Happy Birthday To My Travel Partner - MapNomads
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Happy Birthday To My Travel Partner

Today is Isaac’s birthday. I’d like to think that I’ve had a knack for making this day very special for him ever since I met him (this is the 11th year I get to wish him happy birthday. How lucky am I?) This year, however, I had a tough time thinking what to get him.

I knew something material was a big no no because our backpacks are heavy as they are and we don’t want to carry more stuff. We arrived yesterday in Paxos, a small Greek Island where the closest thing to a present I could find was a bikini. There are no spas, no bars, no balloon man. Hens run around in the garden of our Airbnb, just so you can clearly picture what I’m struggling with here.

I do have something in mind, but it’ll have to wait until we get to our next destination. For now, though, what I can do is write him this post.

September 2015-Celebrating our birthdays in Vegas!

Isaac,

33. Phew. I look at you and I can’t believe you’re a year older than 28. It must be that face of yours. It could also be that most of the time you’re still like a full-of-life-teenager, and I love you for it.

There’s so much I want to say to you. So much I want to thank you for, so much  I wish for you on this year to come, so many reasons why I love you.

I’ll keep it short. (Short-ish) I mean, it’s still me. When I have ever written anything that fits the definition of short?

Today I’ll  focus on all of the reasons why I’m grateful to you. Especially this year which has been crazy, at times uncomfortable, unstable, uncertain and ridiculously beautiful.

I know that thirty-two was a great year. Lets go ahead and make thirty-three even better.

October 2015- The day we said goodbye to our home of two years in Orange County, and we had to eat our goodbye pizza on the floor. We had no idea what was coming next.

October 2015- The day we said goodbye to our home of two years in Orange County, and we had to eat our goodbye pizza on the floor. We had no idea what was coming next.

Thank you for making me laugh until I cry

Thank you for the times when we decide to stay in, when even though I feel guilty because we’re not out there exploring, you always find a way to make every moment special. Whether it be our own little fight club, (which you have to admit I always win) or tickling me until I’m about to burst, or just watching Netflix, or dancing around while we cook, or hugging me when I’m cold. I always end up grateful for whatever moment I get to spend with you.

November 2015- Our last beach day in Newport Beach

November 2015- Our last beach day in Newport Beach

Thank you for being my pillow on trains, planes, boats, buses… Basically, I wouldn’t sleep at all if it wasn’t for you.

Thank you for taking care of me when I got sick in Thailand

Thank you for pushing me when I thought I couldn’t take another step after walking for 10 hours in Kumano Kodo. You always help me find my strength.

Thank you for believing in me when I said I wanted to take Muay Thai and for not letting me chicken out when I saw their scary gym

December 2015- Playing dress up with the fan in Mexico City. I remember actual tears from laughing so hard that day.

December 2015- Playing dress up with the fam in Mexico City. I remember actual tears from laughing so hard that day.

Thank you for being my biggest fan and reading everything I write

Thank you for your patience, especially when I can’t decide

Thank you for always getting us places. I’m still in awe of your supernatural GPS powers even if I tease you sometimes that I think you’ve lost it.

January 2015-. La Huasteca Potosina, Mexico. Tourists in our own country. Love those kind of impromptu and a tad unplanned trip.

January 2016-. La Huasteca Potosina, Mexico. Tourists in our own country.

Thank you for listening to me when I talk about things most people would just roll their eyes at me, and for looking genuinely interested

Thank you for eating what I don’t like even if it means that I get to eat what you ordered (why do I always order wrong?)

Thank you for having that wonderful sense of astonishment because no matter how much you travel, how much you’ve seen, you always find wonder everywhere. And I admire you for it.

February 2016. Luna Park, Melbourne. The day you tried to teach me how to skateboard and I failed. Miserably.

Thank you for not taking yourself too seriously. Because you’re one of those people who truly don’t give a %&$# about what people think.

Thank you for being up to anything. Dressing up, skinny dipping, making asses of ourselves in public, bungy jumping, nudist beaches, fancy restaurants, camping. You’re a fun guy to be around.

Thank you for listening to my crazy ideas. IE- hey, why don’t we sell everything and instead of having a home somewhere, we just hop from place to place?

Thank you for being just as crazy

March 2016, Exploring the vineyards in Yarra Valley, Australia

Thank you for being my rock when I had the worst time this year. I seriously wouldn’t have made it without you.

Thank you for that beautiful smile that can light up any room

Thank you for showing me how to ride a bike in Naoshima

April 2016- Our fave hangout in Koh Lanta

April 2016- Our fave hangout in Koh Lanta

Thank you for being so outgoing when I’m mostly socially awkward

Thank you for working so hard even if it means on the floor in a Japanese tatami mat, or in a Thai hostel with bad connection, or in an Airbnb in the English countryside.

Thank you for always making me feel safe

May 2016- Days like these. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

May 2016- Days like these. Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Thank you for listening to my on and on ramblings about plot ideas for my novel

Thank you for fighting for what you want

Thank you because there’s not a day that goes by without you telling me that you love me

Thank you for being my teammate

June 2016- Getting artsy in Naoshima, Japan

June 2016- Getting artsy in Naoshima, Japan

Thank you for seeing the best in everyone

Thank you for making me want to be better

Thank you for being so great with my sister

Thank you for taking me to yoga everyday in Koh Lanta

July 2016- Hiking in the Japanese Alps

July 2016- Hiking in the Japanese Alps

Thank you for dancing with me when it was pouring in Teshima, and then performing Singing In The Rain at the top of your lungs, while we laughed, soaking wet.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful even after hours on the road when I’m sweaty, carrying my backpack, with no makeup and, lets be honest, dirty.

Thank you for being the best travel buddy EVER

August 2016- Discovering that we love London

Thank you for sharing this past year with me. I hope I can make the one to come as fun as you make my everyday.

I love you (and it doesn’t even begin to cover it)

P.S. Oh, and also, thank you for being so damn good looking

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