Couples who travel together frequently will agree; it can either be very challenging and stressful, testing the backbone of your relationship or it can strengthen your bond, increase your connection and remind you… the very reason you fell in love in the first place.
Take for example our first trip to Italy: Our connecting flight to Rome was cancelled in Chicago, causing us to miss our first (non-refundable) night in the hotel and subsequently losing our reservation for a tour of the Vatican. And just like that, an entire day of our meticulously planned Italian holiday was gone. It seemed our trip was off to a terrible start until behold! A moment of truth; or at least a moment of opportunity, to apply all of the Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, Power of Positive Thinking….self-help book knowledge we’d been collecting over the years. After all, what good is reading about it if you don’t seize an opportunity to apply it. Right?
The two of us literally huddled up real quick, put our heads together and came up with a game-plan which commenced with one of our newly adopted mantras, “We are exactly where we are supposed to be and everything is working out for our good.” We were then able to quickly shift our disappointment and frustration into peaceful excitement, letting go of what was beyond our control and take action toward making other arrangements.
Several Moments and a few iPhone app swipes later, Tariq had booked a hotel room for the night in Chicago, (Hoteltonight.com) and rebooked seats on a new flight to Rome, without having to stand in line along with the two hundred some-odd other passengers who’d also need rerouting (Booking.com). We also added a day onto the back-end of our trip, making up for the day we lost— with plenty of lead time to reserve our tour of the Vatican. Our vacation was back on track with greater confidence in ourselves and each other as an added bonus.
While there are certainly a ton of ways in which your relationship can be enhanced by a Valentine’s day travel experience, here are a few that we think are noteworthy.
Boosts Your Self Esteem and Sense of Accomplishment
Every time we take a trip and touch back down at LAX I feel such a sense of accomplishment. We did it. We had a thought, an idea and a desire, we came up with a plan and we executed. Not only is it an empowering feeling to us as individuals, but because planning and executing a safe, fun and successful trip is always a team effort, it’s a score and ultimately a boost to our team morale.
Being alone in an unfamiliar city or country can be intimidating or even daunting, especially when things don’t go as planned. When we’re in a city, just the two of us, it is a reminder that we are all we got, and meeting our #vacationgoals, #lifegoals and #couplegoals is completely up to us. We have to rely on one another in ways that aren’t always available in the comfort and safety of our home base.
Learn and Discover New Things Together
We think this one is a given but then again, we are never ones to assume. There is no way to travel and not learn something about yourself, your partner and the world. In addition to a quirk you never knew your partner had, new restaurants new recipes, wines, cultures and the history of various places, are among an infinite list of things to learn while trotting about the globe. On most trips, Tariq and I make an effort to spend time pursuing individual interests both together and apart. After all, a girl’s still gotta get her nails done. Either way we’ll have conversation starters and share stories of our time spent exploring.
Offers Your Relationship a Reboot
Our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles can lead to mental and physical exhaustion. When undistracted by the little people, pets and projects that need our focus and attention on the home front, we are able to reset and restore much more quickly. Once recharged, you are bound to find you’ve created some space and energy for the special time and attention your relationship needs.
Elevate Your Communication and Problem Solving Skills
You never know how creative you can be until you have a limited amount of time and/or space to solve a problem. Traveling typically presents you with both. Teaming up and learning to figure things out on-the-go is not always easy and in some weird way, coming up with solutions is sexy. Having to work together toward immediate solutions, sharpens your communication skills and grows your confidence in your partner.
You and your Valentine can build and maintain a healthy relationship at home and abroad. The type of experience you have, depends on the type of experience you want — leaving room for fate of course. And the expectations and intentions you set for your romantic excursion can strongly influence the outcome of your vacation. Either way… enjoy the journey.