We all acknowledge that relationships can be challenging and one of the biggest challenges is finding time to spend with one another in this ever-growing busy world. With the advancement of technology, it is becoming more difficult to unplug from the workplace and a real challenge to take time to be with your significant other, undistracted from the world around you. As we age, it is very easy to get increasingly busy that we are often unable to set aside time to travel together and really focus on one another.
We have found that one of the best things for our relationship has been to experience travel together. While it can be stressful travelling to new places, we believe if you take the time to figure out what you both want to do and see, a little planning goes a long way! We have found that the more we have travelled, the more we learn not only about ourselves, but about each other and what is important to our relationship. Below, we will discuss how we have strengthened our marriage by travel over the years and hopefully, some of these things will inspire you for your future trips with your significant other.
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While we enjoy the day to day activities in our life, except for the Monday through Friday work grind, of course, one of the things that we look forward to most is the opportunity to travel somewhere new and try something new. For us, new experiences help open our minds and allow us to be immersed in different cultures and settings. We really enjoy not only the trip itself but the research leading up to our adventures, as well as what things we want to see and where to go exploring once at our destination. For us, planning is a big part of the experience itself.
What is it they say, a couple that plays together, stays together? We truly believe that travelling together gives us time to bond more and focus on one another, without the many distractions which seem to invade our lives daily. Whether it involves us hiking up a mountain together and trying not to slip on the snow-covered path or simply taking a stroll on a tropical beach and enjoying the scenery while holding hands and enjoying one another’s company. I know that for us it is very enjoyable to see each other excited to go out and explore a new setting and experience things for the first time. Travelling together has truly let us form a bond like no other and brought us closer together not just as partners but as best friends as well.
Memories are things that no matter where we are in life, we can look back on and keep with us. There have been many nights and weekends where we have been sitting and reminiscing about our trips and adventures and what we enjoyed and even what we didn’t. We often find ourselves daydreaming about upcoming trips and we have come up with a “bucket list” for travel since it helps us track where we have been and where we would like to go! When we travel, we find ourselves taking many photos not only to use to share with our readers but also to share with our families and friends. There is something to be said for looking back on photos to help stir our travel memories.
Getting Away from Stress and the Daily Grind
For most of us, the reality of a 40+ hour work week can be tiring and stressful. Aside from our typical routines of going for a run or to the gym to try to burn off some of the stress, we find travel helps us destress better than anything else! Currently, with the evolution of technology including cellular phones, tablets, and email, it is increasingly more difficult to unplug and truly unwind and recharge your internal battery. When we travel, we do have our smartphones, but the only purpose of them is to capture pictures, short videos, to text family, and to use for navigating where applicable. You will not find either of us checking our work emails or answering questions for coworkers.
We understand that this can be very difficult for many people to get away from the office, but to truly destress we find it essential to carve out time for just ourselves. Remember, the work will still be there when you get back to the office, and the building will still be standing when you return! Unfortunately, it is becoming more common in our society to see people not taking vacations or even staycations and giving up accrued leave year after year due to increased pressures at work. This is why a good work-life balance is essential for your health and your relationship.
You can read a magazine or even surf the web and read about destinations, but nothing can give you the perspective of being someplace where you can take it all in. There is nothing to compare to standing in front of a huge waterfall or the smells of the forest during a mountain hike. Our travels over the years have exposed us to many different cultures and we have even met several different couples we have become friends with from other countries. It is very refreshing and interesting to visit with others while travelling and learning a bit about them, where they come from, and what they are all about. Also, when visiting a new location or another country, you are exposed to the local way of life and you can possibly learn some new things about your relationship or even yourself. We have visited some countries in which individuals are much less fortunate than ourselves, and that has really made us thankful for what we have and our health. These experiences make you open your eyes and your thoughts when it comes to life experiences.
Experiences Over Possessions
Based on studies, individuals who spend money on experiences are happier than those who spend money on things. For us, we do enjoy purchasing little things here and there, however, we would much rather spend our money on travel than on the latest and greatest technology items. For instance, on our blog, we have a post about how we save extra money each year to allow us to better feed our inner travel bugs. A big part of that is being content with an older smartphone, an older car, and not eating out several times a week as some of our peers do. These choices that we make, allow us some extra spending money to be put towards our trips and for that, we are very grateful.
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Over the years we have read several different articles which essentially say how material possessions typically only bring a quick bit of happiness that disappears briefly after the purchase, whereas travelling and experiences are much more satisfying in the long run and are things which continue to bring us joy well after we experience them. Think about it in your own life, what brings you happiness and of the last several significant purchases you made, how many of them are truly making you and your significant other happier? We have spoken to many friends and family members who have expressed buyer’s remorse over material possessions, but very rare is it to hear that when discussing a trip or vacation. For us, the memories we make together are something that we unfortunately only have a limited time on this earth to do and cannot be replaced by any object we can purchase.
Travel Together Now, Not Later
We hope we have inspired you and your partner to not push off travelling together any longer. Don't wait until you're retired to spend that much needed time together. One of the best things we ever did for each other was re-prioritize our lives and put travel at the forefront. By letting go of material possessions and putting that money towards travel instead, we realized that we fulfil each other and all of our “stuff” was just bringing us down. If you're like us and you work a 9-5 job, maybe you feel like you don't have the time to travel. Even if you don't get much paid time off from work, you can still take short trips and weekend getaways. We often try to combine a long weekend getaway with a holiday such as President's Day or Labor Day so we can stretch out the weekend a little longer. You can also get creative and take day trips in your own hometown. We often get preoccupied daydreaming about far off places but forget that we all have historical sites, natural wonders, and state parks all within a day's drive. Travelling together has truly strengthened our marriage and solidified relationship as best friends more than we could have ever imagined.