If there’s one thing that we really like doing together – it’s travelling. We fell in love on the road (cheeeeezy!!!!), fought on the road and made amends on the road. For me it’s the change of scenery and the refreshing look of greens and blues that nature offers while were getting out of the city or the interesting people and the things that they do that’s soo wonderful to learn and observe. Ducky on the other hand loves the architecture, the rustic feel of the location and the food curiosities in each place.
Through the years, we’ve kinda created our own system of doing stuff to make the trip more fun and manageable given that there can be some unplanned detours that could happen. I’ve put together a list that can help you when you’re travelling with your partner. Here it goes …
1. PICK A PLACE THAT PIQUES BOTH YOUR CURIOSITIES
Make sure that you and your partner have chosen the site together. It’s important that you discuss this thoroughly and that both of you are decided to go to that place. Otherwise, there would be a little resistance coming from one person and that’ll be like dragging dead weight while mountain climbing. This is also a good exercise to get to know your partner better or to see his/her face shine with excitement once you’ve pin pointed the location that you plan to go to.
2. AGREE ON WHO DOES THE ITINERARY
After further checking out the location, you have to agree on who does the final itinerary – It saves time from having a long pointless argument. Though I agree that nothing is drama free, one must choose when this drama can be played out with gusto and not affect what you want to achieve at the moment. After one finishes the itinerary, the other can hear it out first and find out why it was planned that way before he gives his take on the matter. Ideally after that, you’d arrive at an itinerary that you both like. I would usually suggest the place then Ducky goes into his research mode and tell me the fab places in that area and the best time we could go. After he does the itinerary, I’d tell him if I’m not comfortable with either the time or the site. After agreeing on what should happen, he then arranges it to suit my needs and still make the itinerary work.
With this you can both manage your expectations and still find time to maximize your time together. Win-win!
3. PACK TOGETHER
This gives you another time to bond and the chance to plan out your looks – for the beach, for the first dinner in the venue, for the land trip, or when visiting temples et al – you can complement each other’s looks, dress up ala Korean or even ham it up for a bar tour. But one thing Ducky likes is that we pack light. Especially when diving, we take turns in either packing our gear or choosing the outfits that we can wear in the site – and since I usually over pack, he gets to choose what we’ll wear (since most of our clothes we bought together anyway) while I pack our gear in one dive bag to manage the weight and just match the allotted luggage weight on the plane (he gets to carry it though since I have a bad back.)
4. AGREE ON WHO TAKES THE LEAD
A great lesson from the Amazing Race!
Especially when you arrive at the location. Bickering over what vehicle to get on, which route to take and who gives the instruction to the driver is such a drag and it guarantees the beginning of the line “you’ll never hear the end of it”… So one has to shut up and just carry the bags till you get to the location. Every so often, one has to take the lead role and the other settle for the supporting role. Unless you live for upstaging then nothing good will come out of it. After that, you can switch roles (that’s being versa for you!) … You can decide on the duration – one day, he chooses where to have lunch while dinner is yours, or first activity is yours and the rest is his.
5. BE FLEXIBLE. EXPLORE.
As they say, you have to know the rules so you can break it. Remember that the itinerary is just a guide. Once you’re at the place you want to visit, a lot of “other” opportunities will come out. Learn to follow your instincts – dare each other and discover new things! This could be your adventure and more often than not, the road less traveled tends to be the more exciting and memorable one. You may also discover new things about yourself and your partner which will bring you closer to each other.
When we travel, I make sure that we accomplish our checklist while Ducky focuses on the one-one-a-kind experiences and possible more interesting places that we can go to and discover.
6. FIND TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE TREES.
Part of the travel experience is finding time to relax and take the scenery in. Breathe out all the stress in your life and enjoy the beauty of the place. This is also a good time to discuss matters that you weren’t able to discuss because of the rigors of your work life or you can just be silly – be young and crazy and just tell things that you feel you’d like to talk about.
Giggle and roll around the grass and look at the sky while all the clouds float by. These moments sometimes make the trip endearing and gives you warm feelings when remembering them.
7. DON’T JUST BUY A SOUVENIR, MAKE ONE.
As you go from one place to the other, you’d find certain things that will be part of your trip together – a coin you found while walking the street, a shell you see on the beach, a cattail that caught in your pants while crossing a brook or a dried leaf stuck to his/her hair. You can either create a scrap book using these things to get a feel of the area you’ve been to or put them together to create a potpourri which you place in one corner of your house. This becomes more meaningful because the object was part of your journey and caught your attention.
8. ASIDE FROM THE STANDARD SHOTS, CREATE NEW ONES.
Each location has a “money shot” – a place where everyone wants to have their photos taken in. Baguio has the grotto, Boracay has the bent over coconut tree or the Madonna on the rock, and Cebu has Magellan’s cross. Find somewhere else scenic that no one usually goes to for their pictures. It could be on top of the hill you climbed together, the cliff where you can jump at the same time, under a tree where you got caught in the rain or by a bus stop where he tried to leave you after fighting – where you kissed and made up. Remember that you just don’t want to remember the place, you’d want to remember your memories spent there. If you can’t find someone to take your photos or your just too tired of getting selfies where your head covers the whole scenery and your partner then there’s always the monopod or go pro that you can stick somewhere and get your photo or video on timer mode!
9. MEET A NEW FRIEND.
The people you meet are part of the unique experience each location provides us. It sometimes provides the face and the voice of the area. Befriending locals doesn’t only give you a feeling of safety, it also gives you the opportunity to discover the hidden secrets of the place – the best watering hole, a secret beach, the most delicious local dish! Even foreigners visiting the place can also give you an insight on some do’s and don’ts when visiting a certain location.
10. PACK EARLY. DON’T RUSH.
To make leaving less sad and stressful, make sure that you pack your things together on your last night in the area. It prevents anything from getting left behind and you don’t get to stress over meeting your scheduled time to leave. All you have to do now to take in more of the location as you pull our your luggage from your hotel room and walk away arm-in-arm towards the airport … or your car… This extends the happy moments even when you get home.
A trip chosen, planned and spent “twogether” adds to the unique and special characteristic of your relationship – it makes your bond stronger and your understanding for each other deeper. By the time you come home you’d be very happy you’ve experienced not just the location but more importantly, each other. ☺