Mr ESLT have been together now for nine birthdays, nine Christmases, nine anniversaries of the date we first met, nine Valentine’s days, one engagement, one wedding and four wedding anniversaries and I will honestly, openly and proudly state I have never bought him a present (and vice versa). That’s not because we don’t love each other, but then again who says you have to equate the amount you spend on someone to the level of your love for them? It’s also certainly not because we can’t be bothered. It’s because we have both throughly got on board with the ‘collect memories, not things’ theory.
From the day we met we spoke of our mutual love of travel, it was/is an important element of what makes us tick, both individually and together. Three weeks after our first meeting we threw some things in our carry on and flew to Florence, Italy. We didn’t know each other at all really and we really didn’t know each other’s travel habits – you know what I mean, the little oddities that only come to light when you spend a lot of time together in a confined space. Regardless, we took a leap of faith and 9 and a bit years later it is still the best thing that I (hopefully we) have ever done.
From that moment on the precedent was set and Skyscanner and Booking.com were bookmarked ready to take a hammering on a regular basis. There’s only so many pairs of socks a person needs and chocolates only last so long. I’ll be honest it wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened which I think made it more natural and meant to be. Now we don’t even ask the question ‘what would you like for your birthday?’ it’s always ‘where do you want to go for your birthday?’.
Living in England we’re in a great position regarding budget airlines and can pick flights up to major European destinations pretty cheaply. If you don’t have a specific city in mind you can pick up flights at certain times of the year for around £20 return. This happened earlier this year when we visited Gothenburg, Sweden for Valentine’s Day – my flight was cheaper than a standard bunch of flowers which would have looked pretty for a couple of weeks before they were chucked in the bin yet the memories we made on that trip will last a lifetime.
After nearly a decade of our arrangement I can’t imagine it will change anytime soon. With trips planned already this year for my birthday (Dubai), Mr ESLT’s birthday (surprise) and our wedding anniversary (Vilnius) it’s shaping up to be a great year for travel. Obviously the downside is that we never have anything wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on top to unwrap. A lot of our friends and members of our family simply cannot get their head around that but the joy we get from travelling and new experiences outweighs that a million times over – long may it continue.