In all honestly, I was halfway through writing a post about “a day in the life of being crew” (as promised!) and then I was distracted by Instagram, and all of the thousands of lovey dovey posts on there… and then I got to thinking about how lucky I am to have been able to go off, travel and experience living/ working overseas, with the love and support of someone special.
Every relationship has its ups and downs, whether long distance or just down the road, but living apart has definitely been the most challenging thing we’ve faced as a couple so far. So for everyone thinking about making the move, and trying to “go the distance” I’d like to share some of my experiences with you all, to show that bon voyage doesn’t necessarily mean au revoir!
Is simultaneously the best and worst invention of all time. On one hand, it is so comforting to have loved ones on the end of the line, smiling and talking back to you (assuming the connection is good, otherwise you are left looking at a pixelated image of your other half, and it sounds like they are speaking under water). On the other hand, it is a terrible, horrible invention that leaves you desperately homesick once you hang up, because you are simply staring at a blank screen where your loved one was a second ago. Bittersweet! The best thing I think we did was make time to Skype when it was reasonable for the both of us (and sometimes even unreasonable- James often skyped me really early in the morning or super late at night if it was the only time we got to talk! SO thankful) I guess the key is compromise, and respecting the other person’s responisbilites (and sleep patterns, which I didn’t always consider! Oops…), and also making the time to catch up, especially if you haven’t spoken for a few days or seen each other for almost 3 months. My friends in Dubai will vouch for me, every time before we ate dinner, or went out, pretty much anything, (and it was bedtime at home) I would sneak off for a quick Skype session just to say goodnight. It’s often the little things that take up biggest spaces in our hearts!
A great, international alternative to text messaging or even iMessage, because you can send videos and photos and fire off a quick “Im here safe, good night” message without too much hassle as long as there is a decent wifi connection (a given in most hotels, but a luxury in some). What’s App is very popular amongst crew as it doesn’t matter where the mobile number is from, or which country you’re in. As long as you have the app then anyone with your number can message you for free. Very handy for making friends on layovers, too!
Sometimes the best way to say “Thinking of you” is some good old fashioned snail mail! It’s no secret that I love to write, and there is just something so romantic and old fashioned about receiving something in the mail (that isn’t a bill or note from the post office saying your Amazon purchase has arrived!), Many postcards made their way from all over the world back to little old Perth. There is nothing like saying “I miss you” on the back of a pretty postcard for the whole world to see! I think I am just a romantic at heart, but they make great keepsakes, too! It’s even more fun to trace the postmark on the card (if you actually remember to send the card on the layover…all this flying has made me rather scatty at times!) and see where it came from! Often I had sent these lovely cards, and beaten them back home! Some hotels even have gorgeous free personalised stationary, that I used to write notes and letters on, too! Very old school, but I also think it is a nice break from technology, too. (I realise this is a blog, and the sole reason you can all access my words is via the internet…but consider this: if I had the means and time to write everything by hand, and individually get it to you all, I would!)
Another nice way to steer away from Instagram and get back to what really matters (the special someone in your life) is to print photos (yes, from your phone, at the photo shop) and have them in frames around your apartment or just somewhere handy when you feel like going down memory lane. It’s so nice to be able to actually hold something in your hands and let your mind wander to when the photo was taken. What did you wear? How did you feel? What was going on in your life at that time? I may be the only person under 25 to actually take the time to print these candid moments out, and I am glad for it. (As I am sure, secretly, that James is too!) 😉 It was nice when I was alone, in my apartment with no one else for company (apart from the entire cast of friends and a glass of wine) to sit and think about where I’d been and how far we’d come.
When I first decided to move to Dubai, I didn’t really know how it would turn out, how long I would stay, if I would like it and how our relationship would shape up. We’ve certainly had our trials and triumphs, but I can happily say that if I had the chance to change this particular chapter of my story, I wouldn’t change a single thing (right down to the last 11 hour flight to Perth with no rest, no sleep and no luggage!). I would not have been able to achieve the things that I have, to go where I’ve been and to see what I’ve seen without the patience, respect and support of my other half. It took lots of trust, understanding and sacrifices (travelling to Perth, to Dubai, to Vancouver, to Seattle, to Sydney) to see each other even if it was just for a few hours, but every hour spent on the aircraft was worth every second we got to spend together!
Don’t get me wrong, being an absentee at birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and simply on weekends (when we used to spend them together and then all of the sudden, we were apart) is very difficult. In saying this, I’m a big believer of following your heart and your dreams at the time, and at the time when I left Perth, it simply didn’t feel right to end something that made us so happy, and I am so glad that I listened to my instincts. In saying this, who knows what will happen in a year’s, a month’s or a day’s time, but at this point in my life, I am so grateful for where I am in my life and where “we” are. I love to travel and see new things, and be thrown out of my comfort zone…but it was so nice to wake up to roses and a big smile this morning. That’s Taylor’s take on going the distance! Hope I haven’t bored you all to tears with my romantic notions and old fashioned ways 😉
Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope it is filled with lots of love (and chocolate/champagne, whether you’re taken or not!)