Tag Archives | couple

7 Questions with ‘As We Saw It’

In our continued quest in introduce you to some of the most interesting traveling couples, this week’s installment is one of the best.  Meet Dan and Linda of www.aswesawit.com.  This empty nester duo found freedom and a bucketload of adventure on the road.  Together they have visited over 40+ countries on five continents!  Best of all?  They met online!  They have been together  for over 14 year.  Congrats!

1)  Our fave post of yours is “The Day Ecuador Kicked Us Out”.  Give us the quick version.  How did you keep your cool?

She said: I kept reminding myself that they were only doing their job and that I’d never win, plus nothing could be accomplished by breaking into tears. Then we started brainstorming to figure out our options.

He said: Easy… I have a saying:  “It is what it is” and thus you just deal with the problem at hand.  I am an entrepreneur and a problem solver.  So once we figured out the situation, we made plans, proposed solutions to the authorities, won them over by our cooperation and ability to provide choices from a humble position and moved on.

 

Dan and Linda visiting the Sea of Galilee.

Dan and Linda visiting the Sea of Galilee.

2)  If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)

She Said: My mom. It’s a lifetime dream I’ll never accomplish. When I was younger I watched her enjoy a series of trips with her mother including a Scandinavian cruise and an opportunity to watch the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. Unfortunately, at 89 and in a wheelchair, she’s unable to travel as she’d like so she prefers to stay at home.

He Said:  That would be Yeshua the Messiah (known in the Christian world as Jesus) since He would be able to teleport us anywhere and save the long-haul flight time and bring an interesting perspective to people and cultures since he can see through the lies.

 

3)  Being empty nesters, how do you keep in contact with family and friends?  Is it tough to live the nomadic lifestyle? 

She said: All five of our children and Dan’s parents visited us when we were living in Panama. Email, Whatsapp, Facebook and Skype help us stay in touch. The toughest part is knowing that my mom is so far away and can’t visit. I miss her and it’s hard to keep in touch with her because she doesn’t have a computer or cell phone.

He said:  We use Skype and Facebook to keep in contact.  Our family follows us there and for the most part we are fairly independent.

 

4)  We know you two are huge foodies…. If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said:  My last meal would be a Middle-Eastern style meal in Jerusalem… Those meals can go on forever and the food never stops.

She said: Oh, that’s a hard question because I’m crazy about Greek salads and their massive hunks of feta cheese. On the other hand, I also adore hummus and could happily consume bowls of it with a spoon. So I sort of agree with Dan … except for one thing: It wouldn’t be in Jerusalem. There was a lovely Arab restaurant atop a rooftop in Yafo (Jaffa) that brought out 20 – no kidding, 20 – mezze dishes and a mega basket of laffa bread, before our entrées even arrived! And their lemonade was amazing.

 

As We Saw It visiting Jordan.

As We Saw It visiting Jordan.

5)  What is the great challenge as a couple and individual living and traveling abroad?

He said:  Traveling for any extended period can be a great task on a relationship as well as a great building experience depending on how you handle it.  No matter how close you are as a couple, you still are different people and must learn and adapt to those differences, either by helping your partner change their habits or changing yourself to accept the differences.

This goes back to one of our first long term trips through Europe and dealing with a travel difference that hit me in the face in Venice, dragging our suitcases over all those bridges. For me it was like I had to do everything and it just boiled over.  After the trip, I reflected on the experience.  At first I was mad at Linda for her travel style.  Everything she did seemed to rub me the wrong way.  As the time went on through that year, I kept on looking back at that trip and dreading the upcoming long-term trip.  Time has a way of revealing yourself in situations!

I realized that much of this was on me and thus I decided to make a conscientious decision NOT to get upset on the next trip and to be more patient and understanding with her travel style.  This decision was seriously put to the test after about a week into a 3 week trip when another business situation crept into sight.

We found out that we needed to go to Asia so we ended up on a 10-week trip while packed for a 3-week one.  The change in my mindset ended up with us having the best time ever and brought us, if possible, even closer as we thoroughly enjoyed our private pool time in our own villa in Bali, Indonesia.

So from that point forward, travel has still brought us closer together with each trip and the challenges they bring.

She said: Dan and I are wired differently. He can easily multitask whereas I get completely lost whenever I focus on more than one thing at a time. It’s been hard for him to understand and just as hard on me, trying to do something I’m unable to.

 

6)  If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said:  Religion.  I would eliminate it since religion is used to separate and kill one another.

She said: I’d teach people not to take offense and to let go of anger, envy, bitterness and resentment. None of those produce anything beneficial.

The traveling duo in Lisbon.

The traveling duo in Lisbon.

7)  You knew it was coming…. What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said:  Actually this is a very good question because I actually can’t find a “great fight,” travel or non-travel.  I’d have to say it would have to be in Richmond, Virginia, where for some reason which I can’t remember, I got mad and went off to photograph a building, then got separated from Linda and couldn’t find her.  So I just went on shooting around downtown Richmond.  Finally I thought this was totally stupid and we started texting to find each other.  To make it worse, Linda’s phone was dying and that added to the stupidity of the fight.

She said: I’d say it occurred during that first long trip we took together. Lugging a suitcase up and down stairs takes a lot more effort and time when you’re as short as I am. Dan kept coming back to help me with my baggage so we could keep moving. By the time we got to Venice’s many bridges Dan was so exasperated with my slowness that he finally blew up, “I am never going to travel with you again! From now on we are taking separate vacations!” Fortunately he changed his mind before we had another opportunity to travel.

1000Fights: Linda, we had the exact same fight!!!!  Who knew there were so many stairs in Venice?

A hearty thank you to Dan and Linda from As We Saw It.  What a great example of couples that make traveling work for them.  Thank you for taking the time to visit with us and our readers.  Happy travels!

4

Take a Kissing Tour!

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.– Ingrid Bergman

Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.— John Keats

This installment of our 7 questions series features none other than the kissing couple Tara & Mike Myers of the Kissing Tour.  Their self proclaimed mission is to live big and kiss often.  This wonderful motto comes alive on the Myers blog.  Lets get to know a little more about Tara and Mike:

Blog:  http://kissing-tour.com/

Twitter: @kissingtour

Facebook: Kissingtour

Instagram: Kissingtour

 

First off…tell us a little about the two of you. How did you meet? What inspired you to travel? How long have you been together? Do you travel full time? Do you have day jobs?

Tara and Mike Myers are a Las Vegas-turned-Chicago couple who donated 80 combined years of “stuff,” exited the mainstream and traded conventional comforts for what they call a “less-is-fabulous” lifestyle filled with love. They say they don’t know anything about tarot cards or tea leaves, but they do know the universe conspired to bring them together. They say they met in the most unusual way. They share a brain. Possibly a childhood. Definitely a heart. The kissers became “The Myers” on September 1, 2012, when they traded their own vows at the PrayerBook Cross in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. There were no guests, just a very special female Buddhist monk they met on Facebook and her student, who served as witness and photographer with Tara and Mike’s weather-beaten point-and-shoot camera.

Mike, 46, retired as fire chief from the City of Las Vegas in early 2013. Six months later, his wife Tara, 36, resigned her position as a national brand director in Chicago so they could spend every minute together. It would give them time to focus on their lifetime project – journaling their life one kiss at a time – at www.kissingtour.com.

Having both been divorced and consumed with distractions – big houses, big jobs, big negotiations, big wardrobes, big stress and big to-do lists – they learned countless important lessons. The most valuable? Live big, kiss often. That mantra has had such a profound, positive impact on them that they’re now inspiring others through the kisses they capture on their blog and Instagram account.

kissing in london

London Kissing!

It started on Capitol Hill. Couples posed rigidly. Tara and Mike kissed passionately. At the White House. The Washington Monument. The Smithsonian. People clapped. Giggled. Snapped away. Even a 7 year old. That night, they conceived www.kissingtour.com on a barstool. They vowed to journal their life one kiss at a time, and they have. From San Francisco to Sweden. From Paul Bunyan’s boot to the Papal apartment. From New Mexico’s fiestas to the Chicago Blackhawk’s victory parade. In 7 countries, 16 states…and counting.

When they’re not kissing, this inseparable, coffee drinking, vegetarian couple who loves to make homemade guacamole, can be found running, hiking, talking, reading, laughing, traveling and chatting it up with locals. They may be mistaken for wanderlusts, but they actually live a deliberate, albeit non-traditional, lifestyle so they can focus on what’s truly important to them. They have a lifelong strategic plan and live by 10 values (tattooed on their ribs, ouch!). They travel as often as possible. Sometimes that means a weekend road trip to Notre Dame in Indiana. Sometimes it means a three-month hiatus to travel 18,000 miles across 5 countries, 26 cities via 12 planes, 16 trains, 31 buses, 3 taxis, 8 host rides and 1 hitchhike.

People ask Tara and Mike how they stay in love. Onlookers cheer and encourage them to keep kissing. Most of all, they want to know if the kissers are writing a book. The kissers have decided to tell their love story, and they’re busily writing from their matching pink velvet chairs in their 450-square-foot Chicago apartment. Pink Chair, No Underwear is due out by summer.

1) We love your travel motto: Live Big, Kiss Often. Tell us why you chose this and what it means to you two.

Oddly enough, we never sat down and said, “We need to adopt a really catchy travel motto. Let’s strategize.” We just started saying it, signing off with it, and it’s stuck. People love it, and so do we. Our philosophy is exactly that, every single day, we live big (take every single possible opportunity to experience people and places, right down to chatting it up with the clerk at the grocery store) and kiss often (no explanation needed!)

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?

He Said: The Dalai Lama

She Said: A super hero with magical bug-zapping powers, because the world is big, and so are its bugs.

kiss castle

Kissing in Ireland

3) We have to ask…what has been the very best kiss? Where?

He said: Our very first kiss, on a perch overlooking Vegas. How did I react? I whispered, “I knew it.” And then last night’s…that was really good.

She said: Our very first kiss. We were sitting atop a picnic table watching the sun rise over Las Vegas’ mountains. It was a special spot because we learned that each of us had previously gone there to meditate and think quietly before we ever met. When we kissed, Mike said, “I knew it.” So did I.

With all this kissing talk, ever wondered if you are doing it right?  Click here for a quick Kissing lesson.

4) On your motivation page, you list the book Anthem as one of your inspirations (one of our faves!) Tell us what inspires you about this powerful book.

He said: The power of the human is in individuality, uniqueness, creativity. We appreciated the book because we’re creative and dynamic individually, but together the synergy, love and innovation is explosive.

She said: Very simply put, there is another way. Don’t be fooled.

5) We must ask…what is your secret? You two are obviously madly in love. How do you keep the fires burning.

He said: That is a long story. There is no secret. It’s about being with the perfect person. I don’t have to keep the fires burning. There is no manual stoking of the fire, it just burns ever brighter, ever longer.

She said: What he said. Exactly.

kissing in Las Vegas

Kissing on the Rocks!

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Indifference. It boggles my mind that most people go through life in a shoulder-shrugging passive state, hoping life will get better. They wait for the phone to ring…love to come…the weather to change.

She said: Gross over-consumption.

7) You knew it was coming…What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: It wasn’t between us. It was between us and the “Corpo della Gendarmeria” (The Vatican police). We thought we were in line to see the Sistene Chapel, so we waited for an hour in the rain. When it was our turn to enter things got a little hot under the guard’s collar, as he explained in Italian, which we don’t speak, that only one of us could go. So we bailed. Turns out, we weren’t in line to see the chapel, we were in line to see The Pope! If only one of us could go, neither of us would go. Take that “Corpo della Gendarmeria.”

She said: One of the most amazing, unbelievable things about us is that we are completely on the same page, about everything. Every single thing. We know it sounds ridiculous and stranger than fiction, but I actually spent serious time trying to answer this question. I can’t.

1000Fights:  ok, we think the fight response was a little on the weak side!  Thanks to Mike and Tara for being so much fun.  They are both an inspiration to us couple travelers.

5

I am a Menu Coward

Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?  

I have something to confess.  I am a recovering menu coward.  Luci and I are supposed to be the adventure couple travel gurus.  We are supposed to try anything, anywhere, from any roadside stand.  Sorry, I cant do it.   When we travel, I nervously scan the menu for words that remotely look like steak, chicken, pasta or better yet….have pizza in its name or description.

In order to understand my eating history…you must know where I come from.   I grew up in the rural western US.  Really good Pad Thai, balut, or even casu marzu were nowhere to be found.  Steak and potatoes were the plate de jour.  Right after high school all that was about to change.  I moved to Taiwan.  Food culture shock!  Thank heaven for fried rice or Chao Fan as the Taiwanese say.  I basically survived for three months eating one thing, and one thing only.  Then I slowly got brave.

Meat and potatoes

Meat and potatoes…the old standby.

One of the beauties of international travel is that it takes you outside your comfort zone in so many ways.  One of the biggest ways to get out of that zone is breaking our menu coward-ness.  There is so much delicious food out there!  In today’s flat world you could live on McDonald’s hamburgers and fries just about anywhere in the world you travel.

What follows is our 5 step program to overcoming menu cowardness.

Eat Breakfast

So often what halts us from trying something adventurous while we are traveling is that we are hungry!  After tramping around Rome all day, you are famished and frankly, you want something that you know that you are going to like.  This happens to us all the time.  Key is load up on a good breakfast.  Stateside, I am not a breakfast food eater.  If my mother in law is reading this….sorry.  I know, I know it is the most important meal of the day…ya.  Seriously, most nation’s breakfasts are the same.  Fruit?  Check.  Some form of cereal? Yep.  Bacon!  Need we say more.  Our advice to traveling couples is load up on breakfast.  If the hotel has a buffet.  Eat to full.  This allows you to have the energy to hit the tourist trail and not be weak at your “menu”  moment.

I will NOT have what she is having

One of the recommendations we make to traveling couples is seeking off the beaten path sites and eateries.  Many of these restaurants…the really good ones…. don’t have English menus.  In fact if a restaurant has an English menu, it is likely not frequented by the locals.  Another thing that Luci and I try to do is always order something different from each other.  This is a great way to cover more bases.  One of us is bound to get something that we like.  Sometimes this “sharing” disintegrates into a fight…but that’s just us.

macaron

Yummy macarons!

Hunt and Peck

One of our favorite pastimes in France is stopping at every boulangerie.  As we see the sites, we stop occasionally and buy a croissant or a pastry.  In Thailand, we would hit the fruit smoothie stands for a pick me up snack.  Eating a little throughout the day helps us to avoid the hunger blindness that can hit you late in the day.  That monster tells you it is ok to go get a burger.  Don’t surrender to the hunger.  Eat a little during the day.  Keep the blood sugar levels up.

Listen to Food & Travel Bloggers

One of the very best ways to overcome you fear of the unknown is to do what you are right now!  Read food and travel blogs.  Bloggers are great guinea pigs.  They know where to go to eat.  They know what to eat once you get there.  Case in point.  I had never had “real” goulash.  When we were in Budapest this past spring, I made it my mission that I was going to goulash.  I just put it out there onto twitter

 

Goulash

Goulash at Kadar’s

The Fighting Couple ‏@1000Fights

Calling all #Budapest #foodie‘s- where is the best goulash? #hungary

And within seconds…boom -we had an answer from @ConfusedJulia.  She told us what to eat at Kadar Resteraunt.  LOVED it! She even followed up with us to see if we liked it!

Julia ‏@ConfusedJulia

@1000Fights Awesome! So glad you went to Kadar – we loved the goulash there :)

Travel bloggers and foodies are a great sources of info and can help you make the right choice.  While you are eating breakfast with the free wifi, put it out there on twitter…what should I eat in #________.  Use the pound sign to cast your net a little wider to the world.  If in doubt…ask @ConfusedJulia!

Cheaters Always Win

Ok, you have followed our guidance from above.  You are in the right place.  Not a lick of English on the card.  Every word on the menu looks Greek…and you are in Poland.  What to do?   We always survey the room.  Pay attention to what the waiters are bringing out of the kitchen.  You can test drive a meal before buying.  Another strategy is to engage the waiter.  Ask a few questions, ask them to describe some of the dishes.  If you happen to be allergic to some food or ingredient… you must learn the words for those items in every language you may be eating in.  If all else fails…throw caution to the wind.  Order the Shiokara!

Ok..its your turn.  What do you do when you don’t understand the menu?

What is the craziest thing you have eaten?

Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.

12

We are giving away a Handmade Santa Fe Leather Journal!

This Giveaway Has Ended.

 

The giving season is upon us and the Fighting Couple is in the mood to give!  For all of you traveling couples (and solos) out there we have just the thing.  We are giving away a lovingly handmade, leather journal made by our fave journal artisan Jenni Bick.  (www.jennibick.com).   You may remember, we gave away a journal this past spring.  We have talked Jenni into letting us do it again!

We are giving away a Santa Fe Leather Journal!

leather diary

Mike capturing a few thoughts in Budapest

This is no ordinary journal.  This is a work of art.  Each one is one of a kind.  Made from the fine heavyweight paper to the soft leather cover, this is a must have.

Specifics on the Santa Fe journal:

  • Measures 5″ x 7″
  • 240 pages (120 leaves)
  • LINED pages in a crisp ivory laid finish
  • Leather colors will vary from buckskin tan to deep espresso brown.
  • Handcrafted on Martha’s Vineyard by Jenni Bick.

It is no secret that both Luci and I are journalists.  Not in the pencil behind the ear, newspaper sense, but in the personal “diary” sense of the word.  Both of us have kept journals for years.  Our blog is kind of an outgrowth of our journals.  We have found it a great way to track the ups and downs of life and bring back great material to FIGHT with!

Entering this giveaway is super simple.  Just three easy steps:

1) Give The Fighting Couple a like on Facebook (here).

2) Give Jenni Bick a Like on Facebook (here).

3) Leave us a comment in the comment section below and say:  Send me a Bick!

 

Easy huh?

 

Should you journal?  Yes!!!  The benefits of journaling are well documented:

Health benefits of Journaling  http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/000721

100 Benefits of Journaling  http://www.appleseeds.org/100_journaling.htm

It is rumored that even Mae West kept a diary!

 

The fine print (sorry, we don’t look good in stripes):

1) To enter, you must be a resident of USA or Canada.  (Sorry Uzbekistan, catch you next time?)

2) Void where prohibited.  (Void is such a weird word…..Void.)

3)  Just so you know, Jenni Bick was kind enough to provide a journal for us to review, and one for us to give away to one of our fabulous readers.  Does this affect our love of our journal?  Nope.  Not one bit. Never.  Ever.

4) Contest rules are subject to change.  (Unless Luci changes her mind….which NEVER happens.)

5)  Contest ends on December 8, 2013 at midnight MST.  (All good things must come to an end.)

5.5)  18 years old and above only to win.  (This is the most fun adults get to have…no kids allowed!)

6)  We will then pick a winner via random.org.  (There are no rules against crossing your fingers.)

106

Adventure in a Sri Lanka Taxi

I had always wanted to go to Sri Lanka after sharing a flat with a Sri Lankan friend through uni. I convinced my partner (now husband) to go and after a bit if investigation we found a site where a driver took you around the island for 3 weeks, with accommodation included. It was ridiculously reasonable so we thought why not.

buddha Shrine

buddha Shrine

Our taxi driver, Mr de Silva (never once did we get to know his first name) was an interesting driver and person. He arrived to pick us up on 2 crutches – he had just been discharged from hospital after having broken his back and being in hospital for 6 months. Interesting start. Then it got even more fascinating.

He told us that he was a devout Buddhist and did not drink yet he stopped at every shrine, temple, and church (regardless of denomination) along the way, for the entire 3 weeks. He blessed himself and said a prayer every time. It didn’t take us very long to figure out that this was a very very good thing, as he was the most erratic driver we have ever seen.

He favoured pavements and going up wrong way streets. He liked to take on trains and to cross right in front of them. The best and most intriguing though, was his afternoon driving. It took us a few days to figure out what was happening. At about 2 ‘clock he stuck his foot down and gunned it, stopped at the next village and told us to go for a walk. It got the better of us and we followed him. He was going to the ‘turf accountant’.

We didn’t say anything for a couple of weeks, because we really liked him despite of, or because of his quirkiness, but we just followed him at times to make sure, and always he was off to the turf accountants. Eventually we asked him about this. He stopped his car. Told us to get out. We thought he was going to leave us stranded, but he walked around to the boot and got out a bottle of absinthe, poured some shot(s) and told us that he was placing bets on English horse races. An interesting take on devout Buddhism.

Another time we were wandering around a very small town and he had said he would be about an hour, but it wasn’t the afternoon. Then next thing we see him in a barber shop getting his hair dyed. He saw us, we bolted and it was never ever mentioned.

Sri Lanka Feast

Sri Lanka Feast

Despite all of his erratic and strange ways he was very good to us always. We met some people in Kandy and got into a discussion on which were the better wines, Australian or America. So we started sampling them both, bottle after bottle. Mr de Silva hovered like a mother hen and at times came up and said it was time to go. But we didn’t. I think it was when the bar had run out of all wines that we finally left. We were in so much trouble the next day, and nor were we very well. He gave us the cool treatment just like my mother used to do. Sorry, still does.

But we did make friends again. He invited us to his house to meet his family at the end of the trip in Colombo. They laid on a massive feast and then they left and ate in the kitchen. It was so dreadful, I hated it. I wanted them to eat with us and we asked them to, but apparently that was not the way.

So Mr de Silva was the most dreadful and erratic driver who drank and gambled despite his polytheistic beliefs and it was a sheer pleasure to have a holiday with him. And his hair didn’t look too bad either.

 

Guest post from our friends http://www.contentedt​raveller.c​om

Gordon and Paula have been travelling ever since they met 10 years ago, and for some unknown reason are contented traveller(s). Gordon forgot the ‘s’. They represent the baby boomer/ empty nesters who are fit, free and financial. They can and do (m)any things. Their site arose from their love of travel and unusual adventures, but also, and most importantly their ability to embrace serendipity.

 

 

 

 

4

Croatia for Couples

Croatia is quickly becoming one of the top pics for couple travel. Croatia offers a sun drenched coast line dotted with over 1,000 islands, lush forests complete with waterfalls, and vibrant historical cities.

Croatia is appealing to couples on a number of levels: its water playground aka the Adriatic, its breathtaking national parks, and its rich history as the crossroads of the Mediterranean. We will return to Croatia– that is certain.

We are going to share with you three must sees for any traveling couple. For those of you who are keen to check out Croatia first hand, there are more than enough holiday operators out there that would can help you with this such as, First Choice, Travelsupermarket and Thomas Cook to name a few. Let’s begin our adventure following the sounds of falling waters.

A Paradise Called Plitvice

The crown jewel within the national park system in Croatia is hands down Plitvice Lakes National Park.   It offers the perfect couple travel adventure.  It also scores a place in UNESCO World Heritage list as well as our hearts. Plitvice is unlike anywhere we have ever visited. The entire area is strikingly beautiful.  Plitvice lakes are a collection of limestone lakes connected by streams and waterfalls. Small paths meander through the small ponds and lakes giving a feeling of walking on water.

waterfall

The waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes

Visiting the area is a must for any visit to northern Croatia. You could easily get a feel for the lakes in a day. A stay of 3 days will allow you to take the longer hikes into some of the more remote sections which present unspeakable beauty and adventure. The rock formations and crystal clear water make for wonderful hues of blues, greens and turquoise. Wildlife is also abundant in the park. Due to the clarity of the water, all kinds of aquatic life are on full display. The park also offers views of birds, insects and all kinds of flora and fauna. We will let the pictures do the talking.

Croatia waterfall

The water colors of Plitvice Lakes.

ocean view hotel room

The view from our room on Rab Island.

Sun Soaking on Rab Island

Here’s a little hint to cost conscious couple travelers: the same sun, sand and surf you pay mega Euros for washes Croatia’s beaches at half the price! Its like paradise is on sale everyday! As we mentioned above, Croatia offers 1,185 islands, there must be one that fits your fancy? We chose the Isle of Rab for our sun seeking. The little island did not disappoint. Getting to Rab is half the adventure. Located half way between Pula and Split is this wonderful undiscovered gem. You must take a car ferry from the mainland port of Jablanac. It sails every half an hour or so, but check the sailing schedule in advance.

Rab offers a number of great little resorts that offer amenities that you would expect at any seaside stop. Fortunately, for the time being, none of the big chains have moved in, so you have a lovely selection of independent resort options. Time slows on the island. There are a number of beaches offering selections of sand or stone, secluded or swarming, as well as “clothing optional.” We didn’t go to one of the latter. Food options on the island are also surprisingly good. The main city is also called Rab and sports a number of good seafood options.

You should be able to rent a boat and motor around the island. This was our plan before visiting the island. We had everything arranged, then when we showed up to rent our boat, they had “lost” our reservation. We were bummed out. Just a reminder to check and double check reservations. If you do rent a boat, zing us the pictures, we want to know what we missed.

Do you ever have a couple travel question?  You can “Ask us Anything!”

Historic Pula

If you follow the Fighting Couple, you must know that we are students of history. One of our favorite spots to take in a collage of history is Pula, Croatia. Located on a seaside perch in the northeast corner of the country, Pula offers couple travelers with an eye to history a full plate!

roman colosseum

The Roman Arena of Pula.

A little background on Pula. It has been a resort community and important trading port literally since Neanderthal times! Early evidence of historic human like creatures has been found in nearby caves dating from nearly a million years ago. The area has yielded up many important artifacts from the Bronze age. In more recent times, the area has been ruled a chessboard of potentates: Romans, Germans, Byzantines, Charlemage, the Republic of Venice, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoleon, the Hapsburgs, Fascist Italy, the Americans (for a short time after WWII), Yugoslavia and then today’s government, the Republic of Croatia. Wow! Each one of these rulers left their mark on this city of 60,000. We challenge you to play historical bingo, attempt to find remnants of each of these in Pula. Good luck!

The highlight for our visit to Pula was the coliseum or as the locals call it the arena. It is one of six surviving roman coliseums in the world. Candidly, we like it better than its baby brother in Rome. One interesting fact, Mussolini attempted to dismantle the arena a move it to Italy. His plan fizzled due to lack of funds. We strongly recommend a visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid the hordes of “bus-people” that fill the stadium. We timed our visit and had the entire place nearly to ourselves. There is a small fee for entry, and an interesting museum underneath the seats that includes Roman era pottery.

So Much More

Anyone that is familiar with the country is likely screaming at their screen right now. They are cussing at us for leaving off places like: Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, and Zagreb. Sorry! We just haven’t made it that far south yet in our travels.  Croatia is a wonderful adventure for couple travel for sure.

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Seven Questions: What is an AngloItalian?

In this installment of our Seven Questions series we want to introduce you to a new traveling couple species: An Angloitalian.  Dale & Franca combine to make a traveling couple that are always up for an adventure!

Blog:  AngloItalian

twitter:  @AI_FollowUs

Facebook: angloitalian

Google +: Angloitalian

1) What in the world is an Angloitalian?

Angloitalian is a word that originates from one of our first dates. On the second time we met up we decided that we’d walk around the town we were living to take some night time shots of our surroundings and each other. Inject some tomfoolery, some timed multi-shot laughs and a Facebook photo album the day after named ”The Anglo-Italian Connection Photo Session” and you’ve the origins of a cute name we thought identified not just that night, but our origins from different countries and the idea that great things can happen when you travel to see things and meet people.

traveling couple

The Traveling AngloItalian

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?)

He Said: One running joke we have between us is my sarcastic ‘interest’ in the great Italian historical of Garibaldi.

During our few trips to Italy it’s always been fun to note just how many streets and statues in Italy are dedicated to this man who’s (after uniting Italy) actually had quite a shady past.  I’d love to have been around Garibaldi to see the man as he really was, not as he’s remembered.

She Said: I needed to think a little bit about this question, but I’ve finally come out with an answer.

I’d love to spend some time with Anish Kapoor to get to know him better and what a better occasion if not a trip. I absolutely love his work and I’d love to see other sides of his personality. It could turn into a disaster and that he turned out to not be the man I imagined him to be but I could say that at least I tried it and seen the day-to-day life as an international artist.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: During the beginning of October of this year we spent a week with some fantastic friends in Slovenia who across a number of days took us on road trips all over the country showing us just how much there is to see and do in a country full of fantastic countryside, magnificent ski slopes and cities full of magnificent culinary delights.

She said: It’s such a difficult question to answer, every place I’ve visited has something special to be remembered for. If I have to choose I’d probably say Japan because is such a unique country in many ways. Its culture and lifestyle are very different to any of the ones I know of. The food is probably the best in my opinion too, I’d love to go back there one day.

 1000Fights: Do you LOVE couple travel?  Want to be featured in our 7 questions?  Just get in touch with us (here).

4)  One of our fave parts of your blog is your quest to capture interesting designs from around the globe.  Could you share with us your fave?

He said: We love to highlight all kinds of design from coffee shops to local trinkets and some items of clothing but by far I think the one we love the most are the Pandism tshirts from Bangkok, Thailand.

She said: I loved a small and cozy coffee shop in Bangkok that we went to called ‘Gallery Drip Coffee’. The interior design is simple, very nice and goes perfectly with their mission which is all about serving the best coffee by looking after every detail from the preparation to the serving.

Traveling couple

5)  How do you guys stay on budget so well? We are very impressed!

He said: I think it’s purely built out of the fear of running out of cash and finding ourselves stranded somewhere!

She said: We simply choose what to do carefully and skip all the activities that are ‘not necessary’ for us, in this way we can spend more on what we love like visiting art exhibitions or similar events and places.   We also try to live more like locals instead of eating and staying in touristic places, couchsurfing helped a lot for sure!

 6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: This is a tough one to answer as unfortunately there are many problems in the world that need solving.

She said: I agree with Dale, it’s hard to choose only one. I’d definitely love to save the animals in danger to make sure they can survive and live in their natural habit without human disturbance.

 

traveling couple

The angloItalians…always looking for the next adventure.

 7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

He said: We won’t lie and say that we never fight, but we fall out all the time, generally over silly things so those moments don’t last all that long; but there was one moment near the beginning of our travels where we both got pretty darn angry with each other.

She said: It was during the first week or two of our travels and we were in Rome. What happened was that we were wondering around the city and whilst we just like to wonder without knowing where we’re headed, there are moments when knowing where we’re headed on a map is pretty handy, trouble is, Dale’s sense of direction and knowing where he is pretty amazing and before he’s looked at a map he knows where he is and where we’re headed, so when he wasn’t showing me the map to point where we were headed I got pretty cross.

It was such a silly thing but I like to know where I’m headed, it takes me a little while to figure it all on the map but I liked to know at that point. To cut a long story short, I got angry because I didn’t know where we were headed, Dale got angry because he was annoyed that I might doubt him.

Fast forward a year and I’m so glad that Dale is so good with the map that I tend to never look as it’s completely unnecessary. We can wonder anywhere and I know he’ll know the way to get back somewhere else and it’s actually enhanced our ability to wonder around the ‘off the beaten path’ places because I know he’ll get us back with ease.

Again, it’s only a silly thing, but at the time it felt like all out war. All couples will fight and those who say they don’t are lying. Spending every hour of every day month after month can be stressful, it’s how you learn to work with it that makes the relationship stronger in our eyes.

1000Fights: Wow!  AngloItalian thanks for sharing your story with us!  You can tell that they have a ton of spunk!  Give their blog (AngloItaliana follow!

 

 

 

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5

Best places to Kiss in Venice

Thy sun-illumined spires, thy crown and crest!
White phantom city, whose untrodden streets
Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting
Shadows of palaces and strips of sky;

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Venice”

For traveling couples, visiting Venice, Italy is a dream come true.   There are few places that rival the magic that Venice works on lovers.  You have your tickets purchased.  Now what?  How can you make your visit to the City of Bridges match your romantic expectations?  The Fighting Couple is ready and here to help.  The following our some of our best couple travel ideas for your Venice adventure.

Gondola Driver in Venice

Gondola Driver in Venice

Venice Gondola ride

Ok…lets get the easy one out of the way.  As you likely know, the Fighting Couple hates spending money on really touristy type things.  Couple travel is expensive!  Taking a gondola ride in Venice is just that.   With that said…shell out the Euros and take your sweetie on a ride.  (The official cost for a 40-minute gondola ride is €80 and €100 after 7pm).   It’s just money.  Isn’t your lover worth it?  You don’t need a reservation.  Just show up, agree on price and time you want, and bon voyage!

La Fenice Opera House, Venice, Italy

La Fenice Opera House, Venice, Italy

La Fenice during Intermission

Located in the heart of Venice is the wonderful Fenice Opera House.  The Fenice or Phoenix is appropriately named, it has been built and burnt down twice.  Today’s version is a result of a 90 million euro renovation.  It is stunning.  Enjoy the first two acts of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.  Take your lover by the hand, look into each other’s eyes and capture a kiss.  (Don’t wait till the opera ends….it doesn’t end well.  Sorry to ruin it.)  Tickets and info: www.teatrolafenice.it/site/index.php

Slow Dance on St. Mark’s Square at sunset

This one is our fave!  The square is lined by restaurants that waft their culinary delights into the salty air.  The lights dim.  The notes of a lonely accordion linger in the distance.  The perfect recipe for love!

If you need some advice on how to kiss…please read our instructions:  How to Kiss Correctly.

Find a lonely alley in the Dorsoduro district-

Next to the Grand Canal is a wonderful section of Venice, the Dorsoduro district.  There are a number of meandering alleys with wonderful shops and coffee stands.  Spend a warm afternoon going from shop to shop.  Take your camera as there are some wonderful mansions and Palazzos to take in.  This area of Venice is often called the “real” Venice.  It is home to the Galleria Dell’ Academia and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.  Both of these sites are must sees for anyone venturing to Venice.

Stroll across the Rialto Bridge

Find your own Casanova and then follow the original Casanova’s footsteps across the Rialto Bridge.  The Bridge is one of the most recognizable icons of the water city.  Climb to the apex and watch the boats below.   It can be a bit crowded at times, it is best to get your pictures early.

St. Mark's Bell tower

St. Mark’s Bell tower

St Mark’s Campanile Bell Tower

One of the best ways to take in the grand city is atop the bell tower of St. Marks.  Perched  99 metres above the square, you can look over the red roofs of the entire city.  Pull you lover close as the cool ocean breezes tussle your hair.  The views offered from the top are truly breathtaking.  Taking the stairs will help you burn off some of that wonderful Italian gelato.  For more info on St. Marks.

Italian Food

A yummy creation at Harry’s. Venice, Italy

Harry’s Dolci

Are you looking for a romantic restaurant away from the hustle and bustle?  We have the perfect place for you and you sweet heart.  Take the water bus across the bay to the Hilton.  Turn left after walking off the boat and head to Harry’s Dolci.  This is a Fighting Couple’s fave haunt.  The last time we were in Venice we went there twice for dinner!  What to order you ask?  If it’s on the menu, it is going to be good.  Don’t miss their bruschetta.  YUM!  Of course eating is the second best thing you can do with your lips at Harry’s.  It’s Amore!

Ok, now go and book your tickets to Venice.  Pack your Brics Luggage, don’t forget to include a warm sweater.  Then follow our simple recipe for making the perfect romantic visit to Venice!  Send us your pictures!

Did we miss your favorite place in Venice?  Sorry.  Shoot us a quick comment below.  Enjoy Venice!

 

 

 

 

8

7 Couple Travel Profiles: Which One Are You?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news…

But stereotypes do exist, especially in travelers.

After spending nine months in South East Asia and a year in Central and South America, I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I were approached with this scenario:

  • Stranger: So are you guys [Australian/Canadian/British]?
  • Us: No.  We’re from the United States.
  • Stranger: Oh, cause most the Americans I meet are [overweight, rude, or only travel on the tourist trail].

Ouch, right?

But the good news is…

During my time abroad I met and saw countless couples (some cool and some not) who all seemed to fit a profile.

Now, this is just my opinion and I understand not everyone fits into a mold.  So, I’m happy for you to let me know if I hit the mark or totally missed in the comments below.

But first, let’s take a look at these seven traveling couple profiles…

Budget Backpacker Couple

These couples know how to stretch their pennies (not just dollars) as far as their money will take them.  They chose inexpensive travel destinations (such as South East Asia and Central America) and scavenge for the cheapest accommodations: hostels, guest houses, camping, or couches (e.g. couchsurfing.org).  Heck, even the really smart budget backpackers book overnight flights and buses so they don’t have to pay for accommodations at all!  Budget couples aren’t afraid to haggle or eat street food daily.

Adventurous (Get Me Off This Tourist-Trail) Couple

These couples avoid overly tourist destinations and activities (such as big European cities, resort beach towns, or bus tours) at all costs and wouldn’t be caught dead on a cruise.  They’re in search of the new, undiscovered destination that only the “cool” people know about (The Beach, anyone?).  Adventurous couples love the great outdoors and solitude.

couple nepal

Are you an adventurous couple?

Honeymoon Couple

Whether they’re on a honeymoon, still in the honeymoon phase, or just met a few hours ago at the bar, honeymoon couples have no problem showing public displays of affection like holding hands or stealing a kiss.  While it can be cute and acceptable in some areas such as the Americas, in Asia and Africa body contact is offensive.

Honeymoon couple boat

Are you a lovey honeymoon couple?

Long-term (We’ve Seen It All) Couple

There’s no shortage of seasoned couple travelers.  They have a level of maturity, experience and confidence in who they are (individually and as a couple) and where they’re going.  Why?  Because they’ve been around the block and have learned some hard lessons along the way.  These couples always dress appropriately for the country and situation,  are fluent with the necessary words to get by, and never seem to get lost.

Elderly (but Still Kicking) Couple

Perhaps one of my favorite traveling couples is the elderly who love to strike up a conversation with anyone willing to chat and always have smiles on their faces, even when the going gets rough.  Life’s too short after all.  These couples are in no rush and appreciate the smaller things such as a beautiful sunset, manicured garden or warm handshake.  While normally fugal, they splurge on the good stuff and often ties buy a younger traveler a meal or beer.

Are you a baby boomer traveling couple?

Are you a baby boomer traveling couple?

Green (Keep the Peace) Couple

These couples are on a mission to educate the world on recycling water bottles (a big problem with traveling), minimize waste, and volunteer to give back to local communities.  Whether they’re on a church mission, working for a Non-Government Organization (NGO) or volunteering at an elephant zoo in Thailand, they want to make a different and minimize their global footprint while encouraging others to do the same along the way.

Are you a "green" couple traveler?

Are you a “green” couple traveler?

Luxury Couple

We see celebrities on their yachts in Nice, beach lounging in Rio, and smoking cigars in Cuba (Jay-Z and Beyonce, anyone?), but there’s also less famous jet-setting couples that don’t make the magazines but still know how to travel in luxury.  They have money to burn and know how to party, but probably couldn’t survive one day on the streets of India or use a public WC in Europe.  These couples travel in comfort being shuttled around in first-class cabins and limos.

 So, how does this list of couples compare to the real travelers you’ve met on the road?  Let us know in the comments below.  Thanks!

 

About the author: Darcie Connell is the founder of Trekity – a daily newsletter and website inspiring women to travel.  She most closely relates to the Budget Backpacker, Adventurous, and Long-term traveler…  but is well on her way to the elderly.  Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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