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Valentine's Day inspiration from travel blogging couples
As told by Ryan
We're both from St. Louis, but met on a beach in Destin, Florida. I went to study abroad in Ireland and Laura came over to visit and we traveled through Ireland and Scotland. Laura studied in Spain the following year and I went over to visit her. When Laura finished college, we decided to attack a different continent and booked a one-way ticket to South America, traveling Brazil for six weeks, setting up shop in Buenos Aires for five months, moving to Santiago, Chile, and traveling through Bolivia, Peru and Patagonia before returning home to the U.S. We moved to Chicago, worked, saved, and left again, this time on a 14-month trip around the world. We estimate we've spent more time together as a couple than our parents' combined 70 years of marriage.
Funny travel moment: It was one of our first nights in Buenos Aires. Laura had been trying to teach me Spanish words and phrases, although I had no real desire to learn. We were still learning our way around the city when we were heading out one night. Switching subway lines, I stepped onto the train with Laura a step back. The doors closed quickly behind me with Laura still on the other side of them. Looking baffled at each other through the subway doors, I mouthed, "What should we do?" Lucky for us, the Argentine woman next to Laura had understood what I had said, "la proxima parada", in Spanish. Laura got on the following train and greeted me at "the next stop" with a cross between a grin and a scowl. I still have no idea why her Spanish lesson had popped into my head at that moment, but we still laugh about it.
Couples' travel tip: Communication is very important. We are often forced to push ourselves when traveling in ways we don't living comfortably at home. By listening to one another, we've been able to work through problems more quickly and have avoided falling into the same traps, or fights, that couples do.
This Valentine's Day: We'll be at home in Chicago brainstorming a more interesting way to spend Valentine's Day next year!
As told by Dolina
We met at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. It was clear from the beginning of our relationship that we both liked to travel. Our first spring break together we found some "cheap" tickets to Rome and went for it. From then on, we traveled as much as school then work allowed. Over the years, we talked about taking a longer trip and in the fall of 2007 we left for a yearlong round-the-world adventure. We returned to the US in the fall of 2008 and our daughter was born in July, 2009. I have no doubt we will travel again and that our daughter will be richer for the experience. Meanwhile, we are experiencing travel from the perspective of the host. While it pales next to the afternoon of tea and apples in Hama, we are hosting fellow travelers from around the world on Airbnb.com.
Funny travel moment: For our anniversary we were in Cuzco, Peru, a place the Incans believed to be the bellybutton of the universe. We booked a lovely hotel in this beautiful colonial city anticipating a romantic celebration. Instead we were stricken with Salmonella and Giardia. Romantic indeed!
Couples' travel tip: If you're planning a long-term adventure, downsize to a much smaller place a few months before you leave. It will help ease the transition of being together 24/7 on the road.
This Valentine's Day: Having a quiet dinner at our home in Austin, Texas.
Nathan & Sofia of As We Travel
As told by Sofia
We met in Sweden while Nathan was there from New Zealand studying for a master's degree at University; I wanted to travel the world, and Nathan didn't enjoy his course anymore so he dropped out and we decided to travel the world together in 2008. Today we are still busy traveling the world and have visited over 44 countries together.
Funny travel moment: We arrived late one evening in a small New Zealand town with no accommodation pre-booked, so we just picked the cheapest hostel on the map and started walking. After walking for more than 3 hours in the dark, and finding ourselves in the middle of no-where, we realized the hostel must be further away than we thought. So we simply gave up and decided to sleep on the side of the road, found a bush to sleep under, grabbed our sleeping bags, and went to sleep. The next morning we looked up and saw the same hostel we couldn't find the night before right in front of us!
Couples' travel tip: Learn how to compromise, be flexible, and don't take your fights too seriously. Often arguments pop up simply because you're both out there traveling the world, getting exposed to so many new environments and cultures which can lead to extra stress, tiredness, and worry.
This Valentine's Day: We are currently in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a small, cute ski resort in southern Germany, so we will be spending Valentine's Day there enjoying a great day skiing and then maybe have a few glasses of wine and indulge in some traditional German desserts.
Kyle & Bessie of On Our Own Path
As told by Kyle
We met in a dive bar at a "white trash" themed party where everyone was wearing those corny mesh trucker hats. So, it wasn't exactly one of the cultural pinnacles of our lives, but I guess the event can be forgiven since we met each other there. In any case, we were both a bit drunk and I invited her to go on a trip to Puerto Rico with me in a couple of months. She probably thought I was odd, but we got along really well and she came on the trip, where we ended up drinking moonshine rum while playing Dominoes on Christmas Eve. At some point in the next year, we decided to start squirreling away some money for a big trip. We saved for a year and a half, planning for a one year trip. More than 4 years later, we still haven't returned home.
Funny travel moment: Every day in Myanmar is amusing in some way now, whether it be lowering our garbage down on a string to the garbage collection lady or trying to corral the heaps of paperwork necessary to live downtown. Besides, most of our "funny" stories have
to do with bowel movements at inopportune times (that's the price for eating adventurously, I suppose).
Couples' travel tip: Work out all of those issues before traveling together. As romantic as it sounds, spending 24 hours with someone for a long period of time can sometimes not be a good thing if there are some issues bubbling below the surface.
This Valentine's Day: We'll definitely be in Yangon and don't have definite plans, yet, but we'll probably go out to dinner. We've been thinking of eating at a restaurant called "House of Memories" which is an old colonial house were the country's icon, Bogyoke Aung San, used to study.
Adam & Melanie of Travels With Two
As told by Melanie
Almost 18 years ago, my husband, Adam, and I worked together at NBC Television in the Los Angeles area; one of his daily duties was to hand-deliver a single piece of paper downstairs to my department, affording us an opportunity to flirt and get to know each other. We started traveling together almost immediately, and after a few Southern California driving jaunts we found we loved simply wandering off by ourselves. Eventually, amidst starting and growing businesses, buying a house, getting married and adopting pets, we'd fall in love with three Hawaiian islands, swoon over two Mexican coasts, become addicted to Europe (There's more, but you get the idea). Without traveling together, we'd never have learned how to get hopelessly lost in other languages, avoid being trampled by an elephant, or depend on one another in times of sudden transit strikes.
Funny travel moment: Having time to connect isn't always a positive. Years ago, awaiting a
connecting flight home from a trip, we got to reminiscing about our very first impressions of one another. Turns out he hadn't learned my name for weeks; I couldn't wait to do away with his vest collection. We became so immersed in our conversation that we missed our flight.
Couples' travel tip: Instead of booking travel the weekend before Valentine's Day, aim to get
away a weekend or two after the holiday, when hotel and flight prices tend to drop by 25% or more.
This Valentine's Day: We make time for Valentine's Day. Sure, it's a greeting-card holiday, but I like greeting cards. And Champagne. And work days that end a little early. And a man I've known for half my life making dinner for me.
Wayne & Pat of Unhook Now
As told by Wayne
We met at a Make-A-Wish dance wanting to make a wish come true for others and it came true for us. I was talking to someone about international travel and Pat's wish list included meeting someone who wanted to travel. Falling in love, our first trip together was to New York and then the Tahitian Islands. We are now members of the Travelers' Century Club (100 counties).
Funny travel moment: During one of our first trips to Europe we were taking the train from Paris to Venice. The train slowed down for a stop and the conductor yelled, "All passengers for Pisa please prepare to depart." Pat asked me, "Pisa? Is this the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa?" I answered yes and she said, "We have to get off the train!" As a child growing up in New York, Pat's family had tomato sauce jars with a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on them. When she told her family she was going there someday they would make fun of her thinking it was just a dream. With her feet barely touching the ground, Pat visited her 'Leaning Tower of Pisa' that day.
Couples' travel tip: We love traveling together and our passion starts with gratitude. We express our wishes to each other and work together to get both of our travel wishes satisfied.
This Valentine's Day: We now yearn more for good friends, memories and less for stuff. We're fortunate to spend this Valentine's Day with some of our best friends involved with their gourmet foodie/movie group.
Caz & Craig of y Travel Blog
As told by Caz
Craig and I are from the same home town and grew up with mutual friends. On the night before I left for my overseas journey I remember spending some time talking to him at the club and was impressed with his humor. I put that behind me, though, as I had other adventures to attend to. When I returned home three years later, we saw each other around all the time. I had just been in Thailand and Craig was about to go so we had a lot to talk about. We kept seeing each other out and connected over our love of travel. It wasn't long before we began going out and planning to travel together. Two years later we married and three days after the wedding took off for what turned out to be a five year honeymoon. Ten years later, we haven't stopped living our love of travel, sharing it with our two beautiful daughters.
Funny travel moment: When we first moved to Bangkok to teach English I had a big welcoming assembly at my school on the first day and was told I would have to give a speech. I was really nervous as it was 500 high school boys who could barely speak any English. Craig thought it funny and teased me mercilessly, so relieved was not him having to get up to speak. His teasing did not stop even right up to when they handed me the microphone and with knees knocking I walked up to the stage to speak. I got through it and, when it was finished, handed the microphone back to my mentoring teacher, Gai, and smiled with relief to Craig. My smile turned into a laugh once I heard Gai announce, "And now we have Caroline's husband, Craig, who would like to say a few words." His face fell to the ground.
Couples' travel tip: Always view yourself as a team. This will help you to use each other's strengths to work through challenges together, as well as celebrating your wins.
This Valentine's Day: This Valentine's Day will see Craig and I on separate sides of the country on press trips. He will be in Western Australia and I will be in Sydney.
Skott & Shawna of Get Up and Globe
As told by Shawna
"Our story" begins at a radio station. Skott was one of the head advertising consultants, and I was the fresh, new talent. We fell for each other almost instantly, and were married just two years later. For our honeymoon, we asked our guests to vote and help us choose our destination. This voting process took place over 7 months leading up to our big day. However, in the end, we decided we wanted to go everywhere! So we quit our jobs, rented out our house, and hit the road!
Funny travel moment: We were visiting a Spanish tapas bar and Skott was choosing a few snacks from a glass display. He spotted something interesting and asked the waitress what it was. She responded "Pulpo". Skott understood this to mean "pulled pork". When his plate arrived, I asked him to name each of the items he had chosen. When he pointed at his "pulled pork", I started to giggle as I noticed it had a peculiar purple hew and some suspect looking tentacles. It turns out that "pulpo" means octopus, something these two prairie folks never eat! Skott was unwilling to admit an error and ate the octopus on a cracker. He never ordered it again!
Couples' travel tip: Always communicate how you're feeling and pay the extra couple bucks to have your own private room. Bunk bed dorms are a downer!
This Valentine's Day: It looks like Valentine's Day will be celebrated here in Vietnam. Skott's parent's have come to join us for the month so we'll be able to do a double date. Perhaps a cooking class in Hoi An, a quaint little city on the coast of the South China Sea.
Simon & Erin of Never Ending Voyage
As told by Erin
Simon and I met at school and finally got together when we were 18. We started traveling during our first winter together when Simon took me snowboarding in the Alps and a few months later treated me to a weekend in Paris for my birthday. When we finished university we spent a year travelling around the world. After an amazing year it was impossible to settle back into normal life so we decided to sell everything, start a web design business, and travel permanently as digital nomads. We've been going since March 2010 and love travelling and working together.
Funny travel moment: On an overnight bus in Boliva, I was knocked out by Dramamine. Simon suffered through 12 hours of bumpy roads on a decrepit bus with locals sleeping on his shoulder as we plunged through fog on treacherous mountain roads. Thankfully, we survived to tell the tale.
Couples' travel tip: When you are together 24/7 and often in stressful travel situations communication is vital. Be honest about your feelings and tell your partner if you are stressed or if they are doing something to annoy you. Deal with it before it builds up and becomes a much bigger problem.
This Valentine's Day: We'll be in Chiang Mai, Thailand. To be honest though we don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day so I doubt we'll be doing anything special. Then again, any day in Thailand is special!
Ant & Elise of Positive World Travel
As told by Ant
Elise and I met whilst we were working in the same restaurant 6 years ago. We decided to pack up everything and leave our old lives behind to travel the world inside of going into further debt and buy a house. Traveling together for 24-hours a day teaches you patience and you build new skills on how to keep the spark alive when you are spending so much time together. When traveling we would always have "date night" once a week where we would get dressed up and treat ourselves to an expensive meal and pretend for a moment that we had just met. This allows up to freshen up our relationship and is also an opportunity to talk about other things than just what tourist sites we had seen in the past week.
Funny travel moment: We were traveling through Vietnam by motorbike riding to all the local temples and, as usual, Elise was reading the map and we were lost. I had a look at the map and realized the road we needed get on, however, the only way to get across to the connecting road was along a muddy path in between two rice patties. There was a stretch of this path that had been entirely covered by water except for one edge that was the width of our tires. We cautiously balanced our way across this shady embankment but our back wheel slid out and, before we knew it, we were head first in mud. We were 20 kms out of town so we continued to visit tourist sites in our muddy clothes with unusual looks from locals.
Couples' travel tip: We believe that communication is the key to our successful travelling relationship. It is easy to bottle your feelings and emotions up inside, so it is important that you give each other a chance to be heard and to voice your opinions.
This Valentine's Day: This Valentines Day we will be in Sydney, Australia, camping and spending a few days away in a secluded beachside place in Northern NSW. We believe that Valentine's Day is about spending time with each other and celebrating our love.