Travel with a Girlfriend Travel Tip
If traveling with a friend can be considered difficult, then traveling with a girlfriend is akin to climbing K2 in winter.
(I have the fleeting suspicion that the same can be said for boyfriends as well.)
“If I travel with friend, I have no friend anymore,” a long term Korean traveler once told me in southern China.
Traveling is a good litmus test for any relationship. In point, if you can travel with someone in a foreign land for six months and still look them in the face without a glare, then you may have found your match.
Anyone who has ever traveled with a romantic partner knows of the difficulties that you face, so I will not run on with listing all of the potential problems that could arise on the romantic road. Rather, I will just dive into some possible solutions for smoothing over the rough patches.
The strain that the Open Road can put on a relationship is great, but the rewards of sharing the traveling experience with a lover is vastly greater than the bulk of the difficulties.
Some tips for traveling with a romantic partner
1. Don’t react
That is right, sometimes you and your lover are going to say things to each other that are not very nice. When this happens to you, don’t react, as responding in kind will just escalate the situation and leave you in an endless struggle. Travel can be stressful for many people, and it is sometimes difficult not to take your frustration/ confusion out on your partner. Keep your cool and talk about anything that bothered you during the day later at night when the situation has cooled down.
2. Allow your partner autonomy to act on their own
Your partner is an autonomous, separate person, let them say, do, and act of their own volition with criticism.
3. Give each other space
It is my impression that it is not normal to spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week with another person. It is healthy to have alone time. When the going gets rough, take a break. Let your partner go and come as they please. Chances are they will come back to you haha.
4. Develope a mode of raw communication
Say what you feel, and try not to be passive aggressive. If something is bothering you about your partner then tell them calmly in a cool situation. Do not try to keep anything inside for too long as it will probably just explode later.
5. Do projects together
Do little projects together – work, study, teach – to put a common focus on something that is not each other all the time. It is sometimes difficult to put all of your energy into another person all the time, and, likewise, it can be difficult having another person always paying attention to you. Find projects and do them together.
6. Respect each other
Traveling makes, molds, and changes a person. There are few things better than watching yourself and your partner grow together while moving about the planet. Traveling long term with another person creates a special bond, and it is beautiful to sit back and watch your path wind its way into that of another person.
But always respect each other.
If your partner says that they have a problem with you then listen to them fully and adapt anyway you can. Do not get offended.
Don’t have a conversation like this:
Partner A: “I really don’t like it when you do the hula dance with avocados hanging from your fingernails.”
Partner B: “Well, I don’t like it when you shimmy on your belly like a lizard!”
Listen first fully, realize that you can be wrong, and respect your partner as being an intelligent creature who can adequately criticize your short comings. Realize that you are wrong, stupid, and insensitive and that there is nothing wrong with this. If you can recognize how wrong you are, then you can work towards making things work. If you can’t be criticized and move forward then perhaps you are in for a long road.
7. Don’t be afraid to go your own way
If it just is not working out, feel free to split up. You are not obliged to travel with anyone, you are not responsible for anybody. If you fin yourself complaining about a traveling companion all day long then maybe it is time to go your own way. You can always get back together a little further down the trail.
Filed under Travel Tips
Traveling with a Girlfriend
Travel with a Girlfriend Travel Tip