2013 was bumpy. I was halfway through my Master’s and realized I wanted to pursue a PhD which meant I’d spend another 3-6 years away from Ryan. Not knowing where I wanted to do my PhD and not being able to know what laid ahead of us, we veered away from us. Not knowing how to navigate a long-term and long-distance relationship really challenged what we wanted and how we we wanted it. We pulled through though and we’re better than we were before. It also prepared me for what would happen in the coming years when I embarked on my PhD.
According to my photos though, we managed to squeeze in a trip to California in March and December, and I managed to visit Ryan a couple of times in Cayman. I also managed a 6-week trip around Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany to see where I might want to do my PhD and got to spend time with Sylvia in Ireland. We ended the holidays with Christmas back in Canada. Check out that gigantic swimming pool in Newport Beach!
2014 began with another road trip up the pacific coast highway in a fast yellow mustang. I spent my year in Cayman with Ryan conducting fieldwork for my Master’s and I finished my Master’s in the winter. Between that, I managed to travel to Denmark and Sweden, Ryan and I travelled to Oxford and the Chamonix where I fell in love with the alps, and Sylvia, Amanda, and Danielle visited me for my birthday in Cayman. Ryan and I also squeezed in a weekend trip to New York for his birthday in October. The view from the Standard Hotel, where we stayed in SoHo, overlooked the Hudson River. We ate a lot of bagels. I bought cutlery. It was a good trip.
I also documented Ryan enjoying a turkey sandwich. Like really enjoy it. Your welcome.
2015 was so much fun. I received an invitation to the University of Irvine, California to hang out with my favourite academic, fiscal anthropologist, Bill Maurer. I packed up my things into my car and took a 3-4 day road trip from Canada all the way down to Southern California. Driving down with Ryan was really nice. We enjoy road trips and we managed to stop in Portland for a night. The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful as we took the inner-state highway the I-5 which was mind-numbingly boring. We shipped my car back to Canada at the end of my pre-doc at UC Irvine as we couldn’t bear to do the drive again. As for California, it was a dream come true to work with Bill, and also live in Orange County. You can obviously tell from the number of trips we’ve made to this place how much we love it (also helps that WestJet, the Canadian airline, has direct almost-daily flights down here).
I spent 7 months in California and Ryan came to visit me more frequently than I had anticipated (though probably because his company had a second office in the area). But maybe it was because I lived right next door to In’n’Out Burger? We’ll let the photos do the talking (note the luggage he couldn’t bother to drop off at my place first before coming here). Once September rolled around, I packed my things up, shipped my things to Canada, Cayman and Cambridge and readied myself for my PhD in Cambridge. I was scared and nervous to leave Ryan again but California provided us a half-way compromise and test of our relationship. And of course, we both knew how much my next degree meant for me, it is Cambridge after all.
So here I am completing this terribly short overview of our 10-years together full of interesting travels and even more interesting developments in our lives. We decided to get married in January and are engaged to be married in December. I have no doubt in my mind that wherever the wind takes either of us, we will be as ready as we’ll ever be for life. We know what each other values and we know how much uncertainty is in our lives and we are okay with that. My one enduring gripe is that he works too much and doesn’t travel with me enough so I’m hoping this blog will remind him of what happens when he steps away from the computer for a few weeks. We have a trip planned in a few weeks back to the alps where we’ll go hiking and driving around the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. I can’t wait to see him again, and see what new sandwiches make him go :O
Happy 10-year anniversary Ryan. I love you. And it’s on June 24th, not 25th. Love your fiancé.