Travelling Together: The Ultimate Relationship Test for Couples?
If you’re like me, your vacation experiences can vary greatly depending on your travel companions. You know what I mean: when you return to that amazing resort with some friends, or when you take your new sweetheart to re-explore that beautiful city. Why is it that travelling together can be the ultimate relationship test for couples??
Keep Travel Fun
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by trying to cram too much into any trip.
Step 1 is to keep travel simple! I have been guilty of trying to do too much, and my stress levels (and those of my wife) paid the price. This is vital on international trips, but can be just as important on weekend getaways.
Living in Toronto, Canada I am a short drive away from 2 amazing wine regions (Niagara and Prince Edward). Often we will take a day or two to visit wineries and sample their latest vintages. It’s VERY easy to get carried away, and you suddenly find yourself having visited 16 wineries and you can no longer distinguish between Chardonnay and Merlot! Seriously, we’ve done this … In my experience it’s much more gratifying to visit only a handful of wineries and make them count. Take a tour of the wine-making process at one winery; have lunch among the vines at another; do a wine-pairing exercise at a third. Take the time to chat with the winery staff, and make friends with your fellow tourists to get the most out of each experience.
Whether local or not, treat each destination as though you will return. This will help alleviate worries about choosing between annual festivals, and let you really enjoy the moment, together – and isn’t that what it’s really about?
Travel can be stressful! Before we even leave we are running around wondering what to pack or if we really got a great deal. Just know that whatever you forgot can be replaced when you arrive. If you paid too much this trip, you’ll just make up for it next time.
Be prepared for your plans to fall apart! You will run into obstacles. If you let these setbacks get to you, it’ll quickly throw off your vacation and create an opportunity for a wedge to form between you and your travel partner.
My wife and I had one of those moments on our honeymoon, of all places. About halfway through our European honeymoon we had scheduled a travel-day, which required 3 train connections over over a 7-hour journey to board a relaxing river cruise – with a few hours to enjoy the departure city thrown in. We had the connections all mapped out, confirmed on the EuroRail website the night before, and were as prepared as possible when we arrived at the first train station that morning. All was going perfectly and we were high with excitement when suddenly we found ourselves stranded on a train platform in the middle of Germany, unable to find our final train on the posted schedule for that day (or any day for that matter)!
We spent a few panicked minutes trying to comprehend what was happening before regaining our composure and boarding a return train to our previous station (where there was an open Information Desk). After many phone calls, and navigating a slight language barrier, we managed to make 2 more train connections and arrive at our destination with (literally) 30 minutes to spare before our cruise departed. There were moments during this adventure that we both began to unravel, and more than a few tears were shed … but I believe our relationship grew stronger that day, and we were left with quite a story to share!
Learn More About Each Other
Travelling together is one of the best ways to REALLY get to know someone. You’ll likely see each other at your best …. and worst. You’ll have many opportunities to have fun, thought-provoking, or deeply insightful conversations. You’ll be plunged into circumstances that could challenge even the most seasoned traveller. And you’ll be left with incredible experiences!
Travel is a time when our “true-colours” come out to play. If we’re not ready for it, we may be very surprised by what we display to our partner – and what we find out about them. That cute way she twirls her hair when in thought can quickly want to make you shave her head when you’re dealing with uncooperative travel agents. His willingness to let you pick the restaurant you want to eat at can make you want to throw a slice of pizza at him if he doesn’t start chipping in on the travel plans. Personalities can clash, but if you focus on calmly working together, you can overcome any small obstacles.
I can almost guarantee that you’ll find some really great qualities that never had the opportunity to present themselves! Some of our personal favourites include an ability to turn being lost in a strange country into a romantic river walk; or witnessing an ability to have service professionals think it’s completely their idea to give us exactly what we were requesting.
You may just fall in love all over again! It sounds cheesy, but trust me … it happens all the time.
So, is travelling together really the ultimate relationship test for couples? It definitely can be … and that goes for any relationship. Just keep in mind the reason you’re on vacation in the first place. Have fun. Remain calm. Use the opportunity to develop a deeper connection.
Travelling together can be one of the best areas of any relationship, so get out there and enjoy the world … together!
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