One comment that Rob and I get constantly from our friends, acquaintances and even Jet Set Life fans that we don’t know is “How do you guys, live, work and travel together and not kill each other?”. We always laugh when we hear this, but the reality is, we have very specific rules about our life together. In the coming weeks, I’m going to hit the biggest three things that make our relationship work, and work well. After eight years, we still can’t wait to see each other and spend time together.
So without further adieu…
The Importance of Taking a Couples Only Trip
This one is for everyone, but mostly for those of you with children, any age. I have tons of friends with kids that just won’t travel without them. Sometimes I hear, “I want to enjoy my kids while I have them.” or “They’re too young for me to be away.”. I get it. But you have years to enjoy them and one night, one weekend or one week isn’t going to kill them or you. In fact, spending time at Grandma & Grandpa’s house and really getting to know them is equally important as you having some time to really connect with your better-half. There is just a special bond that can be formed when Grandparents have their Grandchild to themselves. It’s special. I had that bond with all of my Grandparents and I wouldn’t give those moments up for anything!
Now, as you kids get older, there’s so many things that you can get them involved with like overnight summer camps, leadership weekends and even international youth trips with People to People Student Ambassador Program.
Why This Is Important To Us
If You Have Kids: I’ve talked to so many other women about how when there child went to college, her and her husband had such a hard time, sometimes even divorcing because they didn’t even know each other anymore. They spent that last 18 years 200% focused on there child and 0% focused on their relationship. I don’t want that. I want my relationship to be strong and be in love all 18 of those years. I also feel that it gives our child a relationship-role-model, showing her what a real, loving and exciting relationship can be like. A family means balance, not everything is focused on the parents and not everything is focused on the kids. Everyone gets there shared of love and attention.
If You Don’t Have Kids: The most common complaint of my friends without children is that work prevents ‘quality couple time’. In the age of never ending emails, texts, Word’s with Friends games, Twitter and Facebook notifications – it’s easy to connect with everything and everyone except the person sitting next to you. If that describes your life, then a week or more, disconnected from technology and is beyond important.
How Rob and I Make This Happen
If You Have Kids: This travel alone time is invaluable. I am incredibly grateful that we have the resources and time to take multiple trips each year. We have created two types of trips we take, Demi Trips and Us Trips. (Demi Trips are named after our daughter as her name is Demi – lol)
Us Trips: Rob and I use all of these ideas to help our daughter grow, connect and become a better person, as well as have fun! Over Winter break she visits her Grandparents in other states and plays with her 100 cousins, spends quality time with Grandparents, snowmobiling in NH or visiting Rockafellar Center in NYC. She’s having a blast, while Rob and I jet off to a sunny beach destination and connect. Then in the summer, she’s headed to summer camp for three-weeks, yes, three-weeks. This is her choice, in fact, she begs to add 1 more week even summer she goes! This gives her a chance to just ‘be a kid’ in a safe and exciting environment, and truly make memories to last her a lifetime. While she’s painting pottery, Rob and I are exploring the Greek Islands, fall more and more in love.
Demi Trips: There are two types of Demi Trips. First is the family vacations to NH or NYC to see our extended families and last usually from a few days to a week. This is the time that we can all connect together as a large family and share magical holidays. The second Demi Trip is somewhere else. Usually during Spring Break, Thanksgiving or in the Summer. We’ll do a weekend get-away to the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia for July 4th weekend. it’s super kid friendly, slip and slides on the lawn, infinity pool over looking the lake, water sports and Demi’s favorite- a nightly S’mores party at the fire pit. Spring Break is always a Demi Trip, in the past we’ve done cruises and an all-inclusive that is kid-friendly, usually Demi’s choice. Then for Thanksgiving we usually head to LA, San Diego, Palm Springs or some other warmer spot and enjoy a vacation-turkey day all together.
If You Don’t Have Kids: Creating a non-boring trip is the way to go. Don’t go to one of those all-inclusive couple only places- after 2 days of sitting poolside and eating at the same restaurants, you’ll be bored and start jones-ing for that special new App again! Instead, plan a trip with multiple components to keep you from getting board. For Rob and I this is easy because we love a new adventure and have lots of common interests. Now for us, we vary it up. On our last trip to Mykonos we had party days where we went to an all-night Tiesto party at Cavo Paradiso, then spent the next day pool side lounging and catching up on a great book. We had other days where we explored the island’s no-electricity restaurants by scooter and had an early dinner and just walked around the crowded Mykonos streets for hours people watching. Then another day we took a speed boat around the island with some friends. The point is, we don’t do the same thing every day. We change it up. We also may look like partiers, but we’re really not. Our joke is, “Only on vacation.”. It’s a way we can have fun, dance, goof off and enjoy each other in a new and different way. That’s important. Because if you just bring your home life on vacation with your Blackberry/iPhone, work-related conversation and early dinners- you should just stay home because the only thing changing is the scenery.
The point is, you need to nurture you kids and your family. But you also need to nurture your relationship. If you let your relationship take a back-seat, you’ll fight, disconnect and your kids will feel it. But if you take the time away to truly connect to each other, whether it’s a spa trip, party trip or just a weekend in a cool boutique hotel in front of a fireplace sipping wine and talking. A strong and healthy relationship will make for a strong healthy family.
And when you travel, get out of your box and try something new! Hang glide off a mountain in Rio! Go to dinner at 11pm with the Europeans instead of 7pm with the Americans. Save up or bring friends and book a VIP table at a club. It’s all about keeping your relationship fresh, new and exciting.