Today’s travel memory comes from the authors of one of my favorite travel blogs out there, Cam and Nicole from Traveling Canucks.
The Traveling Canucks are Nicole and Cameron Wears, a Canadian married couple that currently live in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. You can follow their adventures on their travel blog, facebook fanpage and twitter.
What is our favourite travel memory as a couple?
Though it appears a simple question, narrowing the list to just one has been quite the challenge. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have traveled the world together, experiencing several unforgettable moments that are worthy of this title.
But if we must make a decision, the travel memory that has had the greatest impact on our relationship is, without question, the first time we traveled overseas together.
Let me set the stage.
It was the summer of 2004. Nicole was just accepted into the International Student Exchange Program in Penang, Malaysia. She would be gone for close to six months, a mighty challenge for our young relationship. After countless emotional discussions, it was decided; Nicole was leaving. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. How could she not?
Not one to let Nicole have all the fun, I quit my unsatisfying account manager job and quickly followed. We were unsure how this experiment was going to work but we had youthful curiosity and impulsiveness on our side.
Though we had both traveled overseas before this great adventure, we had never been to Asia, or even a third-world country for that matter. Not only was the culture shock a personal challenge, it quickly put our relationship to the ultimate test.
Nicole had arrived a month before me, enough time to secure an apartment and get the lay of the land. We spent months bouncing around Southeast Asia, using Penang as our home base. Nicole would go to school from Tuesday to Thursday and we would travel from Friday to Monday (sometimes I would do her homework while she was in class so that we could spend more time together exploring – but don’t tell her instructors that!).
One weekend was spent in Singapore, the next Kuala Lumpur, then the island of Langkawi, and so on. Every few weeks Nicole would get extra time off, which gave us sufficient time to explore neighbouring countries like Thailand and Laos.
It was an interesting way to experience the region and its fascinating cultures. I don’t think we realized how perfect it was until many years later.
We didn’t need to carry a heavy backpack or worry about laundry. In fact, we often only had one medium sized bag between us. The trips were short and sweet and required limited planning because other international students would share their tips or even join us. But the best part was that we had a comforting home to return to after each mini-adventure.
That trip changed us forever. Not only did it open our eyes and make us better people, it strengthened our relationship in ways we cannot describe. It was the bite that infected us with what has become a fairly serious case of the travel bug!
Don’t forget to follow Cam and Nicole on their blog and various social media outlets: