As the saying goes, ‘traveling can either make or break a relationship’. It may sound dramatic but I wouldn’t take it too lightly… Keep reading if you’re about to take a trip with that significant other of yours!
I’ve seen couples become stronger after traveling together… And then on the flip side I’ve seen couples crash and burn.
Why does this happen?
What is it about traveling that can have such an impact on a relationship that was otherwise rock solid?
Well, here’s a few things:
- Traveling really isn’t all that glamorous most of the time. The ‘trying’ times often can bring out the worst in people and you’ll see a side of your man/woman that you might not have seen before.
- You’re pretty much stuck together 24/7. Some people don’t like being a siamese twin (hey, I’m with ya on that one) and the constant company becomes too much.
- You might just have completely different ideas of what you want your trip to be. Maybe you like adventure but they like lounging around… This can be enough to feel resentment towards the other and start up arguments.
The list really does go on… But I’ll stop there because I would hate to put you off traveling as a couple.
Nate and I have been traveling together for going on three years now. Yep, that means being stuck with each other 24/7 for 1,095 days.
Not only that, but we work together too… So I suppose we are pretty intertwined.
I consider myself to be damn lucky to be able to travel the world with this goofball.
But to be honest I was a little apprehensive at the beginning having gone from pretty much long distance to spending 24/7 with each other…
However, it’s been a friggin’ blast every step of the way.
And this may be weird, but the extent of our arguments is what we want to have for dinner that night (having two indecisive people together can often lead to taking forever to make simple decisions).
So, after having a long hard think about why it might have worked out so well for us, there are a couple things I identified that could help those about to set out traveling with their other half.
Tip #1: Try To Read Each Other
The faster you begin to read and understand each other, the smoother it will be. If one of you seems withdrawn and quiet, perhaps that’s the time to let them have their space and you can go off and do your own thing.
I was quick to learn Nate doesn’t like interacting much in the mornings; so now I just leave him be till about 10.30am. Just like if I seem quiet, he’ll leave me be so I can have time to myself.
I think understanding what the other person needs is super important; especially when it comes to knowing when to give the other person their space. Going from spending a couple of hours a day with each other, to spending 24/7 with them over a long period of time can be tough to adjust to.
Tip #2: Pick Neutral Destinations
As I touched on before, if your partner has an entirely different preference of travel to you, this can be a little difficult. Try and pick destinations where both your wants will be satisfied. On top of this, now and then you’re gonna have to suck it up and do things you don’t like in order to please the other person. I’ve actually ended up having a blast trying things that Nate wanted to do. I had never felt the need to go surfing before (the idea of it terrified me), but in Ecuador I gave it a go and it’s now one of my favourite memories I have (here’s a video on it).
Compromise is important but make sure it’s a two way street. The last thing you want is to start feeling resentment towards your S/O for sabotaging your trip.
Tip #3: Don’t Take Your Frustrations Out On Your Partner
When you’re tired AF in an airport and your flight keeps getting delayed and all you want to do is get to your hotel, shower, and go to bed, don’t start taking it out on your man or lady. Here’s the truth… There’s going to be so many times when you feel like snapping and having a mental breakdown because of all the obstacles that decided to present themselves in a single day. But don’t take your frustration out on the one person who’s also going through the same problems.
You’re in it together… Find the humour in the situation and try to laugh it off. That’s all you can do; embrace the experience.
Tip #4: Meet Other People
This is mainly for the one’s planning to travel longer term… You don’t want to end up weird and completely consumed in your own little love bubble. Try and meet other people too. Hostels are awesome for this, or even just when out for dinner and drinks, strike up conversation with other tables. We’ve had so many awesome nights out with a bunch of different people and have made life long friends from doing this. Plus ladies, you gotta try get that girl time in otherwise you might end up going insane.
If you keep these four tips in mind then maybe you won’t end up breaking up… YAY! (Joking)
In all honesty, every couples’ dynamics are different… No two relationships are identical. But the principles remain the same: understand each other, compromise, don’t be mean to each other, get out of your bubble.
The four keys to harmonious travels with your significant other?
It’s worked for us!
P.S: If traveling as a couple freaks you out then I urge you to look at it this way… You’re pretty much traveling with a personal photographer to get your Instagram on point 😉
I would love to hear your advice on traveling as a couple… Or of any great stories of things that went right… or WRONG!
Either comment below or send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org