My wife and I live in a camper van. Date nights are important for our relationship while on the road.
15.09.2023 - 14:37
I have to admit that when my wife, Steph, told me we were having a date night, I didn't initially get the concept. For the better part of eight years, we've been traveling around Australia in our campervan with no itinerary and no end date. What could be more romantic than that?
If there is one thing I've learned, it's that if it's important to Steph, then it's important to me. Though I originally thought the idea was cliché, it has now become a regular thing I enjoy in our relationship.
Traveling allows you to break away from the monotony of everyday life, but it's not long before it becomes routine itself. Don't get me wrong: It is magic seeing new parts of Australia, with sunset walks and daily exploring. But the line between adventure and routine can blur, especially when you are living and working in a confined space.
Recently we camped at Bullara Station, a working cattle farm in outback Western Australia. We don't often pay for campsites, so that was a treat, and the hot showers were a welcome respite from the red dust of the rough outback roads.
Steph booked us a table at the restaurant on the farm, which was once an old shearing shed. Before we headed over to eat, she announced that this was date night. I could see how excited she was, so I began searching the van for my only button-up shirt. As we enjoyed the line-caught snapper and the freshest green beans I'd had in a long time, I was glad we took time out to create this moment.
At that point, I understood date nights were the perfect way to take ourselves out of the everyday routine and create something special.
We spend most of our time in the outback or in remote locations, so when we come back into civilization, we now check out a local tapas bar for some food and cocktails. When we were in Brisbane, Queensland, we got takeaway sushi and ate it on our stand-up paddleboards among the water lilies in one of the inner-city reservoirs.
Sometimes our dates are as simple as agreeing on a time to stop work, put the phones away, and go for a walk. Another favorite date activity is to pack some food and set off on a hike or on our stand-up paddleboards for an adventure.
We also take time to prioritize our time together in the van. Though our van kitchen is small, one of our favorite things is to make our own sushi together, something that has become a tradition.
Sharing moments like these strengthens our connection and allows the conversation to flow.
There's a big difference between vanlife and being on holiday. As we discovered early on, our time is often exhausted by long drives, doing laundry, restocking the van, and working. With each of us often focused on our own tasks, it's important that we check in with each other.
By setting aside