Couples, cruise, excursions

Its OK to vacation together separately!

(This is an alternative and in addition to my 2 previous blog post)

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My husband and I had somewhat of a unique relationship for the 1st 10 years of our marriage, where I worked away on average, 6-8 months of the year.

Now you would think, that would make us want to spend every waking moment together when we weren’t apart, alas it was something we got used to.  We got used to telling each other about our day, stories we read or gossip we heard. 

Don’t get me wrong, we love each other – even in the 8+ years since my career change and we live under the same roof like “normal” couples – which I tell ya, was the hardest adjustment!  We truly enjoy spending time together, either at home or when we travel, but we also truly appreciate listening to each other – to the point where I’d rather have him tell me about a tv show than watch it myself – I love to watch his expressions and hear the inflections in his voice and his humorous take on any story.

So here’s how we make it work on vacation:  We look at our itinerary and pre-decide what we are going to share as an experience together and what we would enjoy apart – so there are no sacrifices or secessions, rather have a story to tell to each other later that day. 

We are independent beings as well as have many common interests.

He also makes fun now of it saying that its my way of getting to share MORE experiences than most because I get him to do research for me and take photos – even though I wasn’t there 😊

The actual way this started happening for us was due to cruising!  I couldn’t afford time and moola to do it all, so split up! Sometimes we did the old rock-paper-scissors – and then shared the stories & photos over dinner that evening.  Then it just became our thing – and relive it – it’s so exciting to share this aspect with other!

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A great example was on the cruise we took from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale in the Autumn of 2011 – of 13 days, we had 10 shore stops.  It was so beautiful with all the fall foliage, and it was our anniversary, so we wanted to share many experiences and have fabulous photos together!  But it was our 1st time to Halifax, and there was so much to do!!!!  So, he went on a ship sail around the harbor – looked like an old pirate ship where he got to hear about the maritime history of the area.  Where I took a coach but out to Peggy’s Cove (simply breathtaking) and then a tour in the Titanic disaster cemetery – so much history there too!  Later that evening, neither of us could get a word in edgewise over each other we were so excited!!  

 Another example was when we were in St. Thomas – he doesn’t like to get his ears wet, but come on!! We’re in the Caribbean dude!!  So we found him a tour that he could wear a dive helmet while being under water and enjoying the tropical fish.  I on the other hand jumped at the opportunity to go snorkeling with sea turtles!

In Alaska, he wanted to learn more about gold mining – and truthfully, I’ve prospected in my past life – so I did town exploring aka “shopping”!  There was no pressure on me to make sure he wasn’t too bored following me, and he came back from his tour as giddy as a school girl!

Vacationing like this also gave me the freedom (& lack of guilt) when my husband gets sick when we travel (it’s like his body says “ok, you now have time to power down, so we’re gonna knock you out a little to make you appreciate relaxation!”.   In Vegas I left him in bed for the day and I went out to play with our friends, enjoy some sights and some pool time.  At the lake, I got him a cozy new blankie from a little shop, and left to explore, have a coffee visit friends, enjoy wandering without an agenda.

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Maybe it’s because of our unique marriage, our personalities or that we’ve been married so long that we need things to talk about!!  But we truly enjoy this way of vacationing and I think you should give it a try!!

Erika

Authentic Experience, Couples, R&R

Separate Vacations without resentment

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You don’t have to sacrifice to see the world.  It’s not enough time, not enough money, or commitments at home.  More often I hear that they can’t get a pet sitter or kenneling is either too expense or too cumbersome.  But it does take planning and communication!  With so many options out there and less stigmas and pre-determined notions – there’s no excuse as to why you can’t see the world!
Other reasons may be different interests or hobbies that could take you traveling (craft beer tours for example), or perhaps one doesn’t like the heat – so a nice southern vacation in the winter is out of the question for the 2 of you to be happy together!  Increasingly popular are mini get-aways, due to time and money but also ease of comradery – a golf 4-day weekend for the guys or a spa & hike get-away for the gal pals.  A safe and experience packed trip is to take a couch tour where you can make new friends along the way!

Besides circumstance, there are also other reasons to take separate vacations:

  1. To experience something new that doesn’t interest your partner
  2. To have a reunion with old friends or family
  3. To learn something new (a cooking tour!)
  4. Your bucket list item but not theirs
  5. Or simply to have some alone time

Again though, communication is key – not just words but body language – be honest, specific about the plans, and discuss the financial costs.  Do you think the costs should be equal of you each take a separate vacation?  Also keep in mind that separate vacations should not take the place of shared vacations with each other – ensure you have money and time for both – keep that love alive!!!

Experts say there is significant hesitation among some couples to even bring up this subject.  But in a study in 2006 says that separate vacations can be growth experiences:

“​Marriage often leads to a larger understanding of the world, more people in our lives, and a more mature and realistic take on how relationships work. If we married our clone, there would be little room for growth. … When the relationship is intact, occasional separate vacations can add a terrific dimension to your marriage. But if trouble is already brewing between partners, a separate vacation may do more harm than good. Consider your true motivation for the vacation, the stability of your finances and relationship, ages of your children, and willingness to compromise. If this all checks out—enjoy and make some memories.”

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So for you, does distance make the heart grow fonder?  Or would you terribly miss the other person and not enjoy your vacation?

Ideas for married couple vacations

  • one hikes Machu Picchu & the other swims in the Galapagos and you both come together for a cruise along the Amazon
  • one golfs the greens in Ireland while the other does a royal tour in England – you fly over & back together
  • One goes on a river cruise with their friends from college in the spring and the other takes a coach tour to learn about a new country in the Autumn
  • One goes to see a concert with a group of friends over the weekend one month and the other goes to see a sporting event with another group of mid-week

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With so many options, let’s get to know each other to see what YOUR possibilities are!!

Erika