Jamaica- my first experience traveling with a significant other, and we traveled well together! Ya mon!
Thank god, because it may not have worked out if we didn’t; a miss-match of travel personalities is a disappointing deal breaker for a traveler like me. He probably didn’t realize that I was scrutinizing his travel persona, watching closely how he reacted to adverse travel situations…. well, he passed the test!
A mysterious yet hilarious role reversal took place. Back home, as Taurus-Taurus relationships would have it, I’m more of the manager of our relationship- planning things for us to do, figuring out logistics, etc; however, as I travel, I take on a new identity, leaving my planner and plans behind and pretending that I know the time by looking at the sun. I’m carefree, never blissfully unaware, but I can jump right into a travel situation.
My boyfriend, laid-back, laissez faire about plans, normally unhesitatingly comfortable in a myriad of situations, cautiously tested the Jamaican water as he eased the reins from my hands and was eager about making plans for each new day. It was precious, really. I fully relaxed, as I intended to, and let him take over the agenda…he even tidied up our hotel room. (what?!)
We traded roles while traveling; it was strange, but it worked, and we easily fell into our new rythmn.
One of the biggest things we have in common is our love for food and drink. We are hard-core foodies. As our food came, we both became dead silent, our heads dropping to our plates while we gnawed at our chicken and fries (this could be because we were always hungry by the time we ate, and the chicken was always so damn delicious, or we both wanted to finish first so the other wouldn’t pick off our plate).
I don’t want to say that we forgot about each other while we ate….but we would both become preoccupied having taste-bud affairs with each new style of chicken.
After devouring, we would look at each other and resume chatter, and when it got be around 5:30, we would watch the intense, orange sun dip behind Negril’s mellow, clear water that you could see straight to the bottom of.
On our journey, we weeded through the scattered throngs of Rastafarians selling marijuana (no pun intended). My personal favorite was an old man with his dreads caputured on top of his head with a drab, yellow fabric who pointed prestigiously at the marijuana pin on his shirt as if this somehow made him the official seller of marijuana. “If you need any __________.” (Insert any of the following terms: marijuana, weed, da bush, da Bob Marley, ganja, da herb mon, da green, da smoke, da grass.)
We pondered philosophical questions about illicit drugs….. How does everyone get it? How do they make money selling it, if every other Jamaican is selling it? Is there a hierarchy with a man at the top?…..
Although many travelers felt pestered by the Jamaicans always coming up and offering something, my boyfriend and I, who have very outgoing and friendly personalities ourselves, always made a point to talk to everyone who offered us a greeting, after all, it is part of Jamaican culture to be very friendly and helpful. I have always found this sense of easy sociability to be refreshing; we were both bothered by bougie foreigners who lifted their noses and turned their heads at a friendly Jamaican saying hello.
We we enthralled by performers, whether it was aged Jamaican men serenading us on the beach or cliff divers, who had jumped from these heights so many times they no longer felt the weightless, tingly sensation in their stomachs.
Although we’re both very frugal with money, we could justify indulging in top-notch Piña Coladas and countless Red Stripes, a refreshing Jamaican lager.
And how could we not partake in the fresh fruit? Every day on the beach, the fruit lady’s high pitch voice with trilled r’s became a recurring melody. “FRRROOOOOOOOOT!”
As it turns out, we were also both inspired by the same man- a crossing guard; he helped us cross the street everyday with a big smile on his face. One day we asked him, how is your day going? He answered with a radiant look on his face and said, “Oh man, I am enjoying it sooooo much!” Needless to say, he is the reason why I love traveling- meeting people who are so enthused with life in its simplest form. He’s the type of person that makes you forget about the hustlers, the rip off’s, the fake cab drivers.
It is a pleasure to travel with someone who appreciates the same understated luxuries and is drawn to the same inspiringly ordinary souls.
I am thankful that I have a boyfriend who is open to experiences and revels in the occurances of travel just as much as I do. We enjoyed our Jamaican vacation and discovered that we travel so well together we may just have to apply for the amazing race. 😉
What have been your travel duo experiences? Please feel free to share your own (best/worst) experiences traveling with a significant other!