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.