Trips Abroad: Come Back Soon!

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When Chris and I first entered our Long Distance Relationship (LDR) I never considered the time, money, and energy it takes to travel to see each other on a regular basis. Maintaining a relationship at least 4,000 miles apart is hard! I found I had to make sacrifices in my daily life here at home, in order to be able to see Chris as often as I could. A LDR will not work out if you never have the ability to see each other. You can message each other everyday, Skype every week, and send post once a month, but you will still crave physical attention. There will come a time in your LDR where you’ll sit and ask yourself, is this worth continuing?
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Especially the longer you have to wait! Even if it takes you a year to save up, you must meet each other at some point!I didn’t know how long was intolerable for me to go without seeing Chris, but it was something I learned in time. We consider ourselves to be one of those fortunate LD couple’s who already met in person prior to dating. Chris properly asked me out after I returned back home to Washington, USA on August 4th.
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It was just over a month before I came back to England to spend time with him as his official girlfriend. It would have been longer between, but I had a seminar cancellation and adjusted my flights to go to England instead of Toronto.  Even though it was just a week that I stayed, it was so amazing to spend that time together. We thought we were so close because of our lengthy and deep conversations that we shared on-line, but there was nothing like spending time together.
My first trip back to England to see Chris.

My first return back to England to see Chris.

How Long Between Trips?

Chris wasn’t aware that I had booked a flight to surprise him for his birthday in December. Even though he had his own flight reserved to  come see me in America only a week after mine, the wait between seeing each other in September to Late December was very long for us. It is still the longest time we have spent apart to date. In my personal opinion, it was pretty excruciating.  This is where I learned that I can’t tolerate more than a couple months apart from Chris at most!
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We have consistently visited each other every break he has during his terms at Uni, which is on average about 10-12 weeks in-between.  I mostly go to see him right now, but I’m the one with a job, he is still a student in University. I’m completely okay with our travelling arrangements, but this is something every couple needs to decide for themselves. Some may prefer an every-other visit schedule to make it more fair for the two of  you financially.No matter what I do, it is always extremely hard to say goodbye to Chris.
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The one thing that does make it slightly easier, is knowing when we are going to see each other again. We make it a point to have dates set for our next visit before we depart. That way we already have something to look forward to while on our way home. When days get tough for me, Chris is always quick to remind me of when we’ll see each other next. He knows it will cheer me up, and it does!
Sitting alone at an airport, always the cold-hard reality slap that you are returning back to separation.

Sitting alone at an airport, always the cold-hard reality slap that you are returning back to separation.

How to Afford Trips

I am not made of money. I’m just a dog trainer, who happens to be in love with a University student in England. My income is unreliable, and is not luxurious, because it’s mostly commission based. I work additional hours in a doggie daycare as a manager at the front desk answering questions, phone calls, and emails, Registering clients for classes, and recording vaccine information from Veterinarian clinics, and managing daycare staff & the dogs we see.
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This work provides me with a reliable source of income. Sometimes I also work as a doggie daycare attendant at the same facility, a couple days a week for extra money in addition to my shifts at the front desk and teaching classes on the week nights & weekends. On top of that I occasionally will walk dogs, and dog sit at clients houses. Feeling overwhelmed yet? I know I am! This is what I do to save up money in order to see Chris.
Me teaching group obedience classes, demonstrating for my clients.

Me teaching group obedience classes, demonstrating for my clients.

I’m a typical 25 year old girl. I have credit cards, a car, a dog, bills to pay, and desires to go out and spend money on new clothes or anything else fun to do. Besides working a lot to save up to see Chris, I also cut back in my spending for frivolous objects or experiences. It is more important to me to save money and put it towards visiting Chris, than using it for a night out to eat food and have a couple of drinks with my friends. You’d be surprised how much money it can save you, when you really watch your spending! If you’re committed to your financial plans, you can manage to save up enough money to fund your way to visit your partner.
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What Can You Tolerate?

Every couple can tolerate more or less time apart, but in the meantime, Chris and I are visiting each other as often as we can since we have to work around his school schedule.Without our planned visits to be with each other, I don’t think we could maintain our relationship. We find it equally important, and rewarding to see each other every couple of months. When we make plans to see each other we first look as his University timetable to find his nearest break between terms.
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He is only human, and still deserves to spend time with his friends and family back in his home-town. As tempting as it would be to keep him all to myself, he still needs to spend some time during these breaks without me. I find it’s appropriate for me to stay for a few weeks to have time for us, and then leave, giving him at least a week or two to spend with his friends & family.When we do coordinate dates for each other to visit, we try and think of places we haven’t been to, or things we haven’t done together yet. Going out on hikes, day trips, over nights in new locations, eating out at different restaurants, etc. Experiencing as many new things together as much as possible is always our aim! Call us overachievers, but we already have drafted out our future visits through 2016. Each visit, looking more and more amazing every time!
Could that be Chris booking his next flight to America!? No, just playing goat games.

Could that be Chris booking his next flight to America!? No, just playing goat games.

Being able to see each other is the only reason our relationship stays so strong. Without the ability to have any physical contact would be very detrimental to us. Chris and I make it possible to see each other on a regular basis. It continues to teach us that the long weeks we spend apart are totally worth spending it alone because we know deep down inside, that it’s only temporary. We’ve discussed our long term goals as a couple, and one day we know we’ll never have to say goodbye to each other. But for the time being, this is the best we’ve got, so we make the most of it. I hate the distance, but he is more than worth the miles between us.
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-Chelsea
         

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Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Behaviour Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI). She has been training dogs professionally since 2007, and is the Head Coach for Dogs Trust Dog School Nottinghamshire. She met Chris on a trip to England in 2013, Married him on New Year's Eve - celebrating 2016 as husband and wife!