My Travel Buddy

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John relaxes by the Tomebamba River in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Life is good on the road because people, past and present, are fascinating, the Creation is awe-inspiring and what human beings have done with it is often amazing. But life on the road is good mainly because of my travel buddy.

Honestly, I never imagined I would be living the life I am now. Sure, I figured I’d make it to another country or two before the lights go out, but I never dreamed I’d see so much of the world…never dreamed I’d find a partner in life…never dreamed I would be loved so well. It’s humbling. I never take one moment for granted.

Traveling with John — as life with John — is never dull. He’s the ultimate extrovert and I’m a classic introvert. At times that can cause friction, but generally it makes for a wonderful balance. He jokingly teaches me how to stroll with my nose in the air down the Avenue des Champs Elycees and I remind him to pause and contemplate the singular beauty of a spanish-moss-draped tree on Sapelo Island.

The way we choose to travel isn’t always comfortable. I’m down for all-inclusive resorts and nice hotels, but you don’t discover how the locals live if you limit yourself to these enticing, cocoons. When you choose to go more native, you have to be flexible and ready for anything — like depositing used toilet paper in a bin rather than flushing it (Ecuador) or eating strange, new things (donkey in Italy) or simply navigating the snafus you encounter in getting from here to there when you don’t speak the language (train breakdown in Czech Republic). No matter the travel situation, John makes the best of it. He always has fun — whether in a hostel in Costa Rica or Dromoland Castle in Ireland — and it’s infectious.
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When traveling, you really come to appreciate the kindness of strangers, but the same goodnatured help is a necessity in your traveling companion. John’s always ready to lug the heavy stuff up five flights of stairs or get up early to go to the local market while I catch an extra wink. And miracle of miracles, he loves to cook and has been known to take a cooking class or two during our travels. I am the fortunate (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) recipient of all his culinary experimentation.

What more can I say? He’s the best travel buddy — on and off the road — that I’ve ever had…and he cooks, too! My life is good because he is in it.
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