Italy. Poland. The United Kingdom. Spain. Germany. Mexico. Argentina. Uruguay. France. Peru. When my husband told me back in 2012, “the only requirement I have of you, you must be willing to travel the world with me.” I said, “yeah, o.k. sure.” I mean, what woman would say, “no.”?
I never considered myself much of a traveler. Now, I guess I can’t deny it. I’m no longer a tourist in the world. Yes, there’s a difference between being a traveler vs. tourist. I’ll save that debate for another time.
This is how I found myself being a traveler in love. Most people start their world travels in college. They either do a study abroad, peace corp, or take a year off during or after college to travel throughout Europe. I didn’t do any of that, nor was I interested in it at that point of my life. I crazily enough knew I was going to wait to see the world with the love of my life, my husband (even though I didn’t know who that would be). I didn’t grow up privileged. I also wasn’t going to take out loans to travel and pay for it for years to come. I spent my 20’s trying to survive and pay my everyday living expenses on a non for profit salary, not finance dream trips around the world. I worked for everything I had, my apt, my car, my bills… Which is why I completely understand the struggle of plenty of 20 year-old’s.
My husband has always had a travelers spirit. As long as I’ve known him, he has wanted to see the whole world.
To this day, he has probably been to double the amount of countries as I have. I’m still not interested in seeing the whole world, as silly as that sounds. Each country has a different purpose or meaning to us whether it was to fulfill a dream, eat or drink their food, or to celebrate a friend’s wedding. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ve been blessed to have traveled to 10 countries in 3 years together.
We’ve learned so much about one another through traveling the world together. Foreign places challenge each and every one of us in different ways. By foreign, I mean, when neither of us speaks or understands the language, doesn’t know a soul for thousands of miles around, and completely out of our comfort zones. My husband shines in these situations. There has yet to be a country where I haven’t felt safe with him.
In Rome, Italy, May 2012, I decided I was going to marry this man. It was under a church awning, while he held an umbrella over my head, while he got soaking wet, so I could eat my gelato. I said to myself, “this is the man I’m going to marry.” This was our first trip together, and he told me, I could pick any place I wanted to go to. I picked, Rome, Italy, as it was always a dream of my grandmother to visit Rome and The Vatican. It was my pilgrimage for her.
In Poland, overlooking the Baltic Sea, I asked him, “Do you think we’ll ever return here?” He said, “I don’t know?” I said, “Maybe, we’ll have kids one day, and they’ll marry someone from here and we’ll return.” He said, “I’d like that very much.” That was after 3 months of dating. Crazy! I never thought about going to Poland, but now that I have, all I want to do is go back.
The U.K. aka United Kingdom, was also the 1st country I had visited outside of North America. My husband used to live in London. To our delight we continue to have friends we consider family there. Which is why every trip to Europe requires a trip to London. At this point, London, is starting to feel like our European home away from home. We do such normal things there like dinner and plenty of pub nights with friends.
In Spain, I watched my husband carry a conversation in French for the 1st time and then talk politics in Spanish.
I learned there is no such thing as too much jamon iberico. I seen one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen in my life, La Sagrada Familia, and I’ll never forget that for as long as I live.
In Germany, I remember, for the 1st time everything being completely foreign to me. I didn’t recognize the language, the street signs, the words on the menu, nor the train map. It might as well have been Chinese for all I knew. Again, having my husband, who dabbles in German, was a lifesaver. He was able to at least explain the menu to me and get us around town via train. I remember asking our waitress, “what do you recommend?”, as I would in an American restaurant. To which she responded, “I don’t know what you like!”, but with a firm and stern German accent. I think I ordered something based off of a picture because she slightly scared me.
If I only could visit one country for the rest of my life, I will always choose Mexico. Mexico, will forever hold some of our most beautiful memories. We celebrated our engagement, we were married, honeymooned, and my husband surprised me with a 6 month anniversary trip, all in Mexico. Mi querido Mexico. Mexico Lindo.
In Argentina, we ate what would probably be the best steaks in the world and drank more Malbec than I’d like to admit. Every stomach ache was worth it, because as we learned, our bodies aren’t meant to to process that much meat everyday. We didn’t eat red meat for at least a month after that trip. I’ll also never forget my first professional soccer aka futbol match in Argentina.
The energy of the crowd was infectious and had the whole stadium moving.
Uruguay, was a welcomed surprise. We took the ferry from Buenos Aires, Argentina. For those who have visited B.A., you know it’s considered the Paris of South America, which is true in many aspects. Which is why, once we got off the fairy in La Colonial, Uruguay, I was excited to smell wood burning and walk on cobblestone streets. It reminded me of my hometown in Mexico. It has a welcoming small town feel. Almost like it was hugging us and letting us know it will wait for us to go back.
I learned there’s so much more beauty to France, than just Paris. I mean, Paris, lives up to the hype, but I hope everyone gets to experience other parts of France, as well. For the lovers in the world, Paris, does not disappoint. Paris, is romantic and sexy, without trying to be, it just is. A fabulous place to have celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary.
Very few places and countries have captured my heart, but I have to admit, aside from Mexico, Peru, has come a close 2nd. Besides fulfilling a lifelong dream of going to Machu Picchu, this country is abundant in history. They have ancient ruins in the middle of their modern day cities. The food is some of the BEST of the world. Lima, has become the true culinary capital of the America’s. We ate and drank our way to bliss there for sure.
I didn’t know, wait, yes, I did, that traveling the world with the love of my life, my husband, would be a dream come true in itself. I guess, I just didn’t really believe it could come true for me. However, God, had a greater vision for me than I could even dream possible.
Getting to experience the world with the person you know God created for you is a Blessing. I’ll never take that for granted. People tell us to travel while we’re young and don’t have children. I have to agree to an extent. If we should ever be blessed with a child or children, one day, we’ve already promised to keep traveling. Maybe, the trips will be shorter? Maybe, the trips will now be all in the United States? Who knows? Before we exchanged our marriage vows, we discussed and continue to discuss the importance of us taking time for our relationship.
Nothing makes us more present in life than traveling, meaning nothing makes us more present in our relationship than travel. I’m fortunate that I chose to wait to experience the world, every new adventure, every awe struck moment, new foods, different cultures, ancient history, and every once in a lifetime experience with one man, my man, my husband. Who to this day, continues to promise and deliver me the world and a lifetime of adventures. He has turned me into a true traveler in love. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 countries will be. Our list is always growing. That’s the beauty of travel, it’s has no expiration date. It’s a lifelong journey full of adventures. Wherever we go, it will be my favorite, until the next place. As long as we’re there together, that’s all that really matters.