Can we date or even marry someone with a different travel style?
When I met my husband four years ago, we discovered a common interest in travel. At first glance, this seemed like a great commonality. On our first date, he told me about his plan to take his two teenage children on a 20-day cross-country camping trip to the Canadian west coast.
He was excited about their plan to camp and explore the wilderness.
I looked at him, speechless. My idea of the wilderness is the Wilderness Lodge in Disneyworld or a cruise cabin without a balcony. I had camped twice in my lifetime and had no plans to repeat the experience.
But here we are four years later, married, in love, and amazing travel partners.
So, how do we do it?
1. Be open to new ideas
I’d have never thought I’d be writing this while drinking coffee, listening to the morning calls of a rooster, and the sounds of the Pacific Ocean.
My verdict: unique locations and accommodations can enhance a vacation and provide opportunities for some amazing memories.
During our relationship, my now husband has found an appreciation for five-star hotels. During our honeymoon, he got to experience a luxury hotel complete with a private town car that would pick us up and drop us off at any location in the small resort town where we were staying.
His verdict: he’d definitely go back.
2. Take turns
We recognize that we won’t always find a destination or accommodation that meets both of our needs, and rather than compromising about something neither of us will love, we take turns. Today we are staying in a small cabin on an alpaca farm, next week we are booked a few nights at an Oceanfront hotel.
Sometimes, taking turns happens within a single vacation. Other times, the entire trip may be more suited to one particular style of travel.
We always plan our trips together to allow space to share our input, as well as knowing what we are getting into.
Often, we find we aren’t as far apart as we think we are. Trip planning has become an activity that we enjoy. You can regularly find us spending the evening on our patio with a glass of wine while we look at options on Airbnb and Trip Advisor.
We’ve also found that by communicating we can resolve issues before they happen. We know that his style is a new place every day and I’m more content to settle in. We compromise by visiting fewer locations during a single visit but limiting each stay to two or three nights before moving on.
4. Expand your idea of what vacationing looks like
I used to refuse to cook on vacation because is it really a vacation if you have to cook? Now checking out a local farmers market, buying local food, and cooking using an outdoor kitchen are things I look forward to on vacation and are some of my favourite memories of our trips together.
My advice: rather than worrying that your styles don’t mesh, focus on the qualities of the other person. Do they communicate? Are they willing to be flexible, try new things, and take your thoughts into consideration?
These tips not only translate to successful travels but to every part of life.