Does it seem like there are thousands of questions you need to ask your beloved before deciding to get married? When you are in love and the world stretches out before you like a parade of endless possibilities, it can seem annoying and unnecessary to interrupt the romantic dance to ask some unromantic questions. Believe me, I can remember being crazy in love to the point that even Eric’s (now) aggravating traits seemed adorable and alluring.
Here is my humble advice: enjoy the romantic dance, but sit out a few songs to talk over important subjects before taking the plunge. There is nothing fun and exciting (at least, to me) about discovering major, life altering differences after marriage. That romantic parade will come to an end quickly if you find your newlywed selves arguing over when to start a family, how much time to spend with family, and how much money to spend on travelling.
Is Travelling Important?
The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask. I was the kid who literally nagged her parents about when we were going home. We never went out of the country. In fact, until I was married, I had never been farther west than East Tennessee. Needless to say, my college mission’s trip to Guatemala was an eye-opening experience… not to mention a nauseating one as I, the queen of Dramamine, did not think to take any motion sickness medicine before taking off on my first plane ride. So, travelling to me is not a treat. If I could be instantaneously zapped from one place to another with no fear of being trapped in my new location, I’m sure I’d travel more. ~smile~
Then, there is my dear sister-in-law who loves to travel. She enjoys seeing new places, drinking in new cultures, and having adventures. She loves to fly! Chances are she’d love nothing more than to visit a new exciting destination every year. Travelling is important to her and it deeply enhances her life.
Isn’t it a Given That We’ll Travel Together?
Ha ha ha… no. When preparing to spend your life with someone else there are no givens. Make no assumptions. It’s so much safer just to ask and discuss! ~smile~ There are two sides to this question. First, there is no guarantee that your sweetie has any intentions of travelling anywhere, ever. This is unlikely, but some people simply do not want or need to set foot outside of their familiar surroundings. Second, the world is big, and you and your sweetheart may have vastly different definitions of travel. Travel to you may mean flying to London. Travel to your honey may mean driving to Dollywood.
Why is this Question Important?
When I was first married, I didn’t question whether or not we would travel. I knew we would travel to see family and I knew we wanted to eventually go to Australia (although that plane ride seems daunting); however, I’ve grown to realize how much travel means to some people and how frustrating it can be to a marriage when one spouse lives to travel and explore and the other is content (and/or determined) to stay at home. Consider these three reasons for discussing this question:
1. Traveling is Expensive.
There are financial ramifications to travelling. If you don’t want to go through life with a mountain of consumer debt (and believe me, you don’t), you will need to budget for your travelling. Before getting married, you should both be in agreement about how much you are willing to sacrifice to budget for your excursions. One of you may value eating out several times a week over setting money aside for vacations. Talk about the financial side of travelling and discuss your expectations.
2. Traveling Takes Time.
What do you like to do when you have time off from work? Relax around the pool? Sleep in and watch movies all day? Go on an adventure? Travelling requires time and most people work in jobs that allow little time for extended explorations. Discuss your travel desires with each other so you can understand how much time these trips will require. Are you both prepared to spend that kind of time on the go? What compromises can you make in this area?
3. Travelling will require Compromise.
Even if you both adore travelling, chances are you won’t always want to go on the same adventure. Sit down together and talk about your dream vacations. This is the vacation that would make all other vacations pale in comparison. If you could only go on one major trip in your life, where would you want to visit? After that, list your top ten travel spots. There is a good chance some of your spots will overlap and you can enjoy a few trips while you are saving and dreaming about your major destinations!
Have coffee and snuggle up to your map. Discuss your travel dreams and honestly evaluate your similarities and differences. There is always compromise in marriage, but you should at least have an idea of where your sweetheart stands on travel and adventure before tying the knot! If you do not, it will be an expensive fight to have later! ~smile~
How important is traveling to you?