“It will either make or break your relationship…” this is what I heard my mum say a thousand times before my boyfriend and I embarked on a trip around Europe for four months. As much as we hate to admit it; mum was right. It definitely was a test – but it’s a test worth taking, and here’s why:
You'll grow together
Travel is the ultimate recipe for growth, and the beautiful thing about couples travel is that you get to experience this growth together. You get to undertake your own self-discovery, alongside witnessing someone else’s – and together you catalyse the growth of your relationship.
You'll get sick of each other
Unfortunately, its inevitable that at one point or another you’re going to want to kill each other. It’s how you deal with this however that makes the difference. Sometimes all you need is to both step back and take an hour or two to yourselves – go for a walk and let the other watch their favourite show or read a book. You’d be amazed at how refreshed you both are once you reunite.
You'll bond like crazy
Admittedly, we have been to a lot of places and both said “man this would be a great spot for a boys trip” or “wow I’d love to come with the girls and shop until we pass out” but nothing will replace the bond of first time experiences with your other half. Whether its remembering the irreplaceable awe of the Eiffel tower at sun down, or the first time you were giddy by the strength of European cocktails – you’ll always get to share that memory.
You’ll become their go-to person
If someone’s having a bad day the only person they’ve physically got for support is their significant other. If you’re not careful its very easy to become each other’s punching bag. If you’re having a bad day, you can either make the other person bear the brunt of it, or learn to confide in and support one another. Travelling long term forces you to see each other at your worst which ultimately highlights how prosperous the relationship is at its best.
You’ll become each other’s Best Friend
You learn SO much about each other, even when you thought you knew almost everything. Travelling means you have infinite time to just hang out. Whether it’s sitting at airports, or on a nine-hour train ride, you’re never short of time for a good conversation and an even better giggle.
Being with them will feel like home
Suddenly, it didn’t matter where in the world we were or what language we were fumbling through, home was just wherever we were together. Home is associated with feelings of safety, familiarity and structure. So it only makes sense that we found those emotions in each other. It’s one of the things I found most rewarding in a relationship.
You'll learn to Compromise
You’re two different people, so naturally you’ll have different interests and preferences about what you want to see and do whilst on the road. One person might really enjoy museums and hiking, while the other loves lying on the beach and art galleries. It’s important to take turns prioritising what you each want, or finding somewhere that suits you both.
You’ll become a team
Travelling comes with lots of challenges, and the undeniable advantage of having your other half with you is that you have a team to solve them. You can delegate, or you can work together – whatever works best for your relationship. One person can be in charge of packing while the other one works out how to get from A to B, or you can pack in half the time together and then both work on the navigation.
Have you recently embarked on the trip of a lifetime with your significant other, or has travel strengthened your relationship? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…