4,865 Miles to Copenhagen
When I got involved with my boyfriend, he was married. I don’t mean separated and married on paper; I mean very much married and living with his wife. When he propositioned me at a bar after work one day, I thought there was no way I was going to let this scumbag into my pants. So I told him I would only consider it if he flew to meet me in Copenhagen. He did. That trip was nothing short of spectacular, despite the unfortunate circumstances under which it took place. We walked the grounds of Kronborg Castle and enjoyed the waterfront view in Nyhavn. By the time we went on the trip, he had already told me he was in love with me, and by the end of it, I realized I was very much in love with him, too.
4,870 miles to Switzerland
He promptly left his wife upon our return and that Thanksgiving, we jetted off to Switzerland together. It was cold and the mountains were snow-capped. We took a train to Zermatt, which provided a fantastic backdrop for our cozy escape. We ate the most delicious chocolates I’ve ever had and enjoyed a nighttime swim on the rooftop pool of the Thermalbad in Zurich. Though we didn’t ski, he talked me into going up on the lifts on the Matterhorn, an experience that was both terrifying and awesome. For Thanksgiving dinner, we burgers at The Bite in the light of a half melted candle.
181 miles to the Bahamas
For his birthday, we took a cruise to the Bahamas. After docking, we walked through Nassau’s Straw Market before settling down on a sandy beach nearby. We were treated to the sounds of a 20-year old Casio keyboard through blown out speakers and the smell of delicious barbecue. Before heading back to the ship, we made sure to get some chocolate rum cake, his favorite. On the ship, he pulled me into the deep end of the pool only to realize I wasn’t joking or exaggerating when I said I couldn’t swim. We passed the time at the casino and playing Scrabble in the ship’s library. I beat him 351 to 312.
585 miles to Charleston
When Christmas came, we took advantage of the long weekend and drove up to South Carolina. Though Charleston was lovely, I was very sick on that trip. And what they don’t tell you on the list of Best Places to Spend Christmas is that when you spend Christmas Day in a Southern town, you have a pretty decent chance of starving. Everything on King Street was closed. Thankfully, we found a wonderful Italian-owned pizza parlor that was open nearby. We spent the trip shopping, touring plantations, and since I wasn’t feeling so well, resting up in the hotel room watching A Christmas Story. On Christmas Eve, he woke up in the middle of the night to set up our own little Christmas tree inside a homemade lantern made of postcards from all the places we had traveled to together.
235 miles to Orlando
Though a short drive away, I remember our trip to Orlando well because it was the first vacation we took after we were already living together. I remember thinking how fun it was to pack together the night before. We drove out to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We had butterbeer and rode all the good rides. We caught The Avett Brothers in concert that weekend and we didn’t stop talking about how good that show was for weeks.
5,179 miles to Italy
About a month later, we were off to Italy together. We walked the hell out of Rome, rode a gondola in Venice, and ate every different type of pizza you can imagine. Despite being initially underwhelmed by Florence, by the time we saw Michelangelo’s David and walked around the shopping district a bit, we realized it was easily our favorite out of the three. He bought me a nice leather jacket as a birthday present and had a fantastic dinner at a place recommended by the sales girl. After walking across the river and back from the Piazzale Michelangelo, we stumbled on a great concert in the beautiful Teatro Verdi. On our last day in Rome, we also accidentally stumbled upon Papal Mass at the Vatican. It was a trip full of happy accidents.
7,452 miles to Japan
We went to Japan about a month after we both lost our jobs. I’ll always be glad we decided to take the trip anyway. We hiked through many of the major temples of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We played in more arcades on that trip than I have in my entire adult life. And we bickered about the food, because he’s quasi-vegetarian and could hardly find anything without meat. He would tell me months later that he didn’t expect our relationship to last very long after that trip because of the way I was arguing with him. He was wrong; but you can’t come between a girl and her sushi. He compromised and by the time we got to Kyoto, he was eating noodles from a street cart. We spent the entire trip eating weird candy and gazing every night in awe at the insane light displays of the city.
235 miles to Orlando
We already had another trip planned to Orlando – to go back to Universal Studios – when I decided I was moving out of our apartment. I went anyway, this time alone. I didn’t have to compromise with him about when to eat or what to ride, but I did have a lot of time to think. So I spent the last 235 miles of our relationship reflecting on the first 23,367. And mourning the end of an unforgettable adventure.
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