Today marks six years of one of the best journeys I’ve embarked on. As my husband and I celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary, I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. Queue the cheesiness, but it’s been six years of many incredible memories and learning to grow together.
He’s been one of the main reasons I was able to pursue this blog. We shared a deep passion for travel and exploring outside of our city. He inspired me often to explore what my passions were, and how travel could be a part of it. As I started this blog, he was the one who was up late with me, figuring out how to create the vision I had for Bon Traveler — something I am ever so thankful for. I feel truly blessed to be married to my husband, someone who constantly inspires and supports me.
Over the years, we chose to value creating memories over many other things. Its led to an exciting journey, with much unexpected, and lessons learned. I remember our first trip to France together over five years ago. It was a trip that taught me a lot about not only myself but my marriage. Travel has opened a window into exploring who we are in our marriage and outside of it, and those things I couldn’t imagine discovering outside the context of travel.
So after six years, here are six things travel has taught me about marriage:
1. What I pack, he packs.
I mean this literally and figuratively. It was our first trip to Europe and I thought I needed to have almost every piece of my wardrobe, which would ideally fit in the largest-sized suitcase an airline would accept. It was one week in, and I thought we could not take another train transfer with the oversized suitcase. At the end of the day, it was my husband who ended up carrying it the next two weeks over 15 trains, up stairs, and down cobblestone streets. It was a quick metaphor that my choices impact him directly.
2. We make mistakes and that’s okay.
The area of grace could never be more at play then when traveling. Tired, often hungry, and one small hiccup can feel like the end of the world. It’s taught me that we are human and not perfect, and that’s okay.
3. We each have skillsets that the other may not have, and we should lean on those.
For example, I am not good with navigating so I’ll leave that opportunity to my husband who is really savvy with it. We each have skill sets and it’s good to acknowledge and affirm those.
4. We each have needs and it’s good to recognize them.
I remember landing in Vietnam after three flights and two days of travel. I was at my wit’s end and desperately needed a nap whereas my husband was a bucket of energy. I now know its important to state my needs, as they may not always be obvious. This is one of those categories of life I am constantly learning to improve, and know that open communication is so helpful in recognizing what we each need in that moment.
5. Quality time is important.
I think what I love about travel is that its a long period of time of undivided time together. Something that can not always happen at home because of work and daily life, but is important to make time for. That quality time is vital to marriage, and finding unique ways to spend time together has been something we love to do at home.
6. Be in awe of the small moments and cherish the big moments.
For me, life is comprised of the small moments and the big moments tend to be more sporadic. I think it’s so important to be in awe of the small moments, like sitting in a cafe in some small village or just eating together at home over good conversation. The big moments when they do come, we should cherish those opportunities.
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: