My experience traveling as a couple
Since I know Jan, we almost always travel together. Of course there are exceptions such as work trips, journeys with friends and family and of course here and there some notorious bachelors weekends. But otherwise he is always my number 1 partner in crime when we take of for a new adventure.
When you always travel together as a couple for both short trips and longer round trips, sometimes difficult moments can arise. That makes sense because when you travel, you are practically together 24 hours a day. Hence the saying that your partner will only really get to know you if you travel together for a period.
Jan and I also have those difficult moments. Even though our journeys always seem perfect on the blog and social media, it’s not always so rosy. Over the years we’ve got to know each other better and meanwhile we know how we can best deal with such situations. We have five guidelines that we try to pursue when we travel. And these always help us to meet in the middle.
So I would like to share 5 tips in this blog post to survive traveling as a couple.
1. 1 + 1 = 2
A simple calculation, but sometimes we forget to take the other into account. Taking account doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice everything you do for what the other person wants to do, but find a good middle ground. I am a real planner and before we leave for a new destination, I ask Jan to look up what he really wants to see or do. I always try to plan his preferences together with the things I want to do.
Besides we are very different. I like to follow the planning and I have a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). If something changes in the schedule, I can experience stress as a result. Jan is much calmer in that area and he quickly accepts changes. As a solution, we decided along the way that it is easier not to plan too much or in my words, to plan spare time. So that everything remains feasible and there is time enough to realize everything without hurry or stress.
When dividing tasks, also take each other’s strengths and weaknesses into account. For example, I am usually responsible for planning and storing travel documents. Jan is better at packing electronic devices that are needed for photography, computer, … and makes sure everything is charged. This way we have a set of tasks and we don’t give each other unnecessary stress for being responsible for tasks that we are less good at.
2. Open and positive communication
Living with someone 24 hours a day is not easy. Even though you know each other through and through, minor irritations can always arise. That ‘s why it’s important that you also communicate with each other about this. Be constructive and positive when you do this and don’t tear eachother apart. As a result, you also act preventively and outsmart major arguments. I am a very open and direct person while Jan is a more closed person. Sometimes I can be very direct, making things look much worse than I really mean them, and Jan can sometimes keep irritations inside him and till he explodes. Because of this we really had to learn to communicate with each other in the right way.
If I’m sometimes too busy with planning or photo shoots, Jan will now point this out way quicker. When we talk, we always remain constructive and give each other positive feedback. It’s important that we both feel good and happy.
A topic that causes irritation and frustration in many relationships are the finances. Nothing is more annoying than have to worry about money on your vacation. Therefore, agree in advance how much you want and can spend, and how you will divide the costs. A useful app for this is spiltwise.
3. 2 -1 = 1
No, this is not a maths class. But again that simple calculation to show that you don’t have to do everything together. If you have limited time in a certain place and you want to see something without sacrificing it, you can perfectly decide to go your own way and then meet each other again. I love strolling around at local markets and buying souvenirs. This is less Jan’s thing. He would rather taste a local beer on a terrace. After we both did our own thing, it is super cool to see each other again and share our stories.
You can also take time for yourself in daily moments. For example, I like to take a long bath and I have Me-time. Or we go for a drink together, but each is busy with his own thing. It’s not because you go somewhere together that you cannot take time for yourself.
In addition to time for yourself, it is also of great importance to make time for romance once in a while. This can be a dinner with a beautiful view, enjoying a local wine together in a unique setting or even looking up an adrenaline rush together. One of my most memorable romantic moments is zip-line across the Tara canyon in Montenegro. Nothing more romantic than declaring your love while dangling over a river, right?
One of the most important elements that shouldn’ be missed from your journey is very simple: enjoyment. Even if you want to see, do and experience a lot during a trip, jdon’t forget to enjoy the moment that is here and now. In unforeseen circumstances, try not to lose the patience, but to keep the humor in it.
I am aware that these tips seem self-evident, but I know from personal experience that they are quickly overlooked. I hope that as a couple they offer you some guidelinesor help you to fully enjoy your journey together.
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