“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
There are many couples across the globe that find the meaning of true love by traveling this world. Part of my job is to scan the internet and various sources in order to compile enough information to complete an article. The other day, I came across an article that struck a nerve. It was a compiled list of things you should not do while you are young. One of the points was: do not fall in love and stay in it. These are the years you are supposed to grow as a person, the years you are supposed to explore the Earth. The gist of the article was falling in love will only hold you back. Why turn down that opportunity to experience love with the hopes that you will explore the ends of this Earth? Why can’t you do both?
I (and a lot of other people on this planet) can say from experience that falling in love is a great idea… as long as it is with the right person. You can travel the world and grow as a person, as long as the person that you are with is just as enthusiastic about it as you are. This is what I mean by the right person.
I have traveled more of this world in the past two years than I could ever fathom seeing in a lifetime. I am not the only one either. Ryan Fontana and Molly Joseph are a couple that sold all their things, packed up their necessities and started their journey together (here’s the proof if you don’t believe me).
You can grow as a couple, in addition to growing as a person, as well as experiencing what this world has to offer with someone to share the memories with you later down the road. When you travel as a couple, you see each other when you are at your most vulnerable. You are seeing them when they are living in the moment, when they are the most exhausted, and the two of you find the meaning of true love along the way.
1.You’ll both be lost before you are found.
When you two start your journey, your starting point is more than likely home. This is a place where you are comfortable and a place where you know your way around. When you travel, you are constantly lost (even with a GPS) and you are both out of your comfort zone. This is when you will see each other in the rawest form, exposed with the true emotion of frustration across your faces. This is a point that you will get to faster if you two are driving in an unfamiliar place. Fighting when lost is completely different from fighting over leaving the toilet seat up or staying out too late. You both need to cooperate and work together in order to get to your destination.
Once you do though, you both lay in bed and relax. You cool off a bit from whatever mean words you said while wandering around and both agree that some food would be best. Over dinner, the aggravation of the wrong turns shifts into giggles and then laughter. Then it will hit you two. You are in a completely different country. You are far away from home and are actually here. Later down the road, the tales of being lost will become anecdotes that you tell your friends and family. With more and more trips, the two of you will learn how to deal with each other’s actions caused by frustration and it will go smoother. Notice I didn’t say smoothly because you both will still be lost with each country you visit. Trust me.
2.You’ll both be alive and present.
Being in a different country usually makes one present. By that I mean that there are usually no distractions electronics wise, with the exception of a camera and the occasional Wifi hot spots you can pick up. During our travels, we typically just purchase a paper map at the local gas station, relying on that and street signs. Sadly, the world now revolves around what is happening online. We are constantly checking our messages, newsfeeds, and making sure everyone knows what we are doing. Let’s be honest, you are probably reading this on some sort of mobile device. This is just how life at home is now. Being around the world, we usually don’t have enough for hotels, flights, cars, sights, and cell phone plans. Guess which one is mostly likely to be cut off the most important to fund list?
Without that distraction, you are forcing your brains to actually focus on the here and now. Most importantly, you focus on the person you are right next to. You notice the small things they do, the smiles they crack at the random tourists around, the smug look they get when they are pushed in a crowd, and the foreign words that make them giggle. You see them scream when they fly down a rope on a zip line, their face light up when you both walk in an unfamiliar city, and their hand squeeze your hand when you are late for a train. Equally as important, they see you and all of your actions. You both are living and experiencing life together without an electronic extension to your body.
3.You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.
With that all being said, you keep these memories close to your heart and soul because you have fully lived them. You both vividly remember the places you were, the people you met, and the things you saw. It will be great when you are both sitting on your porch decades later, reminiscing on what a life you both have lived.
4.You’ll both learn to love.
You both learn how to love, and not just each other on a deeper level, but you also learn which places you love over the places that you liked. You learn which dishes you absolutely fell in love with and want to make when you get home. You both have had countless discussions over meals about which countries (of the ones you’ve visited so far) you two would live in if you won the lottery. Furthermore, you both have a list of which country was the best so far. You both fall in love with the beauty of the world and all it has to offer, in addition to falling deeper in love with each other.
5.You’ll find each other as a source of comfort.
Their familiar face gives you comfort when you are out of your comfort zone, when you don’t understand anything on the menu, when the street signs are on the building instead of on street poles, and you don’t even see letters on the shop signs. Their embrace calms your nerves when you are homesick. The very thought that they will stay at your side with each border you cross, each sea you sail, and everywhere else is a comfort. You learn that this is the kind of love you won’t ever want to give up because it is the truest form.
Featured photo credit: Follow me to Rome Murad Osmann via flickr.com