On August 27, 2011 – less than a month after moving back to Canada – WB and I tied the knot surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful backyard ceremony.
To celebrate our one year anniversary, WB and I wanted to do something special. Being young and poor (but in love!) our options were limited. So instead of traveling far, we traveled near, and decided to get to know our province’s capital city, Toronto.
Toronto is a city that’s always been in the background of my life, having grown up rather near to it. When abroad, answering that difficult question, “where are you from?” I usually say “about an hour outside Toronto.” Most people outside Canada don’t know my hometown. Though I’ve traveled there for shopping, evenings out, visiting relatives and friends, academic research, and boring tasks like procuring a work Visa, I’ve never really spent much time there, just getting to know the city whose shadow I’ve claimed to have grown up in. So we went. We planned to dally about the streets, eat good food, and get to know Toronto.
I’ll admit: while reflecting on our one year anniversary, it’s hard to say we are entirely happy. We’re happy we got married, of course, but we’re a bit distracted from the whole love aspect of the thing when grappling with twenty-something-hood in a climate that does not have our chosen fields of work (or much work at all) exactly waiting with arms open to receive us. Much of our interaction consists of sitting on separate computers, trawling job search sites and asking one another to proofread resumes and cover letters. I shouldn’t complain – we have it better than so many people, and we picked our careers knowing they weren’t exactly lucrative. It just makes this married, adult life a little less lustrous than we expected.
It’s amazing what getting away – even to a city just a couple hours away – can do.
The moment we stepped off the bus and into the city, my heart felt lighter. I had gone from sharing little but my morose musings and daily stresses, to wanting to really talk to WB. About what I was seeing, what I was feeling, what I was thinking. I don’t know if it’s the city itself that’s inspiring, or just the idea of being away from home in a hotel you don’t have to clean later, eating food you don’t have to cook, seeing things that aren’t as familiar to you as the daily walk to the bus stop or the inside of your workspace. The stress lifted, I felt like me again and we felt like us again.
Weekends in on the couch with a bottle of wine and Netflix is a nice way to relax and bond as a couple, and it’s not as if the daily toil makes us completely forget that we love each other or why we do – sometimes, though, life can make it hard to actually bring out those aspects you love about each other.
We both love to explore, try new things, ask questions, think critically, and engage ourselves in our surroundings – things that can be difficult to focus on in the humdrum routine of life. Traveling – even if just to Toronto for a weekend – stirs that sleeping creative creature in us, and helps us learn more about ourselves and each other while we learn about the world. Traveling together has let me know WB better, and has exposed me to a whole new world of interests through him. I learned about Galileo in Italy, even though I didn’t really want to go to the museum. I read a book about chaos theory in Portugal, because he happened to have it and I didn’t want to bother going book shopping. And, on our anniversary weekend, I finally tried a Toronto veggie street dog. (The verdict? Pretty good! Not gourmet, but it definitely tasted like a hot dog).
“Traveling” in Toronto helped us to realize that it’s not just exploring the exotic together that makes a couple feel inspired, renewed, close. It can be easily done close to home. It’s really just facing the world together, sharing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, and knowing that, no matter what and no matter where, you are a team.
Happy (Belated) Anniversary, WB! :)