Last year, my husband and I took a trip to Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona. The trip marked an important moment in our relationship: It had been a year since the passing of my step-father to cancer.

The weight of the experience had worn heavy on both of our hearts and depleted our energy. At the same time, life was happening all around us. We had kids to take to school, jobs to manage, and bills to pay. We had little time left for weekly date nights and quarterly getaways. We desperately needed a break to recharge and reconnect. 

On that weekend trip to Sedona, we spent a lot of time recharging, sleeping, reading, relaxing in the spa, and stargazing. More than anything, I remember the days we spent together hiking the red rocks. With the vast beauty of the blue sky and majestic red rocks as our backdrop, we talked about our plans and worries for the future, and reflected on our experience over the past year. Sometimes we just walked with nothing but the sound of our own footsteps. We promised each other we would make time to travel together as a couple.

On that trip we stopped making excuses for why we were too busy to carve out time for each other and started making plans to rectify the situation for good.

We put our resolutions into practice almost immediately. Last fall, I had a work trip to Cancun, Mexico, over our anniversary, so I asked my husband if he wanted to join me. We arranged for our parents to watch the kids back at home. On the ground in Mexico, I surprised him with a photo shoot on the beach to celebrate our anniversary. I booked the shoot with Flytographer, a company that connects you with local photographers in 120 cities around the world. These photos are a special souvenir and serve as a constant reminder to make time to travel together, no matter how busy life gets.
My husband and I have been together for 22 years. Over that time, we have made a lot of excuses as to why we can’t carve out time as a couple to get away. We skip date nights. We push off trips together because we don’t want to leave the kids. Work gets busy. We have soccer games, baseball tryouts, or we are just too busy to get away. Excuses can be a slippery slope.

I will be the first to tell you that marriage is not easy. Good things take work, time, and patience. The great news is that you don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to carve out time together; sometimes an overnight staycation can be just what you need to reconnect. For us, travel is what helps us step out of the intensity of our daily parental responsibilities. It’s important for our relationship, no matter how busy we get. And it’s something we’ll never give up again. 

What excuses do you make for not booking that trip together?