Friday, September 6, 2013

Nathan's 36th Birthday!


Having a birthday on the road can be a bit tough.  Today, is Nate's bday in Kyrgyzstan and while we tried to make the most of it- we were doomed from the start after sharing a room last night with the loudest snorer known to planet earth.  We didn't sleep a wink until the morning when said snorer woke up and proceeded to crumple plastic bags and repeatedly bang the door as he went in and out of the room (for hours).  SO- both Nate and I dragged ourselves around town today with droopy eyelids- and decided that we will celebrate tomorrow instead- since it will be his birthday tomorrow in the States and by then hopefully, we will have recovered with a good nights rest.

I struggled for a while over what to give Nate as a birthday gift to remind him both of how much I love him and also to celebrate his birthday while we're on the road.  He's never cared much about possessions (at all actually) and now that we're traveling- that is even more so the case.

In fact, the only thing that I've seen him buy himself in almost 8 months of traveling is this teeny-tiny Mao memorabilia pin.

So- instead of giving him something that I know he doesn't want (which he'll feel forced to lug around), I would rather tell him how much I love him and how lucky and extremely thankful I am to have him as my partner.  Also- to draw some attention to the fact that he is the most amazing travel companion that anyone could ever ask for.  

So, without delay- here's a bit about Nate and what makes him such a wonderful travel companion (and yes, I feel this way even after our being on the road together 24/7 since mid-January- so that should also be testament to his awesomeness!).

First off, he loves nature and being outdoors more than most people that I know. 
Hugging a kauri tree in New Zealand for good luck and holding a piece of glacial ice in Mt. Cook.

He loves animals and they love him too.  He makes furry or feathered companions wherever we go.  

He's super handy with a map and directions. He even led us right to a rainbow in New Zealand.  
Various locations in New Zealand.

He is great with languages and knows how to blend into other cultures seamlessly.  
Summer male fashion trend in China. 

He will spend hours researching how to do something incredible for an unbelievably affordable price.  
We spent a day at the Great Wall for a fraction of what most people will pay.

He doesn't complain- when most people would...
On an overnight train in China and in a hostel in Xi'an, China while waiting on a room after another overnight train.

He takes things in stride even when I have completely lost my cool.  
At Mount Cook, New Zealand.
And even though he will do weird poses when I want to take a picture of him- he will eventually run out of ideas (not that he'll necessarily smile... ). 
At Tiger Temple in Krabi, Thailand.

He'll pose for photos even if he doesn't want to...  
Here is Nate with a free lunch coupon on the Trans-Siberian rail when traveling from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar.
And, he'll eat or drink whatever is given to him.  
Nate drinking tiger-penis whiskey in Laos, mutton stew in Mongolia and fermented mare's milk also in Mongolia.
But- with all this being said- I've decided to take him out for beer, because along with traveling, beer makes him happy.  

Cheers to Nate on his 36th bday!!!