip with some friends and after coming back, we decided to go for a drink at Soju to properly wrap up the day by just talking about what had happened, even though we were there throughout the entire roadtrip, aware of what happened. You know, sometimes how you end the day by having an internal monologue with yourself, deconstructing events and thoughts? It’s narcissistic and indulgent, but traveling with Erik fulfills that part of things.

Why you might not enjoy travelling together
Because Erik Gan is super-duper indecisive I sometimes want to strangle him (but he’s much better now)

Random fact about Cherie
I don’t even remember how I first met Cherie. But, she’s one quirky and very fun person to be with. One random fact I remember is that her favourite poets are Pablo Neruda and e.e cummings. And, thanks for having us in London!

What are you most looking forward to? in London/Vienna/Prague
Geffrye Museum and Portobello Market in London cause I didn’t get to go last year! Petrin Hill in Prague because that’s where Tereza was supposed to die in Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness. I have no idea what to expect in Vienna. I guess that’s the fun part :)

 ERIK
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Why are we writing this travel journal? For you? For friends to share an experience?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt an excessive need to document, be it in the mind – stored in different files and folders of memory or be it on paper. I guess writing has always been my way of documenting and making sense of what’s happening in and around me. Or perhaps it’s just my selfish way of wanting to relive experiences over and over again – once in the flesh and once again in memory when I flip through an old journal.

How do you feel about leaving for the trip in a few days’ time?
Brimming with excitement obviously but recently a calm has washed over me. I’ve been less preoccupied with what I’m going to see or do as I’ve realized that what I’m really looking forward to is “feeling” everything. I also think I’ve been too engrossed in work so it would be nice not to see a computer screen for two and a half weeks.

Favorite travel quote?
That one by Jack Kerouac although I suspect Lilly has since commandeered it. It’s a gorgeous quote. “All of life is a foreign country”. What could be more sufficient and self-explanatory as that? There’s another one by Aldous Huxley which I adore, “For any traveller who has any taste of his own, the only useful guidebook will be the one which he himself has written”. This quote ties in quite nicely with the first question as well.

A song that makes you feel like travelling?
Canadian Girl by The Walkmen. I feel a small skip in my step every time this song comes on and dancing to it by the warm, yellow glow of a Viennese street lamp could quite possibly be perfect. Honorable mentions include Boat Behind by Kings of Convenience and the entire soundtrack to Midnight in Paris except we’re not going to Paris.

Film that makes you feel like travelling?
Before Sunset. I actually wrote a paper on it for my film studies class back in university which unfortunately means that I feel like I’ve said everything I can about it. Seriously, superlatives run dry. Just go watch it and thank me later. Or curse me because of the wanderlust it will subsequently induce.

Fact about yourself most likely to annoy the other person
I think I’m a little indecisive and that may get on Lilly’s nerves. In my defense, I may take longer to come to a decision but I tend to stick to it for the most part. Yes, that was a jibe at you Ms. Wee ;)

Why you might enjoy travelling together
We’re both attuned to the same wavelength in a very natural way. She knows that I’m actually being condescending to someone if I appear overly interested in what they have to say. I know right away when she’s annoyed in certain situations even if she doesn’t show it (probably because I’m the cause of aforementioned annoyance). Also, we can both be completely silent while still enjoying the other’s company. Basically, we get each other.

Why you might not enjoy travelling together
If I take more than ten minutes to choose something from the menu the whole trip will implode horribly and everything will go downhill from there with relations between us as frigid as the Austrian winter. I’ll just have to make sure I stay on her good side :O

Random fact about Cherie
Cherie flails her arms around a lot. Also, she’s been very generous by letting us stay with her while we’re in London. Mi casa es su casa. Muchos gracias Cee.

What are you most looking forward to? in London/Vienna/Prague
Off the top of my head: the giant Ferris wheel in Vienna, stroopwafels by the riverside, Kafka’s crib in Prague, Blue Is The Warmest Color in London, The National at Alexandra Palace, parks, museums, bookstores, trains, cafes. So much to live for and so little fucking time. Ah, hazy, lazy days ahead.

See you in 18 days, with stories, and let’s hope we haven’t killed each other by then!

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3 thoughts on “A 16 Day Journey with Your Ex Lover.

  1. I think I should get you a stopwatch specifically for “Erik’s menu time”! I get irked when people take more than 12 minutes (I don’t know why 12 either, I just made up my mind with it a long time ago!) (OK actually I know why I decided on 12 mins — 5 mins to ‘settle in’, 5 mins to look through the menu, and 2 mins to consider the narrowed down preferences) to order the food they want at a restaurant.

    And no need to miss me too tremendously. My heart travels with you. :3 *GOLEKS AWAY*

  2. I have been in love with Prague ever since I’ve been there but I don’t want you to have unrealistic expectations. Oh and speaking of quotes, here’s one for you,

    “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them”. – Mark Twain

    Haha all the best and happy travels!

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