The questions I have been asked most when traveling and since returning home apart from ‘where was our favourite place?’ (I still can’t decide on a specific destination, but I get asked pretty much daily), have been about the difficulties with traveling together. At first, I was surprised, but looking back I completely understand why people ask, because sometimes it was bloody difficult.
Of course, it wasn’t always easy (think about the petty arguments most couples have on a singular holiday, now x that by 12 months), however for the majority of the time it was honestly heaven. Making the travel easy required some work. We both decided from day 1 that it was very important to be realistic when traveling. As much as each destination filled our hearts with excitement, the process can include long journeys, no sleep, carrying heavy bags and being lost along the way - mostly in incredible hot temperatures (which had me on the verge of going mental most of the time). Each of these can result in mind chaos easily resulting in arguments.
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” — Mark Twain
Luckily for us, we both understood this from the start, and we found communication to be the key element in traveling successfully. If there was anything on our minds, it then because an open book for discussion. I found this difficult to start with as in normal life I am quite reserved and become withdrawn if I have something on my mind that is causing me concern. This mixed with high functioning anxiety meant that a lot of the time I know myself I was not easy to travel with. Luckily, my mindset changed, and I found the more we spoke openly, the easier it was to make traveling place to place seamless and we grew much stronger as a team.
You will find when you travel with your partner, you uncover a whole new layer of togetherness and I mean that both positively and negatively. For us, I know Leo struggled with becoming not just my partner, but my best friend, my girlfriend who I would gossip and have a coffee with, my therapist when my anxiety went through the roof. I hope this makes sense as sometimes it's hard to put into works but he effectively became every person I rely on in one and that is not easy for anyone, Made worse when I was gasping to watch the new episode of some pishy show that he couldn’t give a shit about and then listen to me ramble of about it afterwards – NOT.FUN.
“It doesn’t matter where you are going, it’s who you have beside you.”
Physically, it becomes difficult also (we each had food poisoning three times while traveling and when staying in hostels or small shared spaces, BELIEVE ME, you learn everything about that person)
We found that we would try and have some time apart through the day, whether it was near dinner time when I would rustle something together while listening to a podcast, or when I would hide away in the morning or the evening to knuckle down to work and earn us some moola. These were our ‘healthy’ boundaries and it is much needed. When we told people we like our time apart, some looked at us as if we were struggling in our relationship, well I can tell you it was quite the opposite. We are stringer than ever and by doing this made us much stronger.
I cannot stress how amazing this experience was for us. Really, we had the most amazing time and I love Leo more than ever before - but these would be my best quick tips below to keep things positive along the way:
1: Communication – make yourself open and speak when something is on your mind. Not just traveling but in normal everyday life. Keeping feeling inside will start to poison you and make matters worse.
2: Take little ‘apart’ moments – Everyday & take time for yourself. We actually spent 1 month apart in October in order to reset and refresh and focus on you for a while.
3: Do not hold grudges and learn to forgive easily: This was hard for me, but as the trip continued, I know I was doing Leo’s head in and vice-versa, but instead of feeling bitter and angry, just let it pass. Forgive and forget as quickly as you became angry – it is not worth it.
4: Be decisive. There is always 1 in every relationship that will plan and 1 that will go with the flow. Make sure you understand which role you play and make executive decisions when deciding what to do and where to go. It will save so much time and plenty of unnecessary worry.
5: Love unconditionally and enjoy every moment spent: This is my most important one. This is a once in a lifetime experience for most and as our trip is over, I cannot stress enough how important it is to love every second of your magical adventure.
‘’Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!