Back from Vacation Marriage Monday Post

I have three or four drafts of posts I need to complete that actually AREN’T Marriage Monday posts but I’ve just returned from vacation and wanted to check in briefly. I traveled to Michigan with Evangeline for ten days, visiting various friends and family and let me tell you, after being primarily E’s sole parent for 10 days I feel like I ACCOMPLISHED something -I managed to make sure she got all of her meals and snacks, provided a reliable bedtime and enjoyed a dozen different experiences with her, from learning how to play in a sandbox to swimming in Lake Huron.  It’s one thing to manage a toddler at home with all of our creature comforts and another thing entirely to hit the road with one, but we had a great time and arrived home with minor chest colds, sun on our cheeks and bellies full of homemade wild blackberry pie.  S. showed up now and again – he arrived a few days later, left a day early and spent the middle portion of the trip at our family cabin – which was our agreed upon plan from the beginning.

It turns out some of friends have been rather horrified by our laissez-faire approach to vacation, claiming they would never want to take a week’s vacation and not spend it with their spouse. S. and I have taken vacations together and separately throughout our marriage, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of desire.  At heart I am fundamentally a beach/boat/water kind of girl – there is no where I would rather be than on a beach, swimming in the lake or ocean, boating, etc.  I feel most like myself make-up free with sand beneath my feet.  S. is fundamentally NOT a beach person. He doesn’t like deep water and he  burns easily regardless of how much SPF lotion he lathers on himself, but he does like the Great Outdoors and hiking, especially on cloudy days or beneath canopies of trees, both of which I tolerate but don’t love. However, we both love cities large and small and we are always able to construct a great vacation by choosing a city (say, New Orleans) and then exploring the world outside of it as well.  We are also incredibly fortunate that my family has kept the cabin my grandfather built in Northern Michigan decades and decades ago, which rests on a private lake and is only six miles from a beach, offering an endless array of hiking, swimming and fishing opportunities to satisfy both of us.  I’ve long since come to terms with the unlikelihood that S. and I will ever spend money to lounge around the beaches of Jamaica or Mexico but I comfort myself by remembering that S. loathes the idea of cruises as much as I do so I’ll never have to get on a cruise ship, at least.

For the most part, we travel well together. We both like drinks, snacks, naps, long walks and a little unnecessary shopping.  Our biggest moments of tension occur in the actual preparation for the trip and occasionally, the travel home. We have very different ideas about what constitutes an appropriate time to arrive at the airport, for instance  – his idea being substantially fewer hours than mine.  We fluster at different obstacles and are usually able to talk one another out of any potential freak-outs so vacations and holidays are almost always enjoyable. S. tends to stay up later and sleep in later than I do, but this is the only signicant difference I can think of that is highlighted by traveling together.

Do you and your partner travel well together? Have the same idea of what constitutes a good vacation? How important is traveling well together, do you think?

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Marriage Monday. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Back from Vacation Marriage Monday Post

  1. Rebecca H. says:

    Hobgoblin and I do travel well together, but I hate the idea that there’s something wrong about traveling without him — or vice versa, but that doesn’t happen as often. We like the same kinds of vacation, but I like to travel more than he does, so he stays home from certain trips, such as the one I just took in July. That way I get the excitement of traveling I like, and he gets to be a homebody, and we’re both happy. We spend SO much time at home together, that it seems like a good thing to spend a week apart now and then. What in the world is wrong with that??

    • Courtney says:

      Rebecca, I think I do tend to have some rather high maitenance friends…the kind of friends who stress if their husband wants to play golf on a Saturday afternoon, for instance…and, as it has been brought to my attention, some of them are rather tight-assed, LOL. S. and I definitely like the time we travel and spend apart but I guess not all couples thrive that way?

  2. Jen says:

    So glad you had a wonderful time! My husband and I have vacationed apart a lot over the years. It’s mostly because he has a job that’s very busy in the summer and just can’t take a lot of time off. So we try instead to travel in the cooler months as a family, but there are some times when we just have to go without him. I hate it, but we do it.

    When we do travel together, we tend to like to do the same things. We don’t like sticking to a strict schedule when we’re on vacation and prefer to keep things relaxed. And I can totally relate to the airport arrival time thing – if it were up to me, we’d always get there with a gazillion hours to spare. My husband likes to get there minutes before the flight leaves, which makes me soooo nervous! I’m also not a huge fan of his driving – never have been in the 22 years we’ve been together and I’m still not used to it after all this time!

    • Courtney says:

      Jen – What is UP with the whole getting to the airport right before take-off? It’s insane to me. I would so much rather arrive early, get everything checked that needs to be checked, and enjoy a meal and/or drink before take off – or, at our airport – shop a bit! It causes me a lot of anxiety to be rushed at the airport!

  3. shoreacres says:

    Glad you had a good time – welcome back! Nothing to add to the discussion, but my goodness – whatever is wrong with vacationing or traveling separately from time to time? The one thing I’ve gleaned from your posts is that there are a whole lot of up-tight people out there, wanting everyone to live just like they do. Perhaps they’re not sure they’re doing it “right” – if everyone else is doing the same thing, they can relax a little. 😉

    • Courtney says:

      Shoreacres – You are too funny. For a moment when I read your response I wasn’t sure how to respond but you know what? I do know an extraordinary amount of uptight people – my parents would reasonably argue that I am one of them…they recently referrred to me as “overwrought.” I think with the vacation thing it mostly comes down to how much vacation time each year a family overall has – sometimes it can seem like a *waste* not to spend it with your family when, in the U.S. at least, vacation time is pretty limited. But overall you are right – a lot of my friends, and me, to a certain extent, are a little up tight these days. It’s probably time for a non-Marriage Monday post!

      • shoreacres says:

        Oh – I wasn’t so much talking about you or your commenters, but about the great unwashed “they” that you all talk about. You know – the ones who are the experts on breast-feeding, child-rearing, work and home balancing and all that. I hear so many “shoulds, oughts and musts” from a lot of the self-help/self-actualization sorts that I feel like I’m sitting back in church, listening to some old geezer thunder down hell and damnation from the pulpit if we’re not good! LOL

        Here’s my nomination for the funniest travel post of the season. Enjoy!

  4. My husband and I travel well together, but we also travel well apart. We both need time and space alone. He recently rode across the Rockies and later this year, I will have a writing retreat. I often took the children to South Africa without him (though admittedly, not once we had three of them) and last year took them to north Germany so that he could have some time to work on his PhD. Divide and rule is our main survival technique – and it’s made essential by the fact that we live a continent away from any family members, so have no-one to rely on to take the kids.

    • Courtney says:

      Charlotte – I think divide and rule sounds like a very sensible way to manage your family! We live at least a day’s drive from both of our families and it is incredibly difficult – I can’t imagine an entire continent.

  5. Emily Barton says:

    Bob and I travel well together. In fact, there is no one I would rather get into a car with and go for a long drive. We have the same problem you and S. have with flying, though. I want to get to the airport and then relax. I don’t at all mind hanging out at an airport for 3 hours, people-watching and reading. I hate racing around, worrying that I might miss a flight. (He’s much more likely to do the latter, saying, “I don’t want to waste time sitting around in an airport. If we get there an hour before the flight, we’re fine.) Once we get where we’re going, we almost always have the same ideas of what we want to do (hiking, scuba diving, hitting book stores, playing board games, etc.), although he’s much more intense (he earns nicknames from me like “dive slut” and “hiking slut”), so I join him for as long as I want and then let him go off and keep going while I relax in a hammock or on a deck or at a cafe or something. He also stays up later and sleeps later than I do, but that doesn’t bother me at all, because I love having that tme alone in the morning to read and write.

    I also like to travel apart (which he doesn’t like and, basically, doesn’t do). When I decide to do that, it’s usually with family members. My siblings and I try to do a “sibling only” weekend with each other every year. We keep talking about turning it into something more than just a weekend at one of our houses, but that hasn’t happened yet. I find that it’s actually far more relaxing to get together with family members without my husband, because I don’t have to juggle his not being part of the “in” crowd (hope you know what I mean by that) or my family members judging the ways he and I do things that might differ from the ways our family has always done them.

    • Courtney says:

      Negotiating family dynamics – on vacation or not – is a whole other series of posts! I really need to start looking at concrete questions/concerns/problems these posts are generating and occasionally change the way I phrase these posts. And yes, I totally get what you mean by the family “in” crowd. How witty, how fast, how funny can you be? And – go! That’s my family.

  6. litlove says:

    This is very apt, as we have spent the past fortnight trying to fix up holiday plans and have been unable to reconcile the fact that all three of us want different things. In the end we have decided to stay home and invite lots of friends around. Mister Litlove and I have very different wants – I want to do nothing on holiday but rest, read and eat. He likes lots of activity. This has not been easy to reconcile. I’d be happy having separate vacations, he would not. But things will be easier when our son leaves home (sad as that is to contemplate) because over the years we’ve found ways to be together on holiday that we both like, and so without a third different voice, we should be fine. Well in any case we will find out over the next few years!

    • Courtney says:

      I definitely fall into the “lot of activity” camp on vacation – physically I wind up really antsy adn unpleasant if I am just supposed to sit for long periods of time. This is a pretty big switch for me and has come about in the last five years or so. I can’t believe your son has grown up so quickly!

  7. Courtney says:

    Shoreacres – You are too funny. For a moment when I read your response I wasn’t sure how to respond but you know what? I do know an extraordinary amount of uptight people – my parents would reasonably argue that I am one of them…they recently referrred to me as “overwrought.” I think with the vacation thing it mostly comes down to how much vacation time each year a family overall has – sometimes it can seem like a *waste* not to spend it with your family when, in the U.S. at least, vacation time is pretty limited. But overall you are right – a lot of my friends, and me, to a certain extent, are a little up tight these days. It’s probably time for a non-Marriage Monday post!

  8. smithereens says:

    Perhaps I’ll sound uptight, but I’ve never travelled without my husband since we’re married (and very little without our son). We have travelled enough on our own separately before and we do travel for our jobs (which I do enjoy from time to time). We both love it as it is, as we’re lucky to share the same idea about holidays (even if we do have lots and lots of discussion about destinations beforehand), but I hasten to add that I’m not saying everybody should do the same, and perhaps we’ll take separate holidays in the future, depending on circumstances. A writing retreat in a cabin by the lake sounds like heaven!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s