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January 8th, 2006. An exciting and heart wrenching day. My dad and I were to depart on our journey to Thailand, where we would stay 5 short (yet long) weeks. My dad used to fly over to Thailand every year as part of his ministry work. That year, his trip happened to be during my winter break from college. So, I decided to tag along. We had planned it nearly a year in advance, and I was counting down the days until our big adventure. Little did I know, I would meet my husband-to-be only a few months before departing.

Thailand is an amazing country. Beautiful people, beautiful culture and a beautifully vibrant landscape. It was one of the best experiences of my life… and also one of the most difficult. Now, 5 weeks may not seem like a long time to be apart from your boyfriend, but the timing was impeccable. The first time you tell someone you love them is a BIG deal. Especially when it’s your first (and only) love. Randy and I admitted (I would use the word declare, but we are shy people) that we were in fact in love with each other only 6 days before I departed. Our relationship changed dramatically in those 6 days. We were a new couple – closer than ever. And then I left.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a crier – I’m an extremely sentimental individual. At that point in our relationship, I would still shed a tear every time we parted, even if only for a day or two. I know, I know… pathetic, right? So during my entire trip, I was trying to hide my heartache from my dad (and not very successfully, mind you). He kept joking that I looked so sad in every picture. I just couldn’t seem to muster a genuine smile when I knew Randy wasn’t with me to experience this amazing journey. I swore on that trip that I would never travel without him again.

But our time apart proved to be a blessing in disguise. We grew even closer. It was while I was in Thailand that we realized we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together. Our lives were forever changed in those 5 weeks. I am forever greatful for that journey which tore us physically from each other, but brought us spiritually and emotionally closer together.

So, below you’ll see some of my pictures from that trip. I began sifting through them the other day and figured I share them with the blog :)

Anyone else have any such stories of love’s blossoming?

Looking out my hotel window in Chiang Mai.
Touring Bankok on a dinner fairy. See what I mean about that sad face?
Touring Bangkok on a dinner ferry. See what I mean about that sad face?
There. A little less pathetic!
There. A little less pathetic!

Some local Chiang Mai college students practicing their english :)
Some local Chiang Mai college students practicing their english :)

Thank goodness for webcams!

Thank goodness for webcams!

One of our friendly Tuk Tuk drivers in Chiang Mai.
One of our friendly Tuk Tuk drivers in Chiang Mai.

I saw this graphitti on the larget floating market in the world. I love this!
I saw this graffiti on the world’s largest floating market. I love this!

Phi Phi Island. One year after the tsunami's devestation.
Phi Phi Island. One year after the tsunami’s devastation.
I spotted these two identical kittens curled up under a bench :)
I spotted these two identical kittens curled up under a bench :)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

A stray dog on the beach of Phuket. I'm a sucker for fuzzy faces.
A stray dog on the beach of Phuket. I’m a sucker for fuzzy faces.
Documenting my message to Randy on the beach of Phuket <3
Documenting my message to Randy on the beach of Phuket <3

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