Episode 16 - Traveling

Hi again, welcome to episode 16 of BWBL. My name is Meredith Riddick and I am excited to talk to you guys today. We are going to be talking about traveling with your partners or future partners. So, I love this topic! Traveling provides such rich opportunities for building rituals or shared meetings together. Also, traveling provides opportunities to try “repair attempts” in the 5:1 positive to negative ratio with conflict. Conflict might be inevitable with travel, I guess it kind of depends.

 If driving in Rome doesn’t build trust - I don’t know what will!

So, Jake and I recently went to Italy and had an amazing time. Traveling is definitely a value of both of ours, and while we are in a season of life where we don’t have any kids, we are really trying to take advantage of that. We live pretty close to D.C. we are kind of in a good place to get some really good flights to some pretty cool places, man there is a lot on the East Coast that we haven’t gone out to yet. We are really enjoying living out that value in our marriage.

So, we just got back from Italy, and there were so many things about it that were cool. One of the things that is really important to Jake when we travel is that we do more of what the locals do. He will do a few of the tourist-y things but we don’t come somewhere and miss out on what is common. You know, you go someplace, and it is tourist-y for a reason, right?  But he really gets more excited about doing things that aren’t on the beaten path and more of hidden gems. So, one of the cool things we did while we were in Italy was, we signed up for a group cooking class, Tuscan style as we were in the Tuscany region.

But it ended up being that we were the only ones who signed up, we definitely went during the off season, so not as many people there. So, we basically got this private cooking class on Tuscany style cooking, which was really cool. So, we did that and we spent a couple days in Rome, and while we were driving to Tuscany - and OMG BTW getting a rental car in Italy and driving around, if that doesn’t build trust with your partner or provide opportunities to do repair attempts, I don’t know what will! - OMG Jake was such a trooper, we got a rental car for the entire time we were there.

Now looking back, we would have only gotten a rental for driving around the countryside, we did not need one in Rome. And man, I made Jake drive the entire time while we were in Rome and I pretty much drove the entire time while in the country area. OMG, Rome was crazy! And we are from Houston! I have a lead foot, and I have to watch my road rage sometimes, but in Rome, it was overwhelming! One thing we did not anticipate about Rome was how difficult it would be to find parking.

So, we experienced that in Rome and in Florence actually. We had a really difficult time finding parking and that was really stressful for me, we actually ended up missing a guided tour that we had signed up for and paid for in Florence, which was upsetting because we were not going to be able to get our money back from that and we definitely had some opportunities going through that and doing some repair attempts and just trying to build connections in other areas.

Then, when we were in the country areas, it was less overwhelming but they had very small and narrow roads and people would go extremely fast on them, so we kept getting passed by people...even though I feel like we were driving pretty fast ourselves. Anyways, it was kind of funny. While in the Tuscany area, we had many opportunities for rest and relaxation. We visited many wineries and did side trips to like Pisa and saw the Leaning Tower.

Oh, we went to this really cool small town, it was almost medieval called Volterra. We just had a great time walking around and eating great food. We are both kind of foodies a little bit in different ways. We really enjoy trying new local food, and when you are in Italy, that is not hard to do. It was amazing.

Travel to reconnect and rejuvenate

So, we really enjoyed that. What I notice about traveling, with my clients, especially when you have kiddos is that it just might be really hard to do. Or you might be in a season of life where it is not financially easy to do when it comes to big trips.

I have a lot of clients who want to travel more, it is an opportunity to connect with their partners, but they are in a season of life where it is harder. I just give a lot of encouragement in trying to find a way to make it work. Whether that is asking family or friends to babysit the kids for a weekend, and you could trade if you have friends that can watch them for a weekend. You watch their kids for a weekend, and then they can watch your kids for another weekend. Just to provide them with some opportunities to get away. Maybe if it is financial going camping, or whatever, these are things - traveling - people really desire to do. Sometimes the follow through is sometimes a bit harder to do.

I notice, especially when my clients go away together as a retreat, OMG they come back some much more connected with their partners and they are able to get away and relax and reconnect as a couple and then they come back rejuvenated to deal with life again. Which is in a different lens, you know. And if you are dating and travel is something you enjoy with a partner, you know, that could be really wonderful! You can learn so much from a person while traveling with them. Some daily habits, how flexible they are, how rigid they are - that has really been one of my growth opportunities - traveling together can really be a wonderful way to connect and get to know another person.


After traveling, reflect!

So, just kind of reflecting our trip to Italy and thinking about the things that went really well and a couple logistics that we would do differently. That kind of stressful day in Florence where we just were not finding any parking and missing our tour, I was frustrated by that. Poor Jake was trying to fix it and figure out what he could do, and we just ended up making the most of it at the end. Some good repair attempts after, not too long after the stress, was good.

We just encourage you guys to plan your own trip. If it is in a year or two years from now, if it just isn’t feasible right now, just plan something. Go on a date and live vicariously, just planning something. Maybe if you just recently traveled, reflect with your partner on what went well and what didn’t go well. If you had to go back, what would you do differently, or change. If you would do something the exact same way, what would that be?


Hope you guys have some travel in your future! As always, we are at and on Facebook and Instagram we are @HarmonyTherapyGroup and Twitter @HTGTherapist. See you guys next week!



Listen to the episode here!


Help in the meantime: 

 YouTube channel BWBL playlist

Our blog

Gottman Institute Blog


Currently Serving: 

Katy, Tx

Ashburn, VA

Contact Us:

Leave a Comment