I’ve written about travel a few times before, and the gist has always been the same. I truly enjoy traveling alone. It lets me get to know myself a little bit better, it gives me a chance to set the pace for the trip, and I get to do whatever it is that I want to do. There’s a sense of accomplishment afterward, and once that bug bites you, it latches on tight.
Well, last weekend, I took my first ever trip with a girlfriend. Sure, I’ve gone on fraternity formals to other cities before, but nothing quite like this. We’ve known each other for six months and we generally enjoy the same things, so one weekend we decided to book a spontaneous trip to Denver.
In the days and hours leading up to the adventure, I’ll be honest, I became more and more anxious. What kind of traveler is she? Does she get stressed out when going to airports? Should I tell her that I’m prone to panic attacks while on airplanes? What if I get diarrhea?
The weekend came and went, and we had an amazing time. Looking back, I honestly wouldn’t change anything about it. But, being the over-thinker that I am, I took some time to gather my thoughts on what I really learned from this trip. There are four big takeaways.
1. Traveling with a significant other is a good test to make sure you’re into the same things.
Sure, when you first start dating someone, it’s really easy to say you’re into the same things. More often than not, though, you’re spending the majority of that point in your relationship focusing on the other person, making sure you’re still flirting with them, trying to impress them, and generally having fun.
But that’s just talk. Going to an unknown location where you’re looking for stuff to do on your own is like getting called up to the big leagues. When Saturday night rolls around, you’re going to have to find something you both enjoy, so as to not completely hate your time there. Time to put your money where your mouth is.
2. I’m really bad at hiding my “faded” face.
Without getting into it, there are certain activities that you can take part in whilst traveling through Denver that you can’t legally do in Chicago. Whether or not I took part in said activities is my own business, but let’s just say that I looked in the mirror in a bar bathroom on Friday night and very quickly realized why the bartender may not have been taking me seriously.
3. Trips like these give a glimpse into the world of living with a significant other.
We’re not there yet, and we won’t be there for a while. Let’s just clear that up right out of the gate. But when you’re renting an entire apartment for an Airbnb, it’s really hard not to play house for a weekend. Both of your toothbrushes are on the counter, you take turns deciding which music to play while getting ready for the day, you wake up next to them for a few days in a row — it’s a nice feeling.
The thing is, I think part of that nice feeling stems from the feeling of being in a foreign place with someone you care about and the thrill that comes with it. That, and the fact that you know you’re going back to your own bed when the weekend is over. Nothing against sharing a bed with your special person, but nothing beats having your own bed to yourself to spread out in.
4. Balance is important.
The key to making trips like these is being able to strike a balance. Balance between deciding who pays for what, compromising on where to go for dinner or brunch, or even who gets to shower first. That’s not the balance I’m talking about.
I’m talking about balance on the amount of time you spend in and out of the bedroom. I bet when you first saw that I spent a weekend on vacation with the GF you were like, “Damn Charlie, congrats on the sex,” and if you weren’t, this just got a little awkward. Either way, for some reason when I picture people going on getaways with their boyfriend/girlfriend, I’m picturing them boning the whole time. Not in the sense of I’m picturing them doing it, more in the sense of, “Oh, I bet you guys banged a lot.”
Fact is, you’re probably going to have a lot of sex when you’re on vacation with your boo. But if that’s all you do, then you’re missing out on a ton of stuff and wasting money by traveling to another city to do it. Bump uglies, go out and explore, get drunk, go back to the Airbnb, and bump uglies again. That’s the way to do it, and I’ll stand by that statement..
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