I was recently cleaning out some old boxes and stumbled across a travel journal from 1998, my first summer of graduate school. I took a trip to Europe with one of my closest high school chums (Di). We'd been talking about this for years and kept trying to go each summer during our college days. She was in the process of doing a grad school fellowship in Europe for her program and wanted to know if I'd come and spend a few weeks with her and a friend of hers (J) seeing the sights and riding the rails. I jumped at the chance.
It's interesting how I have these memories of my mind of this amazing trip. Landing in Paris and finding the hostel where I was to meet up with Di and spend the better part of a week in Paris before heading off to points east and meeting up with J. Granted, the trip was amazing. I've got wonderful photos and memories of sights, sounds (saw an Opera in Florence - La Boheme), and eats to remember it by. The diary, however, tells a bit of a different story......Or perhaps I should say, "focus."
Apparantly J and I had different "visions" of the trip, and given that each was friends with Di and not each other, this proved ackward and led to "taking sides." I look at the venting I did in my journal and think - geez - is this really how girls are? We seemed to have some little something every day. She was wanting to do X and I W. Sometimes this involved food/where to eat and other times it was what we did on a given day. I suppose when you're 22 this is what happens?! It's interesting the things we remember in our minds..I remember the art, the food, and walking (lots and lots of walking), yet my travel diary fails to note really important thigns like hotel and restaurant names (esp. in cases where one of the other was especially nice/good if I ever make it back there), but rather the goings on of 3 girls who for the most part got along, but still had very different visions of traveling.
This has become my litmus test. When ES and I took our first trip together, I thought, ok is this going to be something where we are on each other's nerves by day 2 or we click so well and have a similar travel style it just works.
We travel together like [insert cliche here]. We both like to rise early and pack a lot into our day by dinner time. Museums, galleries, and eating. Lots of lots of eating. Once we eat dinner, however, we're done for the day. Not night owls and not ones to go out late into the wee hours of the night. Sometimes we plan, esp. in the case where if you don't make a reservation = no room at the inn = sleeping in your car. This is usually the case when we go to any big city (esp. those in other countries) like on our honeymoon. Other times, it's just let's see where the wind takes us today/how far we get and we'll find a room here for the night. This happened when we treked out along the Eastern Shore in Virginia.
Traveling is the ultimate test of a relationship. You don't have much space to hide "morning breath," before you put on make up, ect. Its being in the car/airplane/train and spending a good part of your trip together. It's the discovery that you do indeed like - no love - to spend time with your spouse.
Granted, sometimes things go wrong. Ok a lot wrong. Like when your plane breaksdown on the flight right after your wedding and you loose a day of your honeymoon (and the person at the counter makes you cry). Or when the hotel valet gets into an accident that not only does major damage to your car, but wastes the better part of a morning of an amazing weather day. Or when he goes down and finds a drug store in the middle of the night when you've got horrible stomach cramps and the person at the front desk only speaks French the sign language your husband does (despite the French tapes, he's not even close to fluent) isn't enough to communicate "I need a drug store." But he's there too. And he's not crying, so you've got someone in your corner who's with you all the way making it better. Or perhaps that is what the free drink coupons are for?