Before setting off on our five month adventure through the US, Europe, and Thailand, I had a number of people tell me that going on this type of trip with my husband was going to put our relationship to the test. I heard things like, “be prepared to get sick of each other” and “it won’t be easy!”
Obviously, traveling with anyone for an extended period is bound to be challenging at times. Still, these comments made me feel slightly nervous about what the trip would mean for our relationship. Would we started fighting a lot? What if we did get tired of being around each other nonstop, 24/7?
In the end, my fears were completely senseless. Going on this adventure together has been some of the most fun we’ve ever had as a couple. And the challenges that everyone told me about? Those tough moments have helped strengthen our relationship in ways that I could never have imagined.
For example, just consider the sheer number of decisions and problem solving you are faced with every day as a traveler. Most are simple in nature, like deciding what to do that day or where to eat. But there are other, more high-stress situations, too, like figuring out how to navigate public transportation or find your hostel after a long day of travel when you're hot and sweaty and starving. This almost constant state of having to figure things out, plan your day, and troubleshoot problems is something you don’t experience to the same degree while living at home. It’s a really interesting opportunity to learn more about your partner and focus on teamwork skills like communication, problem solving, and compromise. While I’m far from anything resembling a marriage expert, I’ve always believed that these three attributes are some of the most important aspects of a relationship, so it's really awesome that traveling takes these skills to the next level.
Still, unlike everyone hinted, traveling with my hubby hasn't felt like a big relationship test or anything like that. Overcoming challenges and strengthening those more “serious” aspects of our marriage has just happened naturally as we've traveled. To be honest, the majority of the time I'm just reminded why traveling with your other half is so great - and that's because you always have someone right beside you to talk to, laugh with, try new things with, and support you when you're feeling stressed, scared, or unsure. And no matter where you are in the world, as long as you're together, home never feels too far away.
There are so many fabulous reasons why traveling with your partner is the best thing ever. Yes, like I was reminded before we set off on this trip, there are challenging moments, but honestly, it's more like a lot of epic opportunities to grow as a couple, have fun together, and make memories that will stick with you forever.