Lost with a Boyfriend: A Fling to Ecuador

Air, Backpacking & Trekking, Couples Travel, Ecuador — By on February 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I have a confession to make about the marathon journey Jen, Hol and I took around the planet last year. By the time we’d had reached the end of the trip (and I’d completed an extra month of exploring Australia on my own), my enthusiasm for backpacking had fizzled to the point of almost total burnout.

Whereas I once got a high from the scent of a freshly minted guidebook and thrilled at the idea of exploring the hidden side streets of a brand new town, hardly any new experience excited me much anymore. I certainly wasn’t psyched about the idea of schlepping my perpetually damp clothes to yet another hostel, trying to orient myself in some unfamiliar city, stumbling over the basics of a new language and making social gaffs that drew stern looks from locals.

By July 2007, the romance of travel had definitely worn off. I was ready to go home.

Jen (who had similar feelings by the time that she boarded her return flight) told me that no matter how exhausted she might after a year on the road, she would get itchy feet again after a few months at home. I remember thinking that might be true for her-but I was staying put for a long, long time. My backpack had been retired. Maybe I would consider boarding a plane again in 2009 for a luxury vacay to the Caribbean. Or maybe I’d just spend my getaway someplace laid-back and English-speaking-like Colorado. Or Maine.

Well, stamp my passport and call me gringa, because yes, that was me you saw last week at JFK, boarding an Avianca flight bound for Quito, Ecuador with my new (and eminently travel friendly) boyfriend Jeff. After six months spent crashing back into “real life” in New York City-and getting re-introduced to those late work hours and strict deadlines I’d been so happy to leave the first time around-I felt more than ready to run away to South America. But this time, I’d be going with a cute boy. Oh la la.

I’d never gone away on such a long getaway with a guy before, and certainly never to a country so far from home. In the back of my head I wondered how it might compare with a traditional Lost Girls expedition. Would he want to go shopping with me? Listen as I talked for 45 minutes straight about the snacks I was craving? Get bored after our 157th hour spent in super-close proximity?

For now, I’ll simply say that we returned home on the same flight–and still together. I learned that in travel, whatever doesn’t break you up makes you stronger. More on details on that (oh yeah, and on Ecuador, too) in the next few posts…

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  • Camels & Chocolate says:

    Ooh, I want to go to Ecuador. Can’t wait to read your posts. I’m actually heading to South America for the first time next week – to Brazil.

    And my bf Scott and I have hit up about 12 countries and a handful of U.S. states together, and I agree: That is the true test of a relationship, whether you can travel together or not.

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