It seems like it was a month ago that I wrote a post about relationships and van life… but it was one year ago, on our one year wedding anniversary. Today marks our second wedding anniversary, so I re-read what I wrote a year ago to see if it hold true: communicate, take alone time, don’t be a jerk. And yes, it does. In fact, I’d say this past year we’ve done all those things a million times better than we did a year ago. When we first left for this trip, we “joked” that we’d be divorced by the end of it, or have the strongest marriage ever. We definitely were NOT kidding about that; we were both very nervous about the potential strain on our relationship. Luckily, I’d say we are leaning towards the latter at this moment.
However, what’s more crazy to me is that exactly 18 months ago is when we left for this adventure. We’ve been on the road for a year and a half. I also wrote a post about a week in to the trip about how we didn’t know what we were doing. Reading that one again makes me want to boop young Alex on the nose, laugh, and tell her she doesn’t even have an idea of how much she doesn’t know yet. Since then, we have learned SO much; about each other, ourselves, and life.
About Each Other
We have become kinder, more tolerant, more in sync. The old adage about little things adding up, both good or bad – well, we have definitely found that to be true. We communicate regularly to not let the bad things pile up and then explode. And more importantly, we both do the little things to make life better and easier for each other.
I am an anxiety filled person. I had NO idea that I was before this trip. I didn’t know that what I was feeling; worry, restlessness, tenseness, insomnia, panic, irritation, self doubt…. all anxiety! Before this adventure, I always had something going on to place blame on for these feelings. But all those reasons disappeared on the road. And I finally learned how to understand, verbalize, and explain these feelings. I started keeping an anxiety journal to learn about what would trigger these anxiety attacks. I am so incredibly happy for this trip because not only did I learn more about myself, I learned how to work through it in a positive way.
Adventure is truly a state of mind, not a destination. What is our favorite part of the trip? Today. What is our favorite park? The one we’re at.
We have learned, time and time again, that money doesn’t matter, material things don’t matter, being successful in the eyes of the IRS doesn’t matter. We work hard to play hard. We love each other, our dog, and all the amazing people in our village. Being with each other and our friends is the best place, the best adventure. It’s cliche, but oh so true.
We have no idea what’s coming next. And that’s okay. We muddled through the last 18 months without a plan, without really knowing what we’re doing. And it’s been amazing. We’ve grown. We’ve failed. We’ve spent too much money on dumb things. We’ve seen friends all over the country. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We have had the best adventure.
Mike, happy second anniversary. Thanks for skipping alongside me in this life as we figure out what we’re doing. Love you always.