Two for the Road:
How to Travel in Tandem
or, I Know That Was Our Exit and You Don't Have to Point with That
by Colin Lingle
Perhaps, if you've taken the advice of a previous BTD column or other, you
have already found yourself a holiday hottie worthy of some authentic winter's
night snuggling. And perhaps you are wondering if things might, like, survive
Well, stop wondering. Because if you want to know whether you and your other
of significance are compatible for the duration, there's nothing like a little
travel to sort you out. How many couples of longstanding have you ever heard
say, "Well, we're really meant for each other, but WE JUST DON'T TRAVEL TOGETHER."
None. You've never heard such a thing.
the holidays fast approaching, the BTD is now delighted to give you a few pointers
on bending-but-not-breaking during the long drive to the parents' house, or
the cabin, or hotel made of ice,
or wherever. Not only that, but, as a public service, we will actually reveal
THE MOST IMPORTANT SECRET to travelling together.
Can't We All Just Get Along?
When you set out on a trip with your honey, you're going to learn things
you never even expected to find out. And it's way beyond how they voted.
It's about how they are in their wide, unanalyzed, in-between moments. How the
twin demons of crisis and ennui effect their souls. How they smell when they
go three days without a shower.
The key to travelling together (but not the MOST IMPORTANT SECRET), is mastering
the ability to adapt as a couple to the ever-changing
scenarios of a trip. When you're on your own and you want to pull over for
a third Arby's stop, there's no one but the voices in your head to talk sense
to you. Add another (real) person, and suddenly, every moment is ... social!
You'll start to see the subtle power balance shifting and exerting itself the
instant you start making decisions. Where are you going? How will you get there?
It's best if you do a little preparation
before these questions get sprung. If you don't get the answer right the first
time ("Why, yes, honey, I would love to go spend eleven days with your Aunt
Chlorinna and the cousins."), it'll be hard to make things right later.
best to have an idea of what's most important to you for your vacation or holiday
before the conversations begin. Even if it's taking a much-needed break from
everything and just sofa-surfing for three days, you'll have a less stressful
holiday if you know going in what you want.
Now, that's NOT to say that your plans won't change, that you shouldn't be
open to new things (and new
foods), or that you get to skip holiday shopping and just watch Felicity.
But you'll be much happier if you can say, "Why, yes, dear, I would love to
spend time with your sister's hellions... I mean, children; but I do want to
get a hike in, as well." If you wish, remove the word "hike" and insert something
you like better.
We're on a Road to Nowhere...
Any veteran of the couple's holiday trip knows that the politics of vehicular
co-habitation are complex. Even in a rental, there is a delicate balance, a
dance of personal automotive authority that must be respected. Herewith, some
tips for when you go by car:
If it's your car...
plenty of room for your companion. Don't make them squeeze their feet between
stray soda bottles and tire irons in the passenger seat. You have every right
to ask for navigational services
from them, but you can't blame them if they don't have that kind of brain.
Don't be snippy about feet the dashboard (though you can make a sock rule).
And, if it's a multi-day trip, prepare yourself for the inevitable coffee
If it's their car...
Pack light. Always a good rule, but you may be tempted to just load up the
old jalopy, even for an overnighter. You should take up only as much room
as you and the minimal amount of baggage require. Why? Because this will earn
you points. Also, you don't want to be making late-night, icy-rain-type trips
to the car for that one other bag with the one thing. Don't fiddle with the
volume knob. And don't spill your coffee.
If your beloved is a seatbelt resistor, exercise the moral high ground and
make them wear it. If you are a seatbelt resistor, put your damn seatbelt on.
Are you ready for the MOST IMPORTANT SECRET of travelling together? It's only
a click away!
More: The MOST IMPORTANT SECRET of travelling