Before we had kids, my husband and I could have easily taken a few vacations for ourselves. A week of leave here or a quick weekend trip there would have been simple to pull off because his training schedule didn’t include deployments and there were surely several places we could’ve gone while keeping within the budget. But we didn’t. We didn’t realize the freedom we had and we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.
If I had pushed for it, my husband would have had no problems putting some money down for a nice vacation for the two of us. I, however, do not like to spend large amounts of money and, back then, shelling out a few hundred dollars on a getaway hadn’t seemed worth it. Two kids later, I regret having been so frugal. Though we have taken vacations with the kids, including a trip to Disney World and several trips to visit family, it has been much more difficult to find the time and the means to get away as a couple. Demanding schedules, deployments, and moves have placed the much desired us-time on the back burner. I was starting to believe the idea of a couple’s vacation would remain only an idea for a very long time.
Recently, however, an opportunity arose. In early June my husband left for training in California and was expected to return sometime in July. I knew the kids and I would be visiting my family the first week of July and I began to consider whether I could possibly take a trip to California while the kids stayed with my parents. It was a great plan, but when I realized how much the plane ticket would cost I was disappointed. It was way more than I was willing to spend on what would be just a three-day trip. But my husband already knew what I struggle to remember. He knew that we had to take advantage of the situation while we had the chance.
He purchased the ticket for me so I wouldn’t have to experience the gut-wrenching feeling of charging such a large amount to the card. I’m so happy he did, because once the purchase was made my focus turned away from the cost of the trip towards the fact that I would actually be going on the trip. I was thrilled to finally be getting my long-awaited couple’s vacation.
While I was enjoying my time in California, I realized that sometimes it is okay to spend too much money. For the first time in years, I felt like I could let my hair down and completely relax. I didn’t have to worry about the kids, getting up at a particular time, or rushing through anything. Together, my husband and I let the days take us where we wanted rather than making specific plans to fill the time. We were even able to visit with some great friends who I hadn’t seen in four years. Though we may have had to dip into the bank account to make it happen, ultimately the time together and the ability to rediscover the “us” which gets lost in the everyday flow of life is priceless. And that is enough to make the cost totally worth it.