Come on, admit it! Sometimes we need to spice things up a bit in our marriage, right? The everyday humdrum of life can effect our relationship in a way that takes the excitement and romance out of it. And it usually creeps in when we're least expecting it. We don't want or mean for it to happen, it just happens. We get so caught up with life, our jobs, our kids, our commitments, we often allow our spouse to fall to the wayside not paying enough attention to their wants or needs. Not spending enough time alone, talking discussing, planning the future or sharing our thoughts, feelings and concerns can be harmful to our relationship and to the marriage itself. But I have the perfect solution, TRAVEL!
Being American and having lived outside of the United States for over 14 years, I have come to realize that most Americans don't prioritize or even value travel like the Europeans do. I did live in the states until my early 30's and also had the same mindset as the majority of Americans. Work came first, then kids, then the marriage. And there was never time or money to take a vacation. The focus was on working, paying bills and buying stuff. A vacation was a rare luxury that I never gave too much thought to. But my thinking has changed drastically! Marriage NEEDS to be our main priority. And then all of the other things fall in line, with travel being included! Without a strong marriage, we cannot function as a family unit. And without vacations, our ordinary lives often remain, well, ordinary!
Here's a few ways that travel can spice things up:
New adventures- New is always good! David and I love to try out new places! We make it a point to travel to a destination once a year that we have never been to before. It is exciting to see new sights, experience new foods and new cultures together. And we always make it a point to talk to people within our surroundings. It is incredible the things you can learn about worldviews, culture and different lifestyles if you just open yourself up to others. Last year, we met a couple from England while in Langkawi, Malaysia that inspired us with their story of how they spontaneously decided to take a trip around the world for one year! To hear of their experiences and challenges motivated us to see travel in a new way and all the while developed a long lasting friendship!
Problem solving- Solving a problem together adds to your relationship, even if it gets hot during the solving! Just a few weeks ago, we found ourselves stranded for 3 days during what should have been a simple and short trip. I have to admit, it was a very frustrating situation to begin with. And the problem-solving did have a short moment where things began to heat up. However, as David and I brainstormed, researched options and attempted to book other flights, we realized that our working together was what brought the results. We made the best out of the few choices that we had and in the end, we were thanking and applauding each other for the ideas that resulted in a great trip.
Patience- Patience is a virtue. Meaning:To be able to wait for something without becoming frustrated is a valuable character trait. We all know that in marriage, this is not always easy. However, when we are in new surroundings, experiencing new things together as a couple, we are often faced with situations that require patience. Four years ago, we were on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia on vacation. And we decided to rent mopeds so that we could venture out around the island. I used to ride dirt bikes all the time as a kid in the deserts of Arizona with my cousins. So, jumping on a little moped and putting around was no big thing, I told David. I didn't take into consideration that it had been over 25 years since I had ridden motorbikes and assumed I would just hop on and take off! Well, I took off all right! I hit the gas after climbing on and sped across the small road almost crashing into a car parked on the other side! Things change as you get older! David was forced to exercise patience as I relearned how to drive and maneuver the moped. And in doing that we got some good laughs, at my expense of course!
There's no flight in the fight- When you are home and you and your spouse get into a fight, there's always a place to retreat to. Whether that be another room in your house, going to a friend's or just driving around. These were always my choices, anyway! But when you are in a new, unfamiliar place, staying in a hotel or small apartment, usually without a vehicle and no friends or family nearby, making up takes on a whole new meaning! You really have no where to run! I recall a time where David and I had a quarrel when we were visiting Penang, Malaysia. In anger, I walked off and started heading down a street at night. It only took about 3 minutes for me to come to my senses, remembering there were wild monkeys roaming the streets! We were immediately then forced to communicate and sort out our differences. And really, think about it...who wants to waste the limited time that you have in what is most likely an incredible new place that you have been enjoying together, fighting?
Romance- Alone time in a new destination can do a lot when it comes to romance! Whether you are vacationing in the mountains, near a beach or a lake, in Europe, Asia or another state in the U.S. There is always a chance for romance! I have found that just being in a new surrounding, relaxing, alone with my hubby, taking in all of the new sights, smells and sounds enlightens the senses! Just last month, David and I packed up many of belongings and headed out across Europe in our SUV. We intentionally left the kids home with our oldest daughter so that we could have alone time. It was much needed due to the busy and somewhat stressful year that was behind us. And what an amazing time we had discovering new countries and new sights! Just being alone in the newness of our surroundings brought spice back to our marriage!
Is there a way that travel spiced up your marriage? Any experiences that you would like to share?
We would love to hear from you!
With Love and Blessings,
Robin and Dave
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Hotel in Langkawi- Berjaya Langkawi Resort
Hotel in Langkawi- Holiday Villa Beach Resort
Hotel in Penang- Holiday Inn Penang