What are you doing here?!

“She is from Chile,

I am from Germany.

And due to corona

we are here in Serbia.

Most of the borders are closed.

So we had to find a third country to meet again.”

This what my fiancé is answering to:

“What are you doing here?!”

The most common question we’ve got here in Serbia.

Well, our love story went like this …

At the beginning of this year

and also due to Corona,

we met in Costa Rica.

Sebastian -Dr. Stehle- was on a business trip in Costa Rica,

working on an ecotoxicology project with the National University.

And I was in the middle of a volunteering program on tourism management

in the same hostel where he staid with his colleagues.

So, due to Corona…

our flights were cancelled,

and we started to talk.

We fall in love.

Then he had to fly to Germany,

planning to be back in Costa Rica with me in a few weeks,

but the borders where closed and he could not.

So, after weeks waiting

we started to check other countries

where we could see each other again,

like Mexico!

Yeah…

We tried to meet in Mexico in May of this year,

but the same day she was flying from Costa Rica the number of cases for corona increased, so even when the borders were opened,

immigration officers were way more strict, letting in only nationals or family members.

So I was trapped (yes, detained!)

at the airport of Mexico City for 1 week.

While he was dealing with lawyers till he got me out of there,

and I could fly back to Chile.

We were apart for 4 months,

having infinite Whatsapp video calls,

the longest ones we have ever had.

Even when we did our best

to not collapse under this situation,

and having our families and friends supporting us,

at the end, this was absolutely unhealthy and unsustainable.

So we tried to meet again!

booking flights to Serbia, from Chile and Germany.

Now, we are only waiting to go home in Germany,

waiting they open the borders for unmarried couples.

We did not travel for tourism,

even when we look like tourists here,

we came to Serbia to be reunited

and go back home, together.

Lucky us!

that at least we could do this;

flying here, working remote, waiting here…

Now being together.

Thank you my love.

#LoveIsNotTourism

Nataly

Novi Sad – Serbia

August 3rd of 2020 (almost 1 month in Serbia)