Updated: Apr 20
Travel really does create blessings in your life and there's no doubt about that. It can help create mindfulness and peace especially for nature lovers. It can give you that adrenaline rush - the one that makes you feel MOST alive when you partake in adventurous activities like sky diving, white water rafting, safaris etc. It can increase excitement in your life when planning an upcoming getaway! It creates curiosity of what you might see there, eat there and what the air feels like. What I love most about the benefits gained from travel is that it doesn't even necessarily have to be this long drawn out trip for you to feel the benefits. Even if it is just going into a neighboring city to check out what it's all about - your relationship will advance to new levels. Heck, you might even find that you want to MOVE to that new and neighboring city, you just never know! Uninterrupted time with your spouse and taking in new experiences together is a secret ingredient that makes for a lasting, creative and fulfilling relationship. Here are a few observations that I have made in my relationship with Matthew.
1. I've discovered new things about myself through my spouse:
Let's face it - everyone likes different things. For example, Matthew has always had a love for hiking and when he moved to Florida from Vermont it really put a damper on his weekend activities. I on the other hand, have never hiked and I don't "miss it" and honestly I am terrified of getting attacked by a bear - something Matthew really scoffs at. I am a beach girl and that is my way of connecting with nature and feeling peaceful. Well long story short, on our seriously awesome trip to Yellowstone we did not go hiking. Matthew practically begged me, but In all seriousness, Grizzly's live out there and I don't know how to handle a situation like that and I let fear get the best of me! Ever since that trip though, this man has NOT let that down. It made me feel bad afterwards, I mean honestly we were in such an epic place and after a few days I felt like we could've done that safely, in fact I know we could've and I realize now that it was an opportunity missed. Going forward I've made it a priority to include hiking in our future travels to make Matthew happy. We went to Orcas Island, Washington a few months after Yellowstone and I have to admit, hiking Mt. Constitution in Moran State Park was the highlight of our trip. I've come to realize that hiking really puts you right smack dab in the middle of nature and offers views you couldn't see otherwise. I love nature and I never experienced it before in the way that hiking can provide. Now, Matthew and I love hiking together and it's equally enjoyable for both of us and honestly I cannot believe I lived this long without it!
2. Doing things we "normally" wouldn't do together has created lasting memories that we will talk about forever.
Personally, I don't know too many couples that can say they've done what Matthew and I have done in the 5 years we've been together.
1.White water rafting together on snake river in Wyoming
2. Explored the caves of the Napali Coast
3. Went swimming in Yellowstone
4. Snorkeled the reefs of Turks and Caicos while enjoying the best conch we've ever had on our birthdays (at Mango Reef!).
5. Gone Hawaiian Island hopping on Maui, Kauai and Oahu
6. Explored Vermont and all of Matthews "secret places" as a child
7. Explored the San Juan islands of Washington and had the BEST Salmon burger of our lives (at Madronas Bar and Grille)
8. Roadtrippin' from Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole and making discoveries on the way. We discovered Granite Hot Springs as well as some pretty historical American artifacts - like the rock carvings dating from the 1800's from fur trappers that were making their way West!
9. Went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina while visiting for a wedding
Each and every one of these experiences (and more that I haven't mentioned as they are embarrassing or too personal) we talk about on a regular basis. We relive these moments from time to time, and some places we talk about going back to and others we appreciate the adventure and the experiences gained but have no intentions of revisiting. We are just getting started too! For instance in just a few weeks we are going to explore Washington DC together to hopefully see the cherry blossoms bloom and explore the city and its multitude of FREE museums. We also have Alaska on our list for a little 5 year anniversary trip this June.
3. Adventuring together has lead to other creative thinking within our relationship:
These adventures have shaped what we'd like our future to look like in the long run. I had never been on that side of the country before (talking about Washington State) and I cannot tell you how many times Matthew and I have fantasized about moving there one day. That fantasy has led to another which includes touring the US in a renovated school bus which is something we are definitely pursuing. These adventurous dreams as crazy as they sound have begun creative thinking in other areas of our life such as - investments, ways to make money, ways to NOT have to go to a daily job while making great money to support our dreams, downsizing, up-sizing and everything in-between. It has defined what we consider most important in our relationship. It has clarified the important aspects of our lives together and honestly, I don't know maybe Matthew and I are weird - but we are always having fun no matter where we are or what we are doing. Life really is exciting with Matthew and I'm sure he feels the same way - I mean, he better! haha!
4. Sharing experiences together have created a stronger bond between us:
Matthew and I have been everywhere together! Honestly, when I think about travel and exploring I think about doing everything with Matthew. I can't help it - I just want to be everywhere with the guy. That desire has sparked the dream of touring the US and that's a decision we made together. When you experience something so surreal, such as exploring the Tetons of Wyoming or swimming in Yellowstone or riding through the caves of the Napali coast - life as you knew it, absolutely changes. The amount of dopamine that rushes through both your bodies and the euphoria of those adventures can only make you more in-sync with your partner. You're learning things about them as they are learning about themselves - it's like a rebirth of life and appreciation for the world. You become two little babies learning to breath, eat and communicate in a completely new environment. It's beautiful really.
I know this article sounds supper "hippy-ish" like a perfect little world within a very imperfect one, but the way I see life now has completely changed because of travel. The way I look at my life with my loved one has changed. Life is meant to be happy. We are meant to be free from the confines of the modern world - the day in and day outs of the same routine. Planet Earth is beautiful and it needs people like us (the adventurers and travelers) that love it so much they are willing to change their daily habits to ensure it stays beautiful.
Aren't you curious of what else is out there? Don't you want to escape your little fish bowl? Do you want to believe in good things and good people and use your talents to make an impact on the world? Then travel. Travel small, travel large, travel far, travel close - go for a drive to the closest National Park you can find and just GO! Invite your spouse and you will see soon enough the same benefits that we have seen in our own relationship.
With Love and Dreams of Adventure,
Kostadena and Matthew xo