As this journey draws to a close, there are a few things I want to say. Having a partner that lives overseas isn’t easy, it’s frustrating, it’s depressing, and it’s nerve-wracking on a level that is really hard to explain through text. It hasn’t been an easy journey for me, and I know I haven’t been the best shipmate. So as we sail ever nearer to the coast of Sweden, there are a few things I want to say:

As an adult, I thought I had become immune to the whims of time. As children, summer days seem short and the days before Christmas last an eternity. As an adult, each day is comprised of 24 hours (and each hour of 60 minutes) no matter when on the calendar it appears. Now I realize I am not as immune as I thought. For though the days are short, the months are long, and they seem to get longer and longer as time drudges by. How my heart yearns for the time we spent together. How my mind finds its way back to a small lodge in a forgotten desert town, how it quickly darts in and out of the forests of your home, how it gets lost in everything that you do, everything that you are. And how it keeps track of that clock, whose ticks and tocks get frustratingly slower.

All this time alone, it has got me to think, and contemplate, and then contemplate some more. And I cannot help but think about you and me, us, who we are together as a couple. Being apart is difficult for various reasons, but perhaps the most dangerous one is that it functions as an insidious poison. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but it also makes the mind doubt, and when the mind doubts… Well, neither of us is a stranger to the effects. So many doubts clouded my head, “Will we get along well? Will we last more than a year together? Do I really love you? How can I be sure? Will we ever marry?” I admit, I don’t have the answer to all of these questions, but I can say, that I have enough answers to say that I’m glad I’m on this ship, and that I’m glad it’s headed to you.

I embarked on this 14 month journey with nothing more than the clothes on my back, my notebooks, and my memories of you. That was enough to sustain me for a while, but eventually my ship ran through various undercurrents of depression and anxiety and the road got harder and harder and I needed more. To those people that gave me more, I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for your food, for your clothes, for your warmth and comfort and friendship and love. I would never go through this journey again, but I’m glad that I did it this time, as living life without having known our bonds would have been a shame. You have shown me the best aspects of human nature, for that, no thanks is enough, but I still express my gratitude.

This isn’t a letter, I won’t send it to anyone, though I’m sure it’ll be read. This was written just to get the tremendous pressure off my chest. The coast is in sight, the end is near, and I wait for it eagerly. They say watched pots never boil, but I can’t help watching this one. After all, Sweden is beautiful, and so are we.