It’s finally here! Our big 2017 vacation to Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Steve and I are celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary and it’s also his birthday next week and we are both looking forward to spending some quality time together. It’s hard to believe that we have been married for 15 years (and dated for 5 years before that!) and the time really has flown by. Steve and I first traveled together when we were dating. Our first big trip together was 2 weeks to Europe which was my very first time ever to cross the pond. We went to London and Paris together and then Steve had to return to work and I continued on by myself for a week to Munich, Nuremburg and Prague. Since then, we have traveled a lot together and he really is my favorite travel companion. We’ve had our moments and our fights during trips – usually when one of us is hangry and I recall a particularly bad argument when he wouldn’t go get me an orange juice one morning in Spain but overall, we travel very well together so here is a little walk down memory lane and some reasons why I think we are ideal travel companions.
I don’t over-schedule on trips anymore. Some of our earlier trips weren’t the most relaxing. I definitely over-scheduled us and Steve is a pretty laid back guy. He enjoys museums, cathedrals, hiking, food markets, beaches, etc…but he doesn’t like feeling forced to be constantly moving from one sight or “must see” to the next. So, I have learned to plan 2-3 days of “doing” and another few days of relaxing and random wandering. I’ve learned to enjoy this as well. Some of my favorite memories are picking a random tube stop in London, getting out and just wandering around until we found a pub that looked interesting or picking random alleyways in Marrakech and then stumbling upon a great rooftop bar.
We both love food and we’re not picky eaters. One thing that cracks me up is how much Steve hates picky eaters. If I am with one, I always shrug my shoulders and figure they are the ones missing out on a great food experience and not me but it physically irritates him. Fortunately, we both love all types of cuisines – Vietnamese, Moroccan, French, Italian, Thai, etc…and we both eat pretty much everything and don’t have any allergies. We won’t blanch at eating something unusual for American palates, including organ meats, raw fish, strange shellfish, tofu, snails, etc… Our only stipulation with unusual foods is that it can’t be spoiled or rotten (or smell that way) and I may balk at eating something really gelatinous like an eyeball. Picking restaurants for lunch and dinner while traveling is usually super easy since we will both eat anything.
Neither one of us is insanely cheap on vacation. Steve and I are always pretty much on the same page in terms of what we will spend on vacation. We’re not spendthrifts but we also have the same perspective of “when are we going to get back here again so let’s go ahead and pay the money, chill out and enjoy ourselves!” Steve isn’t a penny pincher so if we go out to dinner and the lobster sounds great but is $100, he’ll get the lobster. He won’t get lobster every night but he won’t deprive himself to save $20. Do I want another glass of champagne that’s $30 a glass? If I’m on vacation and I really want it, I’ll get it. That being said, we do compare prices on tours and excursions and we do look at menus outside the restaurant before we go in so we know what we’re getting into. We also try to balance it and we don’t need an expensive tour or over the top dinner every day – so some days may be fancy dinners and the next day is a cheap hamburger.
We enjoy meeting other people and having new experiences. Most vacations are about us spending quality time together but neither one of us is antisocial. We have no issue with traveling with good friends nor do we mind striking up conversations with another hotel guest or people we meet when we travel. We’ve had some nights laughing our butts off hearing stories from people we randomly met on vacation or with friends. We’re both also open to trying things outside our comfort zone like zipling, strenuous hiking or snorkeling. The other good thing is that neither one of us is into extreme sports so there is no pressure to go skydiving or bungee jumping. Some of our activities have led to jellyfish stings in the face (Steve), falling off a boat and hitting the dock (Steve) and getting sick to the stomach on a mountain climb in St. Lucia (Steve) but I always manage to have a great time!
Oh, and my other favorite thing is that Steve will do all the driving on vacation and he’s good at it. Doesn’t matter if the signs aren’t in English or we have to drive on the left – he’s cool with all of it and I hate driving (and he hates my driving) so that works well.
We’re both on time but we’re not morning people. Steve hates being late for things and so do I. We also like to sleep in on vacation. Him more so than me. I often say that if sleeping in was an Olympic sport, Steve would hold the record for most gold medals. That being said, he is almost never late. If I schedule something, like a dinner reservation or a tour, we are almost always there 10-15 minutes early. Neither one of us has ever missed a flight. Not once. It would drive me crazy if he was always running late and making us miss flights or reservations and I know he would feel the same way if I was like that. Thank goodness we’re not!
15 years ago when we got married, we went to Key West, Florida on our honeymoon. We didn’t have a ton of money and I had just started working as an attorney and we were both paying off our student debts. The idea of going to Bora Bora and staying in a luxurious overwater bungalow was a fantasy for us then. 15 years later we are still here, still enjoying each other’s company (for the most part) and still looking forward to our next adventure. I hope the next 15 years are just as much fun!