Just two days ago on September 28, 2015, Jordan and I had our two year wedding anniversary! During our celebratory kangaroo steak dinner we realized that out of the past 24 months of wedded bliss, 17 have been spent globetrotting.
Let me tell you something about being a newlywed on the road, it hasn’t always been easy or romantic.
I assume most people spend their first two years of marriage buying a house, nesting and maybe even expanding their new family. We, on the other hand, have spent them sleeping on bunk beds, sharing dorm rooms and living spaces or camping surrounded by masses of other people with only a polyester lining to provide some separation. Not having a lot of alone time is one of the only negative aspects of long term budget travel.
On the road we hold back on the mushy stuff out of respect for those around us. No one wants to travel or live with the couple who can’t keep their hands off each other or engage in three way+ conversation. We get it.
I also imagine other newlyweds spend their first two years starting their own family traditions. The only tradition we’ve created is constant change. Yet somehow, despite the lack of privacy, the constant change has formed a new kind of intimacy we haven’t experienced before.
For much of the past 17 months we’ve had only each other to lean on for support when the going was rough and only each other to cheer on when we accomplished something spectacular. In the midst of chaos we have been the only person or thing that the other one actually knows or is familiar with.
In ever changing and unpredictable situations we’ve learned how to communicate on a new level, often non-verbal. For example, a slight raise of the eyebrows while negotiating bus fare means we’re getting ripped off or an eye roll means the conversation with “that drunk guy” needs to reach its conclusion.
We’ve learned how to keep each other calm in extreme circumstances like when my face was swollen up like a chimp and Jordan was telling me it didn’t look too bad while driving 120 km to the emergency room. We’ve also gotten good at taking turns being rational “No, you don’t need a new dress” or “You probably shouldn’t try to catch that giant lizard”.
We’ve even carved out some traditional married couple roles while on the road. Jordan sets up camp, I pour the drinks. Jordan collects firewood, I pour drinks. Jordan starts the fire, I put out chairs and pour drinks. Just kidding!
In reality it’s all about teamwork. Jordan carries the money, I carry the vitamins. Jordan drives, I attempt to navigate. We both cook, we both moan about who has to do the dishes.
All jokes aside, spending the majority of our first two years of marriage budget traveling has been nothing short of magical. We are the only two people in the world who understand the unique experiences we’ve shared which is a bond I never imagined possible.
I’m inexplicably thankful for the opportunity to adventure around the globe with Jordan and discover new ways, daily, that we can share our love with each other and the world.