2020 has been a whirlwind of a year and as we stand at the end of it, it’s time to let go, to heal, to regroup and to prepare for a new year; a new normal. Travelling as a couple might just allow you to do that and more. Here are my 5 top reasons why.
I’ve been trying to keep head above water all year and it was only yesterday that I realised what a tough year 2020 has actually been. Elian was born in January, February him and I camped out in hospital. March I got retrenched. April we went into lockdown (with a 2-year-old and 4-month-old to entertain). Then I started this blog, I freelanced for various publications, we managed a household without outside help for at least three months, Wikus worked longer hours than usual, we travelled to George under Level 3 (which was very stressful for me) and I haven’t had much income since May. Also, whether I’d like to admit it or not, trying to deal with all of the above has had its impact on my relationships, including my relationship with my husband.
This is just my story and I know that there are so many others – some much more difficult and others a bit more manageable. Still, 2020 was a tough year for everyone across the globe. And, while I appreciate the fact that some countries are still under lockdown (even over the festive season), I also realise that those of us who are able to travel, don’t just want to, we NEED to. The question is: Whom do I travel with and where to?
For me, as a mother, my first reaction would be to travel with my family, of course. But, sometimes it’s good to get away (even if it’s just for a weekend) with your significant other. Just to reconnect and to be reminded of the things you love about each other. Remembering these things and regularly tapping into your feelings for each other has a surprisingly positive effect on the bigger family unit and it’s so, so important.
Time away with your other half is what holds you as individual together; it’s what holds you as a couple together and it’s what holds the larger family unit together.
So, here are my five reasons why travelling with your partner is super important this year:
Do you remember the early days of lockdown when all we could do is run around the house for exercise? And, do you remember the day we were allowed to go out into the streets and actually jog around the block? People were popping out from everywhere and streets were filled with kids on their bikes, babies in prams and masked parents high on fresh air. I think this made us all appreciate the outdoors on a whole new level (and for many of us, it also sparked the urge to live more sustainably). Picking holiday destinations that celebrate the outdoors is therefore almost unavoidable.
The Maldives. I mean, why not?
- It’s one of the few places South Africans can currently travel to without having to quarantine.
- You simply get a visa on arrival, which is super easy!
- Here, you’ll find the open spaces we all craved during lockdown.
- The white beaches, swaying palm trees and abundant sea life adds to the calming effect we’re all in need of after the longest year in ages.
- If you stay at a resort like Club Med, most of the exciting land- and water sport and invigorating outdoor activities are included in the package.
- Club Med has some great travel deals at the moment… Just sayin’.
If there is one thing that 2020 has taught me time and again, it is that you can’t be strong for others if you’re not emotionally strong yourself. This also applies to your relationship with your other half: You can’t build a strong relationship and maintain it unless you’re feeling emotionally strong and healthy yourself. A holiday, for me, is one of the best ways to look after yourself mentally and physically. It’s self-care in its purest form, especially when the destination offers opportunities to help you recharge. Think quiet time, outdoor activities, beauty treatments and wholesome food. Whether you practice self-care together or separately, your relationship can only be better for it.
Humour has certainly found new meaning in 2020. It truly is the best medicine and a true lifeline in times where stress has taken over. Thank goodness for silly sitcoms on Netflix and witty memes on social media! Taking time off and going on holiday also allows you to unwind, which opens you up to being more spontaneous and silly. Happiness and laughter is something we all really need after this year and by choosing an all-inclusive package like with Club Med, you don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying the moment and making new memories with your favourite human.
4. Honest communication
In the midst of things, honest and open communication might have been one of the things we’ve neglected this year, even though we spent most of our days under the same roof. Wikus and I often had days where we barely had time to speak to each other, because we were so busy with the kids, work, house chores and building brands that once our heads hit the pillows, we instantly fell asleep. It might be number four on this list, but going on holiday for the sole purpose of just having time to talk and communicate with each other on a raw, intimate, honest level is probably my number one reason for taking time off. Use this time wisely. You can even consider doing a digital detox together and just enjoy each other’s company for once, without having to worry about household chores or deadlines. Talk about the year, how it made you feel, how you have grown as individuals and as a couple and discuss how you can work together to tackle issues and be stronger together in future.
5. Reflection and planning
I’m all for reflection and planning. I think it’s a good way of reconnecting with yourself and your other half. A holiday provides you with some time to focus on reflecting and planning without any distractions. Use this time to re-evaluate the kind of life you want as a couple (and also as a family). It’s the ideal opportunity to be reminded of what is important to you: loved ones, physical health, personal goals, simple pleasures in life. Take this time and really delve deep to envisage your life in the new normal.
It’s a fact: Holidays are good for many things, including your relationships. We’re always being told to use our time wisely. I believe that time away with your other half, is the time that really needs to be used wisely. It’s what holds you as individual together, it’s what holds you as a couple together and it’s what holds the larger family unit together.