When Vic Kocula first saw Emmy Abrahamson, he never thought he’d have a chance. Emmy was a stunning well-educated actress from Sweden with the ability to speak five different languages. Vic was a homeless Canadian who was living on the streets after running out of money. Vic spotted Emmy in Amsterdam and braved going to talk to her. Twelve years later, they’re still together and in love. Emmy helped Vic get back on his feet and turn his life around. While she was always aware of his full potential, even she couldn’t believe the incredible transformation and in return he surprised her with something that could change everything.
A Fresh Start
Emmy Abrahamson and Vic Kocula are a testament to the expression “opposites attract.” While they might look like a normal couple today, their love story is anything but ordinary. When they first met, Emmy was a successful actress while Vic was homeless. Since meeting Emmy, Vic has undergone an unbelievable transformation.
While most people wouldn’t have given Vic the time of day, Emmy felt drawn to him, despite his appearance. Emmy’s love would ultimately allow Vic to overcome his dark past, and start fresh, with a life and career that he never could’ve dreamed of.
Jobless And Shoeless
When you see photos of Vic today, it’s hard to imagine that, just 12 years ago, he was practically unrecognizable, and it’s even harder to imagine that a well-educated and successful woman could fall for a man who couldn’t even afford a roof over his head.
Emmy described Vic’s appearance as “disheveled,” and admitted to falling for “A man with no income. Or career prospects. Or shoes.” It’s difficult to understand what could’ve brought this incredibly unlikely couple together.
A Well-Educated Bachelorette
Emmy was born in Sweden but spent most of her younger years traveling the world due to her father’s career as a foreign affairs correspondent. She’s lived in the former Soviet Union, Austria, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Emmy was raised to value education, and she even managed to learn five different languages growing up. She eventually graduated from acting school in London. According to Emmy, “Conversations over dinner were about politics, literature and recent world events.”
Rough Around The Edges
Vic was born in Poland but spent most of his youth in Canada. His father worked as a bricklayer, while his mother had a job as a cleaner. Vic was never interested in higher education and worked in several low-income jobs after high school.
He eventually saved up enough money for a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, his funds ran out sooner than expected, so Vic was left with no other option but to live on the streets and hitchhike from country to country.
Living The Single Life
After getting her master’s degree in text and performance studies from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Emmy moved to Vienna. By 2006, she had been through a bad break-up and was living with her cat, Whiskey.
“A four-year relationship had ended badly and, although I wasn’t averse to meeting a man if he happened to fall into my lap, I was enjoying life on my own,” said Abrahamson. “I had lots of friends, a fun social life, and a busy freelance career.”
In September of that same year, Emmy left Vienna for a few weeks to work in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, Vic had also found himself in the Dutch city, living in a bush for the most part. On clear nights he would sleep under the stars.
When it rained, he’d sleep under a bridge. One Sunday, Vic spotted Emmy sitting on a bench in the city center. He knew he didn’t stand much of a chance with the blonde beauty, but he decided to speak to her anyway.
Mustering The Courage
Little did Vic know it, but mustering the courage to approach Emmy and ask one simple question would forever change his life’s trajectory. “Do you have the time?” Vic asked. Emmy glanced over at the enormous clock that was standing directly in front of them and replied, “Ten to seven.”
The two then began to chat. Emmy was initially skeptic based on Vic’s dirty clothes, disheveled appearance, and messy beard, but decided that she shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
It was pretty clear to Emmy right off the bat that Vic was homeless. “His clothes were dirty, his hair and beard dusty and, rather incongruously, he was holding a worn briefcase,” said Emmy.
However, as she continued to chat with Vic, she realized that the 6’6″ vagrant was actually quite funny and charming. “I couldn’t help but notice that, despite his appearance, he was handsome, tall and had the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen,” explains Abrahamson.
He Left Her Wanting More
They were only able to talk for about ten minutes before Emmy had to leave with a friend, but the 30-year-old actress had found the mysterious homeless man to be surprisingly captivating and intriguing.
Emmy stated that when she reluctantly got up to say goodbye, Vic “stood up, pointed to the bench and said, ‘Saturday, three o’clock, same bench,’” before walking away. Emmy was shocked by Vic’s confidence and confused by her attraction towards him. Could she seriously date a homeless man?
Giving Love A Chance
Emmy had a lot to consider before deciding whether or not she would return to the same park bench the following Saturday to see Vic again. “I found myself thinking about him a lot during the next week,” she said.
“On the one hand I was put off by his disheveled appearance, but on the other, there was something about him that was so intriguing that I wanted to meet him again.” Emmy eventually decided to give love a chance.
Saturday arrived, and, just as Vic had requested a week earlier, Emmy returned to park bench where they met. To Emmy’s surprise, there was no sign of her homeless Prince Charming.
She later described the beginning of their second interaction by writing, “…with a thumping heart I sat on the same bench at three o’clock. And waited. And waited. And waited. After 20 minutes I was about to give up when he turned up. On a kid’s bike.”
Getting To Know Each Other
When Vic finally showed up, Emmy scolded him, saying, “You’re late!” Vic jokingly replied, “I didn’t think you would come. I came to check just in case. And you’re here!” The anger she had felt for Vic’s tardiness quickly dissipated when the two exchanged smiles.
“We spent the next six hours together, walking around Amsterdam, having a picnic and getting to know each other,” said Abrahamson. “I found out that his name was Vic… [he] was 25, and that he was currently living in Vondelpark.”
Vic’s ‘Lust For Life’
Over the course of their first official date, Emmy confirmed the suspicions she had from their first interaction that she was, in fact, attracted to Vic. Moreso, she was falling in love with him.
“During our time together I realized that Vic was simply the funniest, happiest, and most optimistic person I had ever met,” explains Emmy. “He had a lust for life that was both mesmerizing and contagious. I had never met anyone like him before – someone who found everything a huge adventure.”
He Was Crazy About Her
Vic couldn’t believe that a girl like Emmy would even show up to see him again. He thought for sure that she was just being nice during their first interaction on the park bench.
When he first approached her, he never would have expected that she would agree to go on a real date with a dirty homeless stranger. Now, Vic was positive that he was in love with her. The problem was that Emmy needed to return to Vienna in a few weeks.
It Made No Sense On Paper
Vic and Emmy had three more dates during her time in Amsterdam, and each time they got together, she felt herself more and more attracted to him. “I had to face it: I had fallen in love with him,” says Emmy.
“I tried to fight my feelings as there were so many things wrong with him according to my world-view: he had no education, no career prospects,… was five years younger than me and was living in a bush!”
They Had To Part Ways
Even though Emmy found herself saying “There was no way we could be together,” she decided to give Vic her phone number and contact information before returning to Vienna.
The only problem was that Vic had no phone and no permanent address. “I am not sure that the Dutch postal service would have accepted letters addressed to ‘the good-looking guy living in the bush in Vondelpark, Amsterdam’, so I had no way of keeping in touch with him,” explained Abrahamson.
He Found Her
Emmy was hopeful that she would hear back from Vic, but after a full three weeks with no word from her Amsterdam love interest, she began to worry that she would never see him again.
Then, on a Monday morning, her phone rang. “I’m here,” said the voice on the other end. She knew exactly who was calling. After finding various odd jobs around the city of Amsterdam, Vic had finally saved up enough money to afford a train ticket to Vienna.
Uneasy About The Introduction
Even though Vic and Emmy were finally reunited, their complicated love story was far from over. Now, they were faced with a whole new set of challenges that would put their love to the test.
First, Vic needed to meet Emmy’s friends and family. While Emmy always saw Vic as a handsome, funny, and kindhearted gentleman, it was not going to be easy for her to convince her loved ones that a man with no education, no job, and no home was right for her.
Vic Meets The Parents
“I didn’t tell my parents the full extent of Vic’s background,” says Emmy. “It bothered them that he didn’t have an education.
Before they met him my dad was also afraid that Vic was going to give me some terrible disease and my mom was worried that he was going to steal from me.” Once Emmy’s parents took the time to get to know Vic, however, they saw that he was compassionate and intelligent, despite his lack of education.
Bridges Were Burned
It took some time for Emmy’s parents to warm up to Vic, but, according to Emmy, “once they saw what an amazing cook he is and how he helps them around the house, he soon became an indispensable part of the family.”
Unfortunately, not everyone was as open-minded about their romance. “I lost two of my oldest friends as they refused to accept him,” Emmy explains. “I miss them… I also feel angry that they never took the time to get to know him properly…”
Getting Back On His Feet
Vic and Emmy had fallen in love with each other, but Vic still needed to get back on his feet.
Having grown up under the mantra, ‘real men don’t study,’ Vic had never read a book in his life, and he had never even considered going to college. But now that he was in love with Emmy, he knew that he needed to make some big changes. Luckily he had Emmy to support him every step of the way.
Building A Future
With Emmy’s loving guidance and support, Vic knew he could turn his life around and reach his full potential. The only question remaining was: what would his next move be?
After about six years of hard work, struggling to make ends meet, and relying solely on each other, Vic and Emmy are finally enjoying the bright future they always knew they would have, and the man who was once living in a bush now has a career that nobody could’ve predicted…
A Dream Come True
Because Emmy was madly in love with Vic and only wanted the best for him, she had no problem supporting him through his studies.
Thanks to her devotion, Vic was able to study full time, graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, and find a job beyond his wildest dreams. “Vic once told me that I was the first person who believed in him,” says Emmy. “And that’s all it takes. Just saying ‘I believe in you’ can change someone’s world.”
Married With Children
In addition to being a proud mechanical engineer, Vic is also a loving husband and father. Emmy agreed to marry the once homeless man two years after they met in Amsterdam.
Two years after that, twins Til and Desta were born. The early years of their marriage were difficult because Vic was studying full time and Emmy, who had given up acting to become a writer, wasn’t exactly bringing in the big bucks. However, they weathered the storm and now live a comfortable life together.
She Wrote A Book
In January 2018, Emmy published a book titled, How to Fall In Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush: A Novel. This story pretty much chronicles Emmy and Vic’s unexpected romance from the very beginning.
This fictionalized version of their wild tale has been described as “a fresh, hilarious and compulsively readable love story with the most wonderful kernel of truth to it.” In Emmy’s novel, a woman named Julia falls for Ben, a happy-go-lucky homeless man in need of a shower.
A World She Chose To Ignore
Throughout their time together, Emmy has learned a lot from Vic. “[He] opened my eyes to the lives of homeless people – a world I had always chosen to ignore,” writes Emmy.
“I used to have so many preconceptions about homeless people, chiefly that they somehow deserved where they had ended up. Now I know that becoming homeless is a fate that could befall any one of us… [and] that homelessness can sometimes be a lifestyle that people choose.”
They Learned From Each Other
Believe it or not, Emmy is just as grateful for Vic as he is for her. “Some people see me as having ‘saved’ Vic, but I think it’s the other way around,” says Emmy.
“He showed me that you don’t need much to be content and he makes me laugh every day. In the almost 12 years we have been together I have become calmer, more easygoing, and have a better sense of humor. And that is all down to him.”
All It Takes Is A Smile
Emmy could never have imagined falling in love with a homeless man. Lucky for her, fate works in mysterious ways. If there’s anything she’s learned from her rollercoaster romance with Vic, it’s that you should always take the time to get to know someone before judging their character.
“Sometimes… just making eye contact, smiling and saying ‘hi’ to someone you wouldn’t usually talk to can change their life. Or yours,” she writes. “You might even end up meeting your Prince Charming.”