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The Story Behind Us: Lena & Bassam – Travels and Chill
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2 In Community/ The Story Behind Us

The Story Behind Us: Lena & Bassam

How did you meet and when did you both realize your love for travel?

Lena: We met in high school! Bassam made all his friends join a club I was president of so he could meet me {stalker much?} and chased me until I agreed to give him a chance. And well, you know the rest of the story!

Bassam: All I had to do was join the club. She did the chasing.

Lena: Wonder who people will believe…?

As far as realizing our love for travel, we both had our own individual moments, but together was probably our honeymoon in Bora Bora. It was our first time going out of the country together and we loved the experience of getting to know a new culture and try new adventurous things (like swimming with sharks!) together.

Where was your first destination together and tell us about it?

Our first destination together was Vegas! We went when we were pretty young with all of our friends. We were too young to even get into nightclubs at that time! So attended a concert, walked around the hotels, and ate a lot! We actually used to go to Vegas multiple times a year before we were allowed to go to nightclubs. We always had so much fun though just doing silly things!

How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?

Bassam is in charge of everything tech related from bringing the electronics we need like portable chargers, adapters, etc and taking most of our photos. There have been times on the way to the airport when Lena says, “ah we should’ve brought (whatever)” and Bassam says, “I’ve got it!” Lena is a huge yelper and figures out where we will eat, where to stay, and excursions for us to do. There have been times when Bassam says, “what should we do, we gotta research” and Lena says, “I’ve got it planned!”

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How do you make decisions together for next destinations?

Our bucket list is LONG and we both want to go everywhere, so deciding where to go is never an issue. We usually decide where to go based on how many days off we have and where we haven’t been able to get off our minds. For example, our recent trip to Alaska was so random. We had a long weekend and wanted to figure out the most exciting place we can go to for that short period of time. Alaska seemed to be the furthest place that made sense!

Have you noticed any changes in the relationship since you started traveling together?

We have been together for over 15 years, so sometimes it can feel like we know everything there is to know about each other and there’s not a lot to bond over. Traveling has really enhanced our relationship and increased our bond because we are constantly exposed to new and exciting experiences. Our day-to- day lives can be really stressful, so traveling helps us pare down to the basics and get back to just being us. We always come back from our travels so rejuvenated in our relationship and more in love than ever.

Living and traveling together 24/7 can sometimes be stressful and relate to moments of disagreements or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?

It’s a learning process! We are both very different people and we have very different travel styles. Our preferences tend to be very different, but we’ve learned how to cope with those situations. For example, we both pick something that’s a MUST for us and we make sure to do that so we both get what we wanted out of the trip. Communication and compromise is always a work in progress but we are both dedicated to having the best time possible while we travel.

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What is the most beautiful moment you have experienced together while traveling?

We have experienced so many beautiful things on our trips, but both of us picked very small moments. It’s interesting; it really is the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

Bassam: Last month we went to Alaska and took a red eye flight on our way there. When we arrived we were exhausted, but we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us to Denali. On our way, we saw a sign saying, “Thunderbird Falls” and decided to check it out. It was a little hike with incredible greenery all around. The air was so fresh, I just felt so rejuvenated and ready for the great adventure that lay ahead of us! Lena decided to jump at that moment and I took her picture. As I did, the sun came shining through the trees. It was such a beautiful start to our magical trip.

Lena: Recently, we went on a one night getaway to San Luis Obispo, California. We were walking around at night and exploring the town when we heard music coming from the distance. We decided to investigate and came across a twinkly-lit treehouse. We found out it was actually a wedding! They let us crash and we danced all night. After it was over, we wanted to keep dancing, so we danced and sang in the streets. That feeling of happiness and freedom was priceless.

What do you like the most about traveling as a couple?

Even though sometimes it’s frustrating how different we are, putting those differences together give us a well rounded and complete trip. Bassam is a relaxer and Lena is an explorer. We do both so we both are happy with the experience and it brings balance to the trip. We could never imagine going on these amazing adventures with anyone else or alone.

What do you like the least about traveling as a couple?

That we don’t get to do it full-time.

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How do you keep the relationship spark alive on the road?

Every trip we take is like going on an extended date- our trips are what KEEP the spark alive. We experience so many new things and have so many exciting adventures together. During boring moments, like plane rides or long car rides, we get lots of fun snacks and download an audio book to listen to together. We always go on at least one romantic dinner while on an extended trip.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to any couple wanting to travel together? 

First, if you are a new couple, DEFINITELY travel together! You really get to know someone when traveling with them. Second, for all couples, appreciate each other’s differences instead of fighting about them. Each person will bring something unique to the table that helps make your trip more well rounded than if you only did what you wanted. Finally, let the small stuff go! You’re there to have fun!

Get to Know the Couple:
Lena & Bassam: @happilyeveradventures
Travel Blog: happilyeveradventures.com

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lena Elzayn
    December 7, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for featuring us! This was so much fun and we are happy to be part of this wonderful community.

    • Reply
      Travels and Chill
      December 12, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you so much for being a part of the Travels and Chill couples community! You guys are such an inspiration!

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