Luis and I were on our way for our first cruise trip when our McAllen to Dallas flight was moved to a later time. We arrived at the airport around 0530; our boarding time was 0600. I didn't try to amend because it's our fault that we were late. So we ended up discussing arguments that we are not supposed to have. I'm going to share these with you and may this be a lesson to couples out there planning their travels.Will avoid these next time!
Sometimes it all starts with this: "It's because you woke up late." And after a while you'll track everything you did, who did them first, who chewed their food last, who chose the departure time, and so on. The thing about being late is it messes up with your planning. If you're like me whose demands to stick to schedule are on the roof, better prepare everything ahead of time, including your partner's to-do list. This way, you'll be able to keep track both of your checklists and foresee delays.
We are guilty of this one. No matter how you list everything, something just slips your mind. In our case, it's the locks for our luggage. The stressful part is when you already mentioned about it and neither of you acts on it as soon as you remember. Small things like this pile up when you don't address it immediately. Stuff you might forget (but hopefully not): passport, valid IDs, tickets, keys, locks, hygiene essentials especially wipes, chargers, memory banks/storage, cash, cards, pen, gum. These are small yet essential things. Because who forget their OOTD and accessories for the whole trip?
3. Where to eat
He wants chicken. I want burgers. He chooses Popeyes. I insists going to TGIF. The thing about compromise is it has limits. And hunger is the one limiting it. Nobody, just nobody, can beat a gurgling tummy and tired feet. The solution that we came up with is to order food that we want and eat it in one place. And since we both want to be fair, we opted eating on a chair, with different meals, but together. We shared, too! It made us realize our differences in terms of preferences, and eating together makes the arguments go away. Compromise can be given by one or shared by two. We chose the latter.
Alternating in paying meals and other spends is our thing. Traveling makes it look too much and too frequent. If you don't have 'partnered savings' like us, it's just right to agree on how much to spend for the whole travel. Say 500 USD each for pocket money, you don't really need to keep track who's paying for what because at the end of the day, you paid equally. Maybe we'll consider what other couples do, like save before the trip. But we're used to saving separately, hmm who knows. Must be worth a try.
Luis isn't really fond of taking pictures in general while I take tons of photos when traveling or going someplace special. I already told him it's for collecting moments that we can reminisce when we get older, and he told me he's okay with that, but not frequent selfies. Since I don't really do selfies a lot, most of our travel photos are two of us sharing quiet times, goofing around, and some overrated couple shots with a tourist-y backdrop, or like our featured image here with a creative twist. It's a matter of agreement on this case. Whichever I like mostly, and I'm happy we had agreed on something. He's pretty supportive when it comes to doing something I passionately love. So there.
6. Last-minute stops
I usually am the more risk-taker type than him. Some days I'll just ask him to go to South Padre without any plans at all, and some days I succeed on forcing a getaway. However, there are times when he just won't easily give in especially if he's the one doing the long, long drive. In this scenario, we usually do the talk: weighing in pros and cons, expenses, tightness of the schedule.
7. Schedule changes
There are events you can't control: weather, delays in flights, cancellation of bookings, etc. But there are situations where one's sense of time and perception is the one getting in the way. Moods for example. "I'm not in the mood for" is usually not a good start of a sentence during the course of your adventure. I always tell Luis that once we go all in for a travel, our moods should be in sync with our activities. Sure there are days that Lazy song is your theme song, but you can always set it aside so you can live "in the moment."
8. Mood swings
I have my own share of mood swings while waiting to board, experiencing traffic, and the like. You see, I don't like to wait. I admit that even when I'm not on my period, my decisions are random, and sometimes very erratic. Luis already knows me and my knack for anger burst. I can blame it on my hormones and being a female but the feminists would refute my claims, so I'm just going to own it. I blame myself for having uncontrollable moods. Sometimes I go from to real quick and Luis would just stare at me, not knowing what to do, or trying to figure out whether I'm serious or not. I'll give him the trophy for being the most patient and understanding man on earth for this one! As for my adjustments, I try my best not to get mad as often as I usually do. May the heavens help me on this one.
9. Stress. 10. Another stress
Traveling can be a lot stressful than you think. Like most healthy couples, arguments will come at one point or another, unexpectedly, or in a whim. You can't even summarize it in one post, but if you have an end game in mind, everything will fall into place. Either you'll think about the stresses and let them eat you and your whole trip or just laugh at them and throw them at the sea, on the road, in the sky, wherever you'd want. After all, you decided to travel to have fun and forget your everyday worries. So, what's your end game? To argue then argue some more or to argue then resolve the issue as quickly as possible? Remember, communication is the key to every relationship. Your travel buddy might not be your special someone; it can be your best friend, sibling, or a one-time friend from strangers pool. However you throw and resolve your arguments, your travel experience will solely depend on how you handle yourself, with all the stresses in the world.
1. Biga on the Banks
Great unique restaurant where you can enjoy an exceptional dinner on the balcony overlooking the river! Suggested by a business associate, this is an upscale experience of game meat. Nice wine selection, excellent apps (jerk scallops with grits), grapefruit salad and lamb. Pro tip: Take full advantage of their 4 course dinner with wine pairing.
Every item is prepared with creativity and superb execution. Lovely atmosphere. A great place for a special evening. Food and service were excellent. Portions aren't overwhelming like most restaurants. Wedge salad was crisp and fresh. Scallops are delicious. Beef tenderloin was amazing and the potato gratin was very good. Key lime pie will melt in your mouth! Pro tip: Make reservations, this place isn't very large and fills up quickly.
3. Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse
This is a typical Brazilian steakhouse in which they come and serve the meat at your table. There is a large salad, cold meats and a variety of cheeses area. Staff are amazing and super friendly. Great atmosphere for business meetings, date or just commemorating a birthday. Pro tip: Don't waste too much plate space on salads since it will fill your belly and you won't have enough space left to try everything.
4. Wildfish Seafood Grill
This is one place where they know their seafood. They cook everything the right way, bringing all the flavors together. The shrimp dishes are cooked to perfection, still crunchy but cooked all the way. The swordfish which can easily be overcooked was done perfectly. The only thing negative thing about this place is the noise. Because it is very popular, it is also a very noisy place to dine. If you want a quiet place to dine, this is not the place. Pro tip: Ask for Chef's selection, and try their Bananas Foster.
5. The River edge's Cafe
If you Go to the old established Hilton Hotel at the Riverwalk, you will find this very special place where you can get excellent cocktails! It's a little bit outside the Center of the City walk, so it is not packed like many other places. Great mexican food, delicious guacamole as starter. The atmosphere is so inviting and a fun place to people watch. Pro tip: Try their Mac and cheese because it's a spot on! Their Chicken and grits, too!
There are many other food places that you can try in SA, but these five are dear to me! Oh wait, don't forget to visit Tower of the Americas! It is quite expensive but the view is just spectacular. Wouldn't trade that for anything, especially when it's dinner with my boyfie. 🙂