Let's talk real for a moment: Carson and I argued on the road. Certainly that's not a revelation to anyone who has spent more than 72 hours in a car with their loved one. Tensions run high. Directions -- even from Google maps -- lead you astray. You have to stop to pee one too many times. You listen to that podcast 7 times in a row. Bottom line: it's a tense environment.
Now imagine that for 366 days in a row. Oh, and your hotel room is a trailer that you also share with your dog. And sometimes your trailer leaks. And sometimes it's really cold. And sometimes the tire blows and your springs break and you have to sleep in a cabin.
It would have been really easy for Carson and I to mentally add up all our tiffs and disagreements and strong words along the way and prognosticate that maybe the trip, together, wasn't meant to be. But we didn't. Because while things got tense, we also realized that we're two individuals who are doing something most couples can't.
We realized that tensions were high because travel -- especially the way we did it -- was hard. There were so many variables at play from where and when to camp, weather, roads, wifi, cell service, proximity to cities, proximity to hiking, travel opportunities, business opportunities, interviews, friends, family, dog-friendly areas etc. It was incredibly overwhelming and mentally taxing. It was, in all honesty, a full-time job in and of itself, not including time spent actually traveling from place to place and the actual jobs we were doing on the road, too.
We share this all to say that things were far from perfect. I can count on one hand the times that weather, travel, work and place aligned to create a "perfect" day. This often led to a lot of incredibly humbling experiences. In fact, the year made me question nearly everything about myself, from what I'm good at, to what I'm passionate about to what I want to do the rest of my life.
And that's the bright spot.
While the road beat us down and, quite often, brought me to tears, it made us stronger, healthier, humbler people who no longer take for granted everything from where we lay our heads at night to how we spend our 24 hours in a day. It also brought us closer together in ways I would have never imagined. I know more about Carson, and he about me, in one year than I gathered in our nearly decade-long relationship.
Sure, that meant butting heads more than not, but we would have met these same arguments at some point anyway. And I'm glad we met them together, on the road. A place that we understood was not fair, or equal or forgiving. And because of that, we learned quite quickly how to make it a more bearable place: by forgiving each other. Over, and over, and over again.