We were living opposite lives.
We had moved in with each other so quickly after college. It was only a few months prior that I happened to sit next to this cute girl in “World War II in the Asia and Pacific” and now here I was finding an apartment with her after graduation. Despite how fast it was all moving, we were getting along great except for one thing: we never saw each other. Chynna was managing a local Starbucks and Ryan was serving and bartending at an upscale restaurant on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. That meant we had completely oppostie schedules. Chynna would wake up for work before 05:00 every morning and I would crawl into bed at 02:30 in the morning after closing the bar. We lived with each other and yet rarely saw one another.
At the time, we were planning a brief, ten day trip to Europe. Then, after a few long days at work, we looked at each other and said: “We don’t have to do this anymore. We don’t have to keep being stressed at work and not seeing each other. There is no reason we can’t just stay in Europe until the money runs out.” So we did. We bought one way tickets, quit our jobs, got out of our apartment, packed our stuff at our parents’ houses (thanks again you guys!), put what we could of our lives into our backpacks, and flew to Europe.
All told, we backpacked Europe for eight months, plus another month of backpacking in Florida. We met all sorts of amazing people, saw lots of sights, visited some amazing musuems, and ate all sorts of wonderful food. And to do so, we cleaned horse stalls, scrubbed toilets, walked crazy dogs, dealt with some crazy people, couch surfed, ride shared, planned liked crazy, got detained at Glasgow International Airport, and walked hundreds of miles in order to save money and continue the adventure.
This is that story.