Taran and Hannah here, popping over from NomaderHowFar.com, with a little advice post.
Preparing for Long-Term Travel as a Couple, is a topic that we are giving a lot of thought to at the moment. We have been together for not quite 18 months, and yet, in 2015, we are embarking on three years of non-stop backpacking, beginning in Australia next spring. A recipe for disaster? Possibly. A chance to share the most unbelievably awesome experience of our lives, together? Definitely.
Taran and I are best friends. We enjoy each others company and have been getting increasingly excited planning our trip to Oz and compiling posts for our blog. Looking at photograph’s of the stunning beach’s and landscapes in Oz, knowing I will be there in less than a year, makes me giddy, but its even better knowing I won’t be alone. Taran often says, he doesn’t like watching a movie alone, because it’s always better to share an experience, and the same goes for our desire to see the world; we want to see it together, side-by-side.
It’s all great being this positive and seeing our future adventure through rose-tinted shades, as this beautiful and life-affirming thing, but, lets face facts, we are about to spend pretty much every second of every day together, and that is terrifies me. Okay, well that’s extreme, it at least is a thought that is a bit hard to swallow. Why so? Well, I am definitely someone who enjoys my own company and revels in a little me-time. And so is Taran, he enjoys playing computer games with friends and hanging out, not having me there every moment.
So how on earth is this going to work?
Whilst couples who travel do love each other and like having fun together, it’s still not easy to live in someone’s pocket. You are bound to bicker, argue, and maybe even fight, possibly thousands of times ;). You will also see stuff you don’t want to see. When you are full of a very sexy flu virus, or your partner is chucking up their guts onto the tent floor, you both get front-row seats to the freak show. When you haven’t showered for a few days and have started to emit a foul odour, your lover gets to enjoy that. But who said backpacking travel was glamorous anyway.
And how about the times you just want to do a bit of mindless internet surfing, or fancy reading a book in silence, all things that are best done alone. The reality is that your interests and hobbies will still exist, along with your desire to have alone time in which you focus on yourself and nobody else. I am guilty of looking forward to time alone quite often, yet I often end up missing Taran (eventually).
So the first step to embarking on a couple’s adventure, is realizing that you won’t suddenly enjoy spending every waking moment with each other. Just accept that. You will need to make sure before you travel that both of you are willing to give the other time to do things alone. The truth being you will probably not end up wanting it anyway, not if you are immersed in your surroundings and sharing every moment with your best bud. But at least make sure that you will have the opportunity to go just be you, and you alone. Maybe come up with a word or phrase, or just a particular look, that when given by either party, means it’s time one of you exited the tent for a little while. Hopefully you can prevent any huffy and annoyed walking off from either of you, by simply communicating, thus not creating tension between you and your other half.
There are many obstacles you will have to overcome once you are on your travels, out there in the big crazy/amazing world. But I think its far less scary knowing you’ll have somebody there holding your hand. As long as you prepare for the less fun realities of couples travel before you go, you will have done all that you can to make it a smooth-sailing.
Who knows, you might become inseparably close and attached, going together on what will be an emotional, wondrous and at times, stressful journey. Either way, it might test you, push you to your limits, but any walk of life can do that; a 9-5 life with your loved one can be one of monotony and meaningless arguments over washing dishes or spending too much money. I guess going out into the real world, will put so much into perspective, it might actually mean your relationship strengthens and becomes based on all the awesomeness of travel; fun, beauty and enlightenment.
If you would like to follow our journey, and see us live out the above advice, then head over to www.nomaderhowfar.com or catch-up via twitter, google+ and facebook. We’d love to meet you all.
1000Fights: Thanks again for sharing Taran and Hannah! Give them a follow on twitter: @Nomaderhowfar