The Black Sea stretched out behind me as I turned to smile at the camera, trying my best to keep from squinting too much in the bright early-summer sunshine. I had one shot at getting this photograph right, and I wanted it to be a shot I could show off.
"Can you see everything properly?" I asked as one of my fellow travelers focused his camera. I wanted to make sure he could see my grin, the seascape, and the scarf I was proudly hoisting above my head. My hope was that he could easily see the "LFC BOSTON" displayed there.
My goal was to share the image with my friends and fellow Liverpool Football Club supporters once I got back home. It's a common practice for fellow supporters to celebrate the club whenever they travel - to distances near and far. I'd seen scarves hoisted in Las Vegas, at the football club's stadium in Liverpool, and destinations around the world. I hadn't seen any of the Boston supporters showing off their loyalty in Romania, and this was my chance to get the club on the map.
"Looks good!" I grinned, the photo was snapped, and I put my sunglasses back on, thinking that we were good to go. That's about when one of the other travelers asked, "What is LFC Boston?"
I grinned. "It's the local supporters club for my favorite English Premiere League football team."
My photographer looked up. "Wait. WHAT? Oh my goodness, I can't believe I didn't even put two and two together." His British-accented voice rose in excitement. "THAT'S MY CLUB!"
Before I knew it, he had handed his camera to his wife and strode down to me. "I need a picture of this! This is fantastic!" And as we posted against an incredible Eastern European backdrop, I flipped the scarf and we held it proudly.
To be a Liverpool supporter - or to know the club at all - is to know that the club is incredibly connected to the song "You'll Never Walk Alone." It's the anthem, the heartbeat, the song sung in times of joy and despair alike. It's a reminder that no matter what, you're part of something bigger than any one of us, and there's a comfort in that.
Along the shores of the Black Sea, I was given a perfect reminder. No matter where you are, you'll never walk alone.
See more photos of my travels to Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.