Long before Mike and I took our first weekend trip together, travel was a major factor in our relationship.
We met on New Year’s Eve 2014, and just a few weeks later, I had to travel to Orlando for a work trip. Most of our first year together would actually be punctuated by travel, both solo and as a couple.
A New Tradition
During my first 4-day trip in our young relationship, I think we FaceTimed every night. We hadn’t even called each other boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but I still have numerous selfies I took in various work attire and sent on to this cute boy I was seeing with notes like, “Do I look enough like a cruise ship director in this?”
As I sat in MCO while waiting for my flight home, I decided to stop in the gift shop to buy him a treat. We were just a few weeks into dating, but we had covered the ever-important topic of favorite candy, and I knew that he loved Mounds and Almond Joy. He was appalled that I do not like coconut in any form outside of oil or milk for cooking… actually, he’s still appalled that he married such “a hater.” So when I saw Coconut Patties in the gift shop, I knew I had to buy them for him to show how supportive this “hater” was of his likes. My co-workers still joke that they knew right then I was going to marry him! I’ve traveled to Florida at least 4 more times since then, and each time, I’ve brought home a box (or two) of Coconut Patties for my man.
“I Think I Love You”
In April, Mike was taking a trip with his buddy to the Dominican Republic. They’d been planning it for a while and I had a bit of anxiety about it. By this point, we were deep in this relationship, and I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see or talk to him for more than a week. The night before Mike was flying out to DR, we actually got in a fight. Not our first (nor our biggest), but it was significant. I don’t remember now what it was about, but it hurt pretty bad at the time. After we talked through whatever it was, there was a little bit of quiet and when I looked at Mike, I saw his eyes were glistening a bit. I gave him a questioning look and then he grabbed my hand and said, “I think I love you.” I breathed this huge sigh of relief as my heart swelled. I knew I loved him, and now, knowing he felt the same, I didn’t feel as upset about him leaving for a week.
The Travel Factor
Then there was my big trip to the Middle East the month after that, which will get its own post (or two). But the point is, over the years we’ve each traveled without the other, to places like Florida, Utah, Texas, Illinois, Vermont, Abu Dhabi, and the Dominican Republic. And the places we’ve traveled together are just as varied. But this one factor, The Travel Factor, has always been worked into our relationship.
We both know there is so much more to this world than our little corner of it in Baltimore, and we can’t wait to see what else is out there. So whether we’re exploring the lakes of Western Maryland or Europe, the beaches of North Carolina or Jamaica, the mountains of Virginia or Switzerland, we’re eager to see more, do more, and go farther.