Thanks for coming back. It’s been a while. I’ll try not to be away for so long again, but no promises.
With my 50 States in 50 Weeks project I hoped to accomplish three goals:
- Make it to all fifty states,
- See my own country before venturing out into the world so I could tell people about where I came from, and
- Find my person, someone to share my life with who wanted to see the world and go on adventures with me.
I’m proud (and super grateful) to say I made it to all fifty states, I have lots of insights and stories about the U.S., and Alex and I are very happy together and super excited to start wandering the world together.
In case you missed it Alex and I met in Austin, TX during my 50 States in 50 Weeks trip. We hit it off right away and within a day my heart exploded and I felt myself fall in love with him. It sounds crazy, I know, but it’s true. The day after we met we were sitting in a coffee shop and I asked Alex to tell me something that people who know him really well know about him but that people who’ve just met him wouldn’t know. He told me sometimes when he gets really mad he throws shit. I asked what makes him really mad and he said, “gross instances of injustice.” and my heart just exploded. Alex asked me if I was ok, so I know a stupid look came over my face as I struggled to comprehend what was happening in my chest. Uh, yeah, I’m fine…just falling in love with you over here, don’t mind me…
Thankfully, a couple days and twelve questions later he fell in love with me too. Let me explain. Before I met Alex I’d read an article in the New York Times titled “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.” In Arkansas my roommate Meghan and I had asked each other the 36 questions and it strengthened our friendship. So after Alex convinced me to stay in Austin two extra days and we took a day trip to San Antonio together I figured why not? I asked him what his plans were for my last day in town. He didn’t have any so I jokingly said, “Ok great, then tomorrow I’m going to make you fall in love with me.” Being the good sport he is he laughed and said ok.
The next day we got to question twelve and then Alex started to freak out. “Holy shit.” “Oh my god.” etc. At the time I was frantically trying to remember what the last question was and how my answer could have offended him so much. (For the record, question 12 is: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? And I said the ability to manipulate time/space like Hiro Nakamura from Heroes and Alex said mind control like Matt Parkman also from Heroes.)
After asking what? several times and the look of alarm on my face growing, he finally looked at me and said, “It worked! I think I’m in love with you!” I laughed and said, “Yay! But we still have to finish the questions….” And so we did.
The next morning, four days after we met, I left Alex to continue on my trip and finish what I started. We stayed in touch and a month and a half later he flew to meet me for my birthday at the end of March. I knew he was special (and had a hunch that one day we’d be leaving the U.S. to go on adventures together) so I had him meet me in Minnesota so he could meet my family. He met aunts, uncles, cousins, and my mom even flew up from Florida to meet him. Everyone loved him and “approved”. How could they not?
We said goodbye again, this time harder than the last. We knew the next time we’d see each other wouldn’t be for six months when my trip was over. As it happens, I couldn’t wait that long. I cut my time in Alaska down and flew to Houston for his birthday in June. There I got to meet his whole family.
A few months later, as I was finishing my trip and figuring out what was next I knew whatever it was had to include Alex. There was just something about him, about us, about our connection. I had to see what would happen. So, I moved to Austin to be with Alex. We got a two bedroom apartment together and while it was crazy since we’d only spent two weeks together in real life up until that point, when you know, you know. And thankfully everything worked out perfectly.
In Austin our relationship grew and we continued to fall in love with one another. I worked a number of odd jobs and made new friends, but soon we both grew restless. We wanted something new, needed to travel, go on adventures, and explore the world and we wanted to do so together. We almost didn’t wait for our lease to be up before hitting the road, but in the end we waited. I’m glad we did, because staying enabled me to take my 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification through Black Swan Yoga in Austin and I wouldn’t trade that experience or those friendships for anything.
Alex and I both want to travel to every country in the world, but if I learned anything from 50 States in 50 Weeks it’s that life happens how it happens and putting time limits on plans just makes everything seem unnecessarily stressful. So we’re going to every country. Eventually. And it’s ok that we have no idea how long that will take.
So, the question was: where to go first?
We decided it would probably be best if the first place we went was somewhere we would both be out of our element so we nixed Central and South America because Alex is fluent in Spanish and I am not. I love Thai food and heard that in Thailand they speak a lot of English and Alex had been to Bangkok before and liked it…so we decided Thailand it is!
Pause. So that was a really great recap of your life for the last year, but like, how are you able to afford all this travel?
Well, for starters the cost of living in Thailand is much cheaper than life in Austin/the U.S. in general. Also, as you know if you’ve read any of my By the Numbers posts – I’m super frugal and I saved while in Austin.
But your jobs?!
Well, like I said, I recently became a Registered Yoga Teacher, so that’s my current plan for making money. I can be anywhere and teach yoga. I started Always Global Yoga to share my yoga adventures from all over the world. As for Alex, he has a remote job creating animated videos so he gets to work from wherever there is internet – lucky duck!
Our current plan:
Fly to Bangkok, Thailand and hang out there for a few days and then fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Apply for a visa extension so we can stay in Thailand for 60 days (instead of the 30 days we’ll get when we land). If everything works out, stay in Thailand for two months, then fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Stay in Vietnam for three months (on a 90 day tourist visa) and then go check out Bali, Indonesia for a couple months (also on a tourist visa with an extension). After those 6-7 months either go back to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and use those places as home bases while we take smaller trips to nearby countries or maybe try somewhere new? Who knows?! Only time will tell…
All I know is I found someone I love who wants to travel the world and explore new places with me and hopefully, someday we’ll make it to every country. I invite you to follow along on our adventures as we will always be wandering. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.