9 Things You Learn While Traveling With Your Significant Other

9 Things You Learn While Traveling With Your Significant Other

It's a blessing and a curse.


Recently, my boyfriend and I went on a trip together to visit his family in South Carolina. Weeks leading up to the trip, we kept hyping up the fact that we were so blessed to be able to travel together. For both of us, it was our first time ever traveling across the country with a significant other, so you can imagine that we were pretty stoked to be able to experience our "first" together. After a fantastic and fun-filled weekend together, it was also super interesting to see what we learned about each other from the excursion.

1. Patience levels

Between finding rides to the airport, getting to the airport and actually getting seated on the plane, a lot of stress accompanies the thrill of traveling. Since it was my first time on a plane in nearly 11 years, I was experiencing a lot of confusion and stress myself. Surprisingly though, my boyfriend was able to keep calm amongst the chaos while simultaneously calming me down. For that, I am so thankful because I know if I were in his position there would be no way I would have been able to handle the nagging I was giving him. Special shoutout to him for also going along with all the goofiness that I used as a coping tactic for the stress too.

2. The efficiency of your packing skills

Like most teenagers, my boyfriend and I are proficiently skilled at procrastinating. Not an hour before we left for the airport, we were scrambling to pack our bags. As expected, we definitely forgot some things at home. Things like toothbrushes, combs, hair products, and even nice clothing in case we did a spontaneous photoshoot - which we did. Nevertheless, though, his family was awesome enough to provide what we left behind and we made do with what we brought. At least we know for next time.

3. The importance of sticking together

Like my boyfriend, it was my first time ever experiencing the chaos that is ATL airport. Sure we live close enough to Chicago to know what O'Hare is like, but this is a completely different state we're talking about. Sticking together was imperative in the transitioning processes to make sure the other was on board and respectively off board - literally. Between the craziness of TSA checks, getting to our correct gate and finding our seats, everything we did, we did holding hands so to make sure that we were not alone. After all, we either make it to our destination, or we don't make it at all - but at the very least we're together.

4. The *IMPORTANCE* of bringing snacks

Traveling, although you do a lot of sitting, takes a massive toll on your body. And getting "hangry" is a very real thing for the both of us. We made sure to eat on our first flight but forgot to ensure that we ate before our flight back. You can probably imagine that we were both getting a little agitated with the other simply due to the lack of food in our systems to keep us going. Packing lots of food and water for the flights there and back are essential for making sure the other is in a decent mood.

5. How important keeping things fun is

Traveling means a lot of downtime or a lot of rushing around - it seems as if there is no in between. Because of this, it is important to keep the nature of your experiences fun and light. Although our flights were a little under 2 hours (and we didn't have access to wifi) we decided to play games together on our flight. We passed the time by creating stories, playing hangman and even taking goofy pictures and videos. Throughout the entirety of the trip we kept things fun by making jokes, taking pictures, and asking each other bizarre questions to keep our minds stimulated.

6. The value of being able to take a second and ~chill~

Even when we arrived at his family's house in South Carolina, we continued to do many activities throughout the duration of the weekend that required a lot of secondary commuting. On one of our final days visiting, we decided to take a day to relax and spend time with his family which ended up being arguable one of the best days of our visit. We decided to cook dinner, play board games and do a movie marathon which gave our minds and bodies a break before returning to the laborious nature of school that we would soon return too.

7. Never taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep

While we were able to take a day to chill, the other days we restaurants looked forward to sleeping at the end of the night. It gave us a chance to recharge and regenerate our energy for the rest of the activities we had planned for the weekend. Not to mention, we actually got to sleep in real, comfortable beds; a total upgrade from our twin size beds in our dorm I might add. Sleeping gave us a time for ourselves as well which was greatly appreciated at the end of the day when our social batteries had just about died.

8. Appreciating the experiences you have together

During our trip, we got to walk the riverwalk of Downtown Augusta, and walked the streets of Downtown Greenville together. The weather was absolutely refreshing compared to the frozen wasteland of Illinois, and the scenery was beautiful. We saw different kinds of events, restaurants, people, and places together which most kids our age do not get the chance to see. One night, my boyfriend and I even snuck out on the roof to stargaze and listen to music in the South Carolina warmth. That was an experience in and of itself and that my 13-year-old self always dreamed of, and for it to come true was something of a dream by itself.

9. How much closer you become as a result

Experiencing the world with your favorite person on Earth is something everyone should get the chance to do. You grow in knowledge and experience together, which essentially boosts your personal growth as a result. But because we were able to grow individually, we were also able to grow closer as well. Every experience we had during our trip brought us closer in love and friendship with each step because they were all new things for both of us. At the end of the trip, we rejoiced about how lucky we were, and how much closer we felt to one another. To hear something as sentimental as that can make even the strongest person say "awww."

Our trip to South Carolina was something of a dream and made me value my romantic and friendly relationship with my boyfriend that much more. At the same time, I was able to become closer with his family which also granted me a sense of acceptance and importance amongst the people he holds dear. Special shoutout to his mom for buying us the tickets so willingly and allowing me to join as well. Without this experience, our relationship would lack a certain depth of richness and diversity that it did not have before. Traveling with your significant other teaches you a lot, while simultaneously giving you the experience of a lifetime. Love you bunches, Billy.

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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It's Time To Challenge 'You Complete Me' Culture

Your partner should be your companion, not your completion!


After having some time to reflect after "The Bachelor" finale, I think this is the perfect time to put this article out there. In this article, I want to offer you a different perspective on how to view relationships. I want to challenge you to defy cultural assumptions of what romance is and shine a light on how codependency can squash your happiness.

The puzzle analogy

In wedding vows or proclamations of love, we often hear the phrase, "You complete me." We compare finding our person to finding the missing piece of the puzzle in our lives. Once we place that puzzle piece in the empty hole, we can finally see the beautiful and complete picture. Without that piece, we would be in a frenzy, searching all around under the kitchen table and on everyone's chairs to see if we find it. We desperately hope the dog, or the baby, hasn't eaten it. We hold out hope.

This comparison, as I have found, has created quite an issue in our modern day society. We are so obsessed with finding that missing piece in our lives to complete us that we often search in the wrong places or live in unending frustration. Sometimes we find a perfectly wonderful person, but they seem to lack everything on our checklists of what we have deemed as the perfect missing piece, so we let them go. If you are one of the lucky ones who has found a person who fills the void in your life, you often try to shove them into the puzzle as hard as you can and force them to fit. You need to be filled; you need to have the beauty of the final picture — without it, how could you ever be completely happy?

Where did I go wrong?

I was riding along in the car with my boyfriend when I realized we had hit a rough patch. We are a long distance couple — going to separate colleges four hours away from each other — but we only live two minutes away from each other when we are back at home.

I had never had a boyfriend before my second semester of senior year. I had always been very independent. I moved a lot, which meant anytime I got close to dating someone, POOF, there I went. But, this time I had finally stayed and found an amazing guy — my best friend.

When I was single, I was the queen of relationship advice (as we all are when we are not blinded by rose-colored romance). Finally being in a relationship made me realize how easy it was to fall into habits that I had always scorned others for. I began letting this relationship affect me in ways I never even suspected it could.

Don't get me wrong, this was not his doing at all. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy I know. He is always lifting me up and supporting me to reach my dreams. While we both struggle with anxiety and depression, we have found a way to always put our individual mental health first. My boyfriend had dated people before me, but I had not. This altered expectations of what this relationship was supposed to look like for each of us. He knew what mistakes to try to stay away from, while I was still trying to figure it out.

How to reframe your perspective in relationships

Regardless of my background, I think I have stumbled on the most amazing way of reframing perspective in relationships. Once I started changing the lens on how I looked at our relationship, we started bickering less and I became so much happier.

Here it is: your significant other is your COMPANION, not your COMPLETION.

Of course, you should feel happy and enjoy when your partner is around. They should treat you with care and make you laugh, but they should not be the person filling the empty piece of your heart — that isn't their responsibility. They should not be the ultimate source of happiness that makes you feel emotionally whole. This perspective is extremely unhealthy because people are fickle and we make mistakes. We screw up . . . all the time. Our culture loves to use the phrase, "You complete me." It sounds extremely romantic. However, it can be so problematic.

Now, when I spend time or communicate with my boyfriend, I see it as a lucky bonus we get after we both have spent time improving ourselves that day. When I text him, I don't expect him to reply to me immediately — even though I still wish he would because of the need for instant gratification, let's be real. I know that he is going after his dreams by working as hard as he can to make a life for himself. As a girlfriend, not only should I commend him for that, but I should also give him the space to do that. Likewise, I should go after my dreams and work as hard as I can to achieve them.

Your partner should be the fun blanket you have on top of your comforter. You would be just as warm without the blanket and still get a good nights sleep, but the blanket is still really fuzzy and gives you extra joy and you can wrap it around you while you are watching tv. And, if it is a really cold and stormy night, perhaps you snuggle up with your blanket and hold it tightly for a little extra warmth and comfort.

I am a believer in God, and I believe his holy spirit makes me whole. Regardless of if you share this belief or not, I think we can all agree that we are all supposed to walk through life together and lift each other up. If we expect to put our happiness and worth on the shoulders of one person, then that relationship is going to crumble. Why would you want the person you love most to crumble? I certainly don't. I want to be able to look my partner in the eyes and say, "I love you and I want to stand by you when you need me. When you don't, I will be okay because I am still whole and fulfilled".


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