“Happiness is, planning a Trip to somewhere new, with someone you Love”
So this blog post is dedicated to a wonderful man – my rock of Gibraltar, my soul mate, my gorgeous husband and travel partner of nearly 20 years.
I am so fortunate and blessed to have a husband who shares the same exuberant enthusiasm and passion for travel that I do. We are kindred spirits in this sense and our marriage is made even stronger by the strong connection we have on this shared journey. It is an experience so fleeting and precious.
He’s on the fringe of a Baby Boomer and I’m a Gen X and despite the few years’ age difference, we make it work.
Our Love Story
We often have a laugh about how we eventually got married (after 15 years together) because when we finally did it, we didn’t waste time or do it by halves!
We kind of did things backwards and celebrated by firstly getting engaged and buying my wedding rings in Dubai, then hopped on a plane to the Maldives for our honeymoon, then criss-crossed on another plane back to our homeland of New Zealand for a small, intimate and beautiful Wedding – Wow that’ll be a fine tale to tell the gran-babies one day!
(I am also a Mumma with no babies in the nest, my 22-year old daughter has spread her own wings and flown the coop to discover what the big wide world has to offer and teach her).
I often see and read travel articles about young Solo travellers, hip couple travellers and mature or retired couple travellers but what about us in betweeners??
The not quite young but the not quite old, the blended travel couples like us with some life experience under our belts but who may not be considered young in terms of age or looks, with a difference in our respective ages and yet are definitely young at heart! Perhaps this is a travel niche I can explore?
What I lack in patience, he makes up with in bucket loads, what I lack in courage he builds up with encouragement, what I sometimes lack in maturity he more than makes up with quiet wisdom… I could go on and on.
We complement each other in both our weaknesses and strengths, I am his Yin as he is my Yang. That’s what makes us a solid partnership.
So, what is that unknown thread when some happy couples travel together, whereby the experience seems to take them to a deeper level of understanding and connectedness?
My humble opinion – when you’re away from the daily grind of work, household budgets, family or social commitments you have time to just breathe…….There are no distractions, you’re in a new environment and it is a moment of blissful escapism.
It is the perfect opportunity to truly disconnect from your normal everyday life and just enjoy and embrace the moment, or many moments with your partner and loved one.
It is giving yourselves permission to be totally selfish and appreciate each other and the hard work, time, effort and sacrifices that have gone into achieving a holiday away together. It is being grateful for each other and showing that in the most meaningful of ways, oftentimes it is the simplest of acts that are cherished and remembered.
Creating unforgettable memories is one of the greatest gifts you can give and even endures the test of time.
For us, when we travel we seem to click into another gear. We happily work as a team that is more in tune with each other and we have great synergy.
It’s like we’re mind readers, even scarily he’ll say something and I have literally just had that same thought! Does that happen to you?
Now, by no means am I saying that we are the perfect travelling couple, far from it. I am ashamed to admit that my poor husband has been witness to some of my mini-melt downs at airports …..However, it is how you handle challenges when you travel that truly builds character and shows what you’re made of.
It’s about communication and mutual respect.
There have been times when we have nearly missed connecting flights or had flights cancelled and in my panicked mode I have either been enraged and on the verge of seriously losing my s@#*! Or on the flipside I’ve been on the verge of tears.
Lucky for me, my husband has always been a calming influence and assessed situations with his usual patience, logic and common sense. These are just some of the many qualities that I love about him and why I put a ring on it. He never seems to be fazed and only becomes stressed usually because I’m the one stressing him out (Sorry love!).
Then, once my brain has had time to refocus and come out of the fog that I call ‘dinosaur mode’ (with hubby beside me as my quiet tower of strength and reassurance) I can rationalise the situation and then like the flick of a switch it’s ‘game face on’ and we’re an unbeatable team that will bounce ideas of each other and come up with practical solutions to a problem.
That said, I have had to reflect on my own advice in that ‘you will get further with honey than you will with vinegar’.
It truly pays to be patient and understanding, as has been my experience with Air Crew staff and representatives because not only will you feel better about not being one of those ‘rude and challenging’ customers who end up on Facebook, but you may even be rewarded with compensation and complimentary hotels and return flights (as was the case for us from Brisbane back to Greece with Emirates).
So, I guess you could say that I am still working on “building travel character” but there are no time limits in this degree called “Life” yet I remain a determined and dedicated student.
The most important lesson is to always be open to learning something new and to strive to be the best version of yourself that you can be. The World cannot ask any more of you than that.
Anyway, as I bring this blog post to an end and as the saying goes “all good things must come to an end” and you finally return to life as you know it and it also begs the question of what do you do when the euphoria of an awesome holiday fades and the travel blues set in?
Answer: You plan and book another holiday!!! That’s what you do!
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences on ‘couples travelling together’ the good, the bad and the ugly so feel free to drop me a line.
In the meantime, Happy Travels folks!!