Sharon and I don’t usually get to spend that much time together. Between work schedules and other obligations, it’s typically only about once a week that we get to spend most of the day with each other. We try to do something fun but other times we’re fixing the house, mowing the lawn or other not fun things (a.k.a. “adulting”). So when we get to spend time with each other, it’s a treat.
We’re approaching the second longest stretch of “togetherness” that we’ve had since we’ve known each other. It’s been the two of us, all the time, 24-7, for almost two weeks now. By the end of this trip, we will have shared 6 hotel rooms, worked together, hiked (OK, more like walked slowly down a moderate path), gambled in Vegas (I gambled, she watched) and dined together.
There are a few signs that show that we were really meant for each other. I think they’re pretty universal.
- You’re still together by the end of the trip. Really, next to hanging wallpaper or installing flooring (we’ve done both), a long trip will show the strength of your relationship. If the first thing you want to do when you get home is to be alone, well, ummm…let’s move on.
- The little things. The times you do things for each other without asking. One morning I walked to the Starbucks to get coffee in the morning. When I returned to the room, Sharon asked if I read the text she sent me. I didn’t hear my phone ding so I said I hadn’t. She looked disappointed so I looked at the message and it said “Don’t forget straw!” At that point, I pulled a straw out of the bag. I knew she’d want one. That’s love right there (even if I think drinking coffee with a straw is kinda weird).
- You’re willing to do things you’re not really crazy about. Well, up to a point. As I said earlier, we went hiking at the Grand Canyon. Not really hiking but we did walk for 3/4 of a mile along a finished path between two viewing points. We could have taken the shuttle bus, but I wanted to walk it. She did it with me, even though I know she didn’t want to. On the other hand, I’m willing to stand and wait for her to look through all the shops at the places we visit. She knows I hate it so she doesn’t take long but I don’t put up a fuss.
- You give away things you want. You may have read that one of my biggest travel complaints is that hotel rooms with two beds usually only have one night stand.
During this trip, we stayed at two hotels where I didn’t have any table, shelf or even a plug, When we got to our 5th hotel of the trip, Sharon offered to sleep on the other side of the bed so I’d have the table. I was really touched by this because you have no idea what a big deal this is – she REALLY likes having a nightstand. I couldn’t think of a present that would mean as much as this sacrifice she made for me. I felt bad when she tried to rest her phone on the head board and it fell off, almost hitting her on the head (that’s when she resorted to leaving her phone on the floor). I’m enjoying getting the table, because I don’t think getting the lone nightstand in the room is going to happen again for a while.
Of course, there are some things that just don’t change, no matter how perfect you are together. For example, we have separate bathrooms at home (Note from Sharon: I planned it that way. I was NOT going to fight that battle) and with that comes certain bathroom habits. I tend to leave my bathroom a bit of a mess and then there’s that whole toilet seat down thing that women seem to be obsessed with. I try to be good when we are traveling together, I really do. However there are times where I forget to raise or lower the seat or use up all the paper and not put out the new roll (Note from Sharon: Or splash water all over the vanity when you’re brushing your teeth and don’t clean it up. Or adjust the shower head so it’ll hit you in the chest and don’t move it back to a position where it won’t hit me in the head, when you know I can’t reach the shower nozzle. Or…). Sharon forgives me for these slip ups, albeit with some proper scolding for my bad behavior. That’s OK…I scold her for spending too much time on the computer when we’re away, when I’ve spent all this time planning the trip, so it all evens out.
Besides being a heck of a lot of fun, travel is also stressful. There are lots of things that you have to worry about that you normally don’t give a second thought to, like “Where is the room key?,” “What time is the flight?” and “Where is my deodorant?” It’s easy to spot couples who are giving in to the stress as they’re the ones arguing over which corner the bus will arrive. If you’re traveling and feel this happening to you, take a step back and remember that this is the trip you both WANTED to go on and were looking forward to for months. If you’ve NEVER had this happen to you, then I’d say that you are both VERY LUCKY and should be thankful for what you have together. Happy trails!
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