Traveling can be one of the most magical things you ever do. It can also be a total nightmare. It all depends on how you experience life, and how you choose to react to adversity. When you travel as a duo, both of those factors are amplified. When you travel, you experience life faster. Fun activities (and problems) come up more frequently. It really can be a way to bring you and your partner closer together. Equally, it really can accelerate the break-up process (but that’s a blessing, trust me).
1) Traveling Will Show You and Your Significant Other in a Totally Different Light
When you’re traveling the world, or just on vacation, you’ll see your partner doing things you’d probably never see at home (is there even a beach where you live?). I encourage couples to travel together and try new things.
a) It will give you a new respect for your partner.
If Deborah and I hadn’t gone around door-to-door to every hostel in Playa del Carmen asking to trade a website package for a place to stay, I would never have known how brave (can I write ballsy?) she really is. It didn’t matter that she didn’t speak the language. She just did it (and then tricked me into it too).
b) Trying new things together will bond you, and create “exclusive” memories.
Of course, you can do new things at home, too, and you should, but there’s a certain freedom that comes with holidays that you just don’t get at home. You can do anything, go anywhere, and have an experience that you’ll always associate with that person.
2) Not Everything Will Go According to Plan
I met someone who once said, “I don’t want to travel with my boyfriend, because I’m afraid it will cause too much friction and break us up.”
Me: *Quietly pulls out phone, and buys her 2 tickets to the middle of nowhere.*
What happens when the cab driver overcharges you? You’re stuck out on the lake with no oar? You get lost in Rome, and nobody speaks your language? You get pickpocketed and don’t have enough money to get back to the hotel?
Does he lose his temper? Does she assume everything is your fault? Or maybe your significant other takes it with stride, smiles, and figures it out. Maybe losing an oar is the perfect opportunity to impress her by hopping out and towing the boat to shore. Maybe she finds being lost in Rome kind of Romantic. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
When things go wrong in your relationship (and they will), this can be a good indication of how your partner is going to react. And, that amount of friction: “enough to break you up” according to you, is going to come up eventually, so you may as well put both of you out of your misery (or maybe you’ll finally see that everything is fine!).
Learning to deal with a bit of adversity is not just important in relationships, it’s an important life skill, and hopefully one you desire in your partner (or future partner). These kinds of issues don’t come up as fast when you’re sitting in your comfort zone, at home or in the office.
3) Do You Even Like Doing the Same Things?
Maybe she likes hiking the nearby cliffs while he would prefer chilling out on the beach. You don’t always have to be doing the same thing, but most couples do go on vacation together to, you know, spend time together. Some couples go on holiday separately, and that’s perfectly fine too, but not what this article is about.
Ask yourself, “are you there to hang out on the beach, or are you there to do cool stuff with your girlfriend?” Either is great as long as you’re upfront about expectations. Maybe you can come to some sort of agreement about how you’re going to spend time. Remember, try to be selfless. It’ll get you further in the long run.
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