Updated: Feb 29
Often, we get caught up in the monument checklists, excursion schedules, and flight itinerary
that we forget to take a breath…
and realize who is on these journeys with us.
Shoot, how did we even arrive here?
And most important, find ways we can remain present TOGETHER, on an ever evolving trip.
Or in our case, lifestyle on the road.
For my partner and I, we have explored our #loveinstrangeplaces for almost 2 years now.
Allowing foreign mental and physical overstimulation to be our daily encounter.
Often those new feelings arise from landing on unforeseen locations like Lao Bao (trust me we never heard of it either), attempting to navigate our way across the border by foot.
We did so while carrying 30+ kgs of broken luggage, without understanding a lick of the local tongue, or having any kip (the currency) to our name.
During these moments of bustle and many others alike, we subconsciously allow the voyage to distract our connection.
With a new relationship realization, we have made reigniting our connecting flames,a daily ritual.
Here are a few ways we “keep it hot on the road”, the countries we learned these ideals in, and how to remind each other that we aren’t walking alone on our spiritual journeys.
Follow them from sunrise til dusk, or do a few a day to watch a shift in your relationship at home or abroad.
1. No return flights & slow travel:
Thailand, Croatia, Burma, India, Africa, Laos, Germany,
One aspect of our union that we know is quite out of the ordinary, is our travel duration and pace.
Long term voyages across international seas for months at a time, instead of days or weeks is our vibe.
We both have adaptable and chill frequencies, making short term trips a bit irritating, to say the least. Just as soon as you land, get acquainted to the local customs, and “Dehli belly”, it’s time to return home.
We prefer local trains and over night buses instead of flights. You see more on the commute, save tons of cash, and have commitment flexibility on adventures.
Most importantly, we realized speedy travel makes for shallow or inauthentic relationships with new friends, a hazy understanding of the surrounding culture, and no true attempt at language immersion.
Cheating our encounters.
As a couple, it can also cause friction when someone is expecting to squeeze in 10 items on their bucket list, while the other wants to take it easy for 2 weeks.
Instead, we habitually have created “a no return flight policy”, or allow for month gaps of travel.
This grants us the freedom to wake up to every place in our a natural flow, without a clock itching our eyelids.
I know this is not possible for majority of people, especially from our hometowns, California & Germany.
But our new question is “why not?”
Why isn’t this life style condoned and promoted as normal or a requirement for internal freedom?
Since we met on the road anyways,
for us, it only tastes right.
2. Bed stretches & Yoga
Chiang Mai, Thailand; Rishikesh, India
Before we start our day, we take back control of our time.
By giving ourselves some.
This means, not tapping into the digital realm via: email, instagram, radio, or even text message. Often these screens and sounds determine the aura of our rising, even if the message is from across the globe.
Instead we tune in(ward) to remember what we look and feel like when the sun shakes us from sleep.
Giving attention to each joint, blink, and slowly stretching our bodies.
All of this connection before our feet hit the ground.
This is usually followed by reciting the “Reiki Principles”:
Just for today, I will not worry...
Just for today, I will not get angry...
Just for today, I will be grateful...
Just for today, I will do my work honestly & integrity...
Just for today, I will be kind to all living beings.
In these few stanzas, we have promised ourselves to only give and receive high vibrations. By saying it to your partner, you now get support that day.
We implemented these mantras while living in India and transitioning through an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
No meat, sunrise yoga, fasting from toxins, and exploring the Himalayas by motorcycle.
Yoga taught us that our physical beings have no limits. And what we used to think was tension, was only our body telling us to breathe life into it.
Now before and during our trips we make time to practice stillness through yoga. Curating calm in the middle of external storms.
For a goal to be reached it must be written and repeated out loud for universe resonance.
Everyday at 11:11am and 11:11pm we read each other our goals and situations we are manifesting. Think about spells or prayers, they are simply words that we put our spiritual power behind.
So shouldn’t this apply to things in our lives together?
Even if we are having a river picnic in Germany, or on a 12 hour flight to Mauritius, we meditate on our goals.
Consciously reminding ourselves that the things we want, need our attention and universe is always working in our favor,
The next time you climb a mountain peak or slide down a waterfall with you lover, proclaim your ideas, on every soil.
You are literally planting your relationships seeds across the world.
4. Love Language:
Shapeshifting can get quite exhausting, when you are trying your best to blend in across different borders. Learning how to dress appropriately, when touching is forbidden, or what is too taboo to talk about.
This culture shock can cause you to forget what was natural.
For two years now, we have witnessed each other mentally and physically transform.
(1) 2017 India (2) 2018 Africa
So how do you keep your flame alive, when it might not spark with old tricks?
Or when they are unheard of in your partners culture?
You reinvestigate them, and be open to the idea that your “love language” (LL), might be of a foreign tongue.
Here is a simple test we took and found out that the way we were displaying “love” for each other, was completely wrong.
In the past my LL was “words of encouragement”, but now is “acts of service”.
And my partner's whom I thought was “touch” or “time”, is actually service related too.
Now instead of cuddling up when he seems stressed, I make food or book our next Airbnb.
After 20 minutes, on a windy German night, in our candlelight apartment, we relearned how to be a better partner...
5. Role play: New Delhi, India
Take advantage of the fact that wherever you land, you can be whomever you wish.
We don’t owe anyone a reputation. Any time I get in a cab, I’m a new person.
The princess of Wakanda, a teacher living in Thailand, or even a Jamaican singer.
Heck, most people are just happy to speak to you, and are amused by whomever you are.
Now, we play with this idea in other countries. Mostly where people don’t speak our “relationship tongue”.
Mainly because, we invented it! A loud mix of German, French, Thai and a whole lot of gibberish.
Our first role play was while walking through the train market in New Delhi, India. Searching for this thing called “peace” everyone swears grows in the rivers and roti.
A street merchant tried to bargain on a book price with us. But, instead of discussing this ridiculous “tourist price” in a way he understood, we made a lot of mouth sounds, acting as if we were debating.
The reaction of the vendor was of course, confusion and fair negotiation.
We take it a bit far now when meeting locals or getting customized outfits.
It amuses people every-time, and creates a great diversion when needed.
Now, what you do with these new “roles” after you leave the public eye, is on you.
Not to be discussed here, today...
But maybe on Part 2 tomorrow.
Stay tuned to find out...
Want to read part 2?
New videos, poems, shorts & live podcasts recorded throughout our journey will be released here.
Follow the hashtag #loveinstrangeplaces
Our story from the start: https://www.malipah.com/travelstories/loveinstrangeplaces