Why Travelling With Your Partner Might Be One Of The Toughest Challenge That You Would Ever Face In Your Relationship ( A Confession to my travel partner )
There’s a reason why we tend to see more people travelling solo than with their partner. One might think that travelling with someone whom you love and cherish is an opportunity hard to come by in today's hectic lifestyle. You are ensured fun company, somebody to share your amazing discoveries on the road, to munch that fried beetle with you for the first time and then having someone there to depend on when you get food poisoning after that. In times of crisis or when you're at a crossroad, at least you'll have somebody to crack your head with and to make that tough decision together. Through these experiences, love between you and your partner will definitely blossom. However, it is also because of this immense love and care for the other party, that travelling as a couple proves to be a very challenging task for the traveller.
Two lives are now at stake. As an amateur adventurer and occasional risk taker, I find risk taking while travelling solo a much easier decision. When dealing with a dangerous situation, at least only a single life is at risk. You face the consequences of your own actions and if anything should happen, you only have yourself to blame. Unpredictability is easier to manage and choices are more straightforward. With a partner, it entirely changes the ball game. Two lives are now at stake and pressure exists from the unsaid promises to your partner’s parents for him or her to come back home in one piece. For example, if you're hitchhiking along a deserted road, you not only have to worry about yourself, but you'll also have to take into account your partner's safety.
You spend more time together than married couples. There is no day job to occupy your time, no kids to distract you, no fishing with your friends to escape reality. Day in day out, it is just you and your partner. You get to discover each and every single detail about each other, from how she likes her clothes to be washed to how she likes her eggs done. Or when in times of crisis, you'll see how your partner deals with it. Will he or she run away at the first sight of a difficult situation? Will he or she start throwing tantrums and put the blame on the other party? Some of these things you might not even discover even if you were married for a long time. You'll get to understand each other's lifestyle and realize your partner's likes and dislikes. You might be very keen to hop on that dirt bike to explore the ruins but maybe your partner is not keen at all and would rather chill by the lake to watch the ducks. It’s perfectly normal for a couple to have different interests. It's how you deal with each other's differences that matters. It's really a make or break. Either you love her for everything that she is including all of her bad habits, or you cannot stand her.
There is no running away or hiding from each other. Regardless of the duration of your trip, you would have to endure the entire journey. There is no running away to the comfort of your own room whenever a quarrel breaks out and no phone or instant messaging to escape to. When we're in our comfort zone, at least we know where to hide from each other whenever we fight. But when travelling, there's no such thing as hiding from each other. You've only got each other. Who else to turn to besides each other? Problems have to be tackled face to face, which could be quite a challenge for some, depending on your relationship style.
Your most vulnerable side of you will be exposed to your partner. Being a guy, it's normal to put up a front to be brave and all. But that doesn't mean that guys don't have any fears or we don't get sick. We are humans too. We have moments when we feel helpless and afraid. We won't have anybody else to turn to besides each other. When one of us is down with severe food poisoning, the other party will have to endure all the smells, sounds and stress. On one hand, you wished that you were in different rooms. Yet on the other hand, you can't be more grateful to have your other half to take care of you and to be there by your side. Or when you face your greatest fear, you'll be glad that at least you have someone there to encourage you and to hold your hand through it all.
Having said that, the challenges faced whenever a couple travels together would definitely bring both parties closer. Be it sharing that last $10 on a good meal, packing and rushing at the eleventh hour to board that plane, trying to make sense of a map while navigating around a totally new environment or complaining about getting ripped off at a tourist trap. It's better to discover and accept each other’s perfect imperfections much earlier in a long-term relationship through travelling and know that this is the person you can count on in a strange and crazy foreign land. Travelling together as a couple have proved to us a tremendous challenge, but one worth waking up every single day for.
Now, it's your turn. Go take up the biggest challenge that you will ever face as a couple!
About the Author
Sunrise Odyssey – We're Daniel & Gina, a couple with a burning passion for travel adventures. This August, we plan to travel from China to Europe over a year. Through our exciting memoirs, breathtaking photos and videos, we hope to inspire you to chase your dreams too! Read about our adventures on sunriseodyssey.com !