First and foremost, can we kill this myth that the word “travel” is only used for international flights? The word travel is far bigger than that and has a different value. Traveling for my wife and I is simply going on a new, exciting adventure. Traveling is any new activity that allows you and your partner to create memories that will last a lifetime. That could be driving to a nearby city, only to eat at the diner you saw on the Travel Channel or spending the day finding street art in your city. Recently, we wandered to the most beautiful, calm, space in the D.C metro area solely on a recommendation of a friend. Being in the Northeast region of the United States, we often take day trips to the nearby major cities, just to explore. No plan. No itinerary. Simply, just the two of us.
Unfortunately, growing up in a small city, I was not exposed to much traveling. Honestly, the majority of our family vacations were “down south” to visit my family outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Same is true with my wife, so we vowed that before we start our family we would use any and every opportunity to see and experience new things; something that should be more common amongst black families. All travel adventures are extremely important to increasing a bond, especially within Black relationships, and here’s why.
1.) Traveling Is Therapeutic
It’s a chance to escape the harsh realities of the real world. No matter if you’re a business owner or a student, we all need that getaway. That space where your mind is clear of a “to-do list” or responsibilities. When traveling as a couple, you see your significant other in their purest form. There are no distractions or disturbances. It’s one-on-one time to increase your communication and strengthen your partnership. USE IT! It’s perfectly fine to ignore your social media; Turn off your e-mails. Give your partner that undivided attention. When traveling together, it’s the perfect time to get lost in each other’s thoughts. The perfect way to reconnect to your soul and passions. Use this time wisely and enjoy this intimacy.
2.) Memories Never Fade
Have you ever stopped to think about the purpose of the #TBT or #FBF hashtags? Majority of the time it has nothing to do with the actual picture, instead it’s mainly about the memories attached to it. We tend to use those photos to put us back in that special place, that special moment, where happiness lives. This is the beauty of traveling and sharing remarkable experiences with the person you love; those memories will never fade. You’ll regularly find yourself telling your significant other “remember when” stories. Actually, my wife still swears to this day that her and Dwyane Wade locked eyes at a basketball game in 2013; causing her to forget her jacket at the stadium. Creating these memories will give you an itch to create more as time passes. The two of you will begin searching for ways to get away to build upon your relationship. Be sure to document these recollections, to use as inspiration when reminiscing. Fortunately, my wife is old-school and is an avid scrap-booker. We have hundreds of photos that the world has never seen; but at some point, we will be able to go back and remember events as if they just happened. Cherish every second of these memories, they will never fade.
3.) You’ll Never Stop Learning
Learning and experiences are two of the main ingredients for everlasting growth. Black couples who travel together will get the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. Your partner will effortlessly educate you on their hobbies and hidden talents. Traveling helped me uncover my wife’s passion for nature and outdoor activities. Hikes and outdoor excursions literally set her soul on fire. For a while, I had no idea she was deeply into photography and for an introverted individual, she somehow finds a way to make a friend on every vacation we take. In addition to learning more about your partner and their interests, traveling helps you discover yourself as well. Your appreciation for life grows stronger. You develop a different vibe and create a different vision. By getting away and digging deeper into your thoughts, you start to put things into a different perspective and placing value on life itself. Embrace it. Connect with the locals from the city or country you’re in. Ask them questions, get some intel.
At Essence Festival this year, we connected with several New Orleans locals. We asked them about the lasting impact of Katrina and what that horrific experience was like. They expressed the “Big Easy” culture and the change they noticed in the city after returning. It was impressive to hear stories from our brothers and sisters; and their resilience speaks volumes amongst the Black community and what we stand for as a race. In Costa Rica, we made sure to connect with any and everyone we could, including other families on vacation. We picked their brains about the different places they’ve visited and why they chose their destinations. No matter where your travel leads you, never stop learning; and most importantly don’t forget to apply your discoveries to your own lives
Again, let’s bury this false belief that traveling is only to the countries we see on Instagram. Generate a bucket-list of destinations and escapades. Plan them out and check them off as you see fit. Dive into your interests, experience new excursions, and watch your relationship bond flourish.