Not too long ago, P and I went away a few days without the kids. We treated ourselves to three days in the Yarra Valley, a wine-growing region just over 50 kilometers northeast of Melbourne.
I had brought my good camera, determined to take photos to put together a blog entry focused on this particular part of Australia (every once in a while I try to remember the “down under” part of this blog). Even though our visit was favored with overcast skies and misty rain, it was a beautiful area and I took plenty of photos.
Which I can’t find.
I went to download them from my camera, but my camera is empty. Thinking I must have downloaded them already, I went to my computer, but no photos.
I’ve either deleted them accidentally or they’re mischievously hiding somewhere on my hard drive, but they certainly aren’t cooperating with me.
So, no photos of gourmet meals from boutique wineries or quaint pubs (I’m a terrible food photographer anyway). No pictures of rolling hills carpeted with trellised vineyards. No close-up shots of wine glasses, misty scenery blurring softly in the background. Other than a random photo found on our phones (thank you Apple), we only have the memories in our heads.
Which is fine, too.
In today’s world of tweeting, facebooking and general oversharing, I suppose a few trips that aren’t documented to the nth degree is a refreshing change. When I mention that the scenery was beautiful, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Really, it is somewhat apropos as this was supposed to be a trip for just the two of us anyway. As much as we love travelling with our children, every once in a while, time alone with your spouse is necessary.
A friend of mine calls her adult-only trips with her significant other an investment. Every year, they plan two long weekends away with another couple, travelling each time to a new city or location.
“Our kids are going to eventually grow up and leave us,” she said. “When that happens, I don’t want to sit down across from my husband and wonder, ‘Who are you again?’”
P and I have embraced that philosophy, beginning when our youngest was 18 months old. We took off to the Caribbean for just over a week in celebration of our ten-year anniversary. At the time I worried that it would be too long, that I would miss the kids. But each day away actually got easier (sitting by a pool with umbrella drinks in hand will do that to you…)
And before we had returned home, we had already booked our next trip.
I know that full-on travel without kids is a luxury, both in money and in the efforts of others to care for your children. This recent trip was our first one without kids in over two years.
If a trip isn’t possible, pare it down to date night or a Saturday morning coffee for two (who am I kidding… do you know where I am on a Saturday? Dance class, basketball game…).
The point is, figure out your adult-only alone time any way you can. Time where the two of you can talk away from your routine or normal home environment. Time that is spent rediscovering each other and having conversation beyond the mundane of the everyday. Valuable time that builds the memories that strengthen a relationship.
Consider it an investment.