So that was year one. Happy anniversary to us


Is it strange that I can’t think of all that many romantic moments from our honeymoon? That might be because we’re not really romantic types, and also because we were backpacking for six months, not ballin’ it around the world.

But what an adventure. A few memories that really stand out:

Lamb, wine, filo pie, and explosive sunsets in Santorini, a stunning tourist trap that bears only idyllic memories for me

Flying through the forests in the Munich countryside on our pushbikes, feeling every bump and dip along the way

Paddling through Halong Bay, peering out for monkeys, craning my neck to look up at the strange land formations

Strolling the Highline in NYC at sunset, and late night karaoke in the East Village

Wandering along the sand dunes at a San Diego beach one night

Blazing through Vermont on a motorbike, surrounded by rosy forests and empty roads (and nearly falling asleep on the back after lunch)

Winding through Venice’s canals, marvelling at the skill of our gondolier

Enjoying a platter of mixed soft cheeses and honey in quiet ecstasy at a random Roman restaurant

And of course, all those instances of greedy face stuffing in Thailand, Bologna, Paris, New York, of spring rolls, panzerotti, cakes, gelato, cheeses, deli sandwiches and tacos.

There was enough luxury for it to feel special amongst the backpacking – the constant discomfort (Auckland’s stupidly mild temperatures have spoiled us both), the stress of navigating non-English countries (especially for him).

I am so, so happy we took that trip. It was great for us on so many levels, not just as individuals but as a couple. We’ve seen each other at our absolute worst and pushed through. Made so many memories to share. I feel it brought us closer together and strengthened our relationship. Between that, and the big scary talk that came up pre-wedding, I’m not sure what state we’d be in now. Possibly a less healthy one. Either way, it was a catalyst for us to re-examine things and work harder at them. Because when you don’t, they can deteriorate very quickly. It takes years to build what can be undone in days, hours – minutes, even, or seconds. Even after years together, you can still surprise yourselves, and even after years together  you can work toward making some things better than you’d ever dreamed possible.

Weddings are powerful events. No matter how informal, they pack a lot of emotional weight. As Elizabeth asks Philip on The Americans: “They’re just words people say. But do you think things would have been different between us if we’d said them?”

But beyond that, weddings are ultimately occasions of unbridled joy. As I write this particular paragraph, I’m in floods of quiet tears, having just gorged on a friend’s 600-odd wedding pictures. Just as with the photos from any other wedding, ours included, the thing that shines through is how happy everyone is. Imperfect as ours was, I still like to look back on photos for that little lift they give me.

I  am still not used to the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ yet. I’d barely gotten comfortable with ‘fiance/e’ by the time we got married, so maybe in another year or two?

13 thoughts on “So that was year one. Happy anniversary to us

  • Reply Genie May 5, 2014 at 09:16

    Congratulations on 1 year. Sounds like there were plenty of romantic and memorable points in your holiday. I love that a few of them also involved food. Food on holiday just tastes so much better doesn’t it? My husband and I got married 5 years ago but still talk about our wedding day from time to time. It was such a wonderful day with friends and family.

  • Reply Melanie@Dear Debt May 5, 2014 at 09:29

    I love how you talk about your relationship and partnership. It’s work, with all the good and bad. Sounds like you guys have had quite a ride, with lots of adventure. R and I have been dating almost 6 years, 2 of them long-distance and it’s been a journey. I don’t know if we’ll ever walk down the aisle, but we’re thinking about it. It’s more of an afterthought for us. You are so right about what it takes to build something for years, and how quickly it can be undone. It’s terrifying and thrilling to be so in love with someone, and yet so vulnerable. They know exactly what to do or say to make you tick. How to make you irate. How to make you stop crying. What you need when you are sick. There are so many layers, that I am still learning everyday. I think we’ve been together for a while, but I realize that we’re doing this for a lifetime, so we still have so many years ahead of us, and we must continue to evolve, learn, and grow together.

  • Reply Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way May 5, 2014 at 13:37

    Happy 1st year anniversary to both of you! And thanks for sharing your unforgettable moments guys!

  • Reply Sarah Greesonbach May 5, 2014 at 14:01

    Just read this one and the one you linked to a year ago… So good! Are you pitching “The Bullshit Free Bride” as a book to any publishers? If not, that sounds like a good side-side-hustle!

  • Reply Athena May 5, 2014 at 14:16

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary!

    I am lucky to have gotten the chance to meet you during your whirlwind adventure and you guys are a great couple. Here’s to many more!

  • Reply Amber May 5, 2014 at 16:40

    Happy Anniversary! If you can travel around the world together for 6 months I think you can probably get through almost anything 🙂

  • Reply Amanda May 6, 2014 at 02:56

    Woah Congratulations!

    Even though I was there a year ago — well holy crap I can’t believe it’s already been a year!

  • Reply Amanda @ MoveLoveEat May 6, 2014 at 09:11

    Congratulations! I love the vividness of all your favourite memories!

  • Reply Kassandra May 6, 2014 at 09:51

    Congrats on your first wedding anniversary. Marriage is serious work and you and your husband seem to be doing just fine so far.

  • Reply Untemplater May 6, 2014 at 19:30

    Boy time flies. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary! Great stuff. 🙂

  • Reply The Asian Pear May 7, 2014 at 04:28

    Happy Anniversary to you and T! 🙂

  • Reply Michelle May 7, 2014 at 13:48

    Congratulations on an amazing and intense first year.

  • Reply Deia @ Nomad Wallet May 26, 2014 at 13:50

    Congrats! And I know what you mean. The words “husband” and “wife” seem so grown up!

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