Editor’s Note: We’re so happy to welcome Wendy Sue Knecht as our newest guest blogger. Wendy is a former Pan Am flight attendant and author of Life, Love, & a Hijacking. As a traveling couple, this article is very dear to our hearts. We know firsthand how important it is to travel with your significant other. Out of all of the relationship tips there are, the biggest one is: travel before you commit!
Traveling well is an art. Traveling well in a relationship is a masterpiece. Some people are good at it; some just don’t like it at all. I’m always suspicious of people who don’t like to travel. Are they too fearful of not being in control, perhaps having to reveal too much about themselves, or just not curious? One thing I know for sure; traveling together is the best way to get to know someone. For better or worse, travel reveals the soul. And the further you travel out of your “known zone,” the more is revealed.
Why? Because when you travel to unknown territory, you and your partner are simply “out of control.” Circumstances can change without warning. There are airline cancelations and hotel rooms that are not ready or not right. You find yourselves in unfamiliar surroundings, not being able to speak the language and feeling like a stranger. Then throw in the jet lag and you have a recipe for disaster, no matter how loving a relationship. All of these things can bring out the worst in someone, or with any luck, their best. But either way, the way someone reacts to less than perfect situations – inevitably a part of travel and of life – is quite revealing.
“Traveling together is a must and you will never know if you are truly compatible with someone without doing so.”
I’m not talking about a romantic long weekend, where everything is champagne and roses. I am talking about the real McCoy, a real journey – constituting no less than a week, and to unfamiliar surroundings. Taking someone to your parent’s house for Christmas doesn’t count and there should be no third party involvement. Just you and your travel partner. What are some key qualities I look for in a travel partner?
- Are they open minded?
- Are they tolerant or impatient?
- Are they polite or rude to staff and help?
- Are they easy-going or rigid?
- Do they drink too much?
- Do they have self-control?
- Are they cheap or generous?
- Can they laugh at themselves?
- Are they calm or do they “fly off the handle” easily?
I remember the trepidation of taking my first vacation with my now husband. We decided to take a Mediterranean cruise on the small cruise line, Windstar. I was able to get us a deeply discounted “airline rate.” I was ecstatic at the thought of having a whole ten days alone with my new boyfriend of three months (I know, only three months!), but also fearful that one or more fatal flaw might be revealed by either of us. After all, he was a neat-freak, and I was not, not by any stretch of the imagination.
“Nobody can fake it for ten days, myself included.”
He passed my test with “flying colors” and apparently I passed his. But had he not passed, I would have saved a lot of valuable time by finding out our compatibility early in the game. Fortunately, he never got ruffled by our stand-by status (I had arranged the flights). He seemed to consider every part an adventure, earning him a Gold Star. But what clinched it for me was spending ten days in a room the size of a large bathroom. Although he was neat as a pin, I was not. He was tolerant and non-judgmental of my less than orderly ways. Believe me, I tried, but I couldn’t pull it off for ten days either. I could have easily been “nixed” for my untidiness.
I can think of a number of potential would-be mates that didn’t pass my flight tests. And even though it took me until age 46 to find the right mate, my travel scrutiny seems to have paid off. I found my perfect partner — for life and for travel.
When you travel with your significant other, hopefully you’ll find out the best in them, too. And when the trip is long enough, you’ll get a clear picture of what makes them tick. One thing is for sure; you’ll know a lot more about your travel partner than when you started out on your journey.
For more information on Wendy, click here!
Great article and so true!
Great article!! Before committing to a relationship and getting married, each one has to know one another more and lay down the right foundation in the relationship. Traveling is an of big help. Thank you for sharing this one!