Thursday, 20 October 2011

On the Road: better together

Today’s final offering is from my first and most frequent commenter.  I don’t know how she found me, I suspect APW, but I am so glad she did.  Kimberly and I have so much in common it is criminal we are separated by an ocean.  As we prepare to return, Kimberly prepares to depart.  She is about to embark on an adventure to South America and while I wish her well, I will miss her voice dearly.  I have mentioned before that Pete and I are our best team when travelling (and hopefully this claim is still holding water as we come to the end of our journey).  Kimberly shares this belief and expands on it here. 

Mmmmmm, travel. It can be exhausting and frustrating and bank-account-draining. It can be also exciting and adventurous, full of mystery and expectations, new experiences and stories to tell.
I used to travel for dance competitions as a kid, so for me, being at an airport or loading up the car for a roadtrip wasn't a hassle; it was the start of an incredibly fun time. Even now, in spite of impossibly long security lines and footing the bill myself, I always feel a bit of a thrill at the start of a journey.
Himself and I began our relationship while on opposite sides of an ocean, so I always knew that travel would be a part of our lives going forward. (With families in two different countries and us living in a third, it's kind of a must.) What I didn't know, however, is how travel would shape me, and shape our relationship.
"If you really want to know someone, travel with them." You've heard this before, right? And for the most part I'd agree -- you get to see how someone else deals with the unexpected (flight delays), the unfortunate (stolen possessions) and the downright ugly (being held up with a machete). But you also get to see another side of that person, and when that person is your partner, it's really refreshing. Sometimes you even surprise yourself with coping skills you didn't know you had. You have to jump right into a new language or orient yourself to a new city and all of that forces you to grow, and grow together. When we travel together to a new place, stripped of all of our day-to-day responsibilities, to-dos, and mundane tasks that make our little world go 'round, we're freer. We're open to be our pure selves, unencumbered and ready for the next bus breakdown or missed train . . . somewhow, it's a lot easier to reconnect with the person that we fell in love with, all those years ago.
Traveling is also a great chance for us to throw out the "wife" and "husband" roles that we fall into when dealing with cleaning and laundry and dinners and grocery shopping. We don't have a problem with the roles that we've assumed -- I like to think we play to our strengths and do what needs to be done -- but the "husband does this" and "wife does that" chatter that we're usually good at ignoring seems to naturally be a lot quieter when outside of our everyday environment. It's just himself and I, being us, doing what we feel like doing, day after day, week after week.

Ariel's request (yay!) for me to do a guest post around travel could not have come at a better time. As you read this, himself and I are gearing up for a couple of months in South America. We don't have an exact itinerary, and while we don't see this as our last hurrah, exactly, we're very aware that it probably won't be just the two of us forever . . . even more reason to be excited about hitting the road.
For some people, travel is a huge headache. For us, it's a breath of fresh air, injecting new life into our relationship.

We're always ready to inhale.

photo of NZ South Island supplied by Kimberly and Himself.
Even our photo choices are similar!


  1. Brilliant writing Kim, enjoy south america and we'll be looking forward to hear all about it!

  2. this is pretty. I heart you.

  3. You put such a positive spin on travel... I think I need to rediscover it. I've gotten so bitchy about it after being forced to travel to frequently between the US and Argentina that I'd forgotten the excitement of it all... and how much I used to love it!

    (P.S. My ex was Moroccan. This foreign guy and me thing is a trend.)