A Relationship Wilderness Test


My husband and I are spending our first year of marriage traveling the world.  A twelve-month honeymoon, of sorts…

Taking a trip like this with another person means you have to trust and love them – even when their breath smells and their underwear is dirty. Because you have been on a bus for 30 hours together and are covered head to toe in bug bites, you realize that the superficial stuff just doesn’t matter. You find yourself balancing perilously above a roadside toilet and suddenly having the door shut seems low priority. You will find that you both have dirty fingernails but are still holding hands.

Theroux wasn’t kidding when he said that travel is only glamorous in retrospect. I have daydreamed about long-term travel for years – picturing romance and sunset walks on exotic beaches. Then, reality struck, and I got a taste of what traveling is really like.  Warts and all.

I’m finding that travel means more sweat and stink than a 13 year-old boy hitting puberty.  Take down any curtains of modesty you thought you had, light them on fire and toss them out the window. There is no more “too shy”, no more “I wouldn’t dare” and absolutely no “I can’t “.

What I’m realizing is that this sort of freedom should be applied at home, too. I think we all feel  pressure to be a certain way with our loved ones, but travel teaches you about what’s really important. Personal hygiene is sometimes a luxury, and some days we feel blessed just to have running water.  Travel delays are frustrating, but we have each other to pass the time.  Language barriers are huge, but a good sense of humor is universal.  You learn to value these gifts in your partner when you’re on the road together.  These are the things you have every day no matter where you are – your husband’s bad jokes, your wife’s caring smile, and each other’s arms to sleep in.

So I’d encourage you to think of your relationship as a wilderness test – take away all the fancy accouterments (toilet paper?  pshh – who needs it!).  My hope for you is that you’re left with someone you could stare at while locked in the storage compartment under a bus for 6 straight hours.  (True story.)

Kayci is currently traveling the world, one street cart at a time. A girl who’s always hungry, nothing scares her away from what just might be the meal of a lifetime. You can follow her on twitter at @seedbarkroot!

Photo Source: Joe Weaver



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