Round-island trip fulfills vow to late boyfriend

Round-island trip fulfills vow to late boyfriend

Eva Chou took a ride in a Taitung hot air balloon yesterday, fulfilling the promise she made to her late boyfriend.

The young woman showed up alone at the Luye Gaotai Hot Air Balloon Area early yesterday morning, taking pictures of the scenery and hot air balloons, though her expression reportedly lacked the excitement most people have when seeing the balloons.

Event host Hsu Yu-chang noticed Chou and asked whether she was alone. Chou replied with a heart-wrenching story.

Chou and her boyfriend Lin Yi-tai were classmates in junior high school; they reunited two years ago at an alumni reunion and started dating. Lin and Chou planned to travel around Taiwan together this year, with Lin promising to take Chou on a hot air balloon ride.

Before any of their plans could be realised, Lin passed away in a scuba diving accident last year.

Chou later found out that Lin's original plan was first to walk around Taiwan this May and record video greetings from their friends; he would then take Chou on the trip and propose to her along with a video full with blessings from friends.

After learning of Lin's original plan, Chou decided to realise it for herself and Lin. She wore a necklace that Lin had given her, representing him accompanying her every step of the journey.

She decided to travel by train because her boyfriend had walked and ridden a scooter before, but never took the train around Taiwan.

Chou hopped on the train on July 23 from Taoyuan and embarked on her journey. She arrived in Taitung on Monday and got to the venue at dawn yesterday, she lined up and finally rode in a hot air balloon - with her boyfriend in her heart.

While in the air, Cantonese singer Wong Faye's hit song "Legend" started playing: "When I think of you, you are above the skyline; when I think of you, you are before my eyes." Staff then told the touching love story to all participants in the venue, causing many to shed tears.

The staff also arranged a special ride for Chou, in an ice cream-shaped balloon that represents sweetness and happiness.


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