Mia Goes M.I.A: How to survive a trip with your significant other

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You hear it a million times over; “traveling with your significant other will make or break your relationship.” Well I know I heard it a million times, hence why I was petrified when my partners and I recently took our first trip together to Mexico earlier this year. Was this trip going to break us? Were we going to fall apart traveling together? Would this be the end to our lovey dovey romance?

Sure, traveling together can be a challenge especially in newer relationships. I mean a recent study showed that almost 23% of Canadians are willing to throw in the towel if they aren’t on the same page as their partner when it comes to travel habits. How crazy is that??? Poor planning can lead to arguments, disagreeing on excursions can lead to arguments, basically there are so many things that can lead to a darn argument.

However, somehow, not only did we survive our first trip together as a couple but we grew stronger from it. We communicated and connected in a way I never thought possible. Since our trip we moved in together and are planning our next big vacation. Our trip did effect our relationship, but only in the sense it made me confident in it.

This trip topped all expectations. We swam with Whale Sharks, Paddle boarded in the Ocean, road ATV’s into the sunset. It was truly unforgettable, and now I am here to help you make sure your trip with your partner doesn’t break but rather strengthens the relationship.

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Choose a Destination you are both interested in

When we were looking at places to visit, we both thought Mexico for New Year’s would be an easy destination, the only problem, we had both been to Mexico so many times. He wasn’t interested in going back to the Mayan Rivera while I couldn’t handle another trip to Cancun. We decided to try somewhere neither one of us had been before, Los Cabos.

It was amazing to be able to experience this brand new location together. We had a chance to make this trip our own and explore new adventures, beaches, and restaurants as a couple.

It is important to pick a destination that both partners want to see so that neither one of you feel you are making a compromise from the get go, and that you can be excited to cross something off the bucket list together.

Plan to avoid Misunderstandings

If both you and your partner are on the same page, then you can easily avoid arguments. For example, I like a lot of adventure, while my boyfriend likes quiet down time. Before even leaving for our trip we came up with some excursions we wanted to do together, but also made sure there was time for us to lay by the pool.

If you are both on the same page before you even step foot on the plane, train, or automobile, then you know what each other expects and have a game plan to make sure the trip is smooth sailing.

Budget

This one can always be a little tricky, especially for your first trip together, but budgeting is important. My boyfriend makes more money than I do therefore it was important to set a budget that I was comfortable with. We didn’t fly direct to save some money on getting there, and we left the whale shark excursion out because it would be too much for me (he later surprised me for my birthday and it was magical). At no point did I feel any pressure to live outside of my means which was really important to make sure I could have a relaxing and fun getaway.

It is important that you set a budget so that you are both comfortable during the vacation. If one partner earns a lot more than the other, and insists on staying in a fancier hotel, or doing an activity the other cannot afford, then it should be their responsibility to cover those extra costs. Whether we like it or not money is always going to be a concern in any relationship so it is important to address this ahead of your vacation together.

Going beyond just an overall trip budget, try and set a daily budget that both parties are comfortable with so that money doesn’t have to be a concern on the trip.

Try it first

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Our first trip together was a 5 day all-inclusive to Mexico. It was the perfect amount of time to spend on our first trip without going crazy spending every second together. Basically what I am saying is dip your toes in before you jump. Let your first trip together be a weekend or a week, not a 2-week getaway. That was you can get used to each other’s travel patterns.

Try New Things

A first trip together is exciting as is, but if you get to try something neither one of you have done before, that is a true memory you can hold on to forever. My partner and I actually tried a few new things together, like RZR tours and swimming with whale sharks. We have these incredible memories that we get to share with friends and family, but also with ourselves.

Trying new things together helps strengthen the relationship. If you are scared, at least you have your partners by your side. If you don’t think you can do it, you have encouragement of someone else. You get to be each other’s rock, and that will only help your relationship long after the trip ends.

Plan some alone time

I know that my partner likes some quiet time, while I can be a little loud. It was important for us to make sure we each had some time to unwind without the other breathing down our neck. I wasn’t offended when he asked if he could take a nap alone, I just worked on my tan by the pool.

If you aren’t used to a lot of time together, you need to ease into this process or else it can be overwhelming. Also if you have interests that you don’t share, don’t be afraid to do an activity on your own. You may regret it and actually resent your partner if you miss out on an opportunity.

Compromise

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I know I just said make sure you do everything you want to do, but the truth is, this trip is about the two of you. If one partner loves water activities and the other loves hiking, make sure you are coming to a compromise to make sure both of you get to do something you enjoy.

For example, my partner really wanted to visit the Arch in Cabo and I really wanted to try an outdoor activity, instead of taking a boat like he had wanted, we went by paddle boards. We both made slight compromises but at the end of the day we both got to see what we wanted and we got to do it together.

I am excited to say not only did we survive our first trip together, but we have endless adventures coming up this summer including a 2- week vacation to Greece. If you are willing to work together as a team, be there for one another, but also listen and understand when a partner needs space I know you can survive your fist trip together.

I promise traveling together isn’t the doom and gloom some people make it out to be. For us it was sunshine and butterflies (cheesy I know).

I would love for you to share some travel tips of your own when it comes to traveling with your partner for the first time! Make sure to leave a comment below,

xo

Mia

Mia Goes M.I.A: Swimming with Whale Sharks

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Background 

It had always been a dream of mine to swim with sharks. I had always been addicted to shark week and fascinated by these amazing creatures. Never in a million years however did I think I would get an opportunity as unique as the one I got for my birthday this year.

I had a chance to celebrate the big 2-8 I got the surprise of a life time while in Cabo San Lucas. I was told I was going to go swimming with sharks, but not just any sharks, whale sharks.

The whale shark is a slow moving filter feeding carpet shark and basically the largest known fish species in the world. So large that the largest confirmed whale shark is a whooping 41.5ft long.

From early winter until late spring a large number of teenage whale sharks can be found feeding in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez in the Bay of La Paz. It was the perfect time of year to have a date with these gentle sea giants.

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The Experience 

The full day excursion started with a two-hour bus ride from Las Cabos to La Paz. Once there, our group was split into a smaller size and headed out to see. You travel in a small group because too many people in the water at once can scare the whale sharks and force them to disappear into the depths of the water.

Because of the murky water conditions, we were told it would be a little tough to spot the sharks, but to keep our eyes peeled for brown spots in the water.

About 30 minutes into our boat ride, we saw divers in the water. My heart was pounding; the whale sharks had been spotted.

We were told that the boat would get ahead of the whale sharks and then we would be told when to dive underwater. We were also told to swim as fast as we can because despite their size, they can sure move.

I literally thought my heart was going to pound right through my chest when the told me to get into position. Nerves, excitement, anticipation, all of the emotions were going through my head. “1,2,3… go” our tour guide counted down. I froze for a minute before he yelled go again.

The murky water made it hard to see anything, but all of a sudden this giant spotted fish swims right underneath me. I was so mesmerized by it’s size and beauty that I completely forgot the swimming aspect. I just waited there, frozen, amazed.

I got back on the boat and we all just sat there talking about the experience together until our tour guide told us we would get another chance to get in the water with these creatures. This time I was determined to stay with them as long as possible.

I went down as soon as I was told to and kept my eyes peeled. Out of nowhere I saw his face coming right at me, as if he was going to hit me head on. I was so close I could reach out and touch him!  I tried to keep up, but swimming at top speed I was able to catch the end of his tale flying past me. Our tour guide didn’t lie when he said they were fast.

What I Learned 

Swimming with whale sharks was truly the most amazing experience of my life. I got to be so close to these incredible animals. I got to see them in their natural habitat. I got to appreciate their size and their way of life. I got to appreciate the world that is beneath us.  and I highly recommend it for anyone who has an adventure side in them.

We went with Cabo Adventure and the entire experience was unforgettable. They guarantee a sighting or a free trip. The tour guys were knowledgable and fun. I would highly recommend them

What are some of your favourite adventures? I would love to hear them and maybe add them to my own bucket lis! Share them below.

Until we go M.I.A again

Xo

Mia

MIA goes M.I.A. : Los Cabos

Los Cabos, the municipality of Mexico located at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula. It is an area where desert meets the sea and the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. Where the land is covered in overall beauty from the turquoise waters of the ocean to the red volcanic rock covered mountains. Unlike the row of all-inclusive resort covered beaches in other parts of Mexico, Los Cabos is different. Still not as developed as other tourist locations, Los Cabos has a unique combination of nightlife and art institutions, and activities that the whole family can love.

On my recent trip to Los Cabos we stayed at the Secrets Resort in San Jose, the side of town my catered towards art lovers. A beautiful resort with 24-hour service to ensure you don’t have to lift a finger while on vacation. What I also loved about the location was that we had a swimmable beach just a 10-minute walk, a rare commodity in Los Cabos due to their strong rip currents (the only drawback I can think of).

While on the trip we explored, adventured, ate, and drank all that Los Cabos has to offer. While there wasn’t a minute of this vacation I didn’t enjoy to the fullest. There are so many things to do and see and try in Cabo. Here I share my top 5 must do’s if you intend to visit the Los Cabos region.

A Visit to the Arch 

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The Arch of Los Cabos is a distinctive rock formation at the southern tip of Cabo San Lucas. It is probably the most famous landmarks of Los Cabos and it is a must see for anyone visiting. While there are plenty of boat tours that take you out to see the Arch, we decided to do something a little different and booked a stand up paddle boarding tour with High Tide Sea Expeditions. The tour included both paddle boarding and snorkeling out by the Arch. What I loved about boarding to the Arch was that you really had a chance to take in the beauty surrounding you, from the clear blue ocean to the stunning rock formations that lead up to the Arch. I even had a chance to paddle right beside a family of sea lions. Once we got to the Arch, it was even more beautiful than the pictures had made it out to be. With the sun beaming down on the rock it lived up to its Golden Arch title. We then had a chance to jump into the water and mingle with the beautiful sea life underneath. Our tour guide brought out some bread, and some fish even nibbled on my hand. We were able to get very close and personal with the beautiful life under the water. It was an amazing experience to paddle right beside this well-known landmark.

For more  information visit their website; High Tide Los Cabos

A Sunset Ride 

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Los Cabos is famous for its environment and terrain with half of it consisting of desert and the other half consisting of beach, and in my opinion the best way to see the best of both unique worlds is through an ATV or RZR tour. We went on our adventure with Cactus ATV’s. They have a sunset ride that allows you to explore both the desert terrain and the beach all while driving on off-road vehicle as fast as you can (or feel comfortable). I had never driven one before, but the guides made it very easy for first timers, and always made sure the group was together. It was beautiful to navigate through the plants and cacti and to breathe in the sea air from the open windows. We were even lucky enough to see a whale breach not far off the shore. I had always heard about the beautiful Los Cabos sunsets, and we were fortunate enough to experience this one on while riding along the waves. Truly a magical moment that anyone can enjoy.

For more information visit their website; Cactus ATV Tours

Sip on the Beach in Luxury 

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Enjoy a drink with a view. Everyone had told me about the party that is Cabo Wabo, but if you are looking for a more secluded, quieter spot with amazing food and even better drinks than why not stop by the Thompson Cape Hotel. The new boutique hotel is the spot to be in Los Cabos. We were fortunate enough to visit on New Year’s Eve and the hotel offered a party in pure Thompson fashion complete with world class DJ’s that kept us moving and grooving well into the new year, entertainers, and an incredible firework show that rivals that of Medano beach. But this hotel offers plenty even when there isn’t a party going on. Just take a trip up to their rooftop bar, six stories above the beautiful beach which the hotel is located on for a view that can’t be beat. When you are up there order their famous live oysters or chocolate infused clams but I must warn you, they are addictive. With the beautiful view of the beach and Los Cabos San Lucas you will truly feel like you have left the real world and entered paradise.

For more information or to make reservations visit their website; The Cape A Thompson Hotel

A Swim with the Biggest Fish in the Sea 

It has always been a dream of mine to swim with sharks, the only problem is I am petrified of them so when I heard that Cabo is home to friendly whale sharks I knew I had to give this a try. We went with Cabo Adventures which guarantees you a face to face experience with these friendly sea giants. As the sun got up so did we to head out to La Pas, a quaint town with plenty of markets and sea side restaurants. We then hopped in a small boat and rode about 15 minutes before we slowed down. Giant brown spots appeared in the water below us, apparently the signs of whale sharks. How it works is you get on your snorkel gear and sit on the edge of the boat. When the guide tells you to jump, you better be ready. Once you dip into the murky water your heart starts beating a million times per second with anticipation. Out of nowhere this giant beautiful spotted 24-foot creature swims past me. I literally froze in admiration. We had the chance to dive three times and all three times we were lucky enough to see a shark whale each time. I still have to pinch myself to believe it was real. Post swim, we were greeted with a delicious buffet of tacos and quesadillas. This was a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience.

For more information visit their website at; Cabo Adventures

A Cultural Walk 2690916_orig

A cultural art stroll. It was actually a tour guide on another excursion that informed us of Thursday night art walks in San Jose. The Gallery District in the area is a cultural hub. A great combination of contemporary and traditional artists line the streets and every Thursday from November until June the streets of central Alvaro Obregon Street are closed off and you can walk among live painters and stunning galleries.  I love how the painters on the street brought not just the Mexican culture, but the culture that is so specific to Cabo to life in their art right in front of our eyes. Combining the beauty of the Arch with that of the mountains. Cactus and whales coming to life on the paper. We were amazed at an interactive art gallery where the paintings literally came to life.   A quick stop into Mi Casa, an authentic Mexican cuisine with a beautiful back patio is the perfect place to end the night with a sweet margarita in hand. We had to buy a beautiful hand painted piece to remember our incredible trip.

For more information visit their website; Los Cabos Art Walk

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I have to say that Los Cabos exceeded my expectations. Between the beautiful terrain of mountains, desert, and beach, to the friendly people, and delicious authentic food I found it difficult to leave. It was one for the books and a location I highly suggest to outdoor adventurers, to cultural lovers, to the foodies and the night life enthusiasts, Los Cabos has something for everyone and I hope that you will also be able to experience one of their magical sunsets.

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