Traveling as a couple is unlike anything else. You’re not alone, nor are you just traveling with some friends. It’s more than that. You’re traveling as a unit, and as such you get to share all your experiences (the highs and the lows) with someone else. It’s about seeing places and sights for the first time and knowing you’ve done it together. It’s growing-- together. And it’s about creating memories that you can look back on for years to come, knowing you shared them with each other.
My husband, Shane, and I have been travelling together since 2008 when we first met backpacking in New Zealand. One of the reasons Shane and I work as a couple is because we are both travellers at heart, it’s a passion that we share together. It is also an important part of who we are as a couple; we feel most in tune with each other and like our most authentic selves when we are travelling together.
Not only is travel important for my relationship... I believe travel to be extremely healthy for relationships in general. Here are five reasons why I consider it important to find time to travel with your significant other:
1. Deeper understanding of each other-- Many people say that travelling as a couple can “make or break” your relationship, and in all honesty, I can see how that may be the case. You’re put into all kinds of stressful situations, you’re with the other person 24/7, and you really do get to know them on a deeper level. There’s no hiding who you really are. It can be an intense experience, but it is also allowing you to get to know who someone really is in a much shorter period.
2. Compromise-- the biggest thing that makes couples travel work is compromise. Although Shane and I have similar interests, there are still many times we have to find some middle ground. Shane is an avid hiker and me being from Saskatchewan, I was not born to climb mountains, but when we travel we like to find less challenging hikes to do together. Not only does compromising allow your partner to experience something that they really want to do, it also opens your own eyes to another side of travel that you might not have experienced on your own.
3. Quality time-- between work, household chores, family gatherings, and looking after our little one and our fur child we only get small slivers of quality couple time at home. Travel gives us a chunk of time where we have the chance to focus on each other and reconnect while exploring new destinations. Our shared experiences travelling become shared memories that connect us for years to come.
4. Building trust-- as we both were competent travellers in our own right before we met, we needed to learn to trust and rely on each other more. Whether it is planning a certain element of the trip, or finding our way around a city, we need to recognize that the other person is just as competent, and that they need to be given a chance to show what they can do.
5. Balance-- Our life at home is all routine and balancing schedules. Travel is the counterbalance to that structure; it allows us to dial back the day-to-day planning, embrace our spontaneous sides, and discover unknown gems along the way. Neither of us are at our best selves living in the rigidity of our day-to-day lives all of the time, we also need time to relax, explore and reconnect.
Yes, there are always tough moments during your time on the road and it will be tough, but our travelling is time to spend with one another, share special moments, and problem-solve as a strengthened unit. You get to see each other in a new light and learn more about each other than you ever would back at home. Whatever way you look at it, traveling as a couple is a unique experience. It bonds you and brings you together; it’s something special you both share that will truly last a lifetime