Back in early 2013 my then girlfriend and I went to Puerto Rico for our birthdays, which happened to be 7 days apart. The trip was fun and nice, with wonderful memories but it had potential to be absolutely AMAZING.
On this trip is where I channelled my inner Biggie Smalls and took this photo.
It was my first time off the mainland with my woman, and in hindsight there were a few things that I could’ve done better, but at the time I was unaware.
When you get into a relationship, you naturally take on the role of provider, protector and leader. A lot of young men aren’t aware of the magnitude of that responsibility until they truly experience it.
Being in a relationship requires trust, but traveling thousands of miles away with a partner says that she trusts you with her life. She trusts you to keep her out of harm’s way and keep you all from getting jammed up.
Having adventures with a person you love, specifically a significant other, is a spectacular event. When you vacation with your love, it’s usually time to and often solidifies the situation. The experience either Helps you grow and bond or tears you apart.
I didn’t have the knowledge that I do now almost two years later, but I wish I did. A smart man learns from his own mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
With that being said, here are some tips to traveling with your partner, as a grown ass man.
Firstly, you have to be able to lead and navigate. I remember when we landed in Puerto Rico and grabbed the rental car, I expected Google Maps to guide me as always, I was wrong as FUCK. We got lost briefly, but I kept my composure, had mouse (my ex) pull up the directions on my phone and co-pilot effectively while I used my wits and rusty Spanish to get us to the resort.
This wouldn’t have happened had I done my research and mapped it out, but I made the mistake of winging it. Listen fellas, if you’re leaving the mainland, don’t wing it, because it’s very easy to get jammed the fuck up. Also, always keep your composure. You never want anyone see you sweat, especially your lady.
We stopped at the mall on the way to the resort where Mouse bought me my iconic orange bucket hat that you all see ever so often. The resort was deep off into Puerto Rico, and we had to drive through the fucking favela to get there. I remember her squeezing my hand as we rode through and one of my fondest memories in life was pulling up to this and hearing “Mal you did it, you’re my hero.”
Do your homework. I can’t stress that enough, boys. Groupon, Yelp and Trip advisor are fucking PERFCECT for avid travelers. You can see cool activities, ratings and photos of the closest spots.
I remember we were supposed to go to this fly ass restaurant with dancing and a live band, but they were closed for all three days that we were there and didn’t open back up until Thursday.
Had I done my due diligence, I would’ve known that. We ended up going to another spot, having margaritas and eating mufungo (fly ass Puerto Rican dish, Google it) outside on the patio. It was cool because we were together, but it could’ve been much better.
Mouse and I.
Next, Be prepared for everything. My father always used to say “Boy, stay ready so you ain’t gotta get ready.” I remember we had plans to go to this amazing restaurant on site at the resort. We got all fly and dressed up, just to find out that there was a fucking wedding going on.
We then ride randomly through Puerto Rico looking for a nice spot to eat at, just to grab some local cuisine from a food truck, which was pretty good, but not what we wanted. That happened because I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t ask the concierge, I didn’t use Yelp, Google, nothing.
Once again, don’t wing it. This was back when I let my boldness outweigh my logic. Don’t be afraid to take risks and be bold but understand that you can get fucked up fast.
Finally, gentlemen.. You have to enjoy yourselves. One of my biggest regrets of this trip is not going to The rainforest because I thought we would return another time.
Please take advantage of every opportunity that you can afford. Don’t take anything for granted, because you could die the next day, you never know.
Swim with the Dolphins, run through the rain forests. Dance into the night. Have a story to tell. Have memories to share.
Put your fucking cell phone away unless you’re taking pictures, and take in the scenery around you. Appreciate the weather and the resort or whatever else.
Mouse on the Beach.
As black people, I don’t think we travel enough as a culture. I encourage you all to experience the world with your partner before you have children, because it will truly help you know yourselves. We were the youngest, most niggerish couple on the resort, and I’m proud of that.
We had a good time on this trip, but it could’ve been GREAT. I blame my lack of skill for that, but luckily you can get better on a daily basis.
I close with this:
We are all currently young and free. There’s only a matter of time before the responsibilities of life attempt to weigh us down and force us into mundane adulthood.
Don’t let that happen. Travel as much as you can, because growth comes with journey.
Fortune favors the BOLD.