“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” (Anita Desai)
My husband and I went on our first international trip in 2013. It was a celebration of his graduation from business school, our recent engagement and cross-country move to Austin. I had never left the country and he'd only been on a few spring break trips.
We traveled to London, Paris, Rome, Cinque Terre, and Lucerne. We ate fancy dinners and toured museums. We wandered through parks and got lost a few times. We went on an epic hike along the cliffs of Cinque Terre and road a train through the Swiss Alps.
While we were in Paris, we had lunch at a small bistro with great TripAdvisor reviews. We arrived early and were the only people there besides the chef and server. It was a magic and memorable meals. The food was simple and delicious. The wine went down easy. The ambiance and service were comfortable. And we reveled in having the whole restaurant to ourselves.
At the end of the meal I asked my mister if we could come back next year. To the restaurant. To Paris. Or Europe. Or anywhere else on the map. This trip unlocked a new aspect of our relationship.
Removed from our everyday routine, we connected on a deeper level. We had to rely on each other in new ways. Even through delays, mishaps, and jet lag, we thrived.
So when I asked, it was with hopeful expectation. Even before our trip was over, I wanted to be back. But he was starting a new job and we had a wedding to plan. There were no signs that we'd have the time, money, or ability to travel again soon.
And yet. Life works in mysterious ways.
It ended up that my husband's work took him across the world and since I worked from home, I was able to travel along. We visited more than 10 countries since our first big adventure. And we went back to our favorite restaurant in Paris every year for three years in a row.
In 2016 we took a break from our travels for a different kind of adventure. We welcomed our baby into the world last July. And just like that first big trip, our bond has grown deeper with each challenge and surprise.
We've taken a handful of trips to introduce our babe to family and friends who live in other states. but today we are leaving for two weeks in Japan. As we embark on his first big adventure I am filled with nervous anticipation. Door-to-door our journey will be nearly 24 hours! For a seven month old, that's a lot to ask!
And yet. I have to believe.
I have to believe this baby, who traveled to Australia in utero, will surprise us and amaze us and rise to the occasion. And I have to believe that as his parents we will make this trip magical... like that lunch we shared in Paris. Unexpected. Wonderful. The three of us together out enjoying the world.