Compatible Travelers

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”
Leo Tolstoy

I stood in the road to take a photo of the unusual vine-woven sculpted horse in front of Hotel Veneka in La Paz, Mexico. When I turned around to find Ron, he had already crossed the road and made a dash for the lobby of the hotel.

“Debbie, you have to see this place!” he shouted. “It’s wild.”

When you come to a fork in the road…Take It – Yogi Berra

You see…that is the difference between Ron and me. He travels without reservations. I travel planned and controlled. I take photos; he gets frustrated waiting for me to line up the perfect shot.

How do we deal with our incompatibility travel issues?

“Oh no!” I thought. “He is going to be kicked out and I will have to bail him out of jail or something.”

This isn’t the first time I have apprehensively followed him down the path less worn. We are not compatible travelers in that aspect. Yet, my apprehension usually turns into an “awe moment” and all I can do is stare with a dumbfounded expression on my face and say, “Awwwww!”

So for every issue of incompatibility, we embrace compromise.

Once we’ve made our travel wish lists and planned a trip that’s going to work for us, we need to remember what we need to do to keep each other happy. We both have different expectations of a good time…we need to remember that.

The first thing we have to accept: You can’t always get what you want. Very often, someone will have these expectations that everything should go their way. That’s ridiculous. That is me! I need to learn to go with the flow, compromise, and let go.

Such was the case in this moment when I tiptoed into the lobby of Hotel Yeneka. This was beyond my wildest imagination. A true masterpiece of rescued junk frozen in time.

It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. The deeper into the hotel, the stranger it got. And, we became curiouser and curiouser. We were so surprised and confounded by the strangeness of it all.

It was a mixture of junk, whale bones, mannequins, shells, old cowboy hats, car bumpers, and odds and ends woven into a museum in the courtyard of absurdity.

I particularly liked the breakfast grill.

On the website, the hotel is advertised as home to friends, intellectual vagabonds, and pleasure artists. The website also proudly states that it is the only hotel in the world where the guest negotiates the fee with the owner.

Viktor, the painter, introduced himself. He reminded me of the mad hatter as he cheerfully rambled about his collection of garbage he rescued from the dumps.

“ I never throw anything away,” he said in broken English. “I am also a painter,” he said, showing me the golden colored paint on his fingertips and under his nails.

And a brilliant painter he is. His masterpieces were drying among the collection of whale bones hanging from the ceiling. We were so intrigued, that he showed us his latest paintings and we bought a masterpiece for Cory.

So, I have learned the art of compromise. I follow Ron down the paths that are less traveled, instead of the paths of least resistance. Usually, I am overwhelmed with delightful surprises.

“So, did you enjoy Hotel Veneka today? Ron asked.

“ I loved it,” I replied. “If it wouldn’t have been for you, I would never have explored this amazing place.”

” And if it wouldn’t be for you, Debbie, “ Ron responded, I wouldn’t be in Mexico for the winter. “

So true. What counts in making a happy travel companion is how you deal with incompatibilities. We will continue to explore, love, and compromise throughout our travels this winter.

What are some tips you have that make a happy traveling partner? 

6 thoughts on “Compatible Travelers

  1. It’s great to see you back. I love the Tolstoy quote. What travel tips do I have? Compromise and planning. After that, be willing to change. 🙂 Where else will you be traveling and were will be you be located now? We’re moving to Arizona in April, so big changes in the works for us.


      • Janet, I don’t think you have confused me with another person. You have followed my Nicaraguan blog for a long time. After the civic rebellion in Nicaragua, we left our home. We have lovely renters in our home now, but we have decided to travel again. Read my first blog post of my new blog to see how this all took place. I am so happy to hear from you again! Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. I have read your posts for years. Awwww.. this one was very special. Glad you two are still out in it! Obviously digging for wonderful adventures together and enjoying (and sharing) what you find along the way. Bravo!

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