Traveling With The One You Love: Adapting Country by Country
For some couples traveling together, even if it just for an overnight it can be a challenge and shine the light on aspects that maybe just shatter the illusion slightly. Some work through it and other’s are back on Tinder within the fortnight.
Traveling is never truly easy. You are at your best and worst possible self because let’s face it, traveling is hard. Specially the act itself, the traveling part. For me personally, I have been traveling my whole life and there are only three things I’m a bit upitty about when it comes to travel. Constantly checking for my passport, the “God, I hope I don’t get called out for my heavy carry-on” and getting their on time.
I am one of those people that I rather sit in an airport for 3 hours then chance it and get there just in time to get through security and go right to the gate and board. I can’t do it. My boyfriend though, total opposite of me. In some ways, it can be good because he reassures me “Yes, I saw you put your passport in your zipped passport container and then put it in your backpack” or “If we have to pay to check it in then we will pay, don’t worry” and now after almost 2 and half years of being together, he just accepts that his nonchalant attitude towards time is a no-go with me. Its not worth it to my nerves or his.
When we first started entertaining the idea of long-term traveling we weren’t naive of the stories. We had heard the horror stories of it pushing couples to the edge and when they returned home, they left the airport separately. It was never a worry for us, traveling together for a long period of time. Since we have stared dating and before we jumped into this crazy journey we had traveled with each other 4 times internationally and handful of times within the UK. We made it through, despite the bouts of indecisiveness of “I don’t care, what do you want to do today” or “I’m happy to eat wherever, what are you craving” we discovered we were compatible travel companions.
I’m a planner and picture taker and Sean is a wanderer and a foodie. Combined, we find a pretty even ground. I’m not going to say we’re lucky because lucky doesn’t have anything to do with it. We understand each other and sometimes for the one you love, you have to take it down a notch to compliment the others desires and personality and other times you will need to completely throw out your personal preferences because that’s what you got to do when you are traveling with someone else.
Since we began this life of ours just a few months ago, we have spent almost every minute of every day together. Some days we’re off exploring and other’s we are working all day to make deadlines. In Italy we were secluded, having to speak pigeon Italian in a community where Foreigners are rare and it can be exhausting no-matter how patient the person with whom you are trying to communicate with is. As such, Sean and I relied on each other on a daily basis and it had me wondering to myself, is this healthy? It took almost two months of traveling for me to realise that we had in fact just been us and I didn’t even notice. Some might say yes, you need space and others will say, no, it means you are perfect for one other. I think, it is our reality right now and we’ve adapted.
We adapted because that is what our circumstances had called for. In some countries, we will have more access to shops and english-speakers like we do now, in Split, Croatia and sometimes we won’t. Right now Sean no longer has to rely on me to drive him places or even to go to the store. We can walk everywhere, to the store, beach, and places to eat. It also means if, and when we do want alone time, we can actually leave the house and go somewhere not just another room. We’ve adapted once more to a new way of life. This is what will help Sean and I in the months and potentially years to come of traveling. Our ability to adapt to one other and the circumstances that surround us.
It also helps that Sean has seen me at my worst already. Travel together now is far different from our first trip away together when we were still learning about each other and when I would wake up early to go brush my teeth and put a bit of blush on my cheeks and feign sleep until he woke up and I would play up the “I woke up like this” LOL. This no longer happens, THANK GOD.
It helps though, when your partner has seen you at your best and worst. He has seen me after a few to many. Sat next to my brother and dad as he watched me walk across that stage to get my Masters and he also seen me when I felt like I was broken and couldn’t get out of bed. Every step of the way, he has been there. I’ve seen Sean too. We have seen and continue to see one other for what we are. Full of flaws but also perfection. All of this makes traveling together easier because we’ve seen each other at our worst and we’re still here and in love.
Traveling with Sean has been an adventure and I could never do what I am doing without him. That does not make me weak. It doe not mean that I am not a strong independent woman, it is just with him I want to try new things. I want to be better. Even 2 years and half years in, I still find myself falling a little bit more in love with him. Though it is often the moments that he drives me craziest or I am most frustrated by (JUST PICK A PLACE TO EAT SEAN!) are the moments that I fall deeper in love with him afterwords.
We are not on our first weekend away and we are aware that traveling will impact us. It will push us to the edge of each others nerves but, it will also leave us speechless. There are moments to be had and memories to be made. For now, we adapt every day and we seem to be doing more then alright.