Bingin Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Just over one year ago, on July 10, 2016, not only was it my best friend’s birthday (happy birthday, Sophia!), but it was also the day my husband and I returned home from our trip to Southeast Asia. We spent four adventure packed months exploring eastern cultures and getting to know every minute detail about each other. There is truth to the saying “you never really know someone until you spend every waking minute together outside of their comfort zone.” Well, I guess that saying isn’t very popular, but it is very true. After seven years of dating/marriage, three of them living together, I wasn’t so sure if there was much more to know. I was wrong. And it was great.
Since the start of our relationship I have made my affinity for travel pretty clear. I believe it was on our third date (our first three dates happened within five days and I wanted to lay down some boundaries) when I said something along the lines of “I like to travel. Come with me or don’t, but I won’t miss out on opportunities if you don’t want to experience them.” Followed by “would you ever move abroad?” To this my husband responded “well I’d like to travel, at least invite me” and “I’ve never thought about moving out of the US, but it sounds fun.” With that, I knew we could continue dating.
Chain Dao, Thailand
Our journey began five months after our wedding as we quit our jobs, moved out of our apartment, sold and donated most of our belongings, and placed our cats in the care of relatives. As it turns out there is much to do when you leave your life behind. We were so busy before leaving that we didn’t have time to book our first hostel in Bangkok. This task was accomplished as our plane was taking off at LAX. The wheels of the plane were literally off the ground as we clicked “book.” Thankfully the travel gods were on our side and provided internet service just long enough for the request to go through. We are both pretty bad procrastinators and this experience is a fairly accurate example of how we live our lives.
Elephant Nature Park, Chaing Mai, Thailand
For the next four months, we made plans one week at a time. Making most of our decisions based on scuba diving and eating. If there are other factors that go into decision making, I don’t want to know them. As we explored our way through these beautiful countries, I began to fall in love with my new husband all over again, in a completely different way than before. It didn’t happen all at once, but slowly over the course of our journey my husband went from being my best friend (no offense Sophia & Frances) and partner to fully encapsulating my other half. We began to work together as one filling in where the other left off and it was amazing. I couldn’t believe that there was this person who completed me on so many levels. When I was tired and frustrated and about to let my inner New Yorker out, he would step in with his California calmness and take charge of the situation. And when he would get confused about non-English menus, I would be the one who remembered the names of proteins and carbs and ordered our meals. We just started to fill in for each other as a reflex.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
When we were forced to return to reality by our dwindling bank accounts, our new relationship didn’t stay in Southeast Asia. We continued this improved level of partnership into our new lives. Since we returned, we lived with my in-laws for a month, relocated for my husbands career, and I have taken on a new path of life by following my dream and starting my own business. Living with my in-laws was a wonderful experience (and I’m not just saying this because they read my blog). It gave me more insight on my husband and how he came to be the incredible person he is today. Relocating was another great experience. Similar to taking off at LAX, we had no idea what we were doing and signed our lease without knowing the area at all. But, I know this is exactly where we are supposed to be in life by how well things are falling in line for us. Not to say starting over was without challenges, but we accepted them and know that life will unfold as its supposed to in whatever way best serves us.
Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to have started the newest chapter of our lives by doing our favorite hobby, traveling. We already planned our next seven trips to Indonesia and countless more to all parts of the world. I cannot wait to share these journeys as well as whatever else life brings our way with the best life parter I could ever ask for.