The first time Kels and I traveled together, we had just finished less than two months officially together followed by four a half months of long distance. All things considered, we were still very fresh in our relationship. We knew that throwing us together, in a tiny van for six weeks straight would put our relationship to a whole new test – and we also knew it would make us stronger. Now, almost three years later – we are off on another adventure; the same country but totally different circumstances. We are still learning and growing as a couple; but, I know that travel has forced us to become stronger. Here are 7 reasons I think every couple should travel together at least once in their relationship:
1. You Reach a Whole New Level of Comfortable
When you’re on the road, you end up spending a lot of time together – and I mean A LOT. You will go days without a shower, fart in front of each other, experience your partner’s every good/bad habit and even pee on the side of the road together (but that’s a different story all together). When you travel together, you learn to accept and embrace each other for every fart and flaw. The first time Kels and I traveled together, we had to have the fart conversation – y’know, the I’d rather you acknowledge you farted than pretend it didn’t happen because you’re embarrassed and quickly roll down the van window and hope that your partner didn’t notice one? But we emerged from that six week van trip more comfortable than ever with each other, farts and all.
2. You Learn Compromise
When you’re traveling there will be things that you want to do/see that your partner won’t and vice versa; this is where learning to compromise comes in. Some days you do what you want, some days what your partner wants; and some days you do both. Travel is an incredible experience that you want to make the most of – which means you need to think of what will make the best experience for you both. When Kels and I had our weekend breaks from the farm, we would drive to Adelaide. One weekend I really wanted to do a hike on the beach, Kels wanted to go to the gym; our compromise was the hike on Saturday and the gym on Sunday. We both got to do the things we really wanted – and best of all we got to experience them together!
3. You Are Forced to Communicate
When you’re together 24/7 with your partner, communication becomes massively important. If something makes you upset, you need to talk about it. If you’re having a bad day, you need to talk about it. If you’re trying to plan the next leg of the trip, you need to talk about it. On the road you need to be a team; you need to make sure that you are on the same page when it comes to overall plans – including finances. Communication is the one thing that will make you an unstoppable duo, in travel as well as the rest of life. When you’re able to talk about problems and discuss challenges that arise, you realize you can accomplish anything together. Working on the dairy farm hasn’t been easy for Kels nor I; we’ve really grown as a couple because we’ve been forced to talk about the piss offs we face, the frustrations and our feelings – which in turn has made our relationship stronger.
4. You Create Memories Together
Traveling gives you the opportunity to create unforgettable memories, and who better to create them with than the one you love! They are memories you can look back at for years to come. Years down the road you can look at each other and say “Hey, remember that one time?” and smile. There will be good memories, funny memories and ugly memories; but, the fact that they are together is what matters most. These memories create a bond in your relationship that make it stronger. Kels and I love looking back at photo albums, or reading the travel journal I kept and reminiscing on incredible adventures together.
5. You Learn to Laugh through the Troubles
When it comes to travel, I’ve learned one thing for sure – things never go exactly as planned. Life has a way of throwing you for a loop. Whether it be a wrong turn, poor weather, getting on the wrong bus or forgetting a passport– you learn to expect the unexpected. Traveling as a couple gives you someone to sort through the challenges with, as well as someone to laugh about the issues once they’re resolved. When you can laugh through the difficult situations, the rest is a breeze! Like the time I got pulled over by border control because I tried to leave Australia on my Canadian passport, and they had no record of me entering the country because I entered on my New Zealand passport (which was no-so-conveniently stored safe in my check luggage). We weren’t sure if they’d let me leave to catch our connecting flight, or if we were going to be late for it. It was stressful, but we got through it and managed to run and make the flight. Now it just makes a funny story to tell that we can laugh about.
6. You Add A New Chapter to Your Story Together
They say you are the author of your own life story, so why not add a fun and incredible chapter to that story together? You only have one life, travel allows you to experience new cultures, meet new people, it pushes you out of your comfort zone, forces you to see things from a different perspective – and who better to help you grow and write your story than your partner!
7. The Cute Couple Photos
And of course, when you travel together as a couple, you HAVE to get cute couple photos. Y’know those photos that fill your friends with envy, that make your little sister throw up in her mouth and that you can show to your future kids. These photos are memories that you can keep with you forever. Kels and I have been asked multiple times by friends and family how we get couple photos that aren’t selfies – the trick is using the self timer (or a tripod). I will set up the shot with Kels in it, press go and I have ten seconds to run into the shot and into the pose. If you don’t feel up for the stress of that, ask a stranger to take a photo! It may seem awkward, but you’ll regret coming home with only selfies. Get that shot!
Where have you traveled with your partner? Have you found it has challenged and strengthened your relationship? I’d love to hear! 🙂