Brad and I are traveling to Marrakech, Morocco today and I am a bag of mixed emotions. The fact that we are going to Africa for the first time is a dream of mine. I can not wait to see the markets, mosques, and overall culture for Morocco. The food excites me. The weather excites me. The prospect of riding on a camel in the desert excites me. It’s hard to put into words how much I am looking forward to this so here is a picture to emote my feeling of elation.
I can’t help but feel a little saddened that Brad and I will not be traveling as husbands. Starting in Morocco and following us for a lot of the next part of our journey around the world, Brad and I will have to travel as “best friends.” We have had to do this in the past when visiting countries where it was not legal to be gay. In some parts of the world if we traveled as husbands we could be arrested or persecuted because of this. However, we have to respect the laws and customs of the places we visit and adjust ourselves accordingly.
We are not a very PDA (public display of affection) couple to begin with, however, we have had to practice reeling in all of the little things that could be an easy give away. Anything from simply saying a quick “love you,” “hey babe,” or “muah” to gestures like a light touch on the back, talking with my hands, or having a fun moment when playing chess in the park.
This is a reminder to all of our LGBTQ friends and straight allies that in the world today, we are not all equal. We are still persecuted by people who hate us because of who we love. We are still told by some friends, family, politicians and religion that they do not accept us because of who we love. We are reminded everyday that we have to take precautions and be careful.
I am so thankful that Brad and I are getting to travel and experience the world together even in parts of the world that do not accept parts of who we are. I am lucky enough to have a best friend like Brad to travel the world with. I am hopeful that one day being gay will not have to be something to hide. With that being said, as with anywhere we travel to in the world, we will continue to be safe, respect the laws and customs of the country, and soak in every moment of the journey!
Have you ever felt more tired after a vacation? We sure have!
Being on the road we are constantly in new places with new sights to see and it is easy to fall into the habit of constantly go-go-going. We have found that it is important to balance the continual urge to see it all with the need for down time. Much like being at home, we sometimes need breaks during the day, relaxing evening, a good night sleep, and “weekends” to unwind from a week of doing.
We have learned how significant regular breaks during the day can be. Not only do we get to rest our feet, but we get to rest our minds. An easy way for us to do this is to find a café, have a cup of coffee, and people watch. Sitting in silence and letting our mind slow down gives us a second wind for more sight-seeing.
Every night cannot be a night on the town. Sometimes the best remedy for a long day is a relaxing evening. Dive into a good book, relax in a park, binge watch a tv show, or even nodding off into an early sleep.
Another way we have learned to balance our downtime with our tourism is by allowing ourselves to not set wakeup alarms and simply sleeping in. Before traveling the world, we always heard how not getting enough sleep can effect many aspects of your life and it is very true. A good night’s sleep is essential for a good day of sight-seeing.
Too many consecutive days of being on the go can lead to getting burnt out. After a few weeks of not having a day off from traveling and sight seeing it was time for us to take a weekend. Two consecutive days of hanging around with nothing planned was pure bliss. It reinvigorated us. From that point on we decided that allowing ourselves to have weekends was one of the most important ways of balancing downtime with our tourism.
We had to let go of being on a schedule to see everything, rather, experience the place we are visiting. A good way to do this is to balance being a tourist with simple being someone living on the move.
After spending the better part of a decade working towards the American Dream we decided to step back and rethink what that really meant to us. Ultimately we decided that taking a no regrets leap out of our comfort zone and into a nomadic backpacking journey across the globe was the right thing for us. Ready. Set. Leap!
We started traveling internationally for run of the mill tourist type sightseeing in 2012 and ended up falling in love with encountering new cultures, cities, ways of life, flavors of food, and everything else in between. Travel to us has becoming about opening our minds to how amazingly huge and diverse this world really is. Each place we visit changes a little something about what makes us who we are, both individually and as a couple.
Growing up we learned about the previous generation’s definition of the American Dream. Picket fences, ambrosia salad at the neighborhood potluck, and two and a half children are just a few things that come to mind. For us though, the American Dream has become one with fewer pickets in the fence and lot more wanderlust in the heart, fewer marshmallows in the ambrosia salad and a lot more culinary experiences on the street-side, and the same two and a half children in our home just a few more years down the road.
We are two en route to achieve our American Dream.