Love Story Part 1: Falling in Love in India

This is the beginning of a love story.

Matt and I recently celebrated our one-year anniversary. People have been curious about how Matt and I met (in India of all places!) and how we’ve progressed from strangers to traveling Asia to sharing a new home and life in Hong Kong. I’ve always been hesitant to talk about it in detail. Maybe because I know Matt’s mom, Gerry, reads my blog (which is pretty cool). Or maybe I’m just the most private personal life blogger there is. I don’t know. I just never felt ready to tell our story.

I guess now that the “official honeymoon” period is over and Matt and I are both adjusting to the stresses of “normal” life, this is the perfect time to tell you about how Matt and I met, which will also help us to see just how far we’ve come in one amazing year. Here’s how it all began:

Yeah, we’re surprised by our love story too

It was February 2010 and Matt and I were both solo traveling in India with no itinerary, no plan and no destination in particular. Matt and I met one afternoon in Ellora, Maharashtra and exchanged emails. I headed off to my meditation retreat in Igatpuri, not thinking too much of that cute English boy I had just met and was probably not going to see again.

After I completed my meditation retreat, I sent Matt an email about meeting in Goa. As it turned out, Matt was already there and would wait for my arrival! I was excited because although I loved traveling in India, I was finding it a bit difficult and daunting on my own.

The beaches of Goa, perfect for falling in love

I met up with Matt in Goa and we spent a couple days exploring and sharing delicious Indian curries together. We had much to talk about, though to be honest, with Matt’s quick way of talking, thick English accent and use of slang, I didn’t understand most of what he was saying to me. I just smiled and nodded most of the time. Ha!

I had been nursing an insanely infected finger in Goa and it was starting to get ugly. Matt convinced me to go see a doctor, much to my resistance. Matt even sat with me outside the doctor’s office while I waited for her to return from lunch. Once inside, she gave me the bad news. She was going to have to lance it.

Who knew an infected finger could lead to love?

You may not know this, but I am terrified of needles and I almost burst into tears! Matt was very sweet and offered to hold my hand while the doctor did her thing. Holding Matt’s hand was the first inkling I had of the inevitable butterflies that accompany a growing crush. Little did I know that Matt was feeling the same way about me and offering to hold my hand was just his sneaky way of getting a bit closer to me!

After Goa, Matt and I decided to travel to Hampi together. After we arrived in Hampi, the first thing Matt did was rent a motorbike. Although I was a bit nervous to ride one, Matt convinced me to get on and explore with him. I was so scared I wanted to hold on for dear life but I still didn’t know Matt too well and I didn’t want to let him in on growing secret crush I had on him, so I sat in the back trying not to scream my head off.

Our first photo together

That night, my crush grew even more as Matt and I rode into the next town in search for food. I saw a man selling chicken briyani by the side of the road and suggested we eat there. I wasn’t sure how Matt would react to eating at a place where the man behind the counter was using his hand to mix the food, but Matt was just as excited as I was. I love a man who’s not afraid to eat dirty! The butterflies took flight again.

Sharing street food for the first time

The next day, Matt and I decided to try to find the Hampi waterfalls some locals told us about. We spent the day hanging around the boulders that surrounded the waterfalls and even went in for a swim. We didn’t know it then but another couple was exploring Hampi at the same time, saw Matt and I goofing off in the water and thought that we were so cute that they took photos of us. The next day, we serendipitously ran into them and they offered to send us the photos! Matt and I were already a cute couple before we were even a couple!

Getting spied on in Hampi

That night, I was chatting online with my good friend, Leigh, and telling him about how much fun I was having with my new travel partner. Leigh’s interest immediately peaked and he was very inquisitive about this Matt fellow and if there was anything going on. I was sure that nothing was ever going to happen with Matt and told Leigh so but he just wouldn’t believe it.

Matt came into the room to see what I was up to, sat down next to me and said hello to Leigh. Our conversation abruptly stopped dead as the topic of our chat was now sitting in the same room. Leigh couldn’t tell that Matt could still see him on my laptop screen and started to dance around in the he’s-cute-you’re-going-to-fall-in-love kind of a way. I was horrified and glanced over to make sure that Matt hadn’t seen. Whew! Matt was heading out for a drink and I quickly reprimanded Leigh. I explained that even though I thought Matt was cute and very nice, I didn’t think Matt was interested and I didn’t want to ruin a lovely friendship by acting on it (which was the same way that Matt felt, but of course, at the time I didn’t know that).

Leigh insisted that something would happen and I laughed in his face.

The next morning, Matt and I decided to leave Hampi and headed for Pune together. We didn’t realize it then but Matt and I were going to be making a lot of decisions on future destinations in order to stay together…

Unknowingly starting our life together

In short, Leigh was right. Oh, and yes, Matt did in fact see Leigh’s little jig! 

See, I told you this is a long story and it’s just the beginning! Shall I continue the story?

© Connie Hum 2011

Categories: India, love story

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