When most people think of a vacation together, they envision tropical islands and places for romance relaxing in paradise. Tahiti, the Bahama's, Hawaii that is where most sane couples go to rejuvenate and bring that spark back to their relationship.
Well, Dave and I aren't most people and when we go away, we always seem to wind up doing trips that are the exact opposite of romance. Sure, we have been to resorts and 5 star hotels, but it is always the suffering that stands out in our minds when we reminisce. When we truly test our relationship and survive the insane and ridiculous, that is when we know that we are meant to be together forever.
Here is a list of some of our least romantic situations we have encountered during our travels of the world so far.
1. Slathering butt butter, Chamois Cream, Bag Balm…whatever you want to call it on our bums every morning for the first 2 months of cycling Africa. In our little 2 man North Face Tent, we would lay in the dark and cool mornings dressing and getting ready for a 100+ km day of riding. It wasn't a good morning. There was never any romance or snuggling under the sleeping back. Instead we would get up, lather up and pack our tent and see each other in a few hours at the next camp. How is that for romance?
2. Relieving ourselves in tandem on both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kinabalu.
I don't know what it is, but Dave and I always seem to be in sync with our bowel movements when we are at altitude. We both walk side by side for hours on end, and then we both have the need to go to the bathroom at the same time. Thank God we always summit in the dark, I couldn't imagine trying to squat on a sheer face in broad day light. It's not romantic, but it is definitely a bonding moment.
3. Having roaches crawl all over us during a trek to the pinnacles.
We thought that we were staying in pretty good digs when we saw our vynal matts lined up along a raised wooden platform. We settled in for the night with 7 other people and thought that we would be well rested for our climb the next day. That is until the creepy crawlies came out. I didn't turn on my flashlight to see what it was, I thought it better that I don't know. But in the morning everyone was talking about the cockroaches crawling all over. I thought, well, it could have been worse, it could have been something poisonous.
3b Being eaten alive by bed bugs on more than one occasion.
4. Getting in a motorcycle accident together in Ko Samui and laying side by side in the hospital as they cleaned our wounds. Dave's was worse than mine and he had it scraped with a razor blade as he bit on a towel. I watched on as he bit down on the towel and could do nothing as the doctors scraped away his burnt and dead infected skin. Nice. We then spent what should have been a romantic ending tour our time in Thailand limping around paradise and getting our dressings changed daily.
4. Sharing a single bed in a room with another couple that was in the other single bed. In Kuala Lumpur, we were too cheap and tired to find a place in our budget after returning from the Cameron Highlands. We had to leave early for Borneo the next morning anyway, so 4 of us crammed into a tiny room with 2 single beds and set our alarms for 5 am. We didn't get a lot of sleep that night.
5. Anytime we stayed in a dorm room. As a couple, we don't often stay in dorms or hostels. But every once in a while be it during a trek, a climb or an excursion, that is the only option that there is. I snore by the way, luckily Dave sleeps like a log, I feel bad for anyone else that is stuck in a room with me.
There is a pattern here that always has to do with sleeping arrangements.
6. Staying in a bungalow in Kao Sok National Park. It was a pristine setting with and pretty little huts. It should have been a quiet and romantic little getaway from our trekking in Asia. Unfortunately every night, just as we were about to turn in, the cock fights began and we had to listen to the screaming and wailing chickens all night long. My heart broke.
7. Rubbing the bottom raw during a horse back ride
It was 1997 and Dave and I were on our honeymoon. We decided to take an excursion on the beach in the Dominican Republic. We decided to ride horses on the beach in sweat pants might I add. Dave did not have a good time, and for the next 2 days he could not sit down or get in the water to get relief from the warm Caribbean air. We should have known that this was the start of a couple that likes to travel and rough it rather than take romantic vacations. We have both since learned how to ride.
8. Our time in Mui Ne Vietnam should have been the most romantic part of our trip.
A cabana on the beach, beautiful scenery and perfect weather. Well, I had terrible ulcers in my mouth and throat from my Doxycylin (malaria medication) and Dave had enjoyed too many Vietnamese Iced Teas in Saigon. On our way out of the city, we saw a man dragging a giant blog of ice on a burlap sack down the road, and right then, we knew that Dave was going to be in trouble. Sure enough, we was sick for 3 days. Neither of us could eat. Dave couldn't keep anything down, and I was way too sore to swallow. So we layed in our bed under the ceiling fan and prayed for relief to finally come.
10. Our Last 2 Days in Lima before flying out, we wanted to have a pamper me time after all our treks and adventures. We splurged on a nice hotel and even ate at Tony Roma's overlooking the water for lunch. After lunch I didn't even make it back to the hotel before I started vomiting. Diarrhea followed and we missed our last day of sightseeing as I puked and crapped all day and night. I can't even look at Tony Roma's ever again.