follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
Travel with a partner is not always easy. In fact, I think travel with a partner has the potential for it to commonly not be very easy. But it also has the potential for transcendental growth and joy and amazingness. And I am lucky enough to be in partnership with someone who I get to experience both extremes and all the in-betweens with. Yum.
Terence and I have been traveling together for over two months now—one month in Australia, one month in Costa Rica, and spending two weeks apart before heading off to Alaska and who knows where after that. Woo yesss! And what I have come to realize from this time so far, is that travel takes us to a place of newness every single day. Collectively and Individually. So it is impossible not to grow with each other during this time. I'm in for quite a ride to say the least...
I had made attempts to write about what had been happening with us and our relationship throughout the first two months of travel, but it felt too difficult to do while being in the midst of it. Because with Terence being my partner and my travel companion through life and love, fluctuations with him seem to connect to everything else that is occurring around me. So it sure was a lot to fathom writing down! I'm sure if I look back at some of my writings from Australia and Costa Rica, everything could connect back to our relationship in one way or another. Because Terence is the closest person to me on this planet so far. He has seen me in some of my darkest moments, my lightest moments, my most vulnerable moments, my most blissful moments, and I have seen many of his. And traveling together is no different. In fact, travel seems to become the carrier of us and all our inner/outer stuff. The mirroring effect is going to be inevitable. And might I add...I have loved traveling with this man of mine for all of the reasons mentioned.
Something I have been wanting to touch upon though, which has felt difficult to express in writing, is that our relationship is far from being flowery, beautiful, and easy all the time. And it feels really important for me to have this in writing, on my blog, and shared with those reading and those that know me. Because I'm really passionate about liberating any stories that a functional relationship looks flowery, beautiful, and easy all the time. I certainly talk and write often about how much I love him, about how moved I am by our connection, about the ways that we meet each other in honesty, about the ways we try to own our shit and see each other clearly, about all the ways that we certainly do have a gorgeous partnership. BUT, AND, ALSO. There is a lot of work and challenge and confusion and disconnection and reconnection that happens behind the scenes. And this layer of the-sometimes-ugly-behind-the-scenes-work is something that I have witnessed in relationships that I admire. I have come to the understanding so far that a functional relationship embodies both of these polarities that I speak of. The Shadow and the Light.
When I first got to Australia, I was so so so sublimely happy in anticipation of seeing Terence again after a month of him being there on his own. We made beautiful love together when I first arrived. There was a sweetness and an ease in our connection. And then I felt a drop of energy between us, and I got really emotionally frantic and somewhat needy. I couldn't quite tell you if it was him, if it was me, or if it was both of us, but that first week was an emotionally hard one for me to be with. And it was confusing to try to understand what was really going on. I would do my self connection practice every day, and feel rage and sadness and frustration come up. I was so sexually desirous, and felt anger build inside when he wouldn't meet me there. So I would take that energy and go on walks where I would express my feelings to the trees and the land, stamping my feet and yelling with guttural cries, to try to move my emotions through to get to clarity underneath. I felt like a child at times. I wanted so badly to come back to equilibrium within myself, but there was a part of me that was looking to him to do it for me. When I did return to my center, I was able to express my inner world with him and be witnessed in these moments, knowing that it was all okay, and knowing that I was working on taking responsibility for myself and doing my best not to blame him for my feelings.
I learned within that week, that if Terence is not feeling available (emotionally, physically, energetically, etc.), he can't be my only outlet for sensual or sexual touch. He can’t be my only outlet for entertainment. He can’t be my only barometer for how the energy is flowing between us. I must return to myself, and say wait, how am I feeling today as a single entity, and what do I really need and want and desire, and how can give that to myself?
Not easy, not beautiful, and not really a flowery experience, eh? But definitely necessary for where we were at that time. And then our flowers had space to emerge afterwards, once the soil had been tended to.
There is so much that I am learning from this experience of travel with Terence. Many things that are being learned through my body, through my emotions, and just through the physical state of being together each day on this journey. But there are some specifics that I feel bear the importance of being written down to remember!:
I'm sure I will learn more in this year of travel... There's only 8 more months to go!!! *head desk* but this foundation—the foundation I have within myself and the foundation we have built within our relationship—is a great one to start with. That travel with a partner may not always be pretty, but if I trust in the gifts from the Shadows and the gifts from the Light, I will always find something rewarding.
And lastly... Hey, Terence...you're pretty cool and I love you. Wanna live in a van with me? Awesome great see ya later.