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?