I’ve never liked the idea of settling down. To me it sounds boring and like the end to a fun life. People always speak about marriage and committed relationships as finally settling down. To those who always looked forward to meeting the one, settling down, and having kids, this concept is accepted as an end to an era of freedom. They are happy to toss in the pumps for keds and settle into a life of routine. For me that is terrifying and probably the reason I never plan to settle down.
Let me clarify though, I am in fact getting married this summer, but I don’t consider it settling down. I consider it saddling up for a life full of adventure with my partner. We joke about looking forward to the days when we can come home and eat dinner and watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, but this is not our reality (I hope!). I don’t want to throw away the freedom and fun of my 20’s and trade it in for a “ball and chain.” That’s just not for me. Instead, we plan to start our marriage with a 6-9 month trip abroad to backpack from Argentina to Mexico. And that’s only the beginning of this lifelong adventure we will have together.
This is the farthest thing from settling down. We are joining forces and taking off. This is why our first dance at our wedding, will be “You and Me” by Dave Matthews Band. The lyrics go:
Wanna pack your bags, Something small
Take what you need and we disappear
Without a trace we’ll be gone, gone
The moon and the stars can follow the car
and then when we get to the ocean
We gonna take a boat to the end of the world
All the way to the end of the world
Oh, and when the kids are old enough
We’re gonna teach them to fly
You and me together, we could do anything, Baby
You and me together yes, yes
This has sort of become our motto. Since we met, we’ve been planning this grand escape and it’s most certainly not going to be our last. Sure owning a home and having careers, will be important as we start our lives together, but we won’t tether our feet to the ground for very long. Settling down always sounded like a curse to me. It’s too sterile; too finite. I plan to spend the rest of my life with Ethan, but our lives will be full to the brim with adventure.
This is not meant to insult those who chose to settle down. It is totally normal to enjoy a life of comfort and security, but I choose not to. I choose wandering unknown streets, eating fruits I can’t pronounce, bowing heads with new acquaintances, and holding hands with my husband as we jump out of airplanes. To those who are afraid to be in a relationship, because they don’t want to give up their freedom to travel, hear me out! It doesn’t have to end, because you have found the one. It can continue and be even more fruitful. You can scour the Earth for the best cup of coffee, sail in the Caribbean seas, drink coconut water right out of the coconut, and share those memories and experiences together.
I used to live for solo travel. It was so life changing. I met so many people and saw so many fabulous vistas and earth-shattering sunsets. The only catch was, I alone held those memories and no one else. I can reminisce about them to friends and family or myself, but I’ll never get to share that joy with someone else. So, on my last trip, I decided the time had come to find a partner, someone I could share all these amazing adventures with. You would think finding a guy who wants to travel the world with you would be easy, but it wasn’t. Most guys I met wanted to “settle down” and be stationary. I couldn’t handle that.
Every time I considered settling down for good, I started to get serious travel bug. I just couldn’t imagine giving up my true passion for seeing the world. So, when Ethan’s first words to me on OkCupid were, “looks like you enjoy traveling, are you looking for a travel partner?” I knew he was different and could be the right man for me. From the first date on, we started planning this epic trip together. Now, we are getting married and that trip has evolved into our honeymoon.
When we have kids, I want to take them traveling as well. I don’t want having children to stop us from seeing the world. While they are not in school, we will take them to see the world. They will learn different languages, make friends with kids from different cultures, and see the beauty that is this planet. My parents always took us on vacations around the states or even to Mexico. They encouraged us to see the world and it shaped who I am today. I plan to provide those opportunities for our kids as well.
As a family, we will fly! We will travel to the end of the world. There is no stopping us now. Me and Ethan, we could do anything….and we will!!