Travel and Relationships: Leave the Rose-colored Glasses at Home
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain
I couldn’t agree more! We're all about travel here on Peachtree Roadies - I mean it's in our tagline, so we must be serious.
Growing up, I traveled a good bit with my family. We took whole family beach trips with our cousins, and my grandparents took us to places like Savannah, Maine and Canada to give my parents a break. To keep my sister and me out of trouble over high school and college spring breaks, my parents twisted our arms with trips to St. Croix and Aruba. However, it wasn’t until right after my senior year of college when I first traveled to Europe to visit my bestie (and NYC fragrance maven) Stephanie as she was wrapping up her study abroad trip in France. We traveled for about two weeks together, and despite one missed flight, a dreadful overnight train ride, and a few moments of wanting to kill each other, we are still friends to this day and will forever be connected by that trip.
|Throwback to Notre Dame in Paris|
|Throwback to Munich - I have NO idea why we are drinking margs instead of beer!|
It was after that trip that I realized that you REALLY get to know people when you travel together, whether you are just traveling for a quick weekend trip or weeks at a time. When you travel, you're basically living with the person or people, sometimes in cramped quarters, and sometimes in a foreign place, which can lead to awkward and often uncomfortable situations if everyone isn't on the same page.
Luckily, Brian and I started traveling together pretty early into our relationship - I needed to know early on if he was "travel companion material." We took our first trip to Hilton Head for about 3 nights/4 days and we drove. No less than a couple hours into the trip, I fell asleep in the car. I can't help it, driving in the car on long trips just puts me to sleep, which is awesome when you don't have to help navigate, but no good when your new BF expects you to talk to him to whole trip. He has since gotten over it and I've since done my best not to zonk out the entire time we are on road trips.
|Throwback to HHI circa 2009|
After nearly 2 years of dating, we took a BIG trip to Hawaii, which is also where we got engaged, so it goes down in the books as one of our best.trips.ever. That trip included a LONG cross-country flight and major time changes. Again, what do I like to do on planes? Sleep! The second we take off, I am out (no medication required). My fiancee-to-be was super nervous the whole flight because he had the ring in his carry-on laptop bag (which I never could have guessed based on how protective he was being over it....so sneaky ;)), and of course wanted to talk the whole flight. Now, when we take long distance flights, I try to warn him if I'm going to try to sleep or not, and he tends to watch movies or play on his computer.
|Throwback to the night we got engaged in Hawaii|
What I am trying to get at is that travel is ALL about compromises (not sure if I've really documented the best examples here, but I'm sure you get it). This may seem obvious, but I have come to find that compromise is a HUGE part of marriage (whether when traveling or at home). When planning a trip, you have to figure out a lot of things with your travel partner upfront - where are you going to go? how are you going to get there? how are you going to get around once you get there? what activities are you going to prioritize while you're there? how many bags are you going to bring? what kind of clothes are you going to pack? can we drink the water? who is going to watch our beloved Louie? - and the list goes on and on once you actually get to where you're going. Plus, many decisions made while traveling are on the spot (unless you're on one of those pre-organized tours, I suppose), and if you can't be flexible and compromise with your travel partner, you are in for a rocky trip.
|On our honeymoon in Santorini|
One decision that we tend to make when planning trips is renting a car (even on our honeymoon). We love to be able to drive around, take little detours, and generally travel at our own pace as much as possible. On the other hand, driving in foreign countries can also be extremely STRESSFUL, especially when your husband is attempting to go 100s of kilometers over the speed limit on the autobahn in a shaky rental car. Or, when we're driving around windy mountain roads in the middle-of-nowhere Greece and a tour bur almost knocks us off the side of the cliff. So, we usually compromise and split up the trip between driving and no driving; however, it's taken a couple trips to make that decision.
The bottom line for me about travel is that it can be great for your marriage if you are 60% on the same page about how to spend the trip, and you're BOTH able to compromise the other 40%. I am happy to lie on the beach for hours on end, Brian wants to be in the water 24/7. Brian likes to drive, and I like to sleep :) We both LOVE to try the local food and beverage. And of course, we both absolutely LOVE any excuse to get away to a new place. Some people don't like the stress of the unknown, and that's okay. Travel isn't for everyone, but it is definitely for us, and I hope it always will be. Seeing new places and things will never get old for me, and Brian and I are definitely on the same page there when it comes to that.