15 years ago today I married my favorite travel partner.
When I think about our life together, travel is one of the first things that comes to mind (of course). It was one of the first things we talked about the night we met, and it’s always been a part of our relationship.
Soon after we met we were listening to a mix tape in Aaron’s car when a Spanish song came on. I freaked out when I heard it.
“How do you know this song?”
“How do you know this song?”
Turns out it was popular the year he lived in Madrid. I was living in Germany then and heard it in the Disko all the time but I never knew the name of the song or the band.
Aaron was the only other person I knew who recognized the song (this was in the early days of the Internet and I didn’t have a copy of it) – he even knew all of the words and could tell me what the song was about!
It was one of those spontaneous “we so get each other” global life bonding moments. It’s kinda our song now, haha. 😉
I knew Aaron was the one when our first career break was coming to a close in a youth hostel in Bergen, Norway and I offhandedly said “Instead of heading home, I wish we were backpacking around the whole world.”
Aaron stopped for a moment and said “yeah, me too.”
We’d already talked about getting married but his comment sealed the deal for me. Since then, we’ve visited 20 countries together and taken two multi-month career breaks abroad. And we’ve got more travel plans on the horizon (of course).
When I received funding to spend the five weeks before our wedding in Germany, Aaron didn’t bat an eyelash. When I was accepted to teach for a study abroad program in Germany a year after we got married, he used his vacation days to visit me twice during the semester. When I started traveling abroad for work, he cheered me on and encouraged me to use my PTO to stay and see some sights. Now, he knows I’m going to fit a couple workations into the year, and he travels with me whenever he can.
Over the years we’ve learned that our different views on what it means to live a global life make us a good team. We help each other see possibilities and keep each other grounded.
We give each other roots and wings.
Aaron probably wouldn’t have thought about quitting his job 4 months before grad school to travel around Europe and road tip across the US before moving from Michigan to North Carolina. But in the end he was glad I suggested it.
And, if you had told me when we first moved to North Carolina that we’d still be living here 11 years later, I probably would have started hyperventilating. Putting down roots is something I struggle with. I’m a cloud, not a tree!
But Aaron knows the value of commitment and community, and because of him I’ve learned that roots aren’t such a bad thing. I’ve become much more of a bloom-where-you’re-planted type of person who enjoys and appreciates where I am, rather than always wishing I was somewhere else.
Our global life has changed and evolved over the nearly two decades we’ve been together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Anniversary, Aaron!