Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Marriage Matters: Travel

I feel, somehow, like the blogging community is full of people who like to travel.  People with life lists that include trekking through Thailand or scaling mountains in Switzerland or skiing in Utah.  We talk about having dreams, and not putting them on hold, and making them happen.  But in my day-to-day life, I know as many people who want to go everywhere and see everything as I do people who are perfectly happy to spend a week at the beach every summer or spend every vacation visiting the same Sandals resort in which they get served delicious drinks and have a great time.  And there is nothing wrong with any of it.  

We each came into our marriage with a life history of traveling.  My family traveled a lot, and my parents still travel a lot (they are out west right now...I know, they were just in London.  My Dad came home for a week, then they packed up and headed back out).  Since Mark is from the UK and has family all over the world, he spent quite a bit of time in Europe and Canada growing up.  So the pressure isn't on to Go Everywhere and See Everything the way it is for other people.

Nonetheless, we are trying to navigate how we will travel as a couple.  For example, do we want to take one big, fancy, expensive trip a year or a lot of smaller, cheaper trips?  Do we want to re-visit places we have already been?  What about visiting family?  What about traveling with family?  How much do we want to spend on trips a year?  When we travel, should we stay in hostels or hotels?  What do we consider "fun" when we go someplace?  What are good places to travel now, before we have children, and what are okay places to take children?  (Since I have had a passport since I was about a week old, I can assure you that traveling with small children is possible, but there are certain places that work better than others.)

For the most part, for right now, the rule is that we don't revisit most places we've been together; instead, we go someplace new.  We take one big semi-fancy trip, and a lot of smaller really cheap trips, like camping trips, or driving trips where we stay with friends.  We'd rather go more places than stay in luxurious digs and eat fancy meals. We've done a few trips with our parents and/or siblings, and it's usually a pretty good time, but sometimes we like to be on our own.  I think it's also important to recognize that our travel style will evolve with our marriage, and we should avoid being particularly tied to a method of traveling, and more importantly, be open to trying something new.  Our honeymoon was the first trip where we stayed in hotels and ate out all the time, which had it's advantages and disadvantages, but was fun to get to try.  Our England trip this summer will be a combination of hostels and staying with family, which is our usual style (and our third UK trip in this style).  We have several friends that travel a lot more than we do, and probably feel sorry for us that we only get to take one real trip a year, but I know there are a lot of people that don't even get to do that much, so instead, I choose to be grateful to get what we can.  

And for what it's worth, I think a lot of us act like we should all be working towards traveling more, or going on fantastic vacations, and sometimes, a quiet weekend at home with my husband is as relaxing as any week in the Caribbean.  So if you don't want to travel at all, and you spend your vacation days on long weekends with your spouse, or an occasional break from work to take care of errands or , there's nothing wrong with that either.  It's only a regret to not travel more if you actually regret it. Nobody ever gets anywhere regretting not doing things they didn't want, if that makes sense.

What is your travel style?  How much do you travel?  Where are you going this year, and what do you take into account when you plan trips?


  1. We like to travel to places that we have never been too..although since we both live long distance from our families we normally go see them a couple times a year so that gets expensive. But we normally take one BIG trip just the two of us and then smaller weekend trips to places that are 2-3 hours away and then the trips home to visit family.

  2. Our honeymoon was our first "big" trip together. We've gone on long weekends and visited family before but nothing like a week in a hotel all to ourselves. We have different travel styles but the honeymoon went well so I have hope for the future. Stephen has traveled much more than I have so generally he's "in charge" which is nice since I'm usually the point person on trips with my mom and sister. We already have 3 more trips planned for this year, with 2 more possible trips in the works, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. We've talked about alternating between overseas and big domestic trips on alternating years as a way to see a lot and save a bit on airfare.

  3. We like to travel, but now that we're in a completely new place with SO MANY places to travel to, we're taking advantage and traveling as much as we can. It helps that we no longer pay rent, and that traveling here is fairly cheap, so our goal is one trip a month, alternating between within the Philippines and international. (None of them are "big trips" they're all over long weekends.)