Today is our first wedding anniversary. It’s no surprise to anyone who knows us well that our love story is anything but conventional. What most couples reach in years, we accomplished in months. What took them months, took us weeks. We met, got engaged a few months after, moved in one week later and eloped two months after that. It’s been a whirlwind ride, but we did it on our terms.
Meeting you wasn’t part of my life plan. I honestly enjoyed being single. It’s a muscle I’ve taken years to develop. I was good at it. I knew I could trust myself, but meeting you changed everything. What was seemingly an insignificant one-time decision to go on a sushi date with an Israeli guy turned out to be the catalyst that would forever alter the course of my life. Plans and dreams I thought I had for myself were questioned, overanalyzed and eventually revised to include you. The decisions we made together did not follow my perceived timeline, which hindsight is now laughable and a complete reflection of my own disillusionment to maintain 100% control. I’ve considered myself a more cerebral individual, and none of the steps we took made sense in my brain. But perhaps for the first time in my life, I didn’t allow logic to rule, but rather my intuition and how my body felt when we’re together.
We’re now married, but there will always be a part of me who is single solo traveler always yearning to experience new things and explore new places on her own. The itch to roam is never more than a few millimeters deep from my skin, a constant craving ready to launch to the surface, like a rubber ball when pushed underwater. I still want to visit more places than I could see and could have time for.
Perhaps I’m genetically predisposed to travel, but in me will always be a desire to be elsewhere. To immerse myself in diverse cultures. To shock my taste buds with peculiar cuisines. To interact with other humans so dissimilar from me. Connected to my soul is an umbilical cord that only autonomous wandering can supply.
You’ve been nothing but supportive when I’ve openly expressed to you ideas of taking a solo trips that have been bouncing around in my head. With each passing day, the urge to make them happen is becoming impossible to ignore. Should I spend a few days in the wilderness accumulating layers of trail dirt trekking the 50-mile Trans-Catalina Trail? Perhaps breathe in and expand my lungs with the crisp fresh air of pine in the Pacific Northwest? Or experience sensory overload with the colors and characters of Colombia? All of the above? Yes! Which one first?
We’re still learning to navigate what love looks like for us, and what it means to create safe containers for you, for me, and for our relationship while also allowing space for the discomfort of growth and change. It’s no question in my mind that the skills I’ll hone through my solo adventures will seep into our marriage, making it stronger than before. The boost in confidence, increased resourcefulness, and heightened creativity fostered and nurtured in my solo travels will benefit our partnership in more ways that we have yet to discover.
Jumping into this marriage with both feet doesn’t mean being tied up or settling down for me. I still intend to go away alone from time to time, but rest assured that I will always return to your arms. Stories of connection, discovery, and unexpected mishaps will be my souvenirs of choice. I will collect them and fill our home with their vibrancy upon my return. Every cut and bruise will contain stories behind them. Random incidents will trigger fond (and/or not-so-fond) memories. Waves of nostalgia will resurface as lines on my face from time to time.
I will leave parts of my heart in each place I visit, but no matter how far away I go and how many time zones and miles come between us, I promise I will come home to you with more soul, more love, and more fire.