I’m writing this post from a ryokan (an inn) in Japan after a long day of sightseeing that involved getting a glimpse of Mount Fuji with my favorite person. Mr. Rocque and I are on our long awaited honeymoon to Japan, which we delayed for six months post-wedding so that we could recoup and prepare for this ambitious trip. We landed in Tokyo the day before my birthday and on my actual born day, we roved the streets of Harajuku and Shibuya. At this point, midway through our trip, we’re on the countryside, in Hakone, with some downtime before we complete our journey in Kyoto, Osaka and back to Tokyo. I’m grateful that I can cross this trip off my bucket list but also learn more about myself and my marriage. Here are six lessons I’ve learned from my honeymoon thus us far.
Mr. Rocque Knows How to Show and Prove
I’ve known the hubs long enough to have a good sense of his character, but sometimes stressful situations can show people’s true colors, even when you thought you knew them. We flew into New York the night before catching our afternoon flight to Tokyo not expecting the TSA to break my suitcase–which is exactly what they did. I had an interview for a TV spot at 9:30 am and we had to be at the airport no later than 11:30 am to catch our 1:25 pm flight (JFK is the absolute worst with checking people in), so I freaked out–sad because they broke my trusty, beloved suitcase but also wondering how the heck was I going to get a reliable replacement in time. Mr. Rocque sprung into action. He found out that The Container Store (one of our favorite places) opened at 9 am so he ordered the bag online for in store pick up, arrived at the store in person so early that he interrupted their morning staff meeting, the bag and made it back to where we were staying just as the interview wrapped. My new suitcase isnt as aesthetically fly as my older one but it’s amazingly functional and actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I was able to cut down on the amount of baggage I was taking on the trip with me.
Experiencing Culture Shock Together is a Bonding Experience
The minute we boarded the plane, we knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore, as the saying goes. It got worse when we landed. Almost no one speaks English and the people that do speak very little. We obviously speak no Japanese but we’ve been managing due to teamwork. Sometimes it takes two minds to figure out someone’s hand gestures or a janky map, which we saw plenty of while in Tokyo.
Every Couple Should Take at Least One Trip Out of Their Comfort Zone
Prior to this trip we had always gone to either to Caribbean countries or to Latin American places since I speak and understand enough Spanish to get by, so getting lost was never a struggle. It’s a different story in Japan but it’s not scary. Being unfamiliar with culture or terrain a yields a better understanding and appreciation for the place you’re visiting and the person you’re with because you can rely on each other for comfort or for sharing inside jokes about zany characters you may encounter.
I Need to Work on my ‘Snippyness’
I can be impatient and snippy with people a lot more than I care to admit. I’ve known this for years and have been working on it but I noticed that I’ve been a lot more snippy with Mr. Rocque in Japan than ive ever been. I’m anxious because I’m not in a familiar place and it has shown during moments where I’ve snapped at him while navigating a map, street or trying to figure out what someone is attempting to say when trying to explain what route we should follow when looking for a specific place. I’m also a lot faster at picking up key words in conversations with the Japanese, which drives me crazy because I feel like I can’t fall back on hubby in this regard, so it puts me on edge. I’ve felt awful for being crabby and I don’t like that it hurts Mr. Rocque’s feelings and that I keep apologizing for the same thing, so I will do better.
We Can Make a Home From Anywhere
This ryokan is ok, but its not the chic, modern digs we stayed in while in Tokyo. We’re currently sleeping on the floor, on mats that aren’t comfortable, yet I still feel cozy and safe, and it’s definitely because we’re here together.
Have you ever traveled with your partner? What did you learn from your experiences?
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.