How will you manage conflict on the trip? Conflict in your relationship, and conflict with the trip (i.e. wanting to call it quits)?

Don’t kid yourselves, folks! Even people who are as young, gregarious, and good-looking as us DO have conflict!

Don’t kid yourselves, folks! Even people who are as young, gregarious, and good-looking as us DO experience conflict!

Craig and I have definitely had our issues. We’ve obviously worked through a lot of them, but as my relationship self-help books say (I’m serious–they can be eye-openers!), you can never resolve ALL of your issues. But if you can’t, then I think talking about them helps, and we’ve always been good at communicating with each other; hopefully that doesn’t change. I’ve also found that we’re usually in sync with each other when it comes to our levels of tolerance, so if one of us gets sick of something, I’m hoping the other one is getting close to feeling that way, too. And if all else fails, there’s always that ol’ trusty adage–Absence makes the heart grow fonder! There can be so many ways to take a break from each other: listen to a podcast, do separate activities, make new friends. I suppose I’m not too worried about it.

What I find interesting from Craig’s post, is that I sense some doubt from him as to my commitment to this journey. It’s understandable that he’d think I will want to call it quits early, as this has been his dream, and I’m just “along for the ride”, in some respects. But at the same time, I’m also quitting my job and putting my life in the States on hold for this. I’m using up lots of my savings (a much larger percentage than Craig is, actually, as I haven’t been working as steadily for as long) and I’m carving out this year to do it. I’ll have to give up my friends, hobbies, leisure activities (no Netflix overseas??), and favorite foods (you know, the greasy, American kinds). So I would say I’m pretty committed, but I can see why Craig would think my commitment is tenuous.

I suppose what he doesn’t understand, is how blessed I feel to have him be the driving force in this venture. If it wasn’t for Craig, I may never have gotten the courage to travel long-term, and for that, I am truly thankful. I’ve had a lot of friends tell me I’m lucky that my partner is so determined to do this trip, and I always agree. It’s difficult to do something that’s uncomfortable, and traveling for a long time is definitely an uncomfortable thing for me at this stage. I’ve also never been one of those people who’ve dreamt of visiting such-and-such place since they were little children. In effect, I don’t have the yearning that so many world travelers do, and I never have. I’ve often thought in passing, “Oh, that would be cool,” and that’s about as far as it has gone.

But one thing I have been passionate about, is growing as a person. It sounds silly and cliched, but you don’t get ahead in life by sitting on your ass and not trying new things for fear of the unfamiliar. If I was like that, I’d still be in Riverside (a.k.a. the “Armpit of California”), miserable in my crappy copy-editing job and emotionally abusive relationship, and never having any of the fun and cool experiences that I do now, not to mention just being happy. Life has taught me that big and scary changes (like leaving all my friends and family and moving to Seattle) are worth it in the end. I may not be miserable in my job or unhappy in my relationship right now, but that doesn’t mean a change is a bad idea.

And if I’m making this change with the person I love? All the better.

So, Craig (or is it Esteban?), unless I lose my hand in an unfortunate zip-lining accident or something of that nature, I promise that I will not make you come home early!

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