I am in quite possibly the most romantic place in Southeast Asia, a quiet little town in northern Laos full of private bungalows, surrounded by beautiful mountain views and split by the Mekong River. My future honeymoon, which will involve bargaining for all of my household decorations in the markets in Thailand, may legitimately start here.
I’m here with a boy who could best be described as a 6’5″ Dutch version of scruffy Ryan Gosling (think in The Notebook, when he’s building the house for Rachel McAdams), but we are splurging for two dorm beds in the only hostel in town (yes, this is actually MORE expensive than sharing a private ensuite room, because Southeast Asia is ridiculous) because we met three days ago and anything else would be weird.
The prevalence of couples around town is not a problem, though, the way it might’ve hit me a year ago. I’m here because I was surprisingly turned off by the busyness of Luang Prabang during two holidays, because I really wanted to go kayaking, because he has a guidebook and a plan, and because he casually asked me… not because I was caught by his dry charm and dreamy eyes.
So when we went on separate tours today because he wasn’t up for kayaking, we joked about probably being the only non-couples in our respective groups, and met up later. And when we go our separate ways on Monday, that will also be okay… though hopefully I’ll get to visit him back in the Netherlands someday.