How to survive a long car ride with partner while building a stronger connection.
There is nothing like taking a couples road trip and hitting the highway with your bae. I’ve gone on my fair share of road trips and I’m here to tell you how to survive a long car ride with your partner. This is my favorite activity for getting through those endless hours in a car with your spouse or partner (aside from reading old posts from previous trips in our Wanderlust Passport). I have the secret weapon that will show you how to pass the time with your partner on road trips, while simultaneously bringing you closer together.
How do you travel with your partner?
If you are like me, you take planning a road trip very seriously. You’ve picked the destination, meticulously packed your car flexing your best Tetris skills. Your road trip snack game is untouchable. You already know what places you want to stop and eat along the way, and roughly the time you’ll get there so you can plan your order accordingly. Maybe you created the perfect Spotify playlist (like the playlist i made for road trip to Utah last year). You have purposely stopped listening to your favorite podcast weeks ago so that you can binge them for this very trip.
Or maybe you don’t plan at all and you and your partner just sit in the car and hope that the drive goes by quick. Does this sound familiar? One person driving while passenger endlessly scrolls on their phone, or they are sleeping (guilty!)
Reconnecting on the Road
For my husband and I, these road trips were meant for us to connect. We can talk about life and catch up, but that’s a superficial type of connection. To get deeper, we often get into some good discussions when we listen to cetain podcasts. But even then, am I really “connecting” with my husband? Does talking about the intelligence of sperm whales from the RadioLab podcast bring us closer together and strengthen our bond? For the record, this Radiolab episode is as amazing as it sounds. It is hilarious and you should listen to it.
How well do you really know your spouse or partner?
Intimacy- (Into Me You See). I was told once that intimacy isn’t just physical… its emotional. And I 1000000% agree with that sentiment. I have been with my husband for 13 years, 12 of those years them we lived together. All that to say that there is still so much about him that I don’t know about and that I would love to learn, despite us living in 208 square feet together. When I say I still have yet to learn, I’m not talking about “what is his favorite color?” I’m talking about small, nuanced things that aren’t important to our everyday life, but are nuggets, events, and stories that make up who he is.
I love to use the car ride as a time for us to get to know each other on level that we don’t get to dive into at home. If you think you know everything there is to know about your partner, you are wrong. Do you know their biggest regret in life? Do you know what elementary school teacher made the most lasting impression on them? Do you know when the last time they cried alone was and what it was about? Do you know about a childhood friendship that left them feeling disappointed? Do you know what the most valuable lesson their father or mother has taught them?
My secret to surviving long car rides:
I used to carry this bag with about 150 questions in it. I had scoured the internet for a bunch of random ice breaker questions and put them into a word doc, printed them out, and then cut them into strips. Regretfully, I lost the digital document, but I still have the ziplock bag of questions that we keep in our travel trailer, the #WIENERbago.
I recently discovered these Discovery Decks from Best Self Co. I love this brand and have a few of their productivity notepads. When they came out with these card decks over the holidays, I scooped them up. Most of these decks were designed as writing tools, critical thinking tools, ice breakers etc. Each deck has questions or prompts and within each deck are sub-categories.
Rules for the road.
We have one rule when it’s time for our Q&A sessions. You have to answer the question, and you have critically think about the answer. This does a couple of things. For one, you are learning something new about your partner. Sometimes it can be hard to find things to talk about in a long and committed relationship. You’d be amazed at how much you can discover from this person you thought you knew so well. Secondly, the answer to the question usually leads to follow up questions and deeper discussions. It forces us to open up lines of communication and the next thing you know, you are intimately sharing and connecting in a way that you never thought you could.
Do you see yourself doing something like this with your partner on your next road trip? Do you have a special tradition or survival tip that you and your partner do? I’d love to hear them. Tell me in the comments. I’d love to try that out on my next adventure!
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