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The Homebody and the Adventurer: Love at the Ends of the Earth

Brett, a pastor, and Sarah Baddorf, a doctor, share how they have grown closer in their marriage (and managed to visit farflung parts of the world) by allowing each other the freedom to pursue their individual interests, to follow their own dreams.

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Sarah: My name is Sarah Baddorf.

Brett: My name is Brett Baddorf.

Sarah: I think if you’re going to go away and do something fun or interesting, it’s better to have someone that you can do it with and then come back and talk about it with, and always remember it with. Because the things that I’ve done on my own, it’s not as interesting to talk about it with him or anyone who wasn’t there.

It’s much more fun to have someone that experienced all the same things and remembers the same things. And you can, for years, say, “Remember when we did that? Remember when so-and-so said that funny thing?” And it’s funny forever.

Brett: Well, and I think that also there’s the dream that sometimes you have to pursue that you can’t do together. And for us, in particular, that dream was going to Antarctica. And it was Sarah’s dream. It became my dream. I shared that dream. But it was still really hers.

And to get there, she had to go separately. And it was very hard I think on both of us, especially more on me because I was the one that didn’t get to go. And so I was the one that didn’t understand when she came back and said, “This was awesome,” or this was that. But now I have experienced it because you did do that on your own.

And I think sometimes—especially in marriage—people don’t have the ability to do that. They don’t have the ability to say, “I want to go do this,” and for the other person to say, “Yes, OK, go pursue that dream.” And I think there are times when you need to pursue something that the other one can’t even understand, which I think in the long term is awesome.

And that was a very long process. But now that I’ve been there, now that I’ve experienced it, and now we’ve gotten two of our other family members to go and experience this whole continent that is beyond the dreams that she had at first, right? I think that that’s a big part of what has made our marriage work, is the freedom and the ability to pursue something that is very scary at the outset, but also very exciting.

Sarah: I think the more time we spend together, the more our dreams, and goals, and aspirations are aligned. And we both start wanting to do the same things. I think it’s good to be able to pursue those individual interests. Better if you can do it together. But you can’t always. There are things that I might want to do that he has no interest in. But he’s willing to let me go out and experience something that I want to do.

Brett: Yeah. I mean, we do learn to love each other more, and we learn to explore. Sometimes I think I might not be interested in something that you are. And then when you throw it out there, I think that sounds like a stupid idea. But then we would go and do it, and I found out I’m more interested than she is, or things like that. So, yeah, it’s definitely a learning process, and a fun one.

Sarah: Our next trip is to Israel, which was a dream of his for a very long time. And I’m excited about it.

Brett: Yeah.

Sarah: It wasn’t on my top five initially, but it was something he wanted to do. So we are pursuing that, and now I’m really excited, really looking forward to it.

Brett: It’s going to be better than you can imagine. [laughs]

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