Summer is finally here and that means vacation days, long weekends and (hopefully) a bit of travel. Whether you’re gearing up for a month-long adventure abroad or are looking ahead to a weekend escape to the cottage, travel can teach you a lot about yourself and your partner. Sometimes it tests you; many times it strengthens your bond and it near always reveals something new about your relationship. Here are some of my top reminders to pack along:
1. Breaking from routine reveals true personality traits
Alarm clocks, commutes and hectic evenings can steal the spontaneity out of even the most adventurous souls. Breaking from routine and familiar surroundings can reveal true, at-rest personality traits that may otherwise be tucked away during everyday life. You may be reminded of how funny or caring your partner is, or you may remember how messy and disorganized they are. The same can be said for what your partner may re-recognize in you. For better or worse, you’ll get to see each other in a more natural, at rest state than you have in a long time and have the opportunity to learn and grow away from the hustle and bustle.
2. How you travel reflects how you manage compromise
No matter where you go, it’s impossible to do absolutely everything you want to do in the time that you have. What you decide to do, and in what order, shows how you and your partner compromise and reflects the balance in your relationship. Do you put down your foot and insist on seeing your “must visit” attractions? Or, do you make a list of what you both would like to do and see where you can level out? Just as in a healthy relationship, travel requires a certain amount of give and take. You may be surprised at how well you manage compromise, or may realize you have a bit of work to do.
3. Life will throw you curveballs… and you can bet travel will too
Travel has its ups and downs just like life does. Missing a connection, delayed flights, overbooked hotels and misplacing keys or IDs can cause serious stress. Adjusting to different time zones and traveling through the night can also leave you feeling some major exhaustion. Watch to see how your partner, and how you, react to these situations. Try to exercise patience and understanding if and when things go awry. Feeling sluggish? Let your natural optimism shine and remind yourself that you are amazingly lucky to be able to travel with the one you love and that a little bit of jet lag now will be worth packing another day of memories into the trip. You can learn a lot about your partner by how they handle the same situations, too.
4. New cultures and experiences can reveal untapped passions
Experiencing Latin America for the first time may help you realize that your partner loves dancing, or that you have a thirst for experiencing more to life. Walking through art galleries and museums may awaken a passion for painting or photography, possibly a hobby you can share with your partner. As you travel and experience new things together, you’ll see your individual and collective tastes and interests evolve. Seeing new parts of the world and challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zones keeps you both developing as people as well as a partnership. Do it as often as you can!
5. At the core of your relationship is a deep friendship
Nothing reminds couples of the fundamental friendship they share more than travel. Whether it’s making silly poses next to the British Guard or throwing back a cold one at a Munich beer hall, you’re there to enjoy each other’s company. And, most often, travel means that you’ll be out and about more than you’ll be at your hotel. So, while surely there will be some time for romance, there’s much more time to explore your intense friendship and just have fun.
To your authenticity,