I’ll never forget the first time I went away with my (now) boyfriend. We had only been dating for about 6 weeks, and we went on a long weekend trip to Cape Cod. He came from Manhattan to Connecticut right after work, where I was to scoop him up in my car to begin our journey. When I pulled up to the train station, I realized he had arrived with only the clothes on his back. I repeat: Four day trip, with only the clothes on his back.
All he had with him was a day bag I knew he carried to and from the office. I looked him up and down and said “that’s all you’re bringing?” He responded “I travel light.” On our way to the Cape, he picked up a package of boxer briefs and a couple plain black tees from the drug store.
When you set off together for the first time, be it for a night or a week, you inevitably learn a lot about each other. My boyfriend’s lack of luggage showed me more about him in that one moment than I gathered over the next four days. Questionable hygiene? Yes. Care free spirit? Triple yes. Easy-going and low-maintenance, I loved his ability to just head off for a couple days with nothing but his camera and a toothbrush.
So there’s the exciting personal discoveries you will garner, and then there’s uncovering if you’re even compatible vacation buddies. Vacay for some means early morning espresso fueled walks through your new city, afternoon explorations, art galleries, museums, great restaurants and pubs. For others it means sleeping until 10 and hanging out around the resort, then going out for the night and partying until the sun rises, and then doing it all again the next day. Both of those vacation styles are great, but when one person has one vision for your 5 day stint in Punta Cana, and the other has a different idea, well, problems will arise and you’re going to have to work it out.
If you’re a new couple, your first vacation may also be the most time you’ve ever spent together, so boundaries will be crossed and remade. Two words: Hotel bathrooms. Just sayin’!
If you’ve been together for quite some time, traveling will still be an opportunity for growth and personal discovery. I remember the first time I took a trip with an ex, he was completely unable to take the lead under any circumstance, from navigating the airport to looking up directions or making decisions. It was exhausting for me to always be in the metaphorical driver’s seat, and showed me a lot about what our future might look like. I mean, if he can’t pick a restaurant in a new city how is he going to help me through the maze of becoming a homeowner or making babies or feeding/educating/providing for said hypothetical babies, know what I’m saying?
Whether you’re a new couple or an old couple, when hitting the road together, remember to be patient, flexible, and kind. No one wants to spend 6 nights with antsy Nancy. I should know, I’m the queen of ants. In addition to highlighting your compatibility, and giving you a peek into the other’s psyche, traveling will also provide you with ample opportunity to explore a new place together and irritate your neighbors while you have riotous vacation sex to a continuous loop of Lady Gaga’s greatest hits…No? Just me? It’s her birthday! Happy birthday Lady G!