Our honeymoon was when I first realized how much I loved traveling with my husband. His personality is laid-back, while I am a planner, so we hit this great mix of relaxation with adventure. Before Evelyn was born, we had taken ski trips, beach vacations, and a city stay in LA. These all paled in comparison to the big, life-changing business trip Zach volunteered for to India. He spent seven weeks working there, sightseeing on weekends, and even flying up to Nepal.
When he finished, we met in Italy and using some of his bonus, were able to travel in Europe. It was a dream realized for both of us to go on such a massive trip, since neither of us had done a semester abroad during college. This was something we had hoped to do before having babies, and the choice to work in India and live apart for almost two months was partly decided because it would fund a Europe trip afterwards.
You’ve probably heard this if you have little ones – “once you have kids, you’ll never be able to go anywhere.” Maybe for some, travelling is a stressful, life-sucking endeavor. For us – it is life giving. It gives us a chance to feel like newlyweds, heading out into the great unknown. It provides an escape from the household chores and pressures of the office, just for a little while. We dream and anticipate and plan these trips together (big and small). They become the highlights of our marriage memories. Every trip we’ve taken has breathed life into our marriage relationship.
This brings me to Evelyn’s birth. Her arrival turned our marriage world upside down. Naively, I did not expect that it would. I’d love to write a little more about this later, but summarized – we felt disconnected for several months. We have always functioned as best friends, so this disconnect was particularly hard on us. While I was pregnant, one of our friends advised us to use a date night to talk about the things that we wanted to preserve as a couple. It is easy to lose sight of your identity as a couple once your baby is born. We strongly believe that a healthy marriage is an essential for our kids – so little getaways were a priority we agreed on that night.
As our anniversary drew closer, Zach arranged our first night away. Evie was three months old, and my in-laws came to stay with her for roughly 24 hours. It was amazing how extravagant it felt to be in a hotel, yet only 10 minutes from our baby if she needed something. We went swimming, had our first couple’s massage ever –a story in and of itself – went out for a fancy dinner, and just remembered what it is like to laugh together. For us, that one night was the turning point out of the craziness of an intense season of work and new motherhood and recovery from the delivery.
We felt like a team again, and we LOVED coming home to our little girl the next day.