Three years ago today in a dark-lit, booze-infused bar in Montreal, Kyle and I drunkenly made out with each other and thought none the wiser of it. Who knew that three years later we would have survived moving to a new city together, living together for two years, moving again to an entirely different city and then taken off on a six-month trip through Southeast Asia. Man, how time flies!
Many people say that the true test of a relationship isn’t necessarily living together (done that), long distance (done that too), or surviving the in-laws (I’d like to say we’ve both done that with flying colours, but I’ll leave that judgement to the respective parties). Time and time again I’ve heard that traveling with said boyfriend or girlfriend will bring out each other’s true demeanour, for better or for worse. One person we talked to in China knew someone who got married and the two didn’t even last through the honeymoon. Traveling really does put a couple through the paces, forcing one another to accept any negative intricacy that might not have shone through during daily life. After all, on the road there’s usually no separate room to run to or even a friend at times to vent your grievances. Instead you must learn how to survive being stuck on a train from hell together, put up with the fact that you might even hear your girlfriend or boyfriend shitting their brains out due to questionable-I-should-have-known-better street food, and agree upon the endless options of travel such as how long to stay in one place, or where to move to next. In short, the potential for disaster is pretty high.
After saying that, traveling with Kyle really hasn’t been a whole lot different than life pre-travel. I still hear him shitting on occasion in the bathroom (quick note guys: running water never really muffles the sound), questionable transportation in Asia has substituted for his borderline road-rage incidents, and organizing the next travel pit stop is a walk in the park after trying to figure out where the heck we would end up after living in Toronto for two years. The only real difference is that we both are more tanned and are starting to develop slight beer guts due to constant access to cheap booze.
So here I sit, again with cheap beer in hand, writing this post to celebrate three years together with Kyle. I’m usually not a sentimental person, and most signs of affection I show are wrapped in subtle sarcasm (I blame my British parents for this), but I will say that I couldn’t be happier where I am right now, experiencing some of the most memorable moments in my life so far with him. I traveled for six months on my own through Australia and New Zealand when I was twenty, and comparing that nomadic life to the one I’m living right now is far different. For one I’m more at ease with moving from place to place, and two I always have someone special to turn to and share an instant with. That moron across the bar who just kissed the attractive woman who may or may not have had a sex change – I will see to it that Kyle will know about it immediately, and likewise.
Right now we are in Vietnam, and soon we’ll be heading off to Cambodia. Our travel itinerary is pretty open at the moment, but that’s perfectly fine because I know we’ll figure it out eventually. So here’s to us and our crazy adventures together – I’m sure we will be celebrating in much the same way as it all started: beer in hand in a place both of us don’t call home thinking, “I wonder where we’re off to next?”