November 24, 2009

Engaged Abroad - I Did What?! (Part 1)

Hello, everyone!

My how I've missed you! I'm in wedding blogging limbo still waiting for my pics to come through from my photographer. It's definitely hard, but I know that good things come to those who wait.

In the meantime, I thought I would tell you about one of the more fulfilling experiences that I had while I was engaged. Last October, I took a week-long trip by myself to Brazil. I'd never traveled completely by myself internationally before especially to a country where I didn't have total command of the language, so on many levels this was a total challenge for me (after a year of college Brazilian Portuguese I have the vocab of an 8 year-old...okay, better make that a 5 year-old.)

I had a different outlook on this trip though. It was the first time that I would be leaving my future husband at home. I will give Mr. Swan a shout out for being so encouraging and not freaking out when I said that I wanted to a plan a trip by myself to a city that did not necessarily have a reputation for always being super safe (Rio; I went to Salvador too.). Mr. Swan hears way too much about my wanderlust and has learned to appreciate (for lack of a better word) my independent streak. I so appreciate his confidence in me, and his willingness and ability to let me be me.

After the excitement of getting engaged I stopped myself one day and came to a deep realization: this is it,'ve got another person who will be your partner in making decisions (even about things like vacations..uh oh :)), who may occasionally worry when you walk out the door for the day and for whom you'll need to do the same. I'm just letting you know that there's nothing wrong with that. That is by far the best part of marriage. In a way, I wanted to establish with Mr. Swan that while there was also going to be this new, amazing partnership that we were forming that there could still be this space for me to explore my own interests and challenge myself while still cherishing him. I knew that I wanted to do something fulfilling for me and only me before we got married. In the end, this trip to Brazil was about not only satisfying my yearly exploration cravings but also to explore how to be me within this new us.

Anyway, without further ado, here's a picture of me in Rio:

I will most definitely be recapping my trip, but I thought I'd get the mushy stuff out of the way first. :)

Are/did you do anything just for you as you make the transition into marriage?