“Sweetie, I won’t be able to go rock climbing with you this weekend,” Sheila somberly tells me. “I’ll be working a bit late in the office.”
“I’ll just wait for you at home, prepare a meal for you, and give you a nice massage,” I reply.
“Really, Sweetie, you can go. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
“Nope. We go together always.”
Sheila and I are both avid adventurers way before we even met each other. Separately, we truly enjoyed the benefits of adventure and the ultimate freedom and independence it entails. We thought that we have enjoyed the adventurer’s life to the fullest. That is, until we met each other.
More than a year has passed, and our relationship is still as strong, happy, and exciting as ever. Sweetie and I have climbed lofty mountains, scaled treacherous limestone rock walls, explored deep and dark caves, crossed azure seas, bathed under amazing waterfalls, rode fast-flowing rivers, camped in jungles and on high peaks, and visited spectacular destinations together. Both of us can hardly imagine ourselves going our separate ways when it comes to exploring the world and experiencing an adrenaline rush. Indeed, we have even declined a number of invitations to join exciting adventures because one of us can’t make it.
So why do we never go mountain climbing, rock climbing, backpacking, snorkeling, island hopping, etc. without each other?
1. Having adventures together strengthens our trust with each other.
Nothing demonstrates this fact more eloquently than when we climb a cliff. When we scale a cliff, our lives are literally in each other’s hands. There is no greater honor than having someone trust you to put his or her life in your hands.
But giving each other our trust doesn’t stop at rock climbing or in our adventures; it transcends to all aspects of our lives. For example, Sweetie puts her trust in me whenever I have pictorial sessions that involve posing with female models. In the same manner, I put my whole trust in her when Sweetie plans our backpacking itinerary and schedules.
2. We can watch each other’s backs and ensure each other’s safety.
For me, making sure that my partner is free from harm is one of the most powerful acts of love that I can show her. It represents my willingness to do whatever I can to let her survive, live, and enjoy life.
Thus, whenever Sweetie and I trek inside a jungle, we never let each other out of visual range. When we rock climb, we check each other to ensure that our climbing setup is bombproof. When we go backpacking, one can watch over the packs while the other goes out to buy drinks. We want to ensure that each other is free from harm.
3. No more jittery feelings of insecurity.
A lot of non-adventurers usually have this nagging feeling that their adventuring partners out there are not keeping their vows of loyalty. Is she sharing a tent with another guy in the mountains? Is he hitting on a fellow lady spelunker as they navigate their way through the darkness? Are they smooching under the stars? This feeling, even if it is not justified and simply a speculation originating from paranoia, can cause friction between partners; the non-adventure insists something happened out there while the adventurer maintains that nothing happened. We’ve even witnessed fights breaking out before the adventure itself because of such speculations that something nasty will happen.
Our recommendation to avoid an argument? Have an outdoor adventure together! Notwithstanding our trust for each other, Sweetie and I have swept our insecurities under the rug because there’s nothing to hide or to be doubtful about when we’re together.
4. We developed a newfound respect for each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
No matter how united a mountaineering community claims to be, there are always members who think they are better than others. “He’s really slow,” “He’s not strong enough,” or “She gets cramps easily.” Sooner or later, someone spills the beans, and all hell breaks loose as egos are shattered.
Through our adventures, Sweetie and I acknowledge both our limitations and strong points. Through that recognition, we then formulate strategies around these points to improve our skills and solve problems. For example, Sweetie knows I’m a strong rock climber. However, I still have a streak of hesitation when it comes to trying out new, more difficult routes. Recognizing my physical strength and my attitude towards climbing hard routes, she encourages me to try out hard routes and tells me, “You’re stronger than you think you are. All you need to do is a bit of technique. You can send that route.”
5. We share loads and responsibilities.
Prior to meeting each other, Sweetie and I were responsible only for ourselves. That means, we carry everything we need in our packs, plan our own itineraries, prepare our own meals, watch our own pacing, enjoy our own adventures, etc. Yes, these are all part of adventure, but often, we sometimes wish that there was someone who could help us ease our burdens a little bit.
Being together allows us to divide responsibilities, which, in turn, makes our adventures more enjoyable and hassle-free. For instance, at the campsite, Sweetie cooks the meals while I clean the area. We share loads to make our packs lighter to carry. And when formulating backpacking itineraries, Sweetie takes care of schedules, logistics, and bookings while I work out a sound budget.
6. We back each other up.
Due to our hectic schedules and limited budget, we make sure that each cent, each second, and each tiny slice of effort count. To achieve that goal, we need to plan our adventures thoroughly. And when the planning falls to one person, there’s a huge likelihood that something vital will be overlooked.
Sweetie and I stay clear of this potential nightmare situation by going over and checking out what the other has done. For example, Sweetie may have a second look at a mountaineering itinerary I made to see if the transportation schedule is on the dot, if we can spare time for a side trip, or if there are opportunities to save money.
7. Being out of place is a thing of the past.
I remember the first few months when I started to indulge in outdoor adventures. It was fun to be with other mountaineers, but I felt strangely out of place. Yes, most are very accommodating and friendly, and they have made me feel at home. However, there is always that hesitation to fully indulge in the experience and camaraderie considering that I am the odd man out. I was new in mountaineering, and they were already old friends.
But by being with my Sweetie, I don’t feel that feeling of loneliness and isolation. Even in the midst of a group of strangers, we have each other to share thoughts, laugh, talk, and have fun with. No matter where we are, we always have each other to make us feel welcome and loved.
8. Going on adventures together enhances our love and desire for each other.
As we scale mountains, crawl through caves, discover new places, rappel down high rock walls, and risk death, we can’t help but appreciate and admire each other’s skill, determination, and willingness to overcome obstacles. We can’t help but be thankful of each other as we share the responsibilities of travelling and engaging in adventures. Our pride swells when we see each other reach the top of a summit, the apex of a rock climbing route, or the destinations of a meticulously planned trip. Our feelings turn toward each other when we trip along the trail, when we develop cramps while ascending a mountain, when our stomach growls due to hunger, when we pull out our hair in frustration after a failed attempt on a rock climbing route, etc.
In other words, seeking adventures together brings out the best in us and strengthens our love.
9. Being out there with each other is very romantic.
Sitting on the beach watching a magical sunset while whispering sweet nothings. Lying together in a sleeping bag under the stars. Frolicking in an aquamarine lagoon. Helping each other ascend a steep trail. Sharing delicious meals cooked at a picturesque campsite. Enjoying a spectacular vista on top of a ridge. And the list goes on.
10. We have each other to share our passion.
Friends, colleagues, and loved ones usually remark that Sweetie and I found the perfect match for each other. Well, it’s quite understandable. We share and enjoy the same interests, can almost read each other’s thoughts, and want each other to succeed in our own personal and professional goals. Both of us appreciate nature’s beauty, desire for an adrenaline rush, and love hugs and kisses.
Indeed, being in love with an adventurer is the best thing that happened to both Sweetie and me. As more adventures come our way, we’re sure that our love will become stronger as well.
Special thanks to Sirs Ruel Olaso, Ronald Ramiso, and Vincent Tambanillo for letting us use some of their photos