Once Upon a Time, part 3
Travelling with the right person trumps travelling alone by far. There is no comparison.
While my husband and I have a friendly competition about how many countries we have each visited (he claims to be winning), he has never discouraged me from taking trips on my own with friend or family. Literally weeks after getting married, he bought me a ticket to India to visit my friend who was working there.
I had made tentative plans earlier in the year, long before marriage was on my radar. With dating, engagement and marriage being a whirlwind, I had forgotten about it until my friend called me up and asked if I was still coming. I had no intention of going, being newly married, but my husband said it was such an amazing opportunity there was no way to turn it down.
For the first and only time in my life, I cried going on a trip. I can only attribute it to being newly married with every intention of never travelling alone again. It felt like I was going to cry the entire flight to Frankfurt. However, my flight got re-routed due to weather, and I ended up stranded in Amsterdam with no warm weather clothes....actually no clothes at all other than what I had on. I had to practically sleep in the bath tub with hot water just to get warm. Nevertheless, I forced myself to get on a train and go explore the city. It was freezing, but I'm glad I forced myself to do it. Even getting lost on the seedy side of the city was an adventure.
India was a culture shock! My luggage was lost, but there was no end of shopping areas to help me get by. The sound, the noise, the smells, the colors.... it was overwhelming. I was surprised by the architecture and British influences seen around Mumbai. I fell in love with Indian cooking! One of the things I collect when I travel are cookbooks, and my husband can verify that my cookbook from India is well used, with yellow stains from the spices I use while cooking.
I loved my time in India, but was very happy to head back home to my husband. Two months later we were travelling together to Greece and Austria. Since then we have ventured to more than 13 countries together and counting. It's possible I may have missed some in my tallying, but the point is we share a love of travelling and I couldn't be happier about that!