6 Challenges Every Traveling Couple Will Face and How to Make the Most of Them
6 Challenges Every Traveling Couple Will Face and How to Make the Most of Them
They say “you won't know if you truly love someone until you’ve travelled with them”, and they're right.
If you travel with your boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, husband or even friends, you will no doubt face some of these common travel challenges, so learn how to deal with them now and know what to expect before they smack you in the face.
On Jeff and my first date, he told me he would take me to Thailand, and two weeks later we booked our tickets. Was this insane? Absolutely. Some might think it’s crazy, we didn't know the slightest thing about each other at this point, so it is safe to say we were terrified.
But in the end, it was definitely a great decision, and one of my best travels experiences so far.
“If you have someone you think is the one, take them and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all over the world, to places that are hard to reach and hard to get out of. And when you land at JFK and you're still in love with that person, get married.” - Bill Murray
We have been in some tricky and tough situations, but I think you don't really know a person until you’ve seen them outside of their comfort zone, and how they deal with unexpected situations (like having to find a bathroom... immediately)
Let's face it, most people are too lazy to get themselves off the couch and to the airport, but if you have the guts, and can find someone to travel with you, here's what is waiting for you.
1. Loss of Personal Space
Having a travel companion means being together all the time, and we mean all. the. time. Unless one of you is an adventurer and the other one prefers massages at the beach, you are going to spend a lot of time together, and even if you go your separate ways for an afternoon, guess whose waiting for you back in room #1205? Thats right. You will also get to know your significant other way more in depth than maybe you ever wanted, without makeup, with a 3 day beard, or au naturel as we Frenchies say.
Make the most of it by: communicating better about what you’d like to do. If you prefer to lie on the beach while your they want to go on a hike that particular day that’s fine, let them. Just make sure you go explore together at some point, get lost, take plenty of pictures, even film yourself. To put it simply, hearing your girlfriend fart isn't a reason to give up on making those memories together.
2. Embarrassing Moments
Being together 24/7 means that sometimes there will be some awkward moments. You might get sick, or have eaten bad sushi, and you can’t really hide from your boyfriend can you? Learn not to be ashamed of just being human and don’t let any awkwardness happen between you two!
Make the most of it by: laughing about it. Don’t take yourself too seriously and embarrassing moments are often the only ones you’ll remember about the trip! So take it easy and have a laugh about it. Plus, with all the new boutique hotels popping up, it seems like less and less hotel rooms we check in to even have bathroom doors (or walls for that matter) so unless you have noise cancelling headphones, you're not going to be able to hid much, get used to it.
You don't know real love until you've had to clean your girlfriends vomit off the seats of a public bus in Nicaragua... while you both laughed about it. That's traveling couple heroine, embrace these moments.
3. Language Barrier
Whether you’re traveling in a country where neither of you speak the language, or if you’re in your own country and your significant other doesn’t speak your native language, this is an ideal situation to take your relationship to the next level.
In the first scenario, you will be confused, you might find funny translations to English (I'm looking at you, Thailand!), you might have to communicate in gestures and sign language, but being together in this mission will bring you close together. Nothing makes a memory quicker than using body language to as try and describe your hotel to a Vietnamese taxi driver in the pouring rain. Trust us, this is an experience any good traveling couple has had, and laughed about.
If your boyfriend accompanies you in your country, prepare to be the translator at all times! But if he tries to learn your native language, communicate with your friends and family at home, or even just listens to you with a big smile on his face because you’re a whole different person when you speak another language, it’s already a victory.
Make the most of it by: Learning at least a few words, and the name of your hotel. It can really help in desperate situations! Always be polite and respectful to the locals, and have Google Translate ready as a last resort.
4. Unexpected Last Minute Changes
Sometimes things won’t go as smoothly as you planned, and by sometimes, we mean nearly every time you step on an airplane. Your plane WILL get delayed, your dinner cruise WILL be cancelled and your beach day WILL be ruined by rain. But you know what? These are the moments that are going to test your relationship the most. If you find yourself unexpectedly hitchhiking down an empty dirt road in the backroads of Uganda and can't both laugh about it, break up the second you find where you are going. Or better yet, turn around and head out on your own that very minute.
Make the most of it by: Why not relax and do something else? Too cold for the beach? Go on that hike your girlfriend keeps talking about! Raining outside? Have a hot chocolate together! Dinner cancelled? Hell, take a local cooking class! Whether you are down the road from home or on the other side of the planet, if you can't roll with the punches your relationship will be doomed and your days as a traveling couple are over.
Remember, you aren't rich and famous, you don't have a personal driver or a private jet, you're a peasant just like us. (We're currently on a trip around the world and eating 90% of our meals out of a cooler in our car.)
5. Getting Lost
A sure as the sun will rise, the sun will set, you will have to pay taxes and you will die. Besides that, the only other sure thing in this world is that you WILL get lost while traveling, its just one of those things. And thank god, because it has provided us with some of our most memorable stories, best encounters and renews our faith in the world around us on a daily basis.
Embrace the unknown and hope that you get lost, hell, intentionally get lost. Throw away the map, put down your phone and just walk until you are so turned around and confused you have lost all sense of reality and comfort. Then, and only then, are you a real traveler.
Walk into that cute local restaurant, sit and relax in that park, explore that empty beach. Don't see any more tourists with their cheesy t-shirts and visors? Awesome, you've done it, enjoy.
6. The True Test
Let's be totally honest here for a second. Was it the smartest move in the world to buy tickets to Thailand on our first date, mere days into knowing each other? Probably not. But was it the fastest, easiest and most interesting way to fast track our getting to know you period and see if there was anything between us? Hell yes it was.
Traveling will test you more than you know, and push you to your limits. Travel is stressful, dirty and exhausting. Travel lets you either shine or fall apart, it lets your best qualities shine through while exposing your worst. And what more could you hope for if you really want to know if they are the one?
We have seen so many friends stay in a relationship waaaaaay too long, simply because it was comfortable and had never been pushed to the limit - when in reality, if they had just found themselves stranded on the streets of Bangkok at 2am, this whole thing could have been solved back in 1997.
Listen, your significant other isn’t perfect. But hey, let's face it, you’re no gem either. Sometimes traveling together isn’t glamorous, predictable or even comfortable but it will put hair on your chest and make your grow up quick to be the best traveling couple you can be.
So learn from each other, laugh, get lost, make memories and communicate at all times.
Relax and enjoy, that’s what travel is here for!
Have you encounter other challenges while traveling with your loved one?
How did you deal with it?
Let us know below!