Today is our seven year anniversary. On August 14, 2005, hundreds (we don’t quite know the count…) of people traveled from all corners of the earth to celebrate our commitment to each other in Kerala. We got married in The Santa Cruz Basilica, a Portuguese church built in 1558. It was around that time that Portuguese explorer Pedro Alverez Cabral discovered Brazil (on his way to India via Cape Town, no less). After getting married in a Portuguese church we think it’s apt to be closing off seven years of marriage in a former Portuguese colony.
Given that we are both world wanderers since birth, we have chosen to celebrate each of our anniversaries with a trip. In 2006 we were set to mark one year in the Lake District of England for a friend’s wedding. I had to work so Sandeep went a few days ahead of me to support the groom. While he was gone I started losing sensation in my body. A neurologist told me I may have multiple sclerosis. Looking back I’m not sure if I was more disappointed at the thought of canceling the trip or scared of the prognosis. I called Sandeep in tears and he was on the next flight back in NYC. We ended up spending our first anniversary testing our vow to care for each other in sickness and in health. It wasn’t the Lake District, but somehow, in a sterile NYC clinic, our appreciation and love for each other inexplicably deepened.
In 2007 and 2008 we went to Maine. We drove to what seemed like the end of the earth, rented a cabin, ate lobsters and cut ourselves off from the world. We celebrated our fourth year in Portugal, where our love for the culture was solidified over copious amounts of port and dorado. The travel escapades continued at a castle in Salamanca, Spain in 2010. We’re not ones to think of such romantic destinations and were there to celebrate another friend’s wedding. It seems that a lot of people get married over the summer months because we marked our six year anniversary at another wedding in Toronto.
After the realization that I had a chronic disease, Sandeep and I reevaluated our lives. We decided to have kids sooner than we had originally planned, and our identity as parents has existed nearly as long as our identity as spouses. We wanted to focus on creating new experiences together as a family. The kids, as much as they perplex us, have made our journeys as a couple all the more meaningful.
We’ll be spending our seven year anniversary flying from Brazil back to NYC, ending the last international stop in our around the world journey. A Boeing 767 is not a romantic venue in the conventional sense, but for two souls bound by travel it’s perfect. This ten month journey has confirmed that we value each other and shared experiences more than we care about stuff. The things that accompanied us for 10 months are packed one for last time into two bags and ready to make their way back to their port of origin. We’re getting ready to start the next chapter of our lives. With each other as co-captains, and our two babies as in-flight entertainment, as it’s bound to be an adventure.