We love to travel, and instead of spending our money on fancy cars or expensive gadgets, Eric and I prefer to spend our money on visits to new and exciting places. Thanks to being in the military particularly, we’ve been to quite a few places already, in just the short six years we’ve been married. Living in Germany afforded us the opportunity to travel all over Europe and now that we live in Hawaii, we’ve been able to travel to several exciting places in the Pacific Rim. But if anyone were to ask me which trip was my favorite or which trip really stood out, I would definitely have to point to a three-day backpacking trip that Eric and I took together on the island of Maui.
There are several reasons why that backpacking trip was my favorite: First, it was relatively inexpensive (we’re really cheap!) as we got a great deal on a rental car and had to pay for a $20 national park camping pass to cover three nights of tent accommodations. Second, we were very alone and utterly secluded while backpacking at the bottom of Haleakala Crater for three and a half days (I think we ran into four people the entire trip). And third, (probably my most favorite) our 3G cell phones were completely useless except as flashlights! No texts, no calls, no Facebook. I think there is no better way to bond with your spouse than to be secluded in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by gorgeous views, and without any access to modern conveniences or technology.
A remarkable thing happened during that trip: Eric and I experienced the freedom of having nothing to do. We had time to relax, rest our weary legs, talk, and listen to each other without any outside interruptions. We backpacked 10 miles or so a day and would reach our next camp site with a good five hours of daylight to spare. So we spent our time sitting around our camp stove cooking up Rice-A-Roni and hot cocoa and enjoying the undisturbed beauty of the encroaching night.
Before we left for our trip, I made a point to scan the bookshelf for something fun neither of us had ever read before. I chose Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham which are lesser known stories written by J. R. R. Tolkien, the renowned author of The Lord of the Rings. We relaxed in our tent for hours while taking turns reading those stories aloud to the very end. Our trip had just enough adventure and difficulty to make it a bonding experience rather than a nightmare. The morning we began our 6,000 foot climb out of the crater, it began to rain and didn’t stop until we reached the top. We were quite a site by the end of our journey and pretty much soaked! We were muddy and cold, but our adventure gave us a mutual sense of accomplishment and we just felt good!
So there you go, dear readers. My favorite trip didn’t include a five-star hotel, exciting entertainment, or any fancy dinners—it didn’t even include a Burger King—but it did include Boy Scout-style meals made by my husband that tasted AMAZING, which we enjoyed under spectacular starry skies. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy a romantic get-away with your spouse. Just abandoning everyday distractions and finding a place where you can truly be alone with the one you love will give you an unforgettable experience, one which you will talk about for many years afterward.