It was the summer of 2009. I was putting the final touches on my Master’s thesis when a friend invited me for a few days at his place in Albufeira – for those who have not been to Albufeira, it is a city on the south of Portugal that gets crowded with young people for its great beaches, parties and bars. Why not, I thought. Orthographic correction plus waiting for the thumbs up from the coordinator can be done with a hangover, under the sun and by the pool! The next day, 5 guys got into a car and started the 6h drive south, from Porto.
At the same time 2.000km away, Saskia and her friend were boarding their flight from Amsterdam to Albufeira for the holiday they had planned. At the end of that day, we were staying 400m from each other without knowing.
Few days passed and finally one night, far from home, in the middle of countless bars and a sea of people, I strike up a conversation with this gorgeous girl, Saskia. After spending the night out, and walking on the beach until dawn, Saskia gave me her number and off we went our own way. The next day, I sent her a message, and she did not reply. Another one, and still nothing. Hum… ‘I may be more into her than she’s into me’, I thought. The day after I returned to Porto, for my brother’s ERASMUS farewell party, while my friends stayed in Albufeira. That night I woke up with a call from one of my friends, saying ‘Miguel, look who I found’ and passes the phone to Saskia. Saskia had given me the wrong number by mistake (or so she says). She says she still has half a week left in Albufeira and wants to see me so I get in the car and go visit her again. This time I had to sleep in the car as my friends had left and I had no money for a hotel. And worse, I had to share Saskia’s time with her friend. Still, those were some nice couple of days.
The years that followed we kept in touch but it was tricky to see each other again. Saskia returned to the Netherlands while I went around Europe. First Portugal, followed by Romania, England and finally Scotland. Once I stopped jumping around, we started to see each other a lot more often, and gave this relationship a try.