It´s been a while since we last posted in the blog. We´ve spent the past couple of months relaxing a bit more so haven´t got round to our Mexico blog yet. But it’ll be coming soon. First though, we wanted to indulge a bit and celebrate love – writing about a big thing for us – our first wedding anniversary.
15th September 2018 marked the start of a chain of events which, if we’d have predicted a couple of years ago, we’d have thought we were crazy. 15th September 2018 was the day we walked down the aisle to Kylie’s ‘Lightyears’ (very camp, we know!) and said “I do” in front of our friends and family.
Our wedding day (click picture to enlarge)
Two weeks later we quit our jobs. Five days later we completed the sale of our apartment and put all our stuff (apart from our backpacks of course) into storage. And four days after that we set off on the journey of a lifetime, backpacking around South & Central America. To be honest we never planned it to be this way. We were initially planning to take the trip (as boyfriends) for just a few months, returning afterwards to the apartment we’d spent the past few years together living in and going back to our normal work. A few major life decisions later (Carl asking Jeroen to marry, accepting that we really weren’t enjoy our work and deciding that we didn’t want home ownership hanging over our heads whilst traveling) and our initial plan had totally changed.
What a whirlwind those few weeks were! The rollercoaster of emotions; from elation, to sadness, to nervousness and ultimately excitement about what lay ahead. If we’re being honest we also encountered a few stressful points as we tried to get everything organized. As we said in our wedding speeches – we don’t like to do things by halves!
All of this led us to where we are today. So, what’s it been like spending our first year as husband & husband on this journey?
To sum it up on a word – magical!
Experiencing what we have would’ve been special if we’d have experienced it alone. The fact that we’ve been able to experience this together is beyond special! New places, new people and their cultures, and new activities; all things we’ll treasure for a long time.
We’ve loved getting to know each other even more than we did before. We’ve also learned how to be there for each other when you have nobody else around. To be fair, it’s been challenging sometimes. We went from spending 3-4 days together, because of Carl working away, to being together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! We also went from having friends or family (who know us well) around us, to essentially having nobody except the other travelers we meet along the way. To paraphrase something Jo mentioned in her previous post – Carl the super-planner and Jeroen who’s so laid back he’s almost horizontal, what could go wrong? Whatever the challenge though, we’ve always looked after each other and come out stronger on the other side.
1 year of travelling together (click pictures to enlarge)
How about introducing ourselves as husabands, whilst traveling through inherently religious, macho and, lets be honest, somewhat homophobic continents? We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t discussed this point before we started the trip. We decided before we left that we wouldn’t hide anything from people if the topic of our relationship came up on the trip. And we haven’t. To be fair, overall it hasn’t been a major issue. There’s been a few times when we’ve been aware of people’s response (our favorite has to have been in La Serena, Chile when the hostel manager (a small religious lady in her 70s) looked like she was about to spontaneously combust upon realising that Carl and Jeroen would be sharing a room instead of Carl and Susan). But overal nothing major. Plus, for every one person we’ve encountered who may not be comfortable or accepting of us, There’s been ten others who’ve embraced us! At the end of it all we’ve become even more proud and who and what we are.
So yes, it’s been magical; one of the best experiences we could’ve wished for, both with each other as well as others along the way. Our next challenge might be more – how will we get over the magic once we have to return to the real world?
Something for another day. In the meantime, happy anniversary to us!