I was 28 years old at the time, and she was possibly 32. In any case, the difference is only a conjecture on my part. I’ve never known the actual figure because I’ve never inquired. Age is a well-guarded secret for women, and they are so concerned about it that it is impolite to ask. My best guess is that she’s a year or two older than me. However, I’m not sure if Asian women stay in shape and age gracefully.

In a bar, we met. She chose to go out with me after drinking all night. I couldn’t say no to her. She was the most stunning companion I’d ever had. Her hometown was Busan, and she was Korean. Kim was her name. We shared a passion for travel, and both of us enjoyed it. She had been to Canada, the United States, and Australia. She became my Korean language instructor, and she drew me in every time she spoke in her native tongue. I loved listening to her speaking in her native tongue. She is a young mature woman and no longer thinks in infantile terms about relationships or romantic stories.

We did a lot of travelling. We visited Hong Kong’s tallest building. We ate at fantastic restaurants while sharing interesting anecdotes from our history. She addressed me as “Oppa,” which is how Korean girls call their boyfriends. Although it signifies older brother, I believe I was younger than her. And I was calling her “Noona,” which is a slang term for older sister, which irritated her. One characteristic of Korean women is that they value their appearance and are concerned about growing old. Cosmetic surgery is popular among Korean women who want to look young and attractive.

And then she told me she was going somewhere else one day. “I’m moving to a new location, Oppa. Will you join me on my journey?” She inquired. Without thinking, I said, “Of course.” Then I realized that I like my work as well. Without a career, how could I go to another city? We exchanged glances, and she took my hand in hers. “Sure,” she answered immediately, “you’re coming with me.” I maintained my cool and nodded my head. Then I realized I couldn’t keep up with her. I needed some time to consider my options.

The next day, she flew to Australia to attend an English school for a short term. It wasn’t, however, the end of the story. On KakaoTalk, we kept messaging each other. We struggled for another month, telling each other how much we missed one other. We worked hard to communicate because English was not her first language, and neither was mine. I was eager to see her, and she had always invited me, but we both knew it would be impossible. We couldn’t be together physically only through Kakao messages. I had my career to take care of, and she had hers. My family couldn’t understand the position I was in. I never discussed my Korean relationship with my parents. Asian families seldom discussed their private affairs at home. My friends are even less supportive, as they all make fun of me for dating a Korean woman.

It was New Year’s Eve, and the clock was ticking. I had a long vacation. To meet her, I chose to fly to Sydney for a 7-hour journey. Finally, we got together in Darling Harbour at a nice restaurant. I had prepared a pricey present in the hopes that she would enjoy it. She was delighted to see me, and the rest of the evening went smoothly. With her smile, she was stunning. We held each other’s hands and talked intimately about our future.

We then went to Watsons Bay the next day because travelling is a mutual interest and favourite pastime. Everything went according to plan. It had been one of the most joyous days of my life.

We planned to visit additional sites, and I was ready to have a good time with her by my side. She sent me a Kakao chat message when I prepared to pick her up at her house. She stated that she would no longer accompany me on my journey. Let’s be pals, she said. She needed a mature man who could finance her way of life, one who could look after her, and one who was older than she was. This relationship was inappropriate for my age.

I was alone after she departed. Even though I was upset, I could only wish her the best as a mature guy. I couldn’t just cry and beg her to return as an adult. Instead, I just told her that I respected her decision. I enjoy travelling. And I could have gone to a few more areas in Australia to see all of the magnificent sights. It didn’t matter whether I travelled with her or alone, I realized. I’ve grown up and know how to look after myself. I travelled alone to Australia for a year, the United States for half a year, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan for weeks. However, the trip would be complete if I had a beautiful travelling companion. What a lovely and fantastic scenario it would be if I could hold her hand while strolling along River Seine in Paris, or if we could wrap ourselves so tightly at the Alps’ Matterhorn. And not forgetting all the gorgeous spots I visited. I’ve forgotten most of the places we saw, but I’ll never forget my journey’s beautiful buddy.