There are so many compatibility questions to work out at the beginning of a promising relationship, aren’t there? Do you both want kids… Are your career goals aligned… Will you live in the city or the suburbs… Can you tolerate each others’ friends?
Here’s another one you don’t always think about: Do you travel well together?
On our first vacation after we started dating, my husband and I went on a road trip around New England. I was sooooo excited because road trips are my very favorite kind of holiday. For me, it’s all about getting in the car, taking the scenic route, getting out where the mood strikes, and doing whatever you feel like in that moment. So needless to say, the weeks before we left were tense as Phil planned every stop, every activity, and every meal.
I took control in little ways, where I could. One way was to make us sandwiches for the drive. I made my beloved Waldorf chicken salad sandwiches and we hit the road. After we crossed the American border, I gave Phil his sandwich but, lo and behold, his reaction was not what I expected. Instead of the anticipated delight at finding the tart, crunchy pieces of apple in his sandwich, he asked why I had to ruin a perfectly good sandwich by putting fruit in it. I ate the rest of them by myself.
I won’t pretend that vacation planning over the last 10 years has always been smooth-sailing, but I will say that we have both come a long way in learning to compromise and accept each others’ travel styles. As for chicken salad sandwiches, it was years before I made them again, but it turns out compromise was possible there too. This cranberry walnut chicken salad recipe makes us both happy. Cranberries satisfy my preference for a sweet and tart element without offending Phil’s… narrower(?) concept of chicken salad.