This is a guest post by Helena Lindala-Haumont as Part One of the Love At First Flight series.  I am honored to share her story with my readers.

Check out more of her adventures at . Enjoy!


California Love

by Helena Lindala-Haumont

That sun, the beach, sexy surfers and tacos. What else do you need in life? My love for California is intense. After two trips there, I am convinced it’s where I belong. And now I’m on the journey to get there….

I’m a dreamer. My head and heart are all to often up in the clouds. I try to hold fast to these dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Along my travels I’ve been lucky to have met a few wonderful men, and experienced what I think is real love. Real connections and friendships. Our times together may often have been short but were definitely special. Here’s one of our stories.

It all starts in sunny Venice Beach California. I had just had the wonderful life changing experience of dancing burlesque the night before for the first time with a group of inspiring women, and felt like I had finally liberated myself from the constraints of my body dysmorphia. I celebrated, and jumped on a plane still drunk, ready to go!

On this buzz, I got into LA pumped and ready to enjoy life more than ever. All my stresses of how my body looked or how actually broke I was, melted away under the California sun. I just wanted to bask in it’s glory on the beach, feel some peace, clear my head and reconnect with my oldest friend.

I decided for shits to go on Tinder, like I occasionally do on vacation. I love meeting and connecting with new people, apps help when you don’t have a lot of time in a place. My last time in California I had matched with some major hunks, and had a great experience meeting and bonding with two dudes, so I was checking it out to see what was in the meat market this time!

After some swiping, I matched with a couple babes. The first guy that messaged me seemed interesting, so I agreed to meet with my girlfriend at a wine bar on Abbot Kinney.

Initially I was game, but later on in the eve I started to have reservations. Do I really want another guy in my life? Another thing to end? Maybe another bust? I hate saying goodbye. I was feeling pretty negative, and thought maybe it was a poor choice to meet this person. That it would take away the focus of the trip, which was bonding with my girlfriend. But she convinced me otherwise, and we went on with the plans.

We got ready and headed out, took the long way along boardwalk to see the stunning view of the beach at sunset. I hilariously chose to dress like a Spice Girl meets Mac DeMarco, short, tight denim dress, running shoes, fringe suede jacket and a baseball cap. My girlfriend wore a kelly green skirt I had given her from home, and a conch belt I had bought at a vintage shop along the boardwalk earlier that day. We showed up late in our spiffy duds, but all was good as there he was, with two friends, plainly dressed, sipping on a red called ‘Helena’.

Conversation was great, wine was wonderful. This dude was actually pretty cool, and so were his Fluevog shoes! He invited us to his beautiful house to have a couple more drinks. We took a tour of his home and studio and eventually made it up on the rooftop to see his view. It was incredible. He then made a move and kissed me. I could feel his heart pounding.

I didn’t think I’d see him again after that, but I turned out spending the next few nights with him in Venice. It was truly magical, like a dream. It was so refreshing to meet someone who valued me and tried to sweep me off my feet, with lots of beautiful views, interesting conversation, great art and music, and good food.

Our last night together was probably the best, we went to the only rooftop patio in Venice Beach and watched the sunset. Then we walked over to Abbot Kinney to have dinner at one of his favourite restaurants. The food was heavenly, French/Mediterranean inspired, I felt like Marie Antoinette stuffing my face full of fine cheeses, pasta, meat and bread. After that, for dessert, he took me on a starlit walk of the Venice Canals. Imagine suddenly transporting yourself to Venice Italy but with palm trees. It felt like I was there for a moment, the homes and views were incredible. This was the best date of my life.

The days we spent together were wonderful, I was on a high, I didn’t want it to end. I kept asking myself ‘why can’t this be my life?’ So I changed that statement and said ‘this is my life.’

It then came time for me to leave. We kissed, and had a few words about staying in touch. I jumped into an Uber as I had to head out to my next adventure. My driver, a young woman asked me if I was okay. I guess I hadn’t given myself any time to realize that I was leaving. How this was the end, this was really goodbye. I said yes, as I didn’t really know how to respond to the question at the time.

‘Is that your boyfriend?’ She asked.

‘No… I wish though.’

She laughed, I sulked.

We then discussed how difficult but possible long distance was, and the reality of it all. Slowly but surely the clouds came in, the sun was no longer shining. It was all over.

With my head and heart no longer up in the clouds and my feet back on the ground, I’m still so grateful for the experience I had with him. He was a perfect gentleman, if I’ve ever met one, who made me feel special and showed me a great time. I’m truly happy to have met him, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Photo Source: Helena Lindala-Haumont

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