One week ago, I arrived home after a 10 day road trip with my boyfriend. Eight months into our relationship, we drove 5000 miles together (or rather, I drove because he can’t drive my manual transmission vehicle) and managed not to kill each other. Did I mention that I had horrible PMS starting the day we left? It was truly an adventure.
I drove about 14 hours the first day, including gas, potty breaks, and a stop at the Badlands in South Dakota. The hour we spent there was totally worth the $15 State Park fee. Anyway, it took us about two and a half days to get to Seattle where we met up and stayed with my bestie and her hubby. The BF and I went hiking one day and spent a portion of the next day getting my tire changed because I got a flat on the way back from hiking. I’m soooo glad I have a spare. Anyway, we spent the rest of the day shopping and walking around the Market. We met some of my other friends for happy hour at a cool dive near the Market. BF was not very happy that we had planned on going to a neighborhood bar afterward, but we were all tired: my friends from working, and me from getting elbowed in the face all night by him. He was very pouty, but seemed to understand when we all crashed early that night. I was pretty bummed that we only spent a couple of days with Carrie and Doug because it just wasn’t enough time, but we had to get on the road.
Wednesday morning, we ate some breakfast at a diner nearby then hit the road to San Jose around 9:30 am. We arrived around 11 pm. Jason was home to greet us and Julie would be home that Friday afternoon. We took a day trip to Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Thursday. We ate awesome food and had several arguments. The most time we had spent together, without work interruptions or other plans prior to our trip was about 48 hours. By this time, we’d been unseparated for 7 days. I love him but I needed some alone time. The next day, Julie came home and we drove down to Capitola. They offered to drive, but I absolutely LOVED driving those windy mountain roads, so I took the wheel and off we went. That night, they took us for Afghani food that was phenomenal. When we got back to the house, the stress of the trip and my erratic mood swings had taken their toll on my BF. After a small melt-down, he holed up in the bedroom while I played silly games with our hosts and their neighbors. I had a great time, but felt badly that my BF wasn’t in on the fun.
We headed out late the next morning for the wedding, just north of Bodega Bay. It was magically beautiful. The ocean was at our backs and the mountains were just ahead. This was the first day we hadn’t fought since we left home. Or maybe we did and I just don’t remember. The wedding was at 3:00 and we started home shortly after 7:00. We didn’t fight as much on the way home, partly from exhaustion and partly from my silence while driving through mountains in heavy fog. By the time we got home, I was beyond worn out. I snuggled my cat, then compulsively unpacked while my BF passed out on the bed while reading comics on his tablet.
Things are still good between us. I think the trip brought us closer together. I have been so used to traveling alone that it was a huge adjustment having to think about another person’s needs along the way. We’re talking about living together. I’ve been enjoying moving more slowly than past relationships. We have had more time to learn about each other and our quirks before getting too serious. I would bet money that if my ex husband and I had gone on a ten day road trip together, we would never have gotten married.
So I guess my advice to any couple getting more serious about their relationship or thinking about marriage would be to take a road trip together. You see a person’s everything: every mood, every bad habit, how they entertain themselves… If you still love them afterward, you’ve built a strong foundation.