Sharing your travels with someone
Travel is an enriching experience full of awe-inspiring sights, friendly and generous people, and magical moments, but it’s even more enriching if you do it with someone you love. You get to experience events together, watch a sunset together, and be the main characters of a hilarious story that you can tell your friends and family when you get home. If it’s a cold night, you can curl up next to each other and if you feel like you’re out of your element, you can look right next to you and see a familiar face.
Whether it’s your best friend, your sibling or your partner, having someone you can trust and talk to during your travels can make the experience a whole lot better.
Travelling can present both enjoyable and challenging experiences. If a problem presents itself, having two brains to work on it can lead to a more thorough solution. When the Troopy broke down in the Kimberley, Juz held the fort while Dave ventured off to find the part we needed. When we were told that we needed to replace our water pump, we worked together to take the Troopy’s engine apart and put it back together. When we need to stock up on supplies at the supermarket, it’s nice to know that there is an extra pair of arms to carry the load, and if one needs to go to the toilet, the other can watch the bags.
Vicky – “There’s nothing better than travelling with my best friend and partner. When one of us is freaking out the other is incredibly calm and keeps their head on straight. We’ve both had our meltdowns but never at the same time. And the calm one doesn’t make the situation worse (e.g. with recriminations or arguing), just makes the other relax and gets on with the job. That is good teamwork and incredibly useful when travelling.”
Assigning roles is a great way to spread the responsibilities evenly. Perhaps one of you is better at driving while the other is good at reading maps and navigating. Perhaps one of you is good at mechanics while the other is good at cooking. Knowing your place in the team makes things a lot easier and it makes for a great team building exercise.
Highway-Dreams Around Oz – “We definitely learnt that team work is essential when setting up/packing up.”
Learning about each other
We have learnt a lot about each other on this trip and we’re only about halfway through. At home, we’d go through the motions of preparing for work before parting for the day, then coming together at night to talk about our day and ‘what we learnt’. These days, we don’t really do that because we are experiencing things together.
Of course, we’re different people, and that means that we experience the same thing differently. As we drive along the highway, Dave points out the road kill while Juz sees the wildlife. If we’re at the beach, Dave is happy to wade in the shallows while Juz wants to go snorkelling. If we’re exploring a gorge, Dave wants to fart and hear the echo while Juz wants to bask in the natural beauty. It’s important to be flexible and respect the other person’s travel and adventure style, and communicate to each other if the other is impairing their experience.
Robyn – “We get along better out there than at home. No family stress pressure.”
Spending all your time together
It’s nice to spend time with your partner, but even the most intimate of lovers need their ‘me’ time. Even if it’s sitting down by yourself to read a book or to wander off on your own, relish in being alone while you have the chance.
Sometimes, (or all the time) he might not want to go to the art and craft market with her. It’s important to give each other the opportunity to go off and pursue different interests. While we were in Perth, Dave did the Tunnels Tour at the Fremantle Prison while Juz got her face melted off at the Araluen Chilli Festival. When we came together at the end of the day, we had so much to talk about – it was great!
Mark – Finding and giving each other some space and time alone is invaluable.
Back at home, we spent 20 minutes with each other before parting for work, and came together in the evening for dinner and unwinding time. What we didn’t realise is that in the 8-10 hours that we were apart, our moods would experience peaks and valleys and it wasn’t until we were on the road together that this became evident.
First thing in the morning, Juz is up, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to start the day while Dave can’t function without a coffee. Between breakfast and lunch, Dave starts cracking jokes while Juz wants to look out the window and think about the day ahead, and by 4pm, Juz is bubbly again while Dave is zonked from driving all day. Sometimes we got so out of whack with each other’s moods that we were snappy with each other. It wasn’t until we talked about it and explained to each other how we were feeling at various parts of the day that we were able to treat each other accordingly. No hiccups or narkiness since!
Over the last 6 months, there have been some pet peeves that have developed. Juz gets annoyed when Dave either talks over or turns down the radio during her favourite song, or when he cracks a crude joke when she’s trying to enjoy the scenery. Alternatively, Dave cracks the shits when Juz forgets to change gears or when she says stupid crap like ‘din dins’.
At the end of the day, the best way to deal with these is communication and letting the other person know what your beef is. Also, remember to pick your battles and don’t start a war over who gets to eat the last piece of cheese.
So… you’re not talking to each other, huh? Is your head filled with toxic thoughts? Do you even know why? Could it possibly be a case of misunderstanding?
A cold war within a relationship can only be ceased by one thing – communication. Instead of being pig-headed and stubborn, apologise or tell the other how you feel! Cold wars can go on and on and on and really affect the enjoyment of your holiday and the health of your relationship. Don’t make it drag out longer than it had to!
Whether you’re fighting about something serious or seriously stupid, it’s important to be aware of your feelings. Are you hungry, tired or irritated? Do you need a nap or a Cherry Ripe? If you feel like you’re getting out of control crazy angry, engage damage control and walk away to cool off. After all, you’re yelling at your partner – do you really want to hurt their feelings?
Walking away to cool off is good for a number of reasons. If you are on a tour or staying in a hostel, you don’t really want to air your dirty laundry in front of a bunch of strangers. Also, after the heat of the argument has subsided, it’ll allow for better communication, reasoning, negotiation and compromise.
Anon – Brisbane to Melbourne without stopping ends in divorce!!! Oops did I say that?
Stank – breath, pits and bits
There have been some stretches of time when we did not have access to water to cleanse ourselves and for a day or two, we could seriously smell ourselves… and each other. It goes without saying that stank and sexy time do not mix, but just in case you think it does, keep in mind that your partner might not and the last thing they want is a sexual advance that involves onion pits and sushi knickers.