"Where you go I'll go"
These words repeated in my head as Noah took my hand each time I was too exhausted to climb up the steep mountain. Climbing a mountain is tiring and is dangerous for both the novice and expert. Arriving at the summit is so worth it though because you get to feel a huge sense of accomplishment while enjoying the spectacular view.
Just a month ago, Noah and I packed up our stuff and drove out west in pursuing our dreams of adventure, career advancement and raising a family.
How many of you would agree with me that traveling with your spouse is one way to put your relationship to the test?
Let me break down our journey.
It started with trepidation that turned into excitement which then turned into to boredom (are we there yet mode) followed by short random outbursts (mostly because we're hangry), finally turning towards poignant existential questions as to why we made this crazy decision.
For the record road trips have not ended well for us but there was a positive voice inside me that kept encouraging me that this trip would be different. Why? Because it was an epic decision mutually consented for our benefit.
So instead of a 3 day journey, we decided to make a week out of it! We've been traveling together for a while, we were used to each other's quirks. How bad could it have been right? Ha!
Let me digress for a bit. Now if you've been married less than 7-10 years (I've been married 3 years), all of us are still in our "honeymoon stage", believe it or not!
I say this because one day a kind old lady in her 70s walking her dog in the park, sat next to me and struck up a conversation. I learned that she was Peruvian, her kids lived on the coast, her husband likes to run just like mine does, and she has been married for over 60 yrs!
As she shared with me bits of her life and how she came to live in America she asked me how long I had been married, when I mentioned it was 3, she laughed at me, not in a mocking manner but like a caring grandmother, and replied, "you are still in your honeymoon stage".
This comment did take me by surprise because I assumed that stage had long passed, I mean 3 years...wouldn't you agree?
Well friends, as much as I would have liked to correct the kind old lady, I knew she was right.
I didn't ask for her secret but I could see it play out in the way she talked about her husband.
What is the success to having a long happy relationship? There is no method, tips or tricks but from my (short) experience in marriage I've learned to trust my husband through this season of change.
Wouldn't you agree that change is hard? A life change (marriage), a job change, a move, its hard. Take my journey for example - transplanting yourself to a new state is a whole different game when you're young and in college vs. when you're 30, career-driven, and married.
The game changes because you switch from relying and thinking about your needs to those of someone you love.
It can put pressure on your marriage and can easily fall into the blame-game (guilty as charged!)
However friend, while we continue to learn and work at our marriage our mantra has been to trust each other, love harder, and forgive always.
Yes we fight. Yes, we have tremendous cultural differences but heck, we learn to work through them. We have even learned to make light when situations get unnecessarily tense (insert hangry moments) - laughing is seriously so good for the soul!
I've also begun to notice that the more time we spend together, the more our hearts pine for each other when are a part. Personally, I travel to shoot weddings and being gone all day, shooting couples in love makes me fall harder for Noah.
So you see, it's not hard for me to trust his decision and he trust mine, because we both have our own expertise and knowledge.
If I can navigate us through the hills of Bali with little language skills, I can sure trust him to take me up a mountain or drive out to the wilderness for a few epic photos.
To sum up my experience, this season of "grandiose" change has taught me to go where he goes because I know he loves me and I know that we both want to end up together in the same place.