4 Reasons To Save It For Marriage
By “it” I am talking about traveling. Obviously. On the road there are plenty of single twenty and thirty-somethings who view marriage as traveling´s kiss of death. They have a point. Especially when talking about long-term backpacking. Married people are supposed to already know the answers to the questions the rest of us are still trying to figure out on our trips.
When people travel the fire water sometimes makes them do crazy things that would lead to many a marriage’s divorce. There is no “we” in “Last night was so crazy . . . then started dancing with this crazy Puerto Rican . . . then started doing body shots . . . then I woke up naked in a ditch . . . today I am massively hung over . . .”
But despite the bad PR single traveler´s give it, relationships and the road can go together. Below are four couples I´ve met while traveling from here to there who make travel and marriage a perfect match. These four jealousy-invoking couples not only make it seem possible, but they make it seem fun.
The Nutty Professors
I met Carl and Roberta in Cuba. They are a British couple in their 50’s who both teach at the same London University. Since they married in their late 20’s, they have made a point of traveling together for at least four weeks out of the year. Every year! The long school breaks involved in their academic careers certainly help make this possible. They even traveled with their two sons when they were growing up. When Carl reflected on that experience he exclaimed, “Those buggers [remember he´s British] got the best bloody education out there on the road. I wish I had had me for a father.” Carl then took a sip of his Cuba Libre and made the light conversation a bit uncomfortable when he added, “But my father was an alcoholic, so the only thing I could count on him for was a good beating.”
The Dreaded Loretta and Pedro
I met Loretta and Pedro in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, when I followed the sound of a didgeridoo. These dreaded (the locks, not the emotion) Uruguayans had been traveling haphazardly through South American for three years. They supported themselves by making jewelry. Loretta helped attract customers by playing the didgeridoo. Things were a little tense between them when I first started talking to them. Pedro had just gotten out of jail on possession of marijuana. He was rather disenfranchised with the Chilean officials and government in general until he lit a joint and saw things from a more relaxed point of view. “It doesn´t matter though,” he said breathing out a cloud of smoke.
“When all the stories are told, they return to their small lives, and I return to all of this.” He waved his hand across the horizon indicating that the world beyond belonged to him.
What Pedro and Loretta have is love for each other and little else. They move romantically from place to place, depending on their crafts to keep themselves fed and sheltered. It is a free and enviable existence.
Christine and Franz
Hitchhiking is wonderful and awesome! Except when it is not. When I was hitchhiking through Costa Rica, there was a certain stretch of highway past the surf town Dominical where the hot highway did not hum. I was 15 kilometers from the nearest town, exhausted, out of water, and was being weighed down by 80 pounds of gear. It seemed that no one wanted to pick up a sweaty gringo that day. I must have started to become delirious as I was even considering ditching the twenty pounds of books I was lugging.
Then came Christine and Franz to my rescue. The middle-aged French couple picked me up with their rental car, bought me a beer, shared their cookies with me, and even took me out to lunch before we parted ways. Neither spoke English and we communicated via a shaky Spanish. This couple made it seem fun to be middle-aged and married. They had been cruising around the country in their Geo Tracker for a month and were youthfully enjoying every moment of it.
Two Mice, One Love
The Rescuers rank high when it comes to enviable couples. Bernard and Miss Bianca are two mice who travel around the world solving crimes and mysteries. They get paid to travel! Though Bernard often complains about the dangerous situations he finds himself him, he always manages to come through in a pinch. Like the time Miss Bianca was being held hostage in a cage in Australia. You bet Bernard came to the rescue! You bet Bernard rode a warthog to come and save the day! Even though they are rodents, Bernard and Miss Bianca share a bond that keeps their relationship and commitment to each other strong regardless of the situations they find themselves in. They make weighing only one ounce and having a two-year life span seem fun!
About the Author
Luke Maguire Armstrong lives in Guatemala directing the humanitarian aid organization, Nuestros Ahijados. His book of poetry, iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About (available for sale on Amazon.com) is especially enjoyed by people who “don’t read poetry.” (@lukespartacus)