It’s been better than I thought.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic- Ten years. That’s how long I’ve been married for. A decade ago I stood up there under the chuppah, with a woman who was wearing a fake mustache. I had on a wig. We both basically had the same idea of how we were going to surprise each other. That was auspicious, I thought as I stomped on the glass.
That was about the only thing I thought about marriage, actually. I knew that I wanted to marry my wife but I didn’t really think much more about it than that. At the time, it seemed like something fun to do, but it’s since grown into something much more than that.
That’s probably longer than most marriages last (sort of).
I underestimated my wife when I married her. I figured she would backpack around with me for a little while, have the baby, and grow up. I still didn’t understand how adults became grown ups at that time — I figured it was just somethintg that automatically happened by becoming parents.
But that didn’t happen. My wife wanted to keep going.
She hopped on a plane and flew out to me in Arizona when Petra was six weeks old. We traveled around the American Southwest then went to Central and South America, where we would spend the next two years.
From there, we went to China, where Hannah began teaching in Montessori schools and I began the work that would land me my first book deal a couple of years later.
We then decided to have another baby,and returned to the USA so my wife could birth it on her mother’s living room floor — she likes having kids there.
For the next two years my wife and kids would stay in Maine while I traveled up and down the Silk Road doing research for a new book. They joined me for a summer in Eastern Europe.
Not long after that my wife informed me in no uncertain terms that she was going to start traveling with me again full time. The sedentary life wasn’t doing it for her. It was around this time that I began realizing who it was that I married.
For the next year we bounced around Southeast Asia and eastern Europe.
My wife then decided to go to school to get her AMI Montessori certification, and we stayed for the better part of the next year in Prague.
We are now in New York City. In a couple of weeks my wife will start working at a Montessori school on the Upper East Side.
It’s said that marriage is a journey, but I believe we may have taken this a little too literally.
My wife is a traveler and something in her doesn’t really like the idea of setting up a base of operations in NYC and staying put while I go and travel. She wants to travel too. It’s what she’s always done. I kept thinking she was going to grow out of it but that hasn’t happened yet. While she usually won’t admit it she digs the traveling life …
I didn’t buy my wife a diamond ring for our engagement. I got her an emerald ring instead — my birthstone. Our wedding rings are made of rose gold. While she liked the ring that I gave her and still wears it, she would sometimes mildly lament the fact that she never received a diamond.
I’ve always remembered this, filing it away for some future use … when I would be more financially established and could give her a diamond ring — like every other married woman.
Well, I’m not really that financially established yet but it’s not looking like this is going to get any better, so if I’m ever going to do it I may as well do it now.