March 10, 2018 Catherine Mendoza 84Comment

“Have fun, you two!” said one of my friends on a post on our couple page on Instagram. I shared a photo taken from inside the airplane with the caption, “Hello, South Africa, I’ll be spending a month with you!“

Most of my friends thought that we were traveling together. On December 2, 2017, Chris and his friend, Andreas, went to their first destination: Johansberg, South Africa.

“I’m sorry, honey,” he said. “I hope you’re okay and I hope you understand.”

Of course. It’s your trip and I want you to enjoy it even without me. Honey, it’s South Africa!” I said, genuinely enthusiastic. Like I was more adrenalized than he was.

As the saying goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder. We’ve been in a long distance for months but ever since we met, we always travel together. But this time, it’s sort of different. 

 

My 29th birthday and post birthday celebration

He was at work in Munchen and left early to celebrate with me on Skype while I was still in Bangkok, working as a guesthouse manager. A week later, I celebrated my birthday at Hua Hin. He, on the other hand, was exploring the extraordinary places of South Africa.

 

His 34th birthday

On his birthday on December 7, he was at a safari camp. It’s one of the items on our bucket list, but since he was scheduled to experience it, I wished him to have a blast and celebrate the way he never did before. He went to see the wild, eat some great African cuisine, and ride an awesome Range Rover.

He documented each moment and sent me amazing photos of the wild including those of five big lions, tall lovely giraffes, and more animals in their natural habitat. His days were filled with hopping from one place to another. He told me stories of their journey.

 

Many people dream of seeing the safari, I am one of them. It’s no surprise since having a close encounter with beautiful creatures is such a magical feeling that you could never ever forget of. 

 

I must admit, though, that not being with him while he ventures into seeing the world make me feel a bit jealous. I wish I were with him. Although, traveling solo is one of the best experiences. 

It sounds bizarre, but feeling this way about his trips make me love and appreciate him more. 

One of the good things about being apart is he has become more concerned and caring. Distance doesn’t stop him from looking after my needs like when I was looking for the beach resort I would stay at on my post birthday trip. He was always willing to give me a hand.

 

From that day onward, they were consistently on the move, changing accommodations, venturing into road trips, going to world-class beaches, tall amazing jaw-dropping mountains, and sceneries, and trying out local food and wine choices.

 

 

Christmas

I spent Christmas day on my own at Suvarnabhumi Hotel Resort in Bangkok. It was a Christmas present from him.  I had a romantic solo Christmas dinner at Favola Italian Restaurant while he was in Stellenbosch, South Africa, tasting wines. 

 

New Year

My friends and I watched the countdown in Bangkok while he was cruising and welcoming the new year with music and drinks in the common area in his hotel in Cape Town. And lastly, he sent me photos of phenomenal Cape Town, his last destination before flying home.

 

You see? Our travels don’t allow us to celebrate special occasions together. But it’s not the end of the world! We were happy for each other and we made it! 

 

The biggest yet challenge is the time difference. But you can give each other peace of mind by keeping in touch and letting each other know what you’re up to.

 

If you experience the same, enjoy your life on those days. Just don’t stop communicating with each other. Continue to send updates and special greetings.

 

The upside

He decided to take a detour in Bangkok on his way back to Munchen. It melted my heart! The feeling was surreal. He ditched his flight and bought another ticket.  That was such a great deal of bliss to start the new year.

Another good thing about traveling separately is that we have tons of stories to tell when we see each other again. He told me about his close encounter with the big 5 in Africa and other fun adventures that left me in awe me the most!

 

We vowed that his trip to South Africa would be the last time he would travel without me, except of course when it’s a business trip.( But I also want to join him in business trips if there will be a chance.)

So, why did we travel separately? Why wasn’t I part of his South African trip? 

Well, most of my friends asked and wondered why. Here’s the real truth. Chris had booked the trip with his friend Andreas 3 months before we even met! And that was the major reason why I didn’t want to stop him on that amazing journey. 

 

Despite being a thousand miles away from each other on special occasions and holidays, we never forget to appreciate and make each other feel loved. Both of us are passionate about traveling. And being apart gives us something to look forward to.

 

We don’t and can’t always spend special events with our loved ones, but that’s okay. As we always say, distance is not a hindrance to communication.

 

If you’re in a long distance relationship, too, it pays to trust and support each other during one’s travels.