Many people who knew me before I met Alan ask me if Alan used to travel before he met me, and many people who knew him before he met me, asks him the same thing too. Truth is, yes, we both used to travel before we met each other – and that’s a big part of what brought us together in the first place.
Alan and I met in the Summer of 2014. I know, I know, not that long ago, in fact when we were about to celebrate our first year anniversary, another couple who are friends of ours (and we met them right after we started dating actually) thought it was our 10th year anniversary – only to be surprised by our big reveal to them!
Anyway, back to the topic in question, Alan and I met each other face-to-face at the airport. None of us rode in on a jet plane no, I was actually waiting for someone at the airport who was delayed and overspilled well into the hours of our first date, that I ended up telling him to come to the airport and wait with me if he didn’t want to wait for me alone, and to my surprise he did. They landed soon after, and after dropping them off at their house, I went to meet Alan again to officially start our first date 3 hours late.
So the conversation that day automatically fell on travelling (and politics) and just 2 days later I found myself at a travelling agency just outside Valletta paying for our first flight to Larnaca, Cyprus together.
First thing I do when I check-into a hotel is to unpack. I actually love packing, but I hate living out of my suitcase, so I like to unpack everywhere we go. I even unpacked Alan’s suitcase that day, and being still new to dating each other, it was like a treasure hunt to see what this guy has packed. You can tell so much about what a guy/girl packs for their holiday. About two years later, whilst packing his suitcase for his China trip in the Summer of 2016, I asked Alan what he used to do before he met me in regards to packing, and remembering how well packed his suitcase was on that first trip, he revealed to me that his mother had packed it for him and he actually never packed his own suitcase. Not that he doesn’t know how, but its one of those things that he actually hates doing. Now-a-days it’s a surprise every time we travel cause I always sneak-in a couple of items which he never wears at home, this way he gets to wear them abroad at least.
I remember even whilst we were on this trip, that this was actually a great Summer, and it’ll be crap to end this summer romance – but boy was I wrong Just after the Summer, Alan and I ended up going to France, then Poland, then we moved in together in January, just shy of 6 months of dating.
This first trip was actually the make-or-break of our relationship, and so many things have come out of it, which at the time we thought it was meaningful, but today they mean the world to us.
One of those things is actually a song, the song we used as our first dance during our wedding in September of 2016, Xemx. Xemx maybe the most used wedding song in Malta for decades on end yes, but we chose Xemx as it reminds us of a great Sunday afternoon when we were chilling at our hotel’s swimming pool in Aiya Napa in Cyprus, and this song came on. It made us smile, and we always remember how carefree and happy we were at that moment, that we wanted those memories to last and when the time came to choose our first song, there was no debate, we both wanted this song for the same reasons.
However the most important aspect of the trip is me realising that I can actually travel with this guy. Travelling is hard when you do it with someone else, and I’ve lost friends whilst travelling before, and I’ve also came very close to loosing my best friend during our first and only trip together to Liverpool a few years before I met Alan. Just because you like someone, doesn’t mean you can live with them. But here I was, with a guy I really really really liked, travelling just after we met, and I was actually liking him even more during the trip – Alan tend to joke about how that’s the trip where I fell in love with him too – but I’ll leave him guessing on the moment I realised I love him until we’re retired 🙂
So as I close off this article, I’d like to salute all those travelling couples who go through all the ups and downs of being with someone 24/7. We all know it’s hard to do, but we do it cause the ups outweighs the downs big-time.