Last month I decided to embark on a weeklong vacation to the gorgeous Dutch/French island of Saint Maarten with my boyfriend of less than six months…just the two of us….on an island…for a multitude of days. Sounds amazing right? All of the anticipation of a sexy and romantic Caribbean vacation with your boyfriend. The sun, the sand, the drinks, the sex! What could possibly go wrong? This trip was sure to be an endless dream full of romantic walks on the beach and rolling in the sand together to the tune of the dirty dancing soundtrack. My actual response to that idea? Endless cringing. Actually, I am visibly cringing just writing that.
As you can imagine, this was not exactly the nonchalant attitude I had going into our first trip together. Not that I wasn’t excited, believe me I was so excited! We already spend a lot of time together and I usually enjoy every minute with him. No, it wasn’t him that made me nervous. What made me nervous was the whole idea of a “baecation” and all the what if’s associated with it. There is also the fact that this was a big first for me. I’ve never had a guy I wanted to spend more than five minutes with let alone an entire vacation! Thus far in my 23 years, I have never really been the “girlfriend” type. I’ve always done really well on my own and have a tendency to put my independent woman status on a pedestal. A past phrase of mine was “men are like Kleenex, use once and throw away.” So… my going on a romantic holiday with a boyfriend is certainly not in the norm and a little hard for me to wrap my mind around.
Secondly, there are the what if’s that plagued me for all the days leading up to our departure. What if there is such a thing as too much time together? What if we run out of things to talk about on the third day? What if he realizes that I can’t actually play beach volley ball and decides that’s a deal breaker? What if we get too drunk on the beach and get lost? What if my shit smells? What if we have beach sex and I get a crazy sand vagina infection? What if we fight? What if there’s no coffee at breakfast? What if there’s no coffee and I kill him after breakfast in a caffeine withdrawal fueled rage!? The possibilities for things to go wrong were endless in my mind.
In reality, none of these things happened. I instead found that what I should have been focusing my energy on was what was to be gained from this experience. Traveling with a significant other is a huge test of whether or not you can really be with someone, you can return home with a stronger bond or newly single. Being out of the daily grind allows more hidden aspects of personality to shine through; it’s amazing the kind of person you can become when you don’t have to wake up early or worry about bills. Who are you when you’re free to do whatever you want? Are you the type of person that likes to lay by the pool and nap for the whole week or the type of person that has to be hiking and exploring for the whole week? If you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are on opposite ends of that scale then one of you is either going to be bored or exhausted, which isn’t a good indicator for any trips in the future. Luckily for my boyfriend and I, we both fit somewhere in the middle of the relaxing/adventuring vacation scale. That’s not to say we saw eye to eye on everything during our time on the island together. Exploring a new place together is a great experience but it does come with some challenges. Our biggest challenge proved to be the navigating of the island and the confidence in one another’s driving skills. I found that my boyfriend is stressed when I am in the driver’s seat and when I am giving directions in the passenger seat. In turn, I discovered I get very stressed when he is stressed about something I am doing and also get very defensive of whatever I am doing. There was a bit of tension over the subject for a few days but we eventually chilled out and got over it. While these arguments were not very significant, what they revealed was. What little arguments like this show is the different ways in how we deal with stress, which is polar opposite but actually a very good thing. Two hotheads in the car would be detrimental, whereas two zen heads would drive around aimlessly for hours playing with the radio. Like in many aspects of our two very different personalities, we balance each other out.
Much more than arguing in the car, what we spent the vast majority of our time doing was enjoying ourselves! Vacations are fun and even more so when you’re spending it with your favorite person. We did all the things we wanted to- exploring, eating, drinking, hiking, swimming, snorkeling and of course amazing vacation sex. On return I feel so silly for worrying what would become of us during and after this trip, but hey we all worry right? To anyone considering traveling with a boyfriend/girlfriend I say go for it! It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together as long as you know this is someone that you can be really honest with and who you thoroughly enjoy spending a lot of time with. Go into it aware of the challenges that may arise but with an optimistic outlook on the reality of being on a great vacation with your special sexy someone! Everyone’s experience will be different; you could come back and realize this isn’t someone you could be with long term, which is definitely good to figure out before you waste more time on a doomed relationship. Or you could have a great experience that paves the way for many more adventures in the future. My experience showed me through the good and the bad (which wasn’t really that bad), everything that occurred on our trip proved to be another little window into who this person really is that I choose to share my bed and my heart with and I am pleased to say I like what I see.