When I pictured travelling with my boyfriend I envisioned us taking romantic strolls through walled cities, eating at posh restaurants where the waiters had accents, and staying in chic hotel rooms. And although our first trip (to Budapest and Vienna) featured all of those things, we also bickered, dealt with jet lag, and got to know each other a lot better (the good and the bad). Even though it wasn’t stress-free, the trip came at the perfect time. I was moving and turning our six month relationship into one that was long-distance. With all of the uncertainty about what was to come, a few days of exploration somewhere far away from the noise was just what we needed.
Before traveling we had never really fought, which made the beginning of our trip particularly difficult. Fueled by hunger and fatigue, we found ourselves overacting to insignificant things, which led to quite a few disputes. With no friends, errands, or other distractions, it was just us, so we were forced to find a way to resolve our issues early on. Although it was hard at first, the situation forced us to talk more and ultimately resolve our issues before they snowballed into something worse. After all, no one wants to waste a vacation feeling angry and bitter.
Speaking of fights, a big point of contention was timing when we ate. I learned not to approach my boyfriend before he had his breakfast and coffee and he found out that I become slightly abrasive when I miss lunch. It can be easy to get caught up exploring and push off eating at normal times, but we quickly realized this was a bad idea. Skipping a morning coffee or eating at odd times always led to a fight, so we tried our best to follow a basic routine. Learning what restaurants were open in advance can help a lot, and doing this has made all of our trips since a lot smoother.
Fights and hunger aside, we had an amazing time exploring Europe. Both of us like to wander, and we spent our days strolling the streets in search of hidden streets, beautiful churches, and cozy cafes. Since it was a short trip (two days in each city) we were careful to balance the urge to cross off the main attractions with a desire to simply get lost. We did this by making excursions to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna and Gellert Baths in Budapest, and leaving the rest of the time to explore at our own pace. This perfect mix allowed us to see the sights while still discovering lesser known gems.
We had an amazing trip. We were able to cross two beautiful cities off of our list, but the most important part was getting the confirmation and peace of mind that our relationship was exactly what we wanted. Long distance was a tough decision for us, and before our trip we both were uncertain if it would actually work out. After spending a few days exploring, getting lost together, and talking, I realized there was no one I would rather be exploring with and that we could without a doubt make the distance work.