I was reminiscing with my partner about the trips we have taken over the years together, to all the places we have been. We started talking about certain trips, memories and flashes of what we loved doing (or not!)
Before I met him, I never really traveled on my own, or with friends to any of these places. I didn’t have the money first of all, and secondly, the first clue about traveling alone and how to plan any of it.
We went across Canada first to Vancouver…
NYC from the Highline
Then to the U.S. (NYC, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Dallas..)..
Macau watching them bloom
To major spots we had on our travel wish list in Asia (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and we planned on Tokyo but then the tsunami hit 2 weeks later)…
And of course, back home to Europe (Paris, Lyons, London, Stockholm, Brussels, Vienna, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Porto).
As cheesy as it sounds, it was really in these trips that we found our what kind of traveling people we were (less ‘relax on the beach’ types, and more ‘tour in hard hiking boots for 16 hours a day’ types) as well as how cheap we could go in expenses for food and traveling in general.
I cried my safe word “Money” far sooner than he did to try and pinch every penny.
My most memorable “trip” was not to see all these amazing places per se even though I still remember what it feels like to be sitting on the top deck, in the front of the trams in Hong Kong and seeing the whole city unfold before my eyes in a burst of senses…
..but it was the silly little things that brought us closer together.
For instance, we were walking around New York City (my first time ever there, his third), trying to take in the city on the very last day before we would board a plane back to Montreal in the afternoon.
A little background is needed here:
He had planned on New York City being on a VERY STRICT budget.
No overages, not even by a penny over what he planned to spend, and he was down to his last $0.75 (literally), accounting for the cost to get to the airport by subway.
When this man is determined, he is DETERMINED. I’m a little more like Jello compared to him especially when it comes to splurging 😉
We had already checked out of the hotel and were walking around before heading into the subway, and as I was soaking in the city and trying to remember everything I saw and loved about it before going back home, I heard him cough beside me.
This is how that conversation went:
Me: Are you okay?
Him: Nothing. Just… throat is really dry. And I’m craving a Coca-Cola.
Me: Okay. Let’s go buy something to drink.
Me: What do you mean no?
Him: I’m fine. I’ll be fine. I am not going over budget.
*commence walking around for 10 more minutes*
Him: Uggh.. why is it so warm and dry? *cough* My throat is pretty dusty.
Me: Okay, seriously, let’s go buy that drink. Where’s the nearest convenience store?
Him: Look I am down to my American money, and my budget is done. I don’t want to change any more money to buy a drink. The exchange rate killed my calculations and I can’t go over on this trip.
Me: *side eye* …. are you serious? You’re dying for a drink, and you don’t want to spend a measly dollar on a cold, refreshing drink that you could really use right now?
Him: NO. I said this trip would come under budget and it is dagnabbit going to come in UNDER BUDGET.
Me: You’re scaring me. *half-joking* … I’m fearing for our money compatibility right now.
Him: Weren’t you on a budget too!??
Me: Yes, sort of, but I always have some flexibility in being CHEAP when I’m suffering.
Him: Nope. I promised myself I’d stay under and I am going to damn well do it. It’s just a drink.
Me: ……. *walks to the nearest convenience store and buys a Coca-Cola for him and something for myself*
Him: Thank you. I love you. You have no idea how much right now. *drinks it down*
Me: Uh huh. Remember that when I need a cold, refreshing drink in an urban desert next time.
That’s when I realized even if I didn’t buy it for him, there were a few things we learned about each other…….
A) I’m a jellyfish when it comes to spending money. You can twist my jelly arm pretty easily. I see budgets as flexible things because as long as I am not going into debt for things, I’m good.
B) He is an iron bar, refusing to bend in the face of thirst because he is a man of his word and his budget.
C) He knows how to pinch a penny which is very handy in a partner, and I am here to balance him out.
Love. That’s what it’s all about. Complementing each other.