Happy December! This month for our couples travel interview series, Where Love Meets Adventure, we’re featuring some bloggers who we just adore. Lena & Bassam of Happily Ever Adventures are a sweet, adventurous, and truly gorgeous pair. Let’s dive into their lives, where they seek to find adventure even in the everyday.
Meet Lena & Bassam of Happily Ever Adventures
Hi! Please introduce yourselves.
Hi! We are Bassam and Lena. We are high school sweethearts and have been married for almost a year and a half. We are not a travel couple in the sense that we travel year around. Instead, we believe the greatest adventure is to love the life you live and we try our best to make the little things exciting. We have stressful jobs and family obligations, but we are passionate about living every day like an adventure waiting to be discovered. Oh and we do try to travel as much as possible! We hope to inspire others, whether they travel full time or not, to find the adventure in every day life.
When did you first start traveling together?
We’ve gone on little trips here and there together throughout our relationship, but before we got married all our travel was limited to domestic adventures and we did a lot of international travel solo or with friends and family. After our honeymoon trip to Bora Bora, we were hooked on exploring new destinations together. Since then we’ve been determined to travel to as many places as possible before having kids. We each created a bucket list of our top destinations and are working through our list.
How would you describe your travel style?
We don’t really have a set travel style! It all depends on our mood and where we are going. We do lean more towards luxury than budget, although do have to make it work on a budget! We love tropical vacations, exploring big cities, eating our way through a destination, doing adrenaline pumping activities, and so much more! You name it- it’s probably on our bucket list.
What has been the most rewarding part of traveling as a couple?
Having been together for 15 years, it can feel like we know everything there is to know about each other. Traveling together has taught us so much more about each other and each trip we learn even more. We’ve also come to balance each other out. Lena is all about adventure-filled vacations and thrilling activities. Bassam loves relaxing types of vacations. Even though the other person’s travel style might not be our preference, we always try it for each other and we often end up loving it. For example, Bassam is scared of heights and has said no to helicopters forever. In Alaska, Lena finally got Bassam to try a helicopter ride to a glacier. He loved it so much, he was willing to go on an OPEN DOOR helicopter ride in NYC. Now he wants to try a helicopter ride in every location we go to!
What has been the most challenging part of traveling as a couple?
Bassam says carrying Lena’s heavy suitcases. Haha, in all honesty though, we really had to think about this question and we couldn’t come up with an answer. We really haven’t found traveling very challenging. Our relationship is actually smoother when traveling. It seems like traveling brings out the best sides of us. We always end our travels with a stronger relationship and bond.
Have you ever had a fight on the road/while traveling, and how did you handle it?
We have, but they usually are resolved pretty quickly. We are so motivated to experience the city we are in, we don’t want to spend so much time fighting. Also, the arguments are usually about the same things, like Lena wanting to retake a picture that didn’t come out perfectly or Bassam being grumpy because he’s hungry. Now that we’ve learned what situations provoke arguments, we can usually prevent them. Lena carries snacks for Bassam and Bassam takes pictures multiple times because it’s faster than fighting about it later.
Can you share your funniest, most humorous experience traveling together?
It’s always the small things that have us in fits of laughter, but if we were to explain, it wouldn’t sound funny at all. When we were in Costa Rica, we were checking in to our hotel at the same time as the Real Madrid championship league finals. Bassam is a huge Real Madrid fan and was stressing out that he wasn’t watching. The hotel staff were so nice, they brought him an iPad so he could watch while checking in. Since one of the players on the team is Costa Rican, the whole resort was rooting for Real Madrid as well. For the rest of our stay, any time someone saw Bassam, they screamed, “Hala Madrid!” Every time we took a tour or taxi, the staff told the driver Bassam is a Real Madrid fan. This “Hala Madrid” followed us EVERYWHERE, including, being yelled at Bassam as he was zip lining through the jungle!
Where have you been that you would recommend as the top destination for couples travel?
Ah this is a hard one! There are so many amazing destinations for couples! For a honeymoon, we recommend Bora Bora. For nature, we recommend Alaska. For city, we recommend Italy or France. For adventure, we recommend Costa Rica. For partying, Lebanon or Las Vegas. But really, anywhere in the world can be a great spot for couple travel. It’s what you make of it.
How long have you two been together?
We met in high school and have been together for over 15 years. We’ve been married for almost a year and a half.
Do you think your relationship would be different if you didn’t travel?
Yes, definitely. We have so many interests, we probably would have found something else that we are passionate about and have thrown ourselves into it full force. We do love the travel life though. We’ve just had so many wonderful experiences together and learned so much about this world we live in. Travel has not only changed our relationship, it’s changed who we are as individuals. We are loving this journey we are on together.
How do you define love?
Although we are Happily Ever Adventures and everyone says our love is like a fairy tale, we do not believe love is a fairy tale in the traditional sense. It’s not always sunshine, butterflies, and flowers. Love can be hard sometimes. There are days the sky is cloudy, the butterflies are sleeping, and the flowers aren’t blooming. That doesn’t mean the love isn’t there. True love is unconditional. It’s accepting someone for who they are- the good and the bad. It’s realizing that you’d rather have their bad than anyone else’s best. It’s important to remember this in the hardest of times and acting from a place of love, no matter how frustrated you are. There are definitely tough days, but in the end love is a choice. We choose every day to make this love we share together a fairy tale.
What do you think is the glue that keeps relationships together?
Communication and compromise. Without those two things, we don’t believe any relationship can survive. We also believe that even in the toughest of circumstances love can thrive with good communication and compromise. We also think it’s important to learn each other’s love languages. Each person experiences love in a different way. It’s important to know what makes the other person feel loved and provide that to them.
What advice do you have for couples considering traveling together?
We highly recommend it! We believe it’s essential for all couples and would even go as far to say that you shouldn’t marry someone without traveling with them. Traveling brings out a person’s true personality, which is one of the reasons we think it helps you bond so much. It can also be very challenging. Good communication is essential. In addition, traveling as a couple involves a lot of compromise. We decide ahead of time what each of our must haves are and we make sure to do those things, even if one of us isn’t so into it. Finally, don’t expect every single second to be magical. Life is not an Instagram feed. Not every moment will be dreamy and romantic, but if you let it, couple travel will be even more than you ever imagined.
You can keep up with all of Lena & Bassam’s Happily Ever Adventures on their blog & social media: