Traveling with your partner
This week’s column from the Gay Dating Expert!
You’ve been together for a while, perhaps months, perhaps years, you enjoy each others company and you share the same goals, aspirations and the white picket fence ideal is on the future. That white picket fence could be world travel in your desire to explore and experience new countries, cultures and cherry pick the best qualities of each to live the rest of your life together. Such is the aspiration of most travelers…we want to experience it all, and desire the open road and cultivate new friendships with like-minded people.
You may well think you know your partner inside out, you’ve shared history, your life, heck even body fluids! So you know each other, don’t you?
In everyday life, we all have a busy time of it, some created by the environment around us—work, commute, family, friends and the various past times that we fill our time with. You share some if not most of those, so traveling together should be just a simple extension of this, shouldn’t it?
Nothing quite prepares you for traveling, a holiday is one thing; that’s just a week of unwinding. Holidays are relaxing and generally involve catching up with one another and enjoying each others company with a beach, pool, cocktails and nice meals out.
Traveling is something completely different, there are more diversions, stresses and feeling of being in the unknown. It can take more than a phone call down to the hotel reception desk to sort your problem out. Traveling is an adventure, it can be exciting, enthralling and full of wonderful experiences but it’s not just a montage of photographs of you smiling in front of landmarks with the new friends you’ve made on your journey.
You are with your partner twenty four/seven, you see the best of each other and the worst of each other. Traveling together will make you see both extremes and even more elements of yourself that you didn’t know existed. It’s amazing how challenging someone can get with sleep depravation and exhaustion, and you’ll experience all of it. But it’s not all bad. So how can a relationship survive a traveling adventure?
The four key components for successfully traveling with your partner:
Space—you need to have time out from being connected at the hip 24/7. This may mean one person takes a nap or time out to read a book while the other goes for a mooch around town or catches up on emails at an internet cafe.
Budget—as a couple you’ll have budgeted so much to spend for the trip, but make sure you have a buffer. As with most things, traveling doesn’t come cheap. Guide books can be a little out of date so the accommodation may be a little more expensive; food and transport may have gone up. Also regarding the budget have a little spends allocated to spend on each other each week for drinks, and odds & ends.
Clear Objectives—you’ll have a schedule of which countries and places of interest you’ll want to visit, yes other elements may crop up which mean rethinking. But from the onset have a bucket list of places you both want to visit, if one of you wants to go hill climbing and the other doesn’t, don’t force the issue. This will be an ideal time for you both to have time out from one another.
Flexibility—you may get to a place that looked great in the guide book but in reality it’s really off putting for the other. I remember when traveling around Turkey we were destined to spend a couple of days in one town, however when we got there the heat was oppressive, the hotel was vile, dirty and smelled terrible, the market we wanted to visit had closed down. We had predicted on staying there but took one look around and hoofed it to the coast and spent a wonderful couple of days exploring a coastal fishing village and eating freshly caught fish. If we had a regimented schedule and forced ourselves to stay I would have been miserable and tensions would have risen unnecessarily.
Ultimately traveling as a couple can well be the making or breaking of a relationship. Try to make it the former.