Our first date we discussed our travel plans. Hell, her love for travel was one of the reasons I fell for her. She was to go travel New Zealand and Southeast Asia and I was to travel South America. It was always in the back of our heads and we never really liked to discuss it. At times it felt off the table completely. We didn’t care about the future because we didn’t know what we were to each other but eventually got wrapped up in each other.Like most love stories it’s never a glance across the room or a missing slipper. We simply enjoyed each others company. Grabbing a drink one day turned into going to the movies next week which turned into spending the night that month and meeting each other’s friends which eventually became “I love you”. Granted It was inspired by an acid induced arts and crafts session inside a blanket fort , love is love. Well that changed everything. She was better about it than I was .When that white hot burning sensation called love hits me I go down hard. She was in love too but she also has other plans. Her independence scares and inspires me. “Taking a walk” for her means a four hour hike up a mountain. After all this time of sleepovers, concerts, and sushi dates she said “I booked my flight”. This is happening , this is actually happening. I had almost forgotten this whole backpacking thing. The reason we got together, the reason we met, the reason our love had a chance to flourish. All I saw was her. So we made the best of the time we had left and soon enough she was gone. I laid lying in her bed dazed and hurt. Like when you take a nap for too long and you wake up worse than when you took the nap. We were still together but I felt heart broken. I would receive texts from her then cry out in her absence. Like grieving someone that’s still alive, it doesn’t make sense. The thing about this woman is that I wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter where we are in the world our love is strong. Strong enough to be an open relationship. Strong enough to be a long distance relationship. Our love was strong and this sacrifice was well worth it. So I got more hours at the restaurant, got a second job. Countless nights of five to six hours of sleep. Working 60+ hours a week. I was actually saving money. This was working! With the power of love and support from friends, family, and my girlfriend I booked my flight. I was going to Panama.