Don’t we all have vacation memories? Whether it was a week at the beach covering a relative in the sand, hiking up mountains, soaking up the sun on a cruise, or discovering new facts at museums, we all remember our family trips. Perhaps your family didn’t like to travel, but chances are your family did have various activities they enjoyed together. What were they? What vacation memories bring a smile to your face? Which vacation memories make you twitch uncomfortably to this day?
You will learn a ton about a person when you go on vacation with them. We all have people in our lives that we love, but… we would not want to go on vacation with them. Dictionary.com defines “vacation” as “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday.” Who has not come back from a vacation feeling more exhausted than when they left? I’ve certainly had vacations I wish I could forget!
My purpose in bringing up this topic is two-fold. First of all, I would urge you not to commit to someone in engagement until you have traveled somewhere together. Perhaps you could go visit a relative together, or you could go on a trip with a group of close friends? Be sure to travel with others, as traveling completely by yourselves before marriage is one long, unnecessary temptation. Traveling together helps you see a person for who they really are, and who they really are is who you will be traveling with for a lifetime if you marry him or her. How do they act when they are sunburned, tired, out of their element, when they lose their favorite ring or pair of shoes, when they get nauseated on a curvy road, when they don’t get to go to the water park because the tour of the cheese factory took too long or when they realize that two hotdogs cost twice as much here as they do at home? Seeing someone out of their element gives a good picture of their inner workings because when someone is out of their normal routine they cannot control their environment as easily; therefore, they cannot “fake it” as well as they can at home.
My second reason for bringing up vacations at this point in your relationship is that you will want to know what your girlfriend or boyfriend considers a fun vacation. You don’t want planning your honeymoon to be the first time you discuss your vacation likes and dislikes. Face it, someone who hates camping is probably not going to spend his or her honeymoon in Yosemite and someone who has to be outside sixteen hours a day probably won’t want to spend his or her honeymoon at the Mall of America. I am not implying that people cannot have happy, successful relationships if they don’t love all of the same things, but I am saying that is better to have this information before engagement than after engagement. Learning what your future spouse loves and hates at this point in the relationship can help future compromises tremendously. Neither of you will be able to say “I never knew you liked….” if you travel together now and thoroughly discuss your travel plans and goals in detail. So, make some plans, have some fun, and learn something new about each other!