I always thought marriage was for other people. I lived blissfully through my teenage years thinking: it would never happen to me. Unfortunately, I had failed to include an important parameter in the grand scheme of things. LOVE. Even rational minds have found it hard to resist the charms of love. And when it strikes, I think it deliberately numbs the rational centres of your brain. Those of you who’ve been struck by it — will know what I mean.

The slow intoxication of the love drug will follow soon. You ditch your old monochrome ways for a promise of a life in technicolour. You start dreaming of choreographed dance sequences — with your eyes open. You realise the hidden meaning (if there’s one to be found) in those soppy love songs. And even the world seems like the perfect place to live in. That’s when you’ve reached a point of no return.

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Every marriage starts differently and looks uncannily similar after a few years. Obviously, the love drug comes with an expiry date and it’s hard to know when’s yours.

“Happiness [is] only real when shared”
― Jon Krakauer

Now, there are ways to escape the monotony. If you’re able to convince your significant other to become your travel partner (and still stay married somehow) — you’ve won half the battle. But what if you have a long holiday coming up and nowhere to go? Being cooped together isn’t a good idea — when everyone else is travelling to an exciting travel location.

Last October, we had to survive a 10-day staycation during Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Holidays). Fortunately, we live in Seoul and there’s still so much that we haven’t explored. Subways and intercity buses connect the city to hidden gems and historic places — eliminating the need to stay back. Not only did we survive our first staycation, we also repeated the same mantra over the next few weekends.

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo Coelho

Tomorrow is an important day for some. But if you’re like us, spending your time in a place you call home — don’t be disappointed. Let me play tour guide and take you through the steps of surviving a staycation wherever you are.

1. Test your balance on a mountain ridge.

Sereoksan National Park, South Korea.

2. Do what it takes to take that photo!

Sokcho Coast, South Korea.

3. Find art in the ordinary.

Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea.

4. Play local weatherman.

Andong, South Korea.

5. Watch the seasons turn.

Cheongpyeong, South Korea.

6. Leave a message to be found.

Andong, South Korea.

7. Visit a local museum.

National Folk Museum of Korea, Seoul.

8. Face your childhood fears.

Petite France, South Korea.

9. Discover a snippet of history.

Statue of General Gang Gamchan, Seoul.

10. Watch another sunset

Andong, South Korea.




Posted by:twobrownfeet

Writer-Photographer Duo. Now in Seoul.

26 replies on “How to Survive a Staycation with your Travel Partner

  1. Such a great post on what love is and staying together. Being together with someone can be so unpredictable. As you said, it starts off with you thinking that it may never hit you, until it hits you. Falling in love is one thing and staying together is another. The points you raised about surviving a staycation together and enjoying it. There is always some adventure around if you look close enough, and I really like the one about taking photos because well, you can take so many photos from so many different angles and different poses 🙂 Also if you can be bored together, well, then that’s also a good thing. You aren’t jumping down each other’s necks and can actually stay together 🙂

    1. Thanks a bunch, Mabel! You make a good point. Falling in love and staying together are totally different. I think, popular media and fairytales harp on falling in love. Indie cinema focuses on moving out — once the love fades. It’s an interesting perspective. Boredom and moments of extreme emotion are part of any relationship. It’s like an oscillating pendulum. 🙂 How long the steady state lasts decides the ultimate fate of a relationship. 🙂

      1. So true that boredom and extreme emotions are part of every relationship. Cannot agree more. There are good times and bad times and if two people can share both of them together, it is a very special thing. A steady relationship is about putting up with each other as much as it is about being individuals and sharing in and with each other 🙂

      2. I really liked your last line. It is so true! Not losing your individuality in a relationship isn’t easy. But most relationships that ‘click’ have managed to find the balance! Have a good week, Mabel!

  2. What a beautiful post on finding love and appreciating all those moments that make it so very special. You’ve summed it all up so wonderfully Cheryl with your words, photos and quotes. Just lovely ❤️ xo

    1. Thank you so much my dear friend. 🙂 Staycations are nightmares for seasoned travellers, especially if you’re married. The first few days weren’t great. There were long pauses of silence drowned by the loud noise of the TV. 🙂 And this was 2 months after our epic Mongolia trip. I’m glad we figured a way around it. We’re on another staycation (Lunar New Year Holidays). I think we’re getting better though. Sending you a big warm hug! xo

  3. Great post. I think you’re right about love, rationality doesn’t come into it. Love is something similar to a mental illness, definitely it’ll put a halt to any whispering strands of logic. At least, when love is strong, it should do. I feel like if you can out-logic love, then you may not be in it, or you’re certainly a better person than me. Great quotes as always. Getting the quot-a-ball rolling with Nietzsche… nice.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! ‘At least, when love is strong, it should do. I feel like if you can out-logic love, then you may not be in it’! You said it perfectly. I’ve always wondered if love and logic can co-exist. I doubt it’s ever possible. Maybe it’s the way we’re meant to be!
      I really appreciate your comment. Thanks so much!

  4. Staycations matter too! I call it being a Tourist at home! Not all of us can be forever on the move.

    You’re spot on about discovering the local history snippets, there’s always something to learn and it shaping the way we evolve our views about our homes is fascinating.

  5. Ahh, you should have included a hotel package in that staycation as well. I imagine that might make it more bearable for both of you…hehe 🙂

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