Traveling is the most amazing experience. Traveling with someone you love makes the journey even more special. You’re able to share both those once in a lifetime moments and the stories you will be able to tell for many years to come. It is perfect - well, almost…
Away from the eye catching social media posts that are accompanied with cringe worthy captions such as “omg I’m having such a super duper fun time with my girlfriend omg”, traveling with someone whom you are so close to can be tough, and at times, extremely challenging.
Going on the trip of lifetime with someone you are in an intimate relationship with is different from going with friends for example, as with the latter there is less pressure for things to go perfectly well. With a partner you build up this almost Disney like fantasy of how things will be, or more dangerously, how things should be.
Think about it, in everyday life are you constantly in the pocket of your loved one? You go to different jobs, you have your groups of friends, there is always an escape. That isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, when you are traveling you have nobody else, you don’t have jobs to go to - you are there, both of you 24/7.
You are trying to manage two different temperaments in stressful situations. It can be easy for the other person to become the first and only option to vent your frustrations towards, even if it isn’t directly related to them. We all have off days. Days where we don’t feel like talking or we are tired and irritable. It’s those days, if not handled correctly, that bust ups can happen.
The reality is it won’t be all love and romance when you are traveling for extended periods of time. The best way to manage that is to accept it and own it. It’s not like the movies, you won’t always be this amazing person that your partner constantly wants to be in the company of, and you will both make mistakes.
If you are thinking of going traveling with a partner or you currently are and having some conflict, here are some tips that have been working during our trip.
1 - Go solo from time to time
There is a natural tendency to want to do anything and everything together. But does it have to be that way? Why not when your partner wants to do something you are not fully invested in, can’t you just go away and do your own thing? The answer is you can. Taking time to have your own space and enjoy your own things allows you to miss the other person and it also creates fresh and stimulating conversation. Personally, there is nothing more attractive about a relationship than two people that can take time apart from each other and then regroup.
2 - Play to each others strengths
You will soon learn whilst you’re away that both of you excel at different things. One of you will speak a foreign language, whilst one of you may be able to navigate your way around much better. Instead of feeling like you should share responsibility of everything equally, accept it is better to play at each others strengths and cut the other person some slack at the same time. Having this mindset will alleviate any frustration and get you both working effectively as a team.
3 - Don’t argue before breakfast or before bed
Most of us cannot function before our first meal of the day, and we are less likely to be rational when we are tired and ready for bed. Some of the most toxic arguments happen during these times and they tend to escalate for no good reason whatsoever. Instead, leave your frustrations to a time where you are both in a better frame of mind. Shouting matches are just a symptom of the conflict, handling it through conversation at the right time will resolve it much quicker and have far less emotional damage.
4 - Don’t walk around aimlessly for food
When you are traveling it is very important that you ensure your basic human needs are met. This includes having energy through food and water. You won’t always have the privilege of being able to plan your next meal effectively, and you will find yourself needing to pick something up on the go. At these times, it is vital you are not picky or indecisive. If you both fancy different things then it is better to take care of yourself as soon as you can. Making choices when hungry is hard, when two people are hungry it is even harder. Hunger can turn to “hanger” and before you know it you are having a pointless argument about absolutely nothing of significance.
5 - Be grateful
Being grateful is for me the most important step you can take to ensuring things go as smooth as possible when traveling with your partner. Remember, what you’re both doing is absolutely magical. Being able to up sticks and go see the world is one of the best things you will do in your lifetime. On top of that, finding someone who wants to be close to you and share all of that with you is something you absolutely should be grateful for. Remember that and use it as a stepping stone to making your relationship deeper and more secure.
The post is not to shed light on the doom and gloom of relationship traveling. However it is intended to give you an honest perspective and tell you that the Hollywood esque experience is hardly likely to happen. The good news is 99% of the time you will have the most amazing journey and be glad you are away with the person you love. However during that 1% when things aren’t so glossy, do ensure you do all you can to handle it in the best possible way.
Thanks for reading
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