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How we sprinkled some Christmas vibes away from home

Leaving home is no feat. And spending holidays without your people? It's awful. Homesickness will haunt your core. Stress, anxiety, and loneliness will be your three enemies when dealing with constant longing. 

Doing travel nursing is one of the best decisions I've made, and I don't know any other career path that is more appropriate for me than what I have right now. However, one major downside of it is being away from your comfort zone. That doesn't get to my nerves anymore because I've been working overseas for three years now. And I love it. Luis, on the other hand, had never left his hometown before we ventured into travel nursing. So it's natural for him to feel more homesick than I do.

This Christmas is his first Christmas away from home. This Christmas is also the same holiday that I'm not in my permanent flat. But that doesn't mean we don't get to experience Christmas, because love find ways. Lol, cheesy❤️

This photo was taken from my permanent flat. I bought some Christmas-themed pieces last November. During that time, I was still convinced that we'd be celebrating our Christmas in the valley. But, here we are in Lufkin just a month after! 😂

I was planning to buy some Christmas lights, at least, to have something in our temporary crib but Luis doesn't like the idea of it because it'd take some space when we move again. And he's right.

So what did we do, really?

Here are some ways to put extra holiday ambience to your temporary home:

  1. Light up those scented candles


Aside from its relaxation properties, candles can also set the mood in your home. While you can choose essential oils and fragrance sprays over candles due to fire hazard reasons, they have been known as Christmas symbol for ages. The warmth it gives to a certain place is just so homey!

We chose Pine and Apple&Evergreen scents because they are Christmas related. My other favorite candle scents are pumpkin waffle (You should try this one!) and vanilla caramel. Get yours here.

Now, you might read some negative effects of scented candles, like it might cause cancer, asthma, those kinds of stuff. (Refer to Huffington Post)

According to Anne Steinemann, an environmental pollutants expert who is a professor of civil engineering and the chair of sustainable cities at the University of Melbourne, certain candles may emit numerous types of potentially hazardous chemicals, such as benzene and toluene. They can cause damage to the brain, lung and central nervous system, as well.

“I have heard from numerous people who have asthma that they can’t even go into a store if the store sells scented candles, even if they aren’t being burned,” Steinemann added. “They emit so much fragrance that they can trigger asthma attacks and even migraines.”

Researchers at South Carolina State University tested both petroleum-based paraffin wax candles and vegetable-based candles that were non-scented, non-pigmented and free of dyes. Their 2009 report concluded that while the vegetable-based candles didn’t produce any potentially harmful pollutants, the paraffin candles “released unwanted chemicals into the air,” said chemistry professor Ruhullah Massoudi in a statement.
“For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies and even asthma,” Massoudi said.

BUT

The National Candle Association refutes these claims, stating in a comment to The Huffington Post: “The safety of scented candles is backed by decades of research, fragrance testing and a history of safe use. The fragrances approved for candle usage — whether synthesized or ‘natural’ — do not release toxic chemicals. Health and safety studies are conducted for fragrance materials used in candles, including toxicological and dermatological tests.”

2. Prepare your favorite holiday treat


For us, it's Christmas meltaway cookies. Meltaway cookies are a soft, lightly sweet shortbread cookie that literally melts away in your mouth.  Okay, I didn't bake this one. I got ours from Walmart.

Cookies are Luis' favorite treat. And having ready to eat cookies in our kitchen brings wonders to his mood. Lol. I don't like baking in general so I don't have any go-to ingredients for this. But I was able to search one that matches what we got so HERE:

Yield: 20 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies:

¾ cup butter (1½ sticks, or 14 Tbsp), room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar

½ cup cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Glaze:

1½ cups powdered sugar

3 to 4 Tbsp milk

¼ tsp vanilla or almond extract

Optional:

red & green sprinkles

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter with the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Add vanilla. Mix well.

3. Combine the salt and flour. Add to the batter. Mix until dough clumps together.

4. Scoop cookie dough onto silicone lined baking sheets. Flatten dough balls with the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in powdered sugar.

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 minutes until just set. Do not over-bake.

6. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze adding extra milk 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency. (Keep it slightly thick, a little milk goes a long way.) Spoon on top of cooled cookies.

7. Immediately shake sprinkles on top of wet glaze. Allow glaze to harden. Store cookies in an airtight container up to 5 days.

3. Have a sip of some peppermint drink


What goes with cookies? Milk chocolate drink. And it should be Peppermint! Or else it's just another chocolate drink without the Christmas spirit. lol.

Sorry for the burnt mallows, I just like it toasted (for more caramel flavor). This is by far my favorite experimental drink I've made. I bought peppermint candies, crushed and sprinkled them on top of my Swiss Miss Chocolate drink with marshmallows. This hot drink is perfect before sleeping! We usually drink this after work so we can have a good rest.

Also, I got the idea from Ihop's chocolate drink.

4. Play your Christmas playlist

Click here for the Playlist that we play every morning.
Luis also plays Christmas songs from Youtube. It became a habit that we seriously enjoyed. Although he gets annoyed when I sing along. 😅

Okay, this may not be suited for the holiday vibe of this post but I just find it poetic. The timing is just perfect:

As BBC News reported and Michael’s publicist confirmed, George Michael died Christmas Day at age 53. He is the star beyond the iconic song, Last Christmas.

Mind blowing, right? Of all the days, of all the holidays, he died on Christmas day. We've played this song endless times! I even did my knock knock joke (song related) to Luis!

Knock knock!

Who's there?

December 25,2015

December 25,2015 who?

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart

Knock knock!

Who's there?

December 26,2015

December 26,2015 who?

But the very next day, you gave it away

Knock knock!

Who's there?

2016

2016 who?

This year, to save me from tears

Knock knock!

Who's there?

Luis

Luis who?

I'll give it to someone special

❤️

You just never know when your last Christmas will be. But maybe his spirit knew. And isn't a good time to go? With high spirits everywhere, carolers in the streets, happy scenes scattered in malls and in homes, such a good time to be alive, too! It's just me and my poetic self talking. Don't mind it.

5. Order a Holiday special at your favorite restaurant

If you don't plan to cook, go to your favorite restaurant and order their Holiday special on Christmas morning.

We didn't have the time to roam around because we worked both Christmas eve and Christmas night. So we figured going to our favorite breakfast place will do. And of course, don't have to guess, it's Ihop!

Because pancakes!

Annddd that's about it for this holiday post.

Just kidding. Last but not the least:

6. Gift giving

These gifts are actually from his family. And we love everything in this box!

From cookies to shoes to leggings and pens, they sure know how to make it personal. You see, it's not about expensive gifts. It may be cliche to say this, but it is really the thought that counts. This year, I gave him a leather jacket. He didn't bring one going here because he never thought it'll be cold this season, considering Lufkin's still Texas. Good thing, he left his jacket in my flat and I thought of bringing it with me. That jacket though is not as appropriately insulated as the one I bought. And honestly, he asked for that gift. Practicality goes a long way, they say. We went to Houston and roamed around Galleria mall and found one that suits him best at Macy's. It's INC hooded jacket with removable hood, drawstring closure. Its original cost is $225, but we got it for only $95.90! If you want to purchase one for you with the same discount, go ahead and click >>this<<< and enter code: JOY upon checkout.

Could you guess what he gave me?

The art of fixing what I thought I never needed. Okay, that's too dramatic.

Last September, we went to HEB after our cruise getaway, and unfortunately, I dropped my phone against a metal bar  at the bottom of the ice cream stall. My screen was broken (and it's not the tapered glass you guys!). So for three months, my phone has cracks all over it, I sometimes chip my thumbs. So when we went for gift shopping, we stopped by CELLTECH. It is a one stop for your repair needs, from cellphones, to tablets to laptops. They also specialize in carrying unique and trendy cellphone accessories. They have two trained professionals who patiently assisted us in finding the right case for my phone.

It's almost closing time (0930PM), and I thought they won't accept my phone anymore, but props to their tech team! They repaired it for only 10 minutes. It costs $235, all in all, including my new phone case which is shock and water-resistant. I didn't ask for a gift so my Luis, being the thoughtful guy that he is, paid for everything. I volunteered to pay for the case but he insisted to pay the whole amount. Here is the breakdown: $150 for repair, $60 for the phone case, and the remaining $10 for taxes. The moral of the story: Don't ever drop your phone! And invest in tapered glass! You just never know when your phone's going to give up on you and your tantrums. Lol.

My 2016 Christmas is different from my other Christmases. Last year, I celebrated it with my family and friends in the Philippines. It was fun-filled and I was hyper most of the time. This year, it was quiet and relaxed. Plus, I was with Luis and Pumpkin. During my **single** ages aka boring years, I'd always wish to celebrate this season with someone I love. You know, sharing a cup of warm drink on this cold and cuddle weather. This year is THAT year. All those years of waiting and praying and hoping that someone is out there waiting for me to be his other half, they just made sense. Love is truly worth the wait.

Christmas time is that time of the year when you acknowledge Christ's presence in your life. Isn't he the reason for this season? Aside from the things that everybody look forward to- gifts, travel and all- we should keep in mind that Christmas is never about the physical things. It's about the never-ending grace from our creator. We live because He died for us and our sins thousands of years ago. We love because He first loved us. We give because He had given us everything. We forgive because He had forgiven us even before we commit our earthly sins. (Related post: Christmas story)

If ever you don't celebrate Christmas, for whatever reason, please know that my happy soul is reaching out to you! It may be Happy Hannukah to you, or just another ordinary day. I don't know, but I want you to feel that wherever you are, whatever season you are in right now, you are loved and adored!

How did your December 25th go? Share your story!

Bible verses that are sure to lift your mood

I’ve been hearing a lot of suicide attempts and cases of depression lately. The bad thing about mental illness is its connotation to the crowd. We’ve all heard of the story about a funny individual who committed suicide. That kind of story isn’t new anymore. The stigma is the real struggle. When you don’t admit to yourself or to your closest set of people that you are having problems, that’s when you resort to doing things that are the opposite of what you really feel. And it’s hard to notice the signs and warning signals because you conceal it in your safety box. Or just so you thought. Because one day, that little box will explode, and it will be the end of your dreams and hope.

Every day, there is somebody somewhere thinking that his end is the best way to go. Truth be told, and please believe me that it’s not. And while hope is something you can share, divine intervention plays a big part in this. These bible verses that I’ll share are my life savers! I collect verses that bring me back to my tip top shape. And it’s very helpful when I feel sad, or hormonal, or empty. If it helps, I always think that there’s always Someone bigger than me, and that’s one thing that keeps me going.  If you are in need of someone to talk to, I’m ready to lend an ear. May you find peace in this post. 

John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.


Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God is in your midst; a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”


Romans 8:28 – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together, for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”


James 1:2-5 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him.

 Ecclesiastes 7:14 On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 


2 Corinthians 1:4 He comforts us whenever we suffer.That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.

 


Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 23:1 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

Psalms 34:17-19 Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to Him for help, and saves him out of all his troubles. The Lord is close to those whose heart is breaking; He rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them, too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.


Isaiah 40:30,31 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.

 


Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Such comforting words from thousands of years ago!

25 Things You’ll Be Thankful For By The Time You Turn 25

When I was a little kid, I imagined my 25 year-old self with long, straight hair, makeup caked on my face, and sporting a denim. Don't judge, I think it's because of my tita(s) (aka aunts) or other ladies in the apartment where I grew up. I also assumed I'd stay in the Philippines and be a lawyer or broadcaster or teacher. I had all these dreams wrapped inside a magical box called "childhood."

I'm 25 now, and none among these things happened. My hair is short and curly. I use makeup, and it's not cakin'. I don't wear denims. I live in the USA, and I am a full-time nurse and part-time blogger entrepreneur. I have all these realities, and I can't even imagine myself not living the life I have right now. Contemplating on how my life turned out, I couldn't be more thankful.

As you reach this age, you begin to understand what "quarter-life crisis" means. We've all had those frustrating moments, but let me tell you these 25 things you needed to hear to convince you that your 25th year is the most badass year yet!

  1. You no longer care about what other people think of your fashion statement, how you dress up, and why you wear torn denim jeans. Whether you follow the latest trend of wearing chokers and off shoulders, or sport a professional look with nude blouses and pencil skirts, you don't care about others' POV at all. And if you wear scarfs or boots or coats on a hot day? Gee, that's for your #OOTD and #WIW
  2. You learn how to love your body type. This goes to skinny and not-so-skinny people out there. Movements against body-shaming are getting noticed and it's a good time to celebrate these differences especially when your body type doesn't look like those model figures on TV and magazines. Yes, you may sometimes feel ugly browsing Kylie's feed but you give yourself a break and not *actually feel ugly*
  3. Or you're only insecure for about 5 minutes. It doesn't count. Your self love is way greater than what you had 5 years ago. Maturity comes with age, and apparently, so does confidence.
  4. Relationship status isn't a biggie anymore. You don't feel the pressure to have someone just because. No proms to attend to. No social gathering every now and then. No pressure from friends, because hey, most of you are on the same page! Let's not talk about our parents' constant questions, but really, it's a fresh air not to be bombarded by those annoying love-related Qs.
  5. #WorkGoals and #CareerGoals are your favorite hashtags. Because we're workaholic like that. Thanks to Instagram for making coffee and tea as the new normal, because we're so over soda and beers. With a lot of work comes lotsa cups of coffee.
  6.  Money. While you're still struggling with your finances, most of it are just because you enjoy traveling every now and then, or you can't get enough of eating somewhere instagrammable and fancy. But really, you're not really struggling, are you?
  7. Bullies don't control you anymore. You're done feeling sorry for yourself. You now have the guts to tell them straight to their face what you don't like about them, or if their actions are way too irrational.
  8. You already acquired the superpower of telling who's fake and who's real in your life. When you know, you just know.
  9. Your relationship with your parents is everything in your life right now. They treat you like adult, but they still pamper you with support and trust. How amazing, right?
  10. You are BFF with your siblings. After years of fighting and yelling at each other, they suddenly became your partners in crime. Everything seems so real, and even though you still annoy each other, you can't deny the sibling love that grows every day.
  11. No friends quarrel, because guess what, your number of friends were down to half! This isn't a bad thing at all, this only means that you grew as a person and in growing, you lose people along the way.
  12. Dating. You know what you want, and you don't settle for less.
  13. Having dreams, and knowing that you'll get there. Maybe not soon, but right now, you work hard to glue your end points together. Convincing yourself isn't that hard anymore. Or maybe it still is, but recognizing that you have years ahead of you to figure it out consoles you in a way.
  14. You're not as lazy as when you were studying. You get things done, and nobody's stopping you.
  15. You look up to someone worthy of your attention. Popular artists are MEH, and bosses who inspire you are the BOMB.
  16. You know the importance of sleep. And everything is alright in the world when you get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  17. Mastering to-do list is your expertise. You developed a skill of juggling your child duties, paying bills, doing groceries, and work. If you have other stuff going on, you just know you have time for it.
  18. Whether you binge-watch or stay home on weekends, you don't feel guilty doing so. And when somebody asks how your day off went, you smile and say you had the best weekend! You don't feel like you're missing out on something.
  19. Hangovers aren't your thing anymore.
  20. Your faith just gets stronger. It doesn't matter whether it's faith in God or faith in yourself, the thing is, you believe in the greater version of everything. Your optimism may sometimes wither but once you envision how you want your life to unfold, it reassures you.
  21. What you think of as complicated doesn't sound complicated at all aka your taxes, insurance, investments, savings, and all those adult stuff that you're now dealing with. Remember your old self feeling puzzled over these things? And OMG, some of your friends are even your financial advisers already!
  22. You're a nicer version of yourself. Gone are the days when you have zero tolerance on people who bring out the beast in you. You just unfollow or block them from your feed, and you're done.
  23. Savings is your best friend.
  24. You know how to cook a meal or two. And I'm not talking about frying eggs or boiling noodles.
  25. Finally, the satisfaction and comfort you feel knowing you share your frustrations with your age group. You're not afraid of opening up, and letting your problems out because you are not alone in this fight, and life gets better anyway.

Quarter life isn't that bad at all. Or do you want to wait for your 30th year to feel it? 😂

How stress keeps you up at night

Counting sheep is so overrated. We've all done it. And it simply doesn't work. Reciting alphabet backwards, shutting your eyes off like you're going to burrow your eyelids into your face, flipping pillows, turning to sides, lying on your stomach, switching position for the nth time--- we've all done it. We've even come to that point where sleeping is a need and not a routine.

Working graveyard shift, I find it hard to force my body to sleep, especially if it's really sunny when I get home. But other than environmental factors and varying schedules, the thing that keeps me from sleeping is stress. Is it just me? Or are we really supposed to zombify ourselves in order to function at work?

Last time I checked, it's the work that steals my sleep. Thinking about what you missed, rewinding how your day went, the people you encountered, new friends you made, and your bosses who aren't easily pleased--- in my case, it's my patients. Not all, though. But gee, it's stressful enough just  thinking about 'work' itself. When I was in college, I doze off as soon as I close my eyes. Like clockwork. 1,2,3..sleep. Just like that. I don't know what changed or what bad routine I adapted, but I was able to go back to that as soon as I learned how to de-stress.

This may help you, too! Let's start with the basic one- ACCEPTANCE. Don't worry, you are one with a million others. You can deny that you're stressed and pretend that you're the cool and chill yuppie at school or the plain lazy ass monkey at work, but unless you face the problem head on, your sleeping pattern will not be patterns at all. But a random thing that happens at any given time of day. Or night if you're lucky.


STRESS AFFECTS OUR SLEEP


Ok, let me say this straight, not all stressors are bad for you. Surprise, surprise! In fact, right amount of stress is needed in order for you to function effectively. You need it to stay on top of your game. It's the reason you beat the deadline, and the cause of most of your accomplished tasks. We call positive stress, eustress. But when does it start to affect your bedtime cycle?

It's when your anxiety kicks in. Stress and anxiety are soul sisters; they actually have the same last name- Nightmare. You don't want to meet them, do you? It's also when your stress level is too much. Remember the last time you forced yourself to do overtime, or read one more page, or watch one more episode of your favorite Netflix show? That's when you forget to relax and pause for a minute. We call it distress. Tension builds up in our bodies like legos that kill us every time we step on them. (bruuu!)

Stress actually turns into physical symptoms. Don't believe me? Which of these symptoms did you experience in the past days without enough sleep?

 headaches

 upset stomach

 tremors

 dry skin

 hair loss

More than three? Uh, oh. So what can we really do to reduce stress and get a good night sleep?

1. Exercise

Get moving. Muscles are less likely to be tensed when you do stretching or cardio workout. By decreasing your muscle tension, you're actually giving your body some space to breathe and relax. I really don't exercise that much (although I should), but a little stretching every now and then helps a lot. Let's release some endorphins, y'all!

2. Happy, healthy thoughts

I self-talk. A lot. Sometimes it's great, but other times it's annoying and uncontrollable. That's why I write/blog. Some things I do to have healthy thoughts is to read and watch shows and TEDtalks that I really like. Gone are the days that I'll follow whatever's trending. I learned to value quality "me" time. Bible reading, bullet journaling are some of the good things that happened to the anxious me.

3. Better diet

Less sugar. Less caffeine. No soda. More fruits and grains. I can't stress this enough: we are what we eat. I used to drink more than five cups of coffee per day; trending it down to one per day made me more energetic and alive. Less acid in our bodies truly makes wonders.

4. Less loads

Doing overtime or taking too much responsibilities could bring you more harm than good. Find your balance. Weigh things, and only choose what really matters most. You only have one body after all.

5. Relaxation

It's only you who can know what relaxes you most. Aside from reading, I found a weird Youtube channel that helps me sleep. It's like my go-to page whenever stress is high and my sleep is rock bottom. Have you ever heard of ASMR? I didn't know what it means before but researching about it, here's what I found: it actually stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. I was browsing Youtube, looking for some relaxation videos, then I stumbled upon GentleWhispering channel. Could you believe that most videos there are with more than a million views? Search it yourself, and be among the weird people. LOL.

 

stress-4 

Hope you have a good night after

de-stressing!

sig

10 Arguments You’ll Have While Traveling

 

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!

1. Tardiness

          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.

2. Forgetfulness

          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.

4. Expenses

          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.

5. Selfies

          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.

 

Need help organizing? Stuff you must consider buying before booking your next travel:

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