“I TOLD YOU TO TURN LEFT! NOW WE HAVE TO TURN AROUND.”
“WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE FOR OUR RESERVATION.”
“WELL, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE SCHEDULED IT SO EARLY.”
“GREAT, WE’RE LOST.”
The bickering of a stressed out couple in a foreign country. If you haven’t experienced a situation like this, great! But, I’m sure you’ve heard of similar circumstances. I know I have, in fact, that used to be us!
Let’s rewind 11 years ago…
Did you know Mary and I hated each other when we first met in High School? (we are high school sweethearts) It’s true; we couldn’t stand each other until one dreadful history assignment partnered us together, bonding us forever. Skip forward to the present day, and here we are: stronger than ever, traveling the world together with our son, Landon! We are both Landon’s biological parents.
We have been traveling together since 2007. Before meeting each other, we went to a new destination with our family (at least once a year) which eventually crept its way into our relationship; we finally began to bring each other on our family vacations. Only after a long eight years later (2015) did we find the opportunity to travel by our rules and schedule. That first trip was the start of this travel blog.
It wasn’t easy getting along, especially if some grudges or resentment was being carried over into a trip. Minor things like making a wrong turn would end up in an argument resulting in us not talking for a time. Only in our last couple trips did we realize how well we get along now. There are a few reasons we can think of that helped, but the thing that tops our mind was to create moments, for us, not for anyone else. Enjoy everything, and when you can do that internally, it will reflect throughout the relationship. When you begin to enjoy the time and truly be present in the moment, you will be able to turn a dim situation into a fun/memorable one with less stress or free from the worry it creates. “Flat tire? No problem, we can spend this time doing something else while we wait.” It may put a dent in the plans, but it all happens for a reason. The attitude in which you bring into the trip will create the outcome.
Another thing that has helped us both for work and traveling is to break up tasks. Occasionally, there will be only one person in charge. This can be overwhelming if not handled properly. Even if a person is a control-freak, it is still polite to ask for help, even make coffee or breakfast unexpectedly for them during the trip. It’s the effort that counts. Spread the workload (direction guidance, plan for the day, etc.) and make sure everyone is full! Always be sure you or anyone else in your party aren’t hungry. Bring snacks!
In addition to making sure we were both fed, learning to give each other space was also important in our growth. Let each other breath; not everything can be sorted out through talking it out. In the long run, it needs to be brought up and settled, however, there’s also a time to squash it and right after arguing with one another is not the time to solve things.
We’ve learned to give each other space or when to show each other abundant love. We’ve learned each other’s idiosyncrasies and what makes each other tick because of wandering around the world together. Things are inhacned on a trip and you relaize what your significant other likes or doesn’t like. The things we’re able to identify was because we had developed all these points through patience, experience, time and reading. We listened to a few self-developmental books and have realized that when applying some principles, it can make life a whole lot simpler. Traveling can be a great therapeutic resource if you both allow it to be or it can be the worse thing you’ve done with a fellow human. But, if one bad vacation ruins your relationship then it was a lesson that the foundation wasn’t strong enough, to begin with. Ask questions. Learn from each other.
Disclaimer: This is all opinionated, heavily. I am not a doctor in this field and am basing this purely off experience. Take this article as a grain of salt but this was written in hopes to give a troubling relationship some encouragement and how traveling may actually help!