The first time I went backpacking I was solo. There was no one there to hold my hand or to point me in the right direction. I didn’t have a navigator. So what happened when Miss Independent started travelling with someone else? And how did he survive me for this long?
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we take a look at travelling with your loved one.
They say travelling with your partner is a relationship maker or breaker and I can totally understand why.
Our first holiday together was a road trip along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. It was only a 2 week thing but it gave us an opportunity to get to know more about each other. We argued over directions, driving abilities, my insane motion sickness, what activities we’d like to do, and where we’d eat dinner. Thankfully, we also had a really great time. There was loads of laughing and beautiful landscapes to distract us long enough to forget whatever it was we were arguing about in the first place.
Our second trip was very close to being a breaker when I almost shat on Justin’s feet…long story but, there was food poisoning involved. To this day I am grateful it was just a fart.
Our third trip, which happens to be our current adventure, has had plenty of roller coaster moments. Justin and I went from a FIFO lifestyle to seeing each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and if I’m honest, it was difficult in the beginning to adjust to each other on a full-time basis but, somehow we’ve made it this far so here are some tips for travelling with your best friend.
#1 Make time for yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, walking around a museum, or sitting in a park people watching, you will both benefit by having some time alone. Especially if like us, you went from a bountiful supply of free time to living out of each other’s pockets. It’s also likely you have different interests and hobbies so allowing each other the time and opportunity to continue with these passions is important.
#2 Share the burden. If one person is doing all the planning, organising, and research they are going to get sick of travelling fairly quickly. We find it works best if Justin finds the accommodation (I always choose the crappy hostels) and I look up what there is to do.
#3 Compromise. You’re not always going to agree on everything and unless you’re into drama you need to be flexible with each other’s needs.
#4 Know your finances. Possibly the most common thing argued about in any relationship is money. It’s a good idea to set a budget before you start travelling to make the journey less stressful. We argued about this in the beginning of our travels but, now that we have a system it’s no longer at the top of our worry pile. Our system involves readjusting our budget every month to make sure we are not overspending or under-budgeting depending on the location.
#5 Be there for each other. Since leaving Australia, we’ve missed funerals, birthdays, weddings, and countless other events that can leave us feeling a little lonely. I’ve also been sick more times than I can remember (mostly my body adjusting to new diets, etc.) and if it wasn’t for Justin having my back, I would have been a sorry mess!
#6 Talk to each other. You’ve probably spent all day together so the standard, “how was your day?” question won’t suffice. Instead, talk about more personal and intimate topics such as the future. For example, what are your plans after travel? Just try not to turn it into an argument!
#7 Make time for each other. Ok, so this one contradicts the first tip but, hear me out. Living in a hostel dormitory with little to no privacy can completely destroy your relationship. Whether it’s a little splurge on a cheap hotel room for a couple of nights or going out for ice-cream, leave your newly acquainted travelling friends in the common room and go on a date!
#8 Enjoy the experience. Having the ability to make memories with the person you love is the best part of travelling with someone else. You have someone to share those experiences with and someone who will understand what you’re talking about when you get home which I think is pretty damn special.
Travel safe and happy Valentine's Day xx
Videos by Global Runaways