Chit Chat

AW--Home from First Vacation with FI

SaintPaulGalSaintPaulGal member
First Comment First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer
edited October 2016 in Chit Chat
I'm back at work today after 10 days in Colombia with the FI.  We have been together over 4 years now, but this was our first significant trip together. Happy to report that we had an amazing time!  I knew we would, but I have to admit that I was slightly nervous.

This was his first time abroad, and travel styles have been the one thing so far that we are sort of polar opposites on.  He goes on a lot of business trips domestically, and he all about having status on his preferred airline, staying at upscale hotels, etc.  I, on the other hand, am all about finding the absolute cheapest way to get somewhere and then couchsufing/airbnb/hostels when I'm there.  So his fantasy trip would be something like flying first class to London and staying in a 5 star hotel, while my fantasy trip would be snagging dirt cheap tickets to somewhere most people haven't heard of and staying with locals in a remote area.

Well anyway, I planned this whole thing as a surprise for his 30th birthday, and I tried to balance our two sets of desires.  We spent the first couple of days in Bogotá in a simple-but-nice small local hotel, then took a bus to the historically-significant but not highly touristed town of Honda for one night. Then another lengthy bus ride to some very simple accommodations with a family on a working coffee farm for a couple of nights, including a visit to some lovely thermal pools nearby.  Then the plan was to surprise my partner on his actual birthday with a flight back to the capital city, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and accommodations at a super fancy 5 star international hotel brand.  

Well, that took a giant crap when the flight was delayed several hours and then cancelled.  The airline bused us to the nearest alternate airport a few hours away and re-booked us on a flight that also wound up delayed by several hours.  By the time we checked into Fancy Pants Hotel (thank goodness they didn't give away our room!) and had a shower, it was 5 AM post-birthday.  I actually took it a lot harder than FI did, since I had spent weeks/months planning the details to give him a perfect birthday experience.  He rolled with the punches like a champ and actually wound up comforting me about the whole thing.  (I'm not usually a huge planner on stuff like this, and I'm not bothered by changes on the fly, but thirtieth birthday and first time out of the country threw me for a loop by feeling just so incredibly consequential.)

So we wound up losing much of the next day sleeping as well as each catching colds (blech!), but Fancy Pants Hotel managed to get us reservations at the place we had missed because of the flight nonsense!  We went there on our last night, had a lovely dinner, checked out of the hotel, and took the redeye home.

Overall, in spite of our cancelled flight and getting sick, the experience was even better than I had hoped for.  FI said he now completely gets why I love the sort of travel that I prefer, although he was also pretty darned happy to end up at Fancy Pants Hotel in the end.  So it turns out we travel really well together! I'm pretty significantly relieved, because exploring the world is one of my main driving passions.  Work hasn't allowed for it on my in the past few years, and FI has had a stupid paperwork reason that he couldn't leave the country that he finally got around to correcting.  I now see a lot more of this sort of thing in my/our future, and it makes me really happy!

Apologies for the AW, but I just wanted to share.  So...what was it like the first time you took a significant trip with your partner?  Did your styles align or clash?  Or anyone else want to share travel stories?

Re: AW--Home from First Vacation with FI

  • That sounds amazing.  I would love to see Colombia.

    We haven't traveled internationally yet, but we roadtripped to DC after dating for about 7 months and learned a lot about each other, especially our driving and GPS styles.  We're both busy vacation people, not relaxing vacation people so it went well.
  • Glad it worked out in the end for both of you.  It's nice to hear that he's able to roll with the punches with the changes too.  I want to hear more about Colombia too!

    Our first major trip was hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island.  It was about 6 months in to dating and I think we did it a day or two too fast but we were with friends of his who planned it.  I was a miserable bitch most of the time, and we almost bailed at NitNat Ferry, but food helped me push on.  I hated that we were up by 7, packed up camp by 8 and hiked till about 6-7pm at night.  Eat dinner, set up camp and sleep, repeat.  There was no down time to just sit, chill and enjoy the view, campfire, etc.  I figured that if he was putting up with me after that trip, he was a keeper cos I would have left me in the bush.   :D

    Ironically, we usually have 1 biggish fight each trip.  Not sure what it is about travelling, but we don't normally fight/argue, but vacations do it to us.  I've started joking that we should just have an argument on the way to the airport and get it over and done with

  • I'm glad you and FI had a great time, @SaintPaulGal! Colombia sounds wonderful!
  • I definitely learned a lot about him on our first trip, namely that he gets very cranky with packing and then with travel until we are at the airport. I've learned to pretty much just ignore him because he will get pissy for no reason if it isn't exactly as he thinks it should be 
  • Sounds like a great trip!

    I'm kind of in the middle of you and your FI SPG. I'm all for saving money, and I don't care about luxuries, but I'm also not really into roughing it. I can work, sweat and get dirty, but then I like to be able to have a nice shower afterwards.

    DH and I have traveled lots together. We have similar vacation styles, which is good. We both like to DO things, but we are also cool with taking our time and being on "vacation". I quite enjoy traveling with him.

    DH and I met in high school, and we were both in band. We went on band trip every year, so that was *kind of* like traveling together. We didn't plan any part of it, but we'd sit together on the bus ride (usually 10-12 hours) and spend our free time together, so we learned a few things; namely how I can sleep anywhere anytime, and how he can't and doesn't like to be touched when he's sleeping. I think the first big trip we took on our own was actually when DH (before we were married) moved 3 provinces away to go to university. He drove his car and his minimal belongings and I went with him. 36 hours in a car, stopping for meals and cheap hotels overnight. Again, you learn a lot about a person.
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