A rare kind of romance caught me after years of chasing me across the globe and against astronomical odds by way of wanderlust.
“True love or mere lust can be captured anywhere but there’s nothing quite like it while in eternal motion of wanderlust.”
Look at this photo. That’s me and a few friends that went treasure hunting on a nameless paradise island somewhere off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.
No treasure was found but that’s unimportant. What is important is that boat in the distance that I’m looking at. Where a treasure of a different sort is.
We were just leaving as that other boat was arriving.
My head was turned for 2 reasons; that particular island is uncharted so visitors are uncommon and I ever so slightly heard my name being called against the revving roar of our longboat engine.
Not a soul knew where I was so the probability of bumping into someone I knew out here is 1 in 7 billion.
Not impossible odds, but improbable.
As our boats docked side by side on the beach, I had to wait for my vision to adjust from the glaring sun for what seemed like a suspenseful eternity before I could actually see who that mystery person was.
Then there she was, magnificence in human form.
It wasn’t love at first sight, that had already happened the previous and only other time we met.
This was different. Perhaps it’s similar to an old man seeing snow fall from the sky for the first time or a child looking outside an airplane window from 20,000ft.
It was Kristanna… Impossible.
We first met on an overfilled subway ride in Tokyo during rush hour. This unfairly beautiful blonde Norwegian with laser inducing green eyes stuck out against the sea of drone-like Japanese office workers.
It was so packed that all I could see was her head and right hand as we shared a standing handle.
She knew, I knew, everyone knew that all eyes were on her, naturally. But there was this one greasy guy who kept rubbing up against her in the not so nice way.
Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence…
And a third is a pattern, that’s when I put my hand on his face and shoved it. This guy was much taller and bigger than me but I have a damn good stare, also, I get mistaken for Yakuza constantly. I became her hero.
For the next 20 fleeting minutes, we talked with the kind of rapturous chemistry that you can only see in an actual chemistry lab, despite the dozens of other simultaneous Japanese conversations going on.
Then the train stopped at Shinjuku Station, probably the busiest subway station in the world. I thought this is perfect since most of these people will get out here.
Kristanna was by the door so she had to step out of the train while the passengers left. But in typical Tokyo fashion, the new passengers flooded in like animals.
In horror, I watched as the doors closed in front of her.
The train started moving as we stared at each other through the glass in disbelief and sadness as if she was reflecting my own state of being in unison.
You see, we never exchanged any sort of contact info, no Facebook, email or number. Because we should of had another 20 minutes on that train together.
I got off the next stop and returned to Shinjuku Station and looked for her amongst the thousands and thousands until nightfall. Odds? 1 in 5,000.
That was 3 years ago and I never saw her again.
For the next 1095 days, she became a distant memory of what could have been as I circumnavigated the globe twice to appease my wanderlust.
I later learned that she traveled the world as well. Which breaks my heart as I couldn’t help wondering what it would have been like to be wanderlusting together.
“A life nomadic is a life romantic.” -John Cain
But on the 1096th day, we met again, by chance.
Let’s put this into perspective. Out of 7,000,000,000 people in this world, I randomly ran into “the girl that got away” in the middle of the Indian Ocean. On a deserted island as I was just leaving and as she was just arriving. Far from civilization with only 8 humans (including the 2 of us) within 50 kilometers. What are the odds?
The odds of that is astronomical. Fundamentally it’s 1 in 7,000,000,000 by calculating the world’s population.
But that’s just the start. Then there’s many factors of probability that needs to be compounded.
I came up with: 1 in 62,539,112,000,000,000,000.
So many pieces of a dynamic puzzle full of conscious decisions, precise actions and uncontrollable events had to occur for us to meet on this fateful day.
An impossibility made possible by wanderlust.