Since I’m all caught up with my travels, I thought I’d switch it up some today, and instead talk about something that comes up a lot with my travels.
I love traveling. If I could, I would travel all the time. You can pretty much name any spot in the world, and I want to visit there!
Korea? If I could do it safely- I’d go!
However, my boyfriend is not a big fan of traveling. He doesn’t mind it, but he would rather spend his money on a nice car, or save it to buy a big house. Therefore, it can make it really hard to try and find a middle ground that makes us both happy.
As such, I thought today I’d take about what works for us so that I can travel, and Assen doesn’t feel like every cent he earns goes towards travel.
Step 1: Learn your travel style
If it were up to me, every long weekend, and holiday time, would be spent in a new place. And not just one place- if I have 8 days, I feel like I can see 2 new places, at least. The first time Assen and I ever went traveling together, we spent 4 days in Rome, and then 4 days in Paris- and we just about killed each other during the trip.
Those smiles might look happy, but there were a lot of evil glares behind the scenes.
This is because Assen and I have different traveling styles. Assen’s happiest sitting on a beach, having a couple of drinks and relaxing. I’m happiest with an audio guide and exploring something new. I want to see everything, and can pack in a lot into one vacation (like when I went on a 2 week holiday to Portugal and Belgium and in 14 days was in 6 cities, and 7 hotels).
The other difference is that I love to go to a city with a rough idea of what I want to see (Rome- see the Vatican, Coliseum and Trevi fountain, eat pasta and gelato, drink wine) and then sort out the details once there. Assen is a planner and wants to have a plan in place (what time we’re leaving the hotel, where we’re going, how we’re getting there, etc.).
Once we knew each other’s travel styles, we both had to adapt to meet each other half-way. For us, that means that we won’t go to multiple places on one holiday, and we put a semi-plan in place. It’s not as detailed as Assen would like, and it’s more than I would put in place for myself. But this allows us both to be happy.
Our second trip together, was a 4 day trip to Prague. We planned in advance of what there was to see, and which day we would see the main sites. We took lots of time to relax, enjoying the beer and food- and we both had a great time.
Step 2: Compromise
As I said earlier, I want to see everything, and could spend every free second traveling somewhere different. Since Assen doesn’t have that same passion for traveling, we’ve run into issues trying to plan our holidays. Especially when there’s a long weekend- as to me, that screams “WEEKEND GET-AWAY” but to him screams “Time to relax, sleep in late, play poker and maybe clean the house”.
So how do we sort that out?
For starters, I try and do some traveling without him. This year, I went to Belgium by myself, as well as Austria (Vienna) and Hungary (Budapest). I don’t mind traveling on my own, so this works well for us. I’ve also had friends and family come visit me, and that’s been a great way for me to travel more without Assen feeling like he always has to come.
The other side of this, is I try and do less traveling. This means sometimes for long weekends, we do just stay in the UK and have a quiet weekend. Sometimes that means exploring somewhere within the UK (such as when we went to Baths last July) and sometimes that means actually just staying at home for 3 days, and doing nothing!
Assen also does more traveling than he otherwise would. Since we’ve been together, we’ve gone to: Paris, Rome (aforementioned first trip), Prague, Bulgaria, New York, Germany, and Scotland. This is probably double the holidays he would’ve gone on if it wasn’t for me.
Step 3: Understanding
I think we all like to think that relationships other than our own are easy, and people get along all the time. But that’s just not true! (and if yours is, well then don’t tell me- cause I don’t wanna know)
As Assen and I have continued traveling, we’ve managed to find the right balance for us. He travels more than he’d like to, and I travel less than I’d like to. I know that he’s traveling more than he wants to, so I try and make sure I tell him that I’m grateful, and plan special things in our trip that he’d like or be interested in; like stopping for 1L beers in Munich
He know that I’d like to be traveling, so when we’re not, he’ll try and plan a day-trip to London, or a day out exploring Cambridge to make it more interesting for me.
We’ll never agree 100% on how best to vacation, but we can now laugh at our first trip together, and have found a balance that keeps us both happy.
So those are my 3 steps for traveling with a boyfriend who doesn’t really like to travel. Anyone else out there in the same boat? What do you do? Or- if you’re the one who doesn’t like to travel, what’s your approach for balance?