This will likely be one of the more sentimental entries that I ever post. As such, it might be too mushy for some. But at least now you have been warned.
I actually wrote the important part of this post a while ago. I was supposed to be packing for a trip last December, but was simultaneously Skyping with my friend Caitlin (the very same Caitlin who suggested eHarmony). And while we’d always known it, for some reason, it was clear during this conversation that our views on guys and relationships were quite different. So, once we were done talking, instead of folding clothes, I found myself writing my thoughts on love. Why? No idea. Not something I would really ever consider doing and I thought it was actually pretty lame while I was doing it. Still, I guess it didn’t hurt, as it was probably just my way of trying to better understand my own behaviours and thoughts toward relationships.
Anyway, a lot of my friends talk about finding/having an ideal partner or soulmate. And while that’s a very quixotic thought, for me it’s actually a lot simpler. After spending a good chunk of my life travelling around the world, I’ve realized that all I want is a good travel companion. OK, so that probably doesn’t sound remotely magical—and maybe it isn’t— but hopefully the following (the exact prose from my night of packing last winter) will do a better job of explaining what I mean.
I want a man who would be my first choice to be stuck with on a fourteen hour trans-continental flight. Obviously, we’d love each other enough to want to spend time travelling together, and we’d be similar enough to want to visit the same place. But we’d be unique enough to order two different in-flight meals, although dessert would be shared (of course). In addition to immersing ourselves in the culture of our destination, we’d both be looking forward to a variety of activities upon arrival, none of which would need to be pre-planned. In fact, better if they weren’t; time for simply relaxing would also be a must. We could enjoy the same in-flight movies, or different ones, and while our iPods may or may not house the same artists, a general appreciation for music would be essential.
While flashing his credit card and upgrading us to first class might be nice, my partner would know that I cannot be bought nor impressed with fancy things that don’t really matter. However, I’d genuinely appreciate if he got me both cookies and pretzels because he knew I was starving, or if he showed me an article from the in-flight magazine about coral reefs because he knew it would make me smile. A high level of intra-relationship competition is totally cool, but he would understand that letting me win at seat-tray Xs & Os is hurtful in the same way that I’d know he gets irritated when I correct his grammar. So we’d try to avoid those situations. However, he could tease me from tarmac to tarmac because he would also know that his jesting doesn’t bother me in the least. And because I’d give it right back.
He wouldn’t be embarassed that I like to be comfortable when I fly. And for a fourteen hour flight, only my oldest, warmest, baggiest sweatshirt would do. And I wouldn’t care if he took his shoes off as soon as we started to taxi. He couldn’t get annoyed if I had to use the bathroom a dozen times—an hour—and I’d understand that he’d probably want the aisle seat because his legs are longer. Jealousy is pointless and trust is essential, so he would know that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about if the hot foreign guy in the window seat asked me to translate a customs form. And I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if the equally hot stewardess talked to him for longer than necessary. Ideally, we’d conspire to bring these two together.
He’d understand that I get bored and fidgety, while I’d respect his desire to read quietly. We’d need to be comfortable with one another, but not feel obligated to talk constantly for the entire flight. However, just in case we did, I want someone who would make fourteen hours of conversation pass in a heartbeat, while making me laugh and think in equal parts. He should expect the same. It would be nice if he found it cute if I got into a rant about tuna ranching, the same way I’d find his enthusiasm for football endearing. We’d be crazy about each other such that Mile High Club members would be jealous, and we’d love each other enough to serve as each other’s masseuse/masseur or pillow (and inevitably drool receptacle) when asked and without hesitation.
And, the reason I bring this post up now is that, as luck would have it, I’m finally getting a first-hand opportunity to test out my ‘soulmate’ hypothesis. Wilf and I are currently waiting at YVR before heading to Los Angeles before continuing on to Sydney, Australia. The latter being an estimated 14 hours and 46 minutes of pure travel joy. Or, for the distance inclined: 12,056 km door to door. For some people, this might be a make or break kind of trip. And yet, I’m not too worried. Well, no, I’m not worried at all.