“To infinity and beyond!” – Toy Story
It’s time for a vacation, restful mornings, breakfast in bed, luxury accommodations and some casual sightseeing. Our first night in Cape Town, I dreamed about the relaxation to come my way. We stayed at The 12 Apostles, a beautiful boutique hotel on the Atlantic coast. The views were picturesque, and I marveled daily at the beauty of the mountains meeting the oceans. It was the perfect place to stay after a long month of travel.
Imagine my surprise, the next morning waking up to a constant rustling and moving around the room. I couldn’t fathom what it possibly could be so early in the morning! As I willed my eyes open, I saw Rocket rummaging in his laptop bag before getting back into bed with his computer. I rolled over trying to ignore the typing, but it didn’t seem to be working, I was up!
A few days later, Rocket finally spoke up while chuckling. “I finally get it. We view vacationing differently and I’m learning to work with your style. You like resting in during the mornings where as I wake up ready to get going with the day.”
It was true. When vacationing, Rocket enjoys spending as little time in the hotel room as possible while I relish the opportunity to sleep in without a schedule. He loves planning in order to try and do as much as possible, whereas I enjoy the freedom to rest or go sightseeing as I so choose. We had to learn how to vacation together.
This was evident even before we left on our trip. Rocket and I sometimes prefer different activities on vacations. I tend to enjoy the safer options being that I’m the more risk averse in the relationship. While planning the safari (see last week’s post about our experience), we had numerous debates about the guided vs. self-drive experiences. The more research I did, the more I was convinced self-driving during our first safari was a bad idea. Rocket, after talking to a few South African friends, was convinced self-driving provided a more rewarding experience. We debated for a few days before I suggested a compromise. In the end, we both found enjoyment in each other’s suggested experience.
The key for us to having a great vacation together has been our willingness to engage each other, and adjust on the fly to have a vacation that the other person would truly enjoy. In South Africa, we learned to incorporate both styles in our vacation plans, and while originally some of the decisions felt like a compromise (in that one of us was giving up something or accepting something less than desirable), in the end, we both enjoyed our joint-style South African vacation better than what we would have planned individually.
While in Cape Town, our mornings were spent resting in and our afternoons were filled with sightseeing plans around Cape Town. During our afternoons, we hiked Lion’s Head and went to the top of Table Mountain in the same day.
We explored Robbin Island, the nearby wine country of Stellenbosch, and the Western Cape coast in search of spring flowers.
We had meals with friends (some we knew before and others we met along the way), and even did a road trip to see penguins before being turned away from Cape Point for arriving too late only to get a flat tire at a nearby Ostrich Farm!
Ultimately we learned that although we might enjoy different styles of vacations, when we look out for what makes the other person happy we can appreciate one another’s style and have fun doing it!