There have been so many articles written and studies done on how traveling together with your partner can deepen your relationship immensely. That being said, it can be pretty hard work, and many couples could potentially break up if they weren’t that dedicated to the relationship to begin with.
Kyle James recently had a life-changing experience when he traveled the world with his girlfriend, Ashley. He was so moved by his experiences that he chose to write a book documenting them all for us.
His debut book, “Not Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries,” shares the “unvarnished story of their off-the-cuff journey” that began when they both quit their jobs, purchased one-way tickets to Paris, and started the adventure of a lifetime.
There’s no debate that the whole book is chocked full of great stories and most definitely worth the read, but it’s James’ dedication page he penned for Ashley that will have you reaching for a tissue and dabbing your eyes.
He begins by saying, “My sweet Ash, without your push, we never would have fallen…”
The rest is one big, beautiful love letter that ends with a simple question. You can read the entire letter below.
My sweet Ash,
Without your push, we never would have fallen.
You always dreamed of traveling the world. When we began dating, it was all you talked about. You told me how you couldn’t wait to get out of this small college town, how you couldn’t wait to experience life through a different lens.
When we graduated from college, you wanted to celebrate 16 years of schooling by traveling together. I told you we had new careers to start and that these were our prime years. I told you that we didn’t have the time or money to travel the world just yet and asked that we wait a while. You listened to me.
We settled on moving to Denver to start our careers. You filled young minds with love and letters as a kindergarten teacher, and I raised money to teach kids financial literacy for a large nonprofit.
Each year at midnight, as we toasted our cheap Champagne and kissed softly to the background noise of cheering New Year’s Eve patrons, you asked me to travel the world with you. You asked me to take you to romantic corners of Prague and intimate islands in Thailand. You asked me to spend miserable sunburned nights with you in Italy and long days under beach cabanas in the Greek Isles. Each year you asked me and each year I gave you a reason why we should wait. I told you we needed more work experience. You listened to me.
One year later, I was offered a new job, my dream job. When I came home with the news, you looked like you had the air knocked out of you. I could see that you were devastated. Your eyes began to glisten as you smiled and congratulated me on accepting what I had worked so hard for. “Now we can take epic vacations!” I assured you. But we both knew that what we had talked about for years and what you had been dreaming about your whole life had just slipped away from us.
A few weeks into the new job and I hated it. It was not what the job I thought it was and I came home feeling lost. I had worked so hard for years to get to this point and it turned out it was not what I wanted to do with my life. You sat me down on the couch, looked me in the eye, and told me you had a great idea.
I was afraid to leave the comfort of our lives in Denver but waking up to your smiling face every morning, eager to explore, assured me that everything was going to be OK. It was hard for me to embrace our journey during the many sleepless nights in the sweltering Tuscan heat and exhausting back-to-back travel days in the jungles of Thailand, but by conquering these trials and tribulations together, we fell deeper in love because all we had was each other. When we got home, I was afraid of not finishing my book about our travels, or not being able to find a publisher, but you urged me to keep writing. Ash, you are the wind to my sails and the ink to my pen. No matter where I go or what I do, the only thing I am sure of is that I want you by my side. Every cliff I jump off, every moped I crash, every morning after a night of food poisoning, every Mediterranean sunset, I want you by my side. I never want to stop exploring with you, Ash.
Will you marry me?