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The epic travels of a long distance relationship

by Sarah Booth |

The epic travels of a long distance relationship

Posted at 12:00 - 1st August - Sarah Booth

As adventurous women we look for kindred spirits with whom we can share our passion for the outdoors, travelling and seeking out the next adrenaline hit! So, imagine if your entire relationship revolved around this? This is the reality for our ACAI Adventurer Vivian who since meeting her partner Angus has planned their long distance relationship around world travels, climbing expeditions, underwater adventures and camping trips! Join us as we chat to Vivian about her love for adventure and the trick to keeping the flames of her long distance relationship burning brightly.    

    Growing up in Vietnam

Vivian, thank you for taking the time to talk to us! We’ve got lots of questions that we want to ask you, but we’d love to begin by asking how and when you first got into the outdoors?

 

I didn’t get into the outdoors until college actually! I had always been adventurous, but growing up in a traditional Vietnamese family I rarely got the chance to go outside. My family used to believe that even a one-hour road trip to go for a 1-mile hike was hard! Once I got into college, I met friends and significant others who would take me camping, climbing and hiking. I slowly grew in love with it and now I go on trips every weekend!

 

A lot of your adventures are now shared with your fiance Angus. How did you two meet?

 

We met when I studied abroad in Glasgow, Scotland. I decided to try a sport I had never done before, which was sailing. Angus was a part of the sailing club team and showed me the ropes!

   

Did he share your love for the outdoors and adventure or is it something that you have developed together?

 

He did! In fact I believe we both push each other to go outside of our comfort zone to explore more of the outdoors. He’s a water baby and I’m a mountain girl. He pushes me when we go freediving and all things water related, while I challenge him on the rock face.

 

Do you have a favourite destination that you discovered together?

 

We absolutely loved Malta! It’s little country off the southwest coast of Italy with beautiful beaches, friendly people and amazing freediving. It’s not as touristy as some other destinations, so we really enjoyed immersing ourselves in the culture. We also got to see the Azure Window before it collapsed, so we were very thankful for that.

 

You and Angus have been in a relationship for a long time now but much of that time has been spent apart. How do you plan for your adventures together when you are living so far apart?

 

Honestly, we don’t do an insane amount of planning. We are pretty spontaneous and have similar tastes, so sometimes one of us will suggest a place in the world to meet, the other will agree, and all of a sudden we have a trip booked. For example, Angus and I were Skyping one day, talking about how he should come visit me in Colorado. As we were looking up flight prices I randomly noticed that flights to Bali were on sale. I told Angus, and instead of booking a flight to Denver, we both booked flights to Bali. Whoopsies!

 


Long distance relationship

'Both parties have to love each other but also be independent of each other and not need one another for happiness. I miss Angus dearly when I leave him, but I’m also okay without him. I have many great friends to keep me company, I work hard at my job and my motivation is the fact that I will see him again on another epic adventure in a few months time.'  

- Vivian -

What tips would you share with our readers who are in similar situations? How do you keep the spark of your long distance relationship going?

 

I believe long distance isn’t for everyone. Both parties have to love each other but also be independent of each other and not need one another for happiness. I miss Angus dearly when I leave him, but I’m also okay without him. I have many great friends to keep me company, I work hard at my job and my motivation is the fact that I will see him again on another epic adventure in a few months time.

 

One of the reasons why our relationship works so well is our mutual love for traveling and the outdoors. Long distance challenges us. Instead of letting it beat us, it gives us a reason to meet in different places and it has led us to some pretty amazing places in the world.

 

We at ACAI are big camping fans. You guys hiked and camped across Europe on quite a strict budget. What were the challenges and rewards of this trip?

 

Some of the challenges we had while traveling on a strict budget was, well, the fact that we had a strict budget! We couldn’t just go into any restaurant and sit down. We had to do much more research. We stayed at Airbnb’s and hostels. We waited around for flight deals. We had to be picky about everything, making sure we weren’t spending without a purpose. However, it comes with its rewards. We successfully travelled to 17 different countries and spent less than half of what a normal tourist would have spent. Which, in turn, means that we could travel more.

Your passion for adventures on land is matched by your love for adventure underwater. How did you first discover your love for free diving and what do you get from it that is different from being on land?

 

Angus had always wanted to learn how to freedive, so as a graduation gift I bought him flights and course on freediving in Malta. We both took the course and fell in love. What I love about freediving is that it’s similar to rock climbing. It’s a mental sport; you have to get your mind in the zone and really focus on your lack of breathing, your movements and everything else. You don’t have time to think about the bills you forgot to pay, the workload you have to do when you get back. Your entire mind and body is focused on the dive. You get the escape, the underwater wildlife and the feeling of floating that you wouldn’t get otherwise on land.

 

Who or what inspires you in life?

 

Definitely my mother, she’s a total badass! She raised me as a single mother at 21, and now she runs triathlons such as the half Ironman! She works super hard but always makes time for my brothers and I.

 

As well as diving, climbing and exploring, you have a busy study schedule and are currently applying for a PhD. How do you fit your travels around the demands of work?

 

I prioritise and sacrifice. I work two jobs, one part time and one full, and travel on the weekends. I make the most of the time that I have available. I don’t watch TV because it’s not a priority for me and I plan and schedule everything I’m doing. My diary is my bible; when I write everything down it helps me realise where and how I can fit everything in. I don’t sleep as much as I’d wish, but it’s been totally worth it for everything I have managed to do. You only have one life to live and I want to fill mine with as many adventures as possible. If that means missing out on a TV show that everyone is talking about, or feeling a little tired some days then so be it!

 

How have your adventures changed you as a person?

 

It’s made me so much more aware of the impact I’m making on this earth. I try not to use plastic straws or plastic bags; I also follow Leave No Trace principles. The earth is a beautiful place and we should all do our part to take care of it.

 

It has also made me think less about the ‘what ifs’. I think a lot of people miss out on things because they worry too much about what might, or might not happen. Before we left for Bali I was unemployed. What if I had secured a job and couldn’t go to Bali anymore? What if I had to attend an interview?

 

As a matter of fact, I hadn’t been able to secure a job before Bali. I did have an interview, but managed to reschedule it for the day after I came back. That interview turned into a job offer that I accepted. If I had let the ‘what ifs’ get to me, I wouldn’t have gone to Bali. I wouldn’t have learned to surf, or witnessed Nyepi, or hiked up Pura Lempuyang. I chose adventure.

 

In your life, you have a choice to make. You can go the straight path and play it safe. Or you can get flexible, take some risks and choose adventure. I urge you to choose the latter. You won’t regret it.

 

 

What advice would you give to other women who are contemplating starting their own travels with their partner?

 

Have fun! Compromise what you each want to do, especially if it’s different activities. Do a bit of what each of you want to do and then you will learn and grow from each other. Communication is also really important, especially if something is bothering you. Travelling with your partner can be amazing but intense, and it’s important that you’re honest and open with each other on a daily basis.

 

Do you have an ultimate life goal or vision that you are working towards?

 

Angus and I hope to be done with our PhDs, making money, paying off debt and becoming mountaineers and even better freedivers! We also want a dog.

 

You are currently planning your wedding with Angus. Will this have an adventure theme to it?

 

Heck yes! We will have it outside by a lake in Colorado overlooking mountains, and have a campsite reserved so everyone can camp after.

 

And finally, we at ACAI love being outdoors. What do you love most about being outdoors and what kind of benefits do you get when you’re on the mountain face?

 

I love the fact that it allows us to disconnect with the chaos that comes with our lives. You’re getting great cardio exercise and are rewarded with a fantastic view. What more could you want?

 

If you would like to follow Vivien and Angus you can check them out on their blog www.angusandvivianadventures.com

 


Vivien's piece of advice

Have fun! Compromise what you each want to do, especially if it’s different activities. Do a bit of what each of you want to do and then you will learn and grow from each other. Communication is also really important, especially if something is bothering you. Travelling with your partner can be amazing but intense, and it’s important that you’re honest and open with each other on a daily basis.

- Vivien -

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