Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!
Welcome back Bachelor Nation from Denmark! From the beautiful castles and canals, to Viking battlefields, these days were ones I’ll never forget. But first let me explain how things ended in Olso.
Kenny had one last opportunity to show me that he finally put Lee’s concerns to rest so we could focus on the potential of love. I didn’t make it easy on him, but he seized that opportunity that night by showing me the changes he’s gone through as a man when his daughter Mackenzie came into his life. He was honest about his temper being an issue in the past, but the earnest and maturity with which he spoke about the present and future with his daughter in the picture was convincing. Our dinner conversation that evening was very direct, unlike any conversation we had shared up until that point. It was a really nice change of pace and it felt like Kenny and I could really start to explore our bond.
Going into the rose ceremony I felt like I was moving forward without any remaining questions. Saying goodbye to Anthony and Josiah was really difficult, but I knew it was the right thing to do. They are two amazing guys, smart, accomplished and kind. But I just couldn’t see myself with them in the future. Standing in front of the remaining men I felt optimistic about the future. Revealing Copenhagen as our next destination was a treat. I couldn’t wait to explore yet another amazing city that would be a first for all of us.
As soon as we got into Copenhagen, I immediately wanted to hit the streets and check out the local scene. Who better to take than my most enthusiastic suitor who’s never been out of the states … Eric! I think some people may be a bit surprised by the connection I formed with Eric considering he had so many doubts, not just about group dating, but about my sincerity when we first started this journey; you all know, however, I can relate to the skeptic in everyone. But my dancing partner Eric had finally found the rhythm in this journey. The canals and cobblestone streets in Nyhaven were gorgeous and their beauty and vibrancy were not lost on Eric. It was such a gift to explore with someone so grateful to be there. Maybe it was all the Akavit we drank with that sociable local Jørn, but by the time we hit the shore side hot tubs, I saw a totally free, romantic side of Eric I had never seen before. I also saw the front-side of a VERY friendly local who offered us a VERY European salutation.
That night at the Tivoli amusement park Eric made a turn … a turn I had been waiting weeks for. He opened up about reaching out for love from his mother as child and not getting it back. The disappointment he felt as a boy grew into a fear of seeking love from a woman as a man. He had been running from love ever since he left Baltimore. Yet there he was, admitting to me he was falling instead of running and that sole reason was because of me. Courage comes in many forms and seeing this amazing man face his past and overcome the residual fear that he carried for the chance to end up with me was one for the most humbling moments of this journey so far. Watching the skepticism that’s been in this man’s heart their whole life suddenly get washed away and their emotions shine through is a moment I cherished.
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The next day was a whole new kind of group date. We weren’t just going to explore Denmark’s history, we were going to dive helmet first and a thousand years into the past and be Vikings for a day! Enough limos, jets, and helicopters, this Viking queen was cruising across the sea by man-power in a replica Viking vessel. One of my favorite perks of being a Viking queen is ordering the men to change into the costumes of your liking, and this date’s period specific garb was just as amazing as the handball singlets I made the guys wear in Olso.
Once the games started I was a little shocked actual Vikings had the free time to play tug-a-war on a piece of hide, or try to the steal the hats off each other’s noggins in a game of “worm,” but I guess they had some time to kill after they finished killing their enemies and sailing all day. I always said sports show as much regarding a person’s character as they do physical ability; and as I watched the guys fight for me, I paid attention to which warrior played with the most heart and sportsmanship. At the end of the day it was Kenny and Adam, two guys who hadn’t gotten one-on-one dates yet and knew they had to make the most of out of opportunities like this. My biggest fear came true when in the final round of the Viking tournament, during a clash of shields and heads, both their brows were split and blood was drawn! Kenny laughed it off, he’s a pro wrestler who has had to super-glued shut cuts like that in locker rooms all over the world. Adam put on a brave face too but it was time to call it. Kenny was the heavyweight Viking king of the day. He deserved it and Kenny has one of the biggest and brightest smiles. I’m so glad I got to see it one last time that day.
After the Danish medics agreed both Adam and Kenny were healthy enough to continue on the date, it was time to get my guys out of wind and warm up with some drinks by the fire. I had no idea who was getting the rose coming into this night. Every guy showed an effort to focus both on me and on having a blast playing as Vikings.
That evening when I sat down with the champ Kenny I knew although Lee was gone, we still had some tough things to talk about. He was concerned that our connection was moving at too slow of a pace to get where it needed to for this to end in an engagement. I knew that if circumstances were different at the start of this journey, and there wasn’t a special young lady back in Vegas missing him more than I ever could imagine, maybe we could find the time to get there. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t sure enough of our relationship to keep them apart any longer. You know how I know Kenny meant all the things he ever said about me? Because the graciousness he showed as we said goodbye proved his affection. I had some difficult goodbyes leading up to that and so many to come that having a positive farewell lifted my spirits. Thank you Kenny. Every daughter deserves a father who cares as much as you.
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For my last date of the week it was time to stamp my passport once again! I choose Will and we went to Sweden for a fun day trip to explore a new country and our relationship. Unfortunately, it all felt like less of a date and more like a couple friends being tourists together. As handsome and smart and optimistic as Will was, we were too far into the journey for me to be trying to pull romance out of any of these men. Maybe Will just didn’t have a deep enough interest in me to get there, or maybe he did and something inside wasn’t letting him fall, but after giving him a precious one-on-one and not seeing any romance blossom, I had to say goodbye.
Having sent both Kenny and Will home already, I spent the rest of the night before the rose ceremony contemplating each of my remaining relationships. By the time the sun came up I knew what I had to do and there wasn’t any conversation that could take place at a cocktail party to change what I felt in my heart. Alex had intrigued me from the first night I met him. He was gorgeous, successful, brilliant, goofy, mysterious, and gentle with women … a true puzzle. Unfortunately, this journey was so far outside of his comfort zone Alex never felt free enough to embrace our connection without inhibitions. I saw him push himself and romance me, but I also felt him pull back at times. I felt terrible saying goodbye to him knowing we would never share a cute moment together again, but on the other hand cute was no longer enough at this stage to remain on my journey.
Copenhagen was a beautiful and difficult week where I sent men home on three consecutive nights. So you better believe I’m ready to hit the next location and shake things up! Next week as I hand out roses they will not just be any roses — these roses will take me to these men’s hometowns! With six men left, that means there will be two gut-wrenching goodbyes. My emotions reach an all time high, so prepare yourselves to see me breakdown like I never have before. Thank you guys for reading and as always your support!
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.