My partner and I fall back in love every time we travel. Don’t get me wrong, we always love each other, but in our day-to-day lives that sometimes get overshadowed by to-do lists and responsibilities and stressors ⎯ like bills, housekeeping, playing taxi to our two teenage boys, trips to the vet, and all of the other things that tend to fill our busy days. Sometimes it feels like weeks can go by before we are able to slow down enough to sustain eye contact and deeply connect in a way that’s just about each other.
But when we travel, when just the two of us travel, we fall in love all over again. We remember what it was that attracted us to each other in the first place.
Like last summer’s river cruise on the Rhine. For an entire week, the most stressful aspect of our vacation was choosing between the 2 to 3 all-inclusive excursions available to us each day. Without all of the usual distractions, we were able to actually relax each morning, enjoy a cup of coffee together and simply connect.
Yet, if you aren’t intentional about the way you vacation together, all of your challenges that you deal with day-to-day could follow you wherever you go, no matter how many thousands of miles you travel.
Here are 5 tips on how to make your next vacation together your best yet:
1. Choose wisely. Budget backpacking trip? Or an all-inclusive luxury vacation? Unless you know you travel well together, and the adventure would do your relationship more good than harm, this may not be the time for a backpacking trip through several countries in a short period of time. Unless that’s right up your alleys. But if you really need to de-stress and reconnect, you might want to consider an all-inclusive package, where you don’t have to unpack and repack, struggle with a map and directions, or worry about how much money you are spending. All-inclusive vacations take all of the guess-work out of it, so you truly can unwind and let go.
2. Clear the decks. However you choose to travel, do your best to clear your schedule: In other words, don’t bring work with you. It could be tempting to pack the laptop or schedule a couple of phone calls, but do everything you can to completely open up that space for each other. If you prepare far enough in advance, anybody can take a week or two off. Otherwise, there is some part of you, no matter how small it may seem, that is distracted and not there with your partner. Open up that time for each other and let everyone else know you are available for emergencies only. But if it’s completely unavoidable and you must do some work while away, do your best to keep work in its place and return your full attention to your partner as soon a possible.
3. Make each other your main priority. There can be incredible joy in watching your partner light up over a new experience. You can avoid getting frustrated with each other if one person wants to go in one direction and the other person wants to go in the other direction if you set a clear attention before you embark on this trip that the purpose is to enjoy each other, to experience things with each other, to give each other your undivided loving attention. Even if you do disagree on what to do, without the distractions of daily stressors you may be better able to practice finding the win-win in the situation, the creative, outside-the-box kind of solution that satisfies both of your needs.
4. Let it happen. Don’t put pressure on the relationship that it is supposed to feel like a second honeymoon, just create all of the right conditions so that I can happen organically. Remove distractions, choose to be present and stay connected with each other, leave any unresolved disagreements or challenging conversations behind. It’s amazing when we truly let go of something how our perspective around it can completely shift.
5. Give each other some space. Even on a honeymoon, even on a couple’s vacation, everybody needs time alone to clear their heads and connect with themselves. If you want to go for that morning run, do it. Schedule a spa treatment for yourself. Take that yoga class. Or maybe agree to split up for an afternoon so that you each can do exactly what you want and neither of you has to compromise. Maybe the win-win is to go in opposite directions for a couple of hours that day.
Again, rather than putting pressure on a vacation to somehow magically transform and fix any challenges you have or to somehow resolve that one ongoing argument between you, take the pressure off of both of you, leave all of that behind, and create the right conditions to simply relax with each other, re-establish or deepen your connection, and celebrate your relationship, and each other. You may rediscover something about each other that you had forgotten.
Learn about Erica's upcoming Jamaica Yoga Getaway for Couples in August 2020.
Whether you join her there or choose another date, as a Couples Resorts ambassador, she can guarantee you the best rate. Email her for more information at [email protected].
Check out my book, SHOWING UP NAKED, and start peeling away the layers to your authentic self.