When you’ve experienced the best, it is impossible to be satisfied with less. When you’ve felt excellence to your very core, pretty good won’t cut it. When you smiled endlessly just at the thought of how lucky you are, you’re ruined for anything but that kind of joy. 8 years ago today, Annie ruined me.
Just like when you sit in first class, eat at a renowned restaurant, or stay at a breath-taking hotel for the first time, you can’t help but like what you see. But then, as you begin to grow accustomed to that kind of excellence and that standard, it ruins you for everything else.
Since that moment when we became “we” for the first time and told people about it, we’ve been chasing down a really big story. A narrative that is much bigger than either of us expected and with more twists and turns than we’d fathomed. It is a story of meeting one another where we were very early into understand who we were as individuals and asking each other to be the best they could be as we grew into the people we are becoming today.
Who I was when we first got together and who I am today is quite different. The who I was then was ruined by the bigger picture and the joy that came from being with Annie on this little adventure called life we’ve been living out. The who I was then and the who I am today has a direct and deep correlation to who Annie believed I could be. I can never express the amount of confidence I carry into any situation knowing that, no matter what, she still believes that I have what it takes to become the best version of me that I can. Walking around with that kind of confidence has ruined me from accepting anything less.
With every word spoken, each kiss on the check, and every glowing smile that the past 8 years have brought, my belief that there is nothing better than true love has deepened, my understanding of what it is likely to have someone love you unconditionally has grown, and perhaps most importantly my definition of ‘best friend’ has risen to an astronomically high standard.
To my favorite travel companion, my truest best friend, and my ultimate love: Happy Anniversary.Tweet
Spending a week in the UAE was incredible. Some amazing new experiences and deep dives into an amazing blend of ancient and modern culture. The visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was especially memorable. Tweet
Fantastic trip to Moscow with Annie. Unexpectedly amazing experience. Tweet
“The most successful mountain climbers know they must spend at least as much time, if not more, in tending to their base camp as they actually do in climbing mountains. Survival is dependent upon seeing to it that their base camp is sturdily constructed and well stocked.”
So it is with love.
Annie and I both run at a pretty good pace. This past year has seen us making trips around the world and finding out daily how amazing and exhausting life on the go in New York City can be. We have both undertaken new roles in our professional careers and have both uncovered amazing groups of people that are passionate about their place in this crazy world.
We have individually been chasing down the big dreams that are uniquely our own and have sought out more opportunities to bring more value to our communities and our connections as we go. We have both made ascents on peaks that are solely ours to climb even as we travel further down the path of our adventure together.
But, as the quote from Dr. M. Scott Peck so perfectly captures above, Annie and I have tended to and continually moved our base camp forward together as we’ve gone and found the strength to make our next journeys from there. As hard as it sometimes is to make the ascents alone, they are climbs that are only meant for us as individuals. But, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the confidence I walk around with on a daily basis stems from the love and support that I am replenished with at base camp.
The individual conquests and battles that I fight and strive to see through to victory are made so much sweeter knowing that there is a reprieve and time to recuperate at base camp before going out for the next fight and adventure. And that each one of our individual ascents moves us closer together and closer to the big huge vision we have for our adventure together.
To my best friend, my beautiful Valentine: I love you.Tweet
From day one of our relationship, Annie and I have loved to travel together. We have found nothing else quite as thrilling and exciting as exploring a new city together and creating memories through those experiences that can only be gained while encountering something for the first time. So, in honor of her birthday, we took off for Canada this weekend and have had an amazing trip thus far, with a couple fun days still ahead.
We are continually reminded of the fact that there is one decision on which the entire success of the trip hinges: the choice of hotel. And, with Annie’s passion and expertise for hotels and the work she is doing, we have been supremely fortunate with our choices thus far. Our first night, before crossing the border into Canada, we stopped at the Sagamore on Lake George in Upstate New York. From the first moment we arrived to the bittersweet moment when we departed the next day, every angle from every vantage point on property was a picture waiting to happen. It is the most that I have ever personally paid for a hotel room and, within the first hour of our arrival, the least I have ever cared how much a hotel room cost. It was that amazing.
Our second destination of the trip was Quebec City. On our approach through town, we passed hotel after hotel in the modern and then the touristy parts of town, but our directions said to keep driving and our destination would be on the right. But the only thing that I keep seeing on my right ahead in the distance was a towering castle with green cooper roofs and spires borrowed from fairy tales. But, when the road we were on dead-ended with a magnificent view of the river, it finally set in that the architectural masterpiece on our right was in fact our hotel. From the lobby to the views to the proximity to Old Town Quebec, the carbon copy of the beloved quaint villages of France, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac proved to be magic embodied in a hotel, the most photographed hotel in the world.
But, as our (much needed) vacation and (much deserved) celebration of Annie’s birthday continues now in Montreal and Mont Tremblant, I take back the statement the the most critical decision you make about a trip is which hotel you stay at. That is the second most important. The first and most important decision you can make is this: who you travel and share your adventure with. I know the significance because I know that I am the lucky one. I know the importance because I know what it is like to have the more than you know you deserve. And, I am extremely honored to say, I know this better than anyone because I have Annie. Not just on this trip to Canada, but on the journeys and challenges that have been ours to share in the past and the adventures and dreams that await us in the future.
Happy Birthday to my Love. Happy Birthday to my Annie.Tweet