Juan Pablo Galavis, former pro soccer player, single father and star of this season’s The Bachelor, is blogging for PEOPLE.com each week about the ladies, the dates and the difficult decisions he faces. You can also follow Juan on Twitter @JuanPaGalavis.
I have to admit, things are getting real on The Bachelor.
Vietnam, a wonderful country that I never thought I would visit.
I definitely wanted to take Renee on my first one-on-one date. Back in L.A., when I first saw her in the mansion, Renee was standing in the back of the living room. She wasn’t trying to grab my attention, she was just being herself and I felt that she was exactly like me when I was on The Bachelorette. I knew she came to see if I was the man of her life.
Renee (along with Cassandra) is one of my special ones because she is a mom. I definitely didn’t want to waste her time because she was away from her son, Ben. My first date in Vietnam was exploring the city of Hoi An and I thought it was the perfect chance to see if something was between us.
Our date was so great! You got to see us going on the bike, buying presents for Ben and Camila and getting a dress made for her and a jacket for me. We also ate delicious food, played bingo in the middle of a plaza and even jumped on a boat and jammed to some tunes with locals. In one word: fantastic.
Dinner was sooooooo hot that we had to take breaks and put wet towels on our necks to cool off. Unreal.
Renee is not only gorgeous, but she is a smart woman who wants a family. She’s the kind of woman that any man would love to have by his side for the rest of his life.
I wanted to kiss Renee all night, but I held back because I was concerned about her son. I didn’t know how he would feel seeing his mommy kissing a guy and maybe not coming home to be her boyfriend. These are the kind of things that worry me because I do care a lot about other people. Like I told Lauren S. in Korea, I didn’t become “El Bachelor” to kiss everyone, I came to respect them all and not create false expectations for anyone.
The next day I decided to take nine women on a group date, leaving Nikki for my last one-on-one date in Vietnam. We had five circular bamboo boats and there were nine women. I knew one of the women would end up riding with me, so I tried to be as fair as possible and ask them to each pick a partner. One woman, Clare, was left out and she got to ride with me.
I lasted one minute with my shirt on. It was so hot and I didn’t want it soaking wet. Clare and I did pretty well. Sharleen definitely had the best technique but the funniest couple to see was Andi and Kat – they were horrible! Jajajaja.
The wind was blowing and it was hard to control the boat. While we were stuck, we saw a dead fish and I tried to grab it but it was so slippery. Clare was disgusted by the dead fish but she surprised me by saying she would get it – and she actually did. It was a great move, so I gave her some sneaky besitos (kisses). I like being sneaky.
My favorite part of the adventure was spending time with the family cutting herbs and eating lunch. Those are the things that I love doing. You get to know the people and you get to really experience a different culture. I will never forget it. The women were awesome as farmers and we ate very, very well.
After that, why not ride some water buffalos? Not only did we ride on top of them, but stood on top of them as well. I kind of felt bad for those animals, but it is a part of their culture.
Mistake with Clare
Later that night, the after party was great. I had really good conversations with all the women, but I could express myself even more with the women I had a stronger connection with.
After the party I was relaxing in my room, watching baseball when someone knocked on my door. It was Clare. She came to thank me for the great day and she wanted to jump in the ocean for the first time with me. She was so happy that I didn’t want to reject her, but I definitely made a mistake.
The next day I felt guilty because Clare got more time with me than the other women. I regretted giving Clare the extra time. Also, I didn’t think it was a good example for my daughter to watch daddy going into the ocean with a girl at night. I already had a great day with her and even taking her to my pool was something that I should not have done. Honestly, my mistake.
The next day, I had my last date in Vietnam with Nikki. I decided to take her to Marble Mountain and explore. We walked up the mountain, saw many statues and different arches and temples on the way – it was so pretty. I wanted to kiss her – we barely did in Korea, so I wanted to have a special moment with her. Unfortunately, you never got to see it because I decided to sneak a great kiss behind a wall. Like I said, I like being sneaky.
Then we got to the top of mountain and I showed her Hell Cave below. That’s when I told Nikki I had a surprise for her. I wanted to go explore this Hell Cave but I didn’t wanted to go the easy way down, so I decided to rappel down into Hell. Nikki was so scared that I thought she was not going to do it, but I talked her into it. The cave was very, very creepy. There were dead people statutes all over the place.
For dinner we went to a less scary cave and got way more comfortable. My conversation with Nikki was fantastic! She is very honest and open about saying things that she likes and things that she does not. She told me about how she gets cranky and also about her true passion. I really loved that night.
At the cocktail party, I really wanted to tell Clare how I felt about our crazy night. Chris Harrison asked me why I didn’t wait couple of days to tell her my thoughts, and I told him I like to address things very quickly and to be straightforward. I wanted Clare to know me better and what exactly my thoughts were. I also told Clare that sometimes I make mistakes. I thought it was better to tell her with a rose in her hand than later when she did not have a rose.
The rose ceremony in Vietnam was the hardest so far. It was very difficult to say goodbye to Kelly and Alli, but especially to Danielle whom I admire and respect so much for what she is and what she does for a living. It broke my heart to say goodbye and that’s why I choked up at the rose ceremony.
Next week we travel to beautiful New Zealand. And I get to make my brother so jealous because we get to go to Hobbiton! I cannot wait for you all to see that one! I had great memories from Vietnam but it’s time for the next step in my adventure and to keep figuring out mi aventura …
Write me on Twitter (@JuanPaGalavis) to let me know your thoughts about The Bachelor and my blog.
Gracias por leer! Thanks for reading!