When Alex and I were first dating, we went on vacation together, and something surprising happened…

We had been dating for six months, and we took a week-long vacation to Berlin. It was a big step for our relationship, and I worried we’d run out of things to talk about. (We didn’t.) Instead, we had an amazing time. We rented a studio apartment, rode bikes around town and ate German dumplings. We went swing-dancing at an old dance hall.

But toward the end of our trip, we decided to do something we had never done before on vacations: Spend a day apart. Alex wanted to visit the Topography of Terror museum (no thanks!), while I wanted to browse shops in Mitte. So we split up for the day and then reunited for dinner. And it was AWESOME.

Since then, we always spend a day apart on vacations. It’s liberating to have time alone to do exactly what you want, and then you can meet for dinner to share stories and photos. Stay at the beach for as long as you want. Eat three scoops of ice cream for lunch. Spend an hour looking at your favorite painting at a museum. Read books in the grass. Rollerblade around town. Having one day completely for yourself is such a treat, and you might even surprise yourself with what you choose to do.

What about you? Do you ever split up on vacations? I’d highly recommend it!

(Photo of Alex and me by Karen Mordechai.)