Thursday, December 1, 2011

Across the Ocean

I’m on an almost nine hour flight from Amsterdam. This was my third Thanksgiving there. I don’t mind not being home for this holiday. It’s not one I really understand. I know it’s about being thankful for what you have and the family aspect is nice. But I’m with my family a lot and I try to live a thankful life.  My kids only see their cousins on their dad’s side once a year, during this holiday, so it seems a perfect time to see Dan.

We’re beginning year three of a long distance relationship. We take it to the extreme of course. I’m in Pennsylvania and he’s in Holland. Yet more than half of the year he’s in Africa, Asia, South America or some other part of Europe. I have trouble keeping track. But we see each other every two to three months. I fly there, he flies here, or we meet somewhere.

We were much more social than usual this trip. Dan cooked a traditional PA Dutch Thanksgiving, we met his friends for lunch, drinks, and I even helped locate a Krav Maga center in Amsterdam for Dan’s friend, an extremely high profile musician who is often in fear from strange fans or even stalkers.

One of his friends commented that it must be easier now, the distance, after so long. Dan responded that it’s harder. In the beginning it was new, exciting yet so different for us both. Now we fit into each other’s lives so easily that we feel it more when apart.

Yes, we’re both incredibly busy. He works hard and travels the world changing the face of whole communities with his projects. I lead a bit less exciting existence but wonderful in its own way teaching and training at Direct Action Tactical and studying for my coaching certification. My kids keep me hopping with all they do and my friends keep me sane even when I question if they are at times. My horse keeps me grounded and my dog keeps my language colorful. His business doesn’t translate to the United States. My children don’t translate to Dutch.

We are, in my opinion, now experts in long distance relationships. I can tell you about free texting apps, Skype, frequent flyer miles, money exchange, time zones, Google chat or packing light to avoid checked luggage fees. I can tell you my opinions on Newark vs. JFK vs. Dulles vs. Philadelphia airports. I can suggest an inexpensive driver or cheaper parking locations.

What I can’t tell you how not to miss someone. I’m still figuring that one out.

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