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From long-distance relationship to traveling together

Today, it’s an anniversary for me. Actually, it’s an anniversary for my partner, too. We are dating for three years now, and I couldn’t be happier. I found a person, who I can tell everything and who shares one of my biggest passions with me: Traveling. I want to use this occasion. While we are driving down the Transfăgărășan highway in Romania on our anniversary, I will share our “romantic love story” with you.

From long-distance relationship to traveling full-time together

Where did I meet James?

I did a study abroad semester in Hawai’i – one of the best decisions in my life. Although it wasn’t really helping my financial situation, I don’t regret it at all. I finally figured out what I want in life and most important: I met James.

When I came to Hawai’i, I didn’t know anybody. However, I wanted to be more active and explore Oahu to the fullest. So I posted in the freshmen group of our university if someone wants to join me for a hike.

James messaged me back that he is planning another hike another day and invited me to join him. Skeptical as I was, I wanted to meet him before he drags me into the jungle alone. After all, I was far away from home and knew nobody – so safety first! 😉

We met for coffee and the very next day we went on the Three Peaks Hike. Useless to say, we only made it to the first peak because I wasn’t really in hiking shape yet.

Although, I was probably complaining the whole time about the difficulty of the trail and although he had the hangover of his life, we somehow connected that day.

James and me hiking in Germany as full-time travelers
Not from the Three Peaks, but hiking is still one of our favorite activities

How did we start dating then?

After my first month in Hawai’i, I was in celebration mode, but also kinda lonely. I wanted to celebrate my “1st anniversary” with lying under the beautiful night sky, which is incredible in Hawai’i.

However, Waikiki (where I lived) isn’t really the best place for doing this. As James had a car at that time, I sent him the following message: “This is not a romantic date question, but would you like to go stargazing with me on the East Coast?” This turned out to be our insider joke, and you are about to find out why.

Imagine you are lying on the coast of Oahu, the moon is shining, the stars are twinkling over your head, the waves are crashing into the rocks, and there is a handsome gentleman sitting right next to you on a blanket. How could this be not romantic???!!! So, this was – of course – the moment of our first kiss.

The following 4 months were amazing! We spent a lot of time together, assuming to keep things casual because “long-distance relationships never work”.

Grow with Unbridled World now!

When I had to say “see you soon”

When my flight date came closer, I was a picture of misery. I didn’t want to leave, nor did I want to end this “relationship”.

The day before my flight, I burst out in tears every time I looked at him and thought about the upcoming goodbye. Then, James finally told me that he would visit me in Germany, indicating that it won’t be completely over. However, this event would be around 5 months in the future.

So we said “see you soon” for the first time.

A positive surprise

Some friends and I had planned a road trip to the west coast and a little mainland tour after my semester on Hawai’i. While trying to deal with my emotions, I found flight deals from Germany to Hawai’i. Coincidentally, they were over his birthday – only 2.5 month later. I kept racking my brain if I should surprise him or not because I wasn’t sure how serious the “relationship” was.

One night I thought: “Fuck it, I just book it!” and it was official.

Looking back, this was the smartest decision I made in this relationship. After spending two weeks with him again, I knew that’s not just a “holiday flirt” but true love.

The frustrating life of long-distance relationships

So we basically had a long-distance relationship for 2 years. We could see each other every 2-4 months for at least two weeks or longer. Either I visited him, he came to Germany, or we traveled together through SE Asia or the U.S. So it wasn’t too bad, but in the times of separation, it was of course hard.

Every time we saw each other, I knew that it will all work out because we had something special.

Within the two years of a long-distance relationship, we saw each other around 10 months (all summed up), which is a pretty impressive rate, considering half of the globe was between us (check it yourself on a globe). When we were separated, we texted daily, skyped when the time difference allowed it and sent each other lots of photos.

Photos of James and me while we were separated in our long-distance relationship

Long-distance CAN work

In our case, long-distance worked out. Last year in October, I was ready to leave my home country for a new adventure. An adventure together with my partner. I arrived in Hawai’i only with a backpack. James still had to finish his degree, so I started working online while I enjoyed the paradise a little longer.

James' graduation - When we went from long-distance relationship to traveling together
James’ Graduation

In long-distance relationships, you often feel like you are missing out on important events but I at least made it to his graduation.

From long-distance relationship to traveling together

In December last year, we finally started our location-independent life together.

Now we are spending 24/7 together: Work together, live together, eat together, go out together, meet new people together and – most important – explore new countries & cultures together.

And to be honest: I couldn’t imagine it with another person. Thanks to the “non-romantic date question” that I have sent him, I found the best partner, friend and travel buddy on earth.

James and me after a Balinese ceremony
Happy to share a life of journeys with him

Grow with Unbridled World now!

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Curious who writes here?

Curious who writes here?

Adventurer, digital nomad, and freedom seeker - that's me, Nate the Nomad!
In October 2016, I packed my bags in Berlin and been roaming the world with my husband ever since.
We are slow travelers, who enjoy the freedom of the location-independent life! We love to go on little adventures and to learn about new cultures everywhere we go.

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