For our Wandering Wednesday guest posts we like to highlight the exceptional bloggers out there in the world. This Wednesday (since the wedding is a month away) we decided to talk to the new on the scene power couple Yeison and Samantha from MyTanFeet.com. They met abroad in Central America and then lived apart for quite some time. Eventually they made the bold gambit to live together in Costa Rica. Now they document their experience in Central America (predominately Costa Rica.) Who better to talk to about couples travel, eh?
Where to find My Tan Feet:
C&C: What are your top couple’s destinations?
For us, we absolutely loved the San Blas Islands in Panama. These islands are breathtakingly gorgeous and we love going camping so this was everything we loved to do all on an island.
It’s very rural – no buildings, no roads, no stores and the islands are fairly small, but it is the perfect destination for couples looking to get away from all the city life and stress and just to relax and enjoy each other’s company. You can lay and watch the stars together on the beach, go snorkeling and lay in a hammock, listening to the sounds of the waves.
In Costa Rica, one of our favorite places to go is Playa Conchal in the province of Guanacaste. It’s a beautiful white beach that has shells instead of sand and there are so many activities to do for couples such as jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and massages on the beach.
It is much more modern and it is a popular place for newlyweds – you can find all-inclusive resorts and nice hotels and restaurants in the area for honeymooners.
There’s nothing much more romantic than sitting on the beach, having a drink and watching the sunset together. Conchal is also an ideal place for the adventurous couples as well, less than one hour away are waterfalls, hiking trails, hot springs and rivers to spend an exciting day. Sometimes when we just need to get out of town, we go for a day trip to Conchal and visit the neighboring beaches since there are so many.
C&C: How do you keep the love alive on the road?
When you’re traveling a lot, it’s hard to be that romantic. There’s nothing very romantic or sexy about being on a bus for more than 24 hours or being on a long trek where you don’t shower for a couple of days.
Being together 24/7 also means that it’s hard to make time with each other, a special time. It becomes normal to be with each other all day and all night.
We have managed to sneak in a few “date nights” where we pick an activity that we both really want to do like a special adventure. Or sometimes we splurge for a nice hotel room and sometimes we buy little gifts for each other.
One of our favorite things to do that brings us closer is to lay on a hammock (or on the beach) and watch the stars, talking about our future together and our most fun travel moments so far.
Being on the road so often means you don’t have a set schedule, there is no date night Wednesdays or move night Fridays. It’s easy to just forget about romance when you’re traveling because you’re thinking about so many other things, you’re tired, and you’re staying in a hostel with 10 other people, but it is key in a relationship to have these special moments.
Even a little gesture such as buying a chocolate or packing the other’s person luggage can take the place of a big gesture, especially if you’re on a budget.
Samantha: For example, one time I was craving a Snickers bar very bad and when Yeison went to go buy supplies, he took a taxi, found a store that sold it and brought it back for me (we were in the mountains). It was such a nice surprise because we had both been on the road for a long time and were very tired but it meant so much to me.
I love little gifts like that, I think it’s much more meaningful.
C&C: As avid balckbelts and archers ourselves, I think the more important question is, “how do you prevent violence on the road?”
The key is communication. If one of us is tired or cranky, we have to let the other person know or else it could turn into a disaster.
Being tired, super hungry or uncomfortable happens to everybody while traveling but when you’re traveling with someone else (can be friends, family, S.O.), you have to learn not to project it onto the other person.
The other person is there to support you and isn’t there as a punching bag. Sometimes all you need is a few minutes to yourself and you’re good as new, just make sure to communicate clearly to your significant other how you are feeling.
Another important component is compromise. Don’t let just one person make all the decisions or else they’ll just start feeling like a tour guide and the other half will start getting frustrated.
It’s easy to just let the other person make all the decisions because you don’t want to decide something that the other person doesn’t want. Both people have to be very clear on what you want and end at a decision that both parties are happy with.
Even the smallest thing such as choosing what to eat for dinner or where to sleep can start an argument. If both parties don’t back down and sacrifice something for the other person, it’s a red flag that this could be the end to traveling together.
Yeison: There was one time in Bocas del Toro in Panama where I wanted to stay at a particular hostel since it was the cheaper and Samantha was not that ecstatic about it. However, she understood our financial situation and that it was more reasonable to spend less in Bocas because we spent more in Panama City. I used the money we saved on the hostel to take a trip to Bird Island, a place she had wanted to go for a long time.
C&C: Do you pack together, or separately?
Right now, we pack together. Yeison has a large 55 L backpack that we amazingly stuff all our belongings in and we also bring two day backpacks. We both pack fairly light and Yeison is a very savvy packer so we always manage to have plenty of space to bring back things we buy as well.
C&C: Which one of you sleeps closest to the door in the room?
Samantha: Yeison. He insists on being closer just in case somebody breaks in or something happens like a natural disaster happens, he’ll be able to spring into action faster. And sometimes it’s helpful because he likes to sneak out to get a snack.
Yeison: Not very often but there was one time Samantha caught me eating a sandwich in the middle of the night that I bought downstairs at our hotel. I couldn’t help it, I was still hungry!
C&C: And lastly, what are your most memorable travel moments together?
Samantha: One of the most memorable moments for me is when we went spelunking in Costa Ricac. I have never done it before (nor imagined I would be) and I was extremely nervous. But afterwards, I felt so accomplished and thrilled that I made it but even more so because I had Yeison by my side. I was so incredibly grateful that I had him with me and so happy I was able to share this adventure with him. A runner-up would be Cancun, Mexico. We hadn’t seen each other for over 4 months and it was our first international travel together. Let’s just say that everybody asked us if we were on our honeymoon and we had an amazing time!
Yeison: My favorite would probably be San Blas, I’ve never been anywhere like those islands before and Samantha and I have very similar interests when it comes to the outdoors. We had a great time snorkeling and just having a peaceful, relaxing few days in paradise.