The traditional gift for a 25th wedding anniversary is silver. But for our 25th anniversary this year my husband gave me so much more than the traditional gift. This year he gave me Australia. Not to own or be mine per se, but rather to live and travel and experience life down under for 5 months.
Since January we have been based in Melbourne, Australia. This has meant trips to New Zealand, Tasmania and Sydney so far. Still to come are trips to Uluru (indigenous name for Ayers Rock), Kakadu National Park, Hamilton Island, The Great Barrier Reef and then island hopping in Indonesia to Komodo and the yoga resort the Temple Lodge. As you read this post, we are on Kangaroo Island, celebrating our actual 25th wedding anniversary (and David’s birthday).
World travel is a very big deal to me and I feel like in some ways, our marriage has given me the world. Before we were married we traveled to Bermuda and Switzerland. Afterwards we moved to Vienna Austria for a year. In fact in the first 10 years of marriage we had lived in 6 homes on 2 different continents. And now half a year in Australia. What a ride these 25 years have been.
And the funny thing is that our relationship is kind of like the movie, Harry Met Sally. We met in 1978, while in college. My friend and I were trying to find an apartment on campus. David was living in an apartment with 3 other roommates who were looking for two women willing to share the double room in their unit. But the real reason we got the room was that one of David’s apartment mates had a crush on my friend. David and I dated for a month or two that semester, but soon after his 22nd birthday he broke up with me. Said I was too intense and he was probably right! It broke my heart at the time, but we continued our friendship and never lost touch. I considered David an important friend, but not at all a romantic possibility.
10 years later David invited me to go on vacation with him, as friends. He thought he had two tickets to Hawaii, but that didn’t work out, so we ended up in Bermuda. What a romantic place! In my mind this was supposed to be a week-long ‘fling’, but it turned out to be the beginning of a 25 year marriage.
Anyone who has been in a long term relationship will tell you that it isn’t always easy. And when you throw in a few spirited kids and a bunch of moves, both in and outside of the USA, it means some work. But the work isn’t onerous. And best of all we both still make each other laugh–humor being a wonderful ingredient to a long and happy marriage.
Our relationship has gone through a lot these 35+ years, from secret crush (mine on him!), through ‘dating’ and a breakup. When I was living in NYC, David used to couch crash in my place because we were good friends. When we started dating for the second time, ten years after our first dating ‘misadventure,’ I really did think it was just a short term moment in time. But it grew and grew and grew to a now 25 year marriage to a man I respect and still want to be with. In other words it has been a love affair and i consider myself to be very lucky to get to marry my best friend.
At our wedding David’s brother, Michael, gave us some advice. He compared marriage to being in the marines: it wasn’t just a job, it was an adventure. And he was right. So far we have had lots of great adventures, this man has kept me on my toes (and always with a suitcase stocked for the next trip).
Who knows what the next 25 years will look like, but I say, Bring it on!
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