11 Reasons to Travel Now

I remember an engaged fraternity brother in college telling me he planned to break the bank for his honeymoon. “You have to do something memorable,” he said. “You only get one honeymoon.”

I lacked vision or inspiration to travel when I married. Thankfully, my wife doubles as a secret, unpaid travel agent with ambitions to out-explore Ferdinand Magellan. So we traveled. And traveled. And then traveled some more.

In fact, we took every opportunity to discover someplace new, from an Italian restaurant on the other side of town to Little Italy in NYC to the heart of Italy in Florence.

We have not regretted it once.

While I suppose we could be further down the road financially now, we have a plethora of memories together that serve as a foundation for our relationship.

If you can travel early in your marriage, do it.

What about starting a job? What about a college fund for our kids that do not exist yet? What about…

Fear is a natural response to granted permission. Pay attention to fear, but do not let it get in the way. Let fear lead you toward wisdom and new courage and new dreams.

Here are 11 reasons to travel together early in your marriage:

  • Getting away becomes more difficult once you have children. You don’t believe me? Share an itinerary for an extravagant trip with young parents. The look of envy on their faces while they dispose of dirty diapers will convince you.
  • Traveling creates new categories. We do not know what we do not know. Exploration into new places produces new pockets of space within us to understand new things—about ourselves, our spouse, God, and the world.
  • New experiences create windows into each other’s personalities that you would not otherwise see. How will your spouse respond to . . . determining which train to take when neither of you speak Polish? Or sleeping in 90+ degree heat with the windows shut to keep mosquitoes out in a room without AC on the Italian Riviera? Or how to respond when your luggage gets lost in Prague and he/she is forced to wear your biker shorts for a few days? (My wife learned much about me from all three debacles.)
  • Dream a new dream: New experiences inspire new desires. Traveling is about expanding yourself as much as seeing the world. You may return an artist. Your spouse may develop a passion to cook. Or the poverty of a place may break your collective heart and motivate you to spend your lives with a new mission.
  • Traveling will bring up conflict, and this will give you the chance to work through it together in a low-stakes setting. You will not be able to call your sister. Your spouse won’t be able to run back to his/her parents’ house to spend the night. It will be just the two of you with nothing but time to work out your competing desires. And that is a great opportunity.
  • Memories are best cemented and articulated through the five senses of smell, taste, touch, sound, and sight. Travel involves all five. An ocean breeze and suntan lotion. A pizza margarita. The smooth, wet skin of a dolphin. The splash of water against your gondola. A Broadway show. These memories will become foundation markers for the two of you to look back on and smile, laugh, and reminisce.
  • Learn to rest and heal together. Do you know the ways you and your spouse best rest together? Learn together. Sink your feet into the sand at the ocean’s edge. Listen to the water dancing over the rocks by a mountain stream. Or collapse onto the bed together after a 12 hour tour.
  • It is okay to be lost. With a map, a GPS, and even a husband, you cannot travel without losing your way at some point. This will not be the last time the two of you will be lost in marriage. Asking for directions on a Tokyo subway is not that different than asking for help on your marriage. Why not learn a certain level of healthy shame and helplessness in a cool foreign city?
  • All you need is love. Try to feel hungry while you sit with starving children. Try to dream about upgrading your home while you see a family of seven sharing a dirt-floored house where the living room is also the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Exposure to the world and balancing a travel budget will show you and your spouse that you need very little to live.
  • The world does not revolve around you. You are no longer the main character in the movie of life when you step into a foreign country. People rush off to work. Taxis maneuver through traffic and honk their horns. No one cares about your agenda. Life happens whether you are there or not. Such an experience will only help you and your spouse become more others-centered as a couple.
  • Adventure is a breeding ground for romance and intimacy. The routine of daily life can rock your marriage to sleep. Exploration of a new city or country may be the caffeine you need to see and appreciate your spouse in a new light.


Luke Brasel writes about relationships, intimacy, parenting, and Christian spirituality. He is passionate about the intersection of theology and the human heart. He has a counseling practice in Nashville, TN where he helps people follow their pain to understand their story and recover their heart. When he is not counseling, teaching, or writing, he is learning more about life and love from his wife and twin daughters. You can read his blog at lukebrasel.com/blog and follow him on Twitter.

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