Throwing on your backpack, stepping out of the train into a buzzing new city, into a new world, into a swirl of people, hearing a blur of words spoken in a foreign language. The sounds of taxi horns and traffic in the nearby distance. The smell of this new city lingers. You look down. You notice the squashed cigarette butts scattered on the ground before you and the trash that lines the putrid edges of the subway. Almost in sync, you and your partner instinctively look around. For clues, for visual signs, for arrows, maps or even for someone who speaks the same language as you. You get bumped, you become more conscious of the heaviness on your back, you’re hot and you’re feeling tired. You desire a hot shower and a good nights sleep in the comfortable clean accommodation that you’re so hoping will be revealed, sooner, rather than later. Deciding to get a taxi directly to the doorstep or hope for the best and save money by taking the local train, you and your partner have to face this dilemma together. Who will be the one to decide how you will arrive? Or will you both happily agree together? Will you both be content with the decision? Or will one of you be bothered by this? Do you stride on hand in hand? Or will one of you be trying to encourage the other that everything will turn out alright?
Travel relationships 101. The true test of any relationship.
Travelling with your partner can be testing, for even the most concrete of relationships. You will have more decisions to make in a day than you’ve eaten vegemite on toast. At times you will become frustrated. You will laugh, swear, cry, curse, fight and make love. You will meet people who inspire and challenge you. You will get lost. You will visit spectacular places in which you leave a little of your heart. You will eat out. You will consume more gelati in a day than you would have ever previously allowed yourself. You will take photos. You will use social media. You will Skype home. You will miss your family and friends. Maybe even your job. You will say you never want to leave. But, you may just also have the best time of your lives and make a lifetime full of memories together to prove it.
Travelling with your partner takes courage and commitment. You are together stepping out of your comfort zones, out of your usual routines previously known as your lives. You’re moving away from everything that you have ever known and you’re taking a plunge into the unfamiliar. You have with you your hopes and dreams, a backpack full of bikinis and clothes as well as dwindling expectations of what you imagine the journey before you will be like.
One of the best things about travelling with your partner is that you really get to know them. You may think that you have been together for years and know everything about each other. But when you are around each other 24/7, for weeks or even months at a time, you will undoubtedly see each other at your best and worst. When your are lost, tried, frustrated and feel like crying, or when unexpected challenges are thrown at the pair of you, you see just how well your partner can problem solve and how they cope and react to unexpected situations. You learn truly how independent or needy your partner proves to be, whether they are a wave of positive energy to everyone they meet or whether they need constant reassurance and prove to be negatively depressing. You will learn who is the more organised of your pair (this can be surprising when you travel, trust me!), just how carefree and relaxed they actually are, or whether they bring stress to the travelling relationship.
You will both change. Your ideas and beliefs will be challenged by the things you see, people you meet and experiences you endure. You will question your values, the morals you have always known and simply compare your holiday destination to the country you live in. You will find a new found gratefulness for the life you have and the for place you were lucky enough to grow up in. You will learn not only about your partner, but also about yourself and also the world in which we live in. Learning about yourself is positive and healthy for your relationship too.
You will meet amazing people and lifelong friends that are different to your friends back home. You will both make connections outside of your usual friendship groups. Making new mutual friends with whom you have shared some of the best days of your lives with is truly special. You will form new bonds, talk with your new friends whenever possible and maybe even plan future travels with them. They may even become life friends. They too are travellers. They too are like-minded and have ventured out of their comfort zones in hope of amazing experiences.
If you make it through to the other side of your adventure, you will without doubt have an amazing bond and a whole set of memories and stories just the two of you will forever share. Upon returning home, it will feel strange returning to your old lives. On your first day back at work, will find yourself wondering what your better half is doing, what they are eating or whom they may be with, as it will potentially be the first day you have spent apart in several months. You will be granted with a better understanding of each other, have a form of trust that you never new existed and love each other like never before. Travel brings love, connection, memories, understanding and a sense of soul happiness like no other.
Have you travelled with your partner? Would love to hear some of your experiences or thoughts on this topic.