Survival Guide: Travelling with Your Significant Other
If you’re looking to really get to know someone, skip moving in together, get out of town and travel as a pair. I can pretty much guarantee that you will learn a hell of a lot more about your significant other, in a much shorter period of time. I’m not necessarily talking about a one week trip to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean here, though that doesn’t sound too bad considering the snowstorm that just hit Toronto. The way to really get to know someone is to embark on a longer than average trip, to a place you’ve never really been before, where you are guaranteed to be pushed out of your comfort zone one way or another.
Now don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Travelling with your significant other can be a massive success, and can prove just what a great team the two of you make. In fact, travelling has been known to revive the spark, or even bring two people together that have never met before (check out our interview about Finding Love Abroad).
We’re not trying to scare you away from travelling with your partner; we just want you to know that it may not be all rainbows and sunshine. But if you go in with a clear, open mind, and a strategy to overcome any obstacles that may arise, we are sure you will have the time of your life.
Koh Tao, Thailand. From The KOSAN archives.
AIR OUT YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY, FAST
Ok, first things first, you have to be upfront and honest, right from the get go. Talk about your hopes and expectations for the trip, your top attractions, must-sees and must-dos. Share your concerns as the departure date approaches; the more you share beforehand the better, trust us. It will ease your concerns and allow you to work through any issues that may arise, together!
Once you finally take off, things are bound to go awry here and there. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open, and be truthful if something is bugging you. The worst thing you can do is to keep it bottled inside, because it is pretty much guaranteed to spill out somewhere later along the road.
COMPROMISE IS EVERYTHING
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but I can’t stress it enough. If you can’t compromise, you may struggle not only while travelling, but at home as well. Compromise is the key to relationships, both at home and abroad. It’s not easy, but taking your partner’s travel style and opinions into consideration can go a long way towards keeping the peace. You may need to do one or two activities that aren’t at the top of your list, but so while they, and that support can make all the difference.
You may not get to see everything you had on your list, but need we remind you that you are travelling with your partner, and seeing them light up at finally exploring a long-awaited bucket list item should be well worth the compromise.
Koh Tao, Thailand. From the KOSAN archives.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE APART
And if there is something that you really want do want to see, well then don’t be afraid to part ways, if only for a little bit. Taking some time to enjoy your travels apart can help you reach a healthy balance, and give you some much needed space. There are huge advantages to travelling as a pair, including sharing expenses, having a great emotional support and always having someone to take a great photo —things that shouldn’t be overlooked! However, it doesn’t mean you can’t take some alone time. Just like at home, traveling alone for a brief moment, or a day, can keep you both happy and sane. We all need some peaceful solitude once in a while. It also means you can see and do whatever you want to, without worrying about whether your partner is having a good time.
KEEP EXPECTATIONS TO A MINIMUM
The most important thing though, is to keep your expectations to a minimum. In today’s day and age, where we have a tendency to broadcast an edited version of our lives on social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of hoping for the perfect holiday. This unrealistic expectation can do more harm than good, and I’d really advise against it. Try not to expect too much, or anything at all really, as the best part of travelling is the element of surprise and wonder. Keeping an open mind while travelling, without the added pressure of expectations, will allow you to learn a bit more about yourself and your partner, while also discovering the wonders of the world.
Bagan, Myanmar. From the KOSAN archives.