Summer may well be over, my husband has gone back to work after a three-week-vacation and the weather has now changed from warm to chilly. The sun also now sets earlier than eight o´clock. But while I reluctantly welcome the new season, I still have this strong hangover from the trip I and my husband had last summer. We went to Paris.
We´ll be celebrating our second year anniversary this December but we´ve actually lived together for only a year and a half because at the beginning of our marriage, we were long distance. So basically last summer was the first summer we had which we could spend traveling together. We were very excited for the trip and it was marvelous. As short as it may, only five days, our trip was packed with both ups and downs and taught us three significant lessons.
1. Have an itinery
Because we thought Paris is difficult to explore for people who couldn´t speak French and who are new to the city, we decided it would be better to travel with a tour company which provides us with a tour guide. It meant we had to travel by Bus.
Because we were so excited and we knew the tour group will take care of us, we did not have an exact plan – which places we´d like to see, which restaurant we´d like to eat, or places we´d want to go. All I knew was that I wanted to have photos with the Eiffel tower.
When we arrived in Paris, the tour guide handed us the plan for the entire tour and for each day, we got to choose which place we´d like to visit from the options they provided. Mornings to noontime were spent visiting out of the city tourist attractions such as the Château de Versailles and the Château de Fontainebleau, the afternoons were spent visiting places in the city of Paris, while evenings were spent walking around the streets with our tour group listening to history told by our tour guide.
In between these activities, we had time for us. The problem was, because we did not exactly have a plan what we wanted to do, we spent of our free time figuring out where we want to go or eat and we ended up taking the subway back and forth, a lot.
2. Do research
One of the things we found very difficult in Paris is the accessibility of public restrooms. Even in big malls we found it very difficult to access a restroom. We thought we should have been aware of it beforehand. We spent most of our free time searching for a restroom which we could have instead used to enjoy.
It made me understand why almost any corner in Paris stinks with urine. Because rarely are there public restrooms which people could use when they need, they urinate anywhere they could.
But this didn´t bother us until the last day. On our last day, we were picked up bus from the hotel at 8:30 am and we were told to check out by that time. So basically, whole day we would be on the road, visiting places, taking the cruise, sight-seeing around the city, and the departure would be at half an hour past midnight.
After we got back to Paris after visiting a place out of the city, we were told to go around and we´ll meet up again in the evening for the cruise. With only my handbag and my husband´s small backpack, we stroll the city. Then came the horror of finding a restroom when we needed. After hours of searching and we couldn´t hold it, we had to go to a restaurant and order some expensive meal just to possibly have access to their restroom.
This experience taught us to conduct advance research about the city or country we´re visiting next. At least we would be aware of the possible difficulties and have prepared solution to it.
3. Avoid Conflicts
Since we were mostly on the road, we did not get good sleep and our meals were not on time, we were prone to irritation and misunderstanding. Having conflict or arguments while on tour is the quickest way to ruin everything.
For instance, when we were visiting the palace of fontainebleau, I asked my husband a question which I felt he answered rudely. It offended me so quickly that I refused to explore the place with him. We ended up taking different directions which irritated me even more because he got the DSLR camera and I only got a pocket camera and nobody´s gonna take me photos, which is very important for me. It spoiled my entire experience.
We reconciled when we had to go have lunch but the opportunity where I could pose for some good photos was already gone.
So you see, we are newbies and it was our first time to explore places together which actually was a good experience for us. We realized that travelling together is good for marriage because it gives trills, adventure, is a bonding experience, teaches patience and problem-solving skills.
How about you? Have you and your spose travelled and explored places together? How does the experience help your marriage?