The things you learn traveling with you S/O

9 Things You Learn While Traveling With Your Significant Other

It's a blessing and a curse.

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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'd Rather Be Single Than Settle: Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay.

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying. What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense. I've heard it all, "He was cute, why didn't you like him?" "You didn't even give him a chance!" "You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous; however, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well. Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR FINDING A NICE GUY. It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault. If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs." Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him. If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it. He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush. Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling. :)

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Love Isn't 50/50

Love is beautiful and love is amazing but love isn't always fair and square.

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When you think of love what first pops into your mind? Is it hearts, the color pink and things that belong in the Valentines Day section at your local Walmart? Or is it a person, one that you have in your life currently or did in the past? The question of what is love seems so simple at first. The culture of love is all around us, with apps like Tinder and Bumble and tv shows that run the gamut of the Bachelor Franchise to Married at First Sight.

With all the content promoting the creation of love and finding it, you would think that everyone would be in a relationship. But they're not, and a lot of people don't want to be. It is obvious that the media and social culture we have created around relationships is entirely inaccurate. There is an attitude that is becoming more common in our generation and honestly, I'm scared. I'll call it cut-off culture.

Go on twitter any day of the week and without a doubt, there will be a viral tweet going around about an argument between a couple, that probably shouldn't have been posted in the first place. One part of the couple will be asking their audience for an opinion on what they should do or not do, eliciting thousands of opinions. These will be all over the place but by far the most common response I see now is " Throw the whole man/girl away! You don't need that in your life!"

While there are situations that you should definitely walk away from in a relationship, when they are abusive or serious, I believe that most problems are fixable. In my opinion, people our age have developed an attitude of where if something is not serving you at all times it isn't the thing to do. That is by no means to say that you shouldn't find some who makes you a priority, but you can't be the only priority.

Here are two truths and they might be hard to hear; it isn't all about you, and love isn't fair or easy. Love is struggle, love is pain, and love will piss you off more than anything else. The attitude of it's not working so leave it and find something new is incredibly damaging to our culture. If you ask people who have been married a long time how they did it you will most likely get a common response. That response will be "It was not easy, but we worked through it."

My parents have been together since they were fifteen years old and are now working on about 27 years together. One of the biggest pieces of relationship they have told me is that "Love is compromising and that compromise won't always be 50/50. In fact, most of the time, it won't be. A lot of the time it might be 70/30. But that's ok because the next time it will switch and you hold onto that. You choose to love the person more than the thing that is causing problems."

When I talked to my grandparents, their advice was equally great. They said, "When we grew up and something broke, we fixed it. We didn't buy a new one." Now I'm pretty sure they got that off a motivational poster, but it still holds true. Love takes work and it won't be easy. But the thing to remember is while you might not always like them, you will always love them.

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