He is John-Paul Conley. She is Kate Downey.
Both of them from England. They’ve been together for a while. They are beautiful people. Very friendly, very kind, very funny, very bubbly, very playful, very cheerful, very thoughtful, very generous. All the positive traits in them, you named it, they got it.
I got to know this couple when they traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam and stayed in the same hostel with me (where I currently live and work) somewhere in September 2013. Every night we shared funny stories, laugh and play drinking-games together over free bia hoi during the beer-o’clock in the hostel. Then either we just hangout in the hostel’s bar or moved to bia hoi square and continue to socialized with other backpackers. Moments with them just filled with joy and laughter. It was a good moments to remember.
After spending on-off 3 weeks with JP and Kate, they finally off to see the other countries. They were a “serious” travelers.
Somewhere in November 2013, I was shocked by the news that JP went missing, swept away by the current in 4000 Island, south of Laos. I followed the news and every single update on his whereabouts. 3 days after that, on the 4th days he went missing, they finally found JP on one of the beach. Despite being a strong swimmer, he didn’t made it. It was a sad news for his family and friends, and of course Kate herself.
I was so devastated by the news. I’d still remember few days before that, on the 7th of November 2013, JP was chatting with me through FB, asking for my well-being, health wise and financial wise. I told him that I was fine except not really good financially. He offered to transfer some amount of money to my account but I refused to accept it. I told him that I can manage and he should use that money to buy Kate a nice dinner. He said he can do it (buy Kate a nice dinner) along the way but, he didn’t made it… 😦
I still talked to Kate after the sad news. I always wish her well. Was happy to see her “back” as a strong woman ever. Once in a while I “stalked” her facebook and sometimes JP’s too. It brought smile to my face to know that Kate organized a number of party tribute to her beloved John-Paul Conley with her/his family and friends. It was a good sight although I am here in Southeast Asia.
Months after JP said goodbye to all his family and friends on earth and continue his never-ending, adventurous journey in a paradise, Kate decided to search for JP (in March 2014) and join her love of her life in eternity. I was again shocked by the news of Kate’s departure from this world but what do I know about missing someone so much that unbearable anymore? What do I know about the pain & agony that she went through? What do I know about love that so strong? I know nothing about all that because I don’t believe in it… until Kate.
Kate Downey, I hope you found John-Paul Conley and enjoy the paradise and keep on traveling. Will see you guys someday somehow. Love both of you… You are my real Romeo & Juliet.