Unexpected Stuff You Learn While Travelling With Your Love(r)
It always sounds like an exciting prospect- the idea of a romantic getaway for the two of you, to some unknown land full of adventure.
Then all of a sudden, boom- reality strikes. And what was supposed to be a relaxing and fun time to enjoy with your partner suddenly turns into something completely unexpected that you weren’t prepared for.
I strongly believe that travelling with your partner is an essential step towards understanding how you function together as a couple. A vacation may be fun in the moment, but it’s the preparation and planning that goes in beforehand, the compromises you make so that both of you enjoy the trip, and how you respond to new experiences that really reveal a lot about not just your partner, but also yourself.
Travel-wise, I am one of those tourists who likes to discover the offbeat, non-touristy places that a city has to offer. I like to absorb myself into the local scene, and enjoy each moment as it comes. My partner, on the other hand, is more of a meticulous sort- likes to browse through the guidebook, have an itinerary in place, and capitalize on every moment to make sure we don’t miss any of the big things to see.
It’s a habit that I find endearing, rather than annoying- well, at least most of the time. However, our travelling styles throw into stark light the differences in our personalities; while I’m more of an outgoing, go-with-the-flow kind of person, my partner prefers to remain reserved and go by the book. It’s fortunately something that hasn’t been the cause of any serious problems for us, but travelling together once again reminds me of the person he is, and how best to deal with him.
On the subject of differences- travelling with your partner means having to make some sacrifices so that both of you enjoy the trip. Whether it’s a choice between which local attraction you’d like to see, what you both agree upon as a daily budget, or which type of cuisine you are craving, you are bound to have to make compromises. While a healthy dose of differences paves the way for compromise- too many surprises can be quite a nasty shock, especially when you realize just how different you both are!
One of the things I also learned to appreciate when my partner and I were travelling together was how willing he was to pull his weight. I know of a friend of mine, for example, who went on a trip with her partner. She spent almost a month planning an elaborate vacation for the two of them, without any help forthcoming from him, and when they arrived, all he did was complain the entire time. You want to know that the person you are in a relationship with is equally willing to put in a certain amount of commitment, and travelling together reveals this fairly easily.
Finally, an important factor in a relationship that I find is best revealed through travel is your partner’s openness to new experiences. As an adventurous person myself, I would like to be with someone who is equally interested in learning about and experiencing different cultures. I remember my horror at my ex, when we travelled to Thailand together, only to have him looking for the nearest McDonald’s on day two of the trip, saying he was sick of the local food.
Travel reveals both, the best and the worst of a person. As a process of self-discovery, it’s also a means by which you discover how you both react to the unknown- something that is sure to arise in your relationship. If you as a couple can conquer this together, then, as they say, keep walking on.