Traveling as a Couple: Opposites Attract!
I’m currently in Vienna, chasing summer. It’s winter back home in Australia and although we Aussies don’t have to battle snow and ice storms, we’re not used to temperatures much lower than 15 degrees Celsius. My boyfriend of three years, Matt, is currently on the top bunk and I’m on the bottom bunk of a four-bed dorm. It’s nearly four months into our five-and-a-half month European getaway and traveling as a couple, we’ve had the time of our lives!
Throughout our travels we’ve met lots of single guys and girls, groups of each, and a few mates, but not many couples. The question that we’ve been asked multiple times is: “Don’t you get sick of each other?”
The answer to that is yes we do, and some times more than others. But traveling for us hasn’t been about whether or not we get sick of one another day-to-day. It’s more about how much we wanted to have this entire experience together. We want to be able to look back on those shared memories of traveling as a couple in years to come and be happy we had each other around. The same could be said by anyone who’s made the tough decision to travel with their friend or partner.
The first thing I had to do was make sure I didn’t feel like I was compromising my trip. I’ve wanted to do a long trip around Europe for many years now. I’ve grown up in a family of travelers, so to me travel is a way of life. Will he understand that? And if he does come, will he feel like he’s imposing on my trip? When does it become our trip?
But the fact that he was new to this big European vacation actually worked in our favor. I have a basic idea of where I’d like to go, and Matt is happy to go along with that. We’re two different people, but we enjoy similar things, so at no point in the trip have I not been able to go somewhere because Matt didn’t want to or vice-versa. If I want to go see the flea markets in Berlin and Matt doesn’t want to, that’s okay, because I’ll go without him. And I think that’s very important to remember; while traveling as a couple we can still do things without each other!
The next thing to consider, however boring the topic may be, is money. I’d been saving for a year to go on this trip, and Matt had just bought a new car so our bank accounts looked very different. Because of this reason I decided (with great difficulty) to postpone the trip another year. I was devastated. But as life always does, it showed me that everything happens for a reason.
I ended up going on an amazing holiday with my sister to South Africa! That trip would have been hard to do if I was in Europe. There were moments during the following year when I questioned Matt’s dedication to saving for the big trip, but I was put in my place when he sold his car so he could come. Now that’s dedication!
So with all business aside, let’s get back to this amazing holiday…
We’re now in Munich and the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse, but I have my partner to keep me company when I feel like doing nothing. And you can see this as a positive or a negative, but traveling with your partner means that you don’t ever have to feel alone. If we get homesick there’s always someone there to comfort us. And we’ve got some great stories to bring home to our family! One of my favorites is Matt’s worst ever hangover- things got gross on a bus to Madrid. Not fun at the time, but hilarious now! From doing touristy things like climbing the Eiffel Tower, walking through the ruins of Pompeii, or soaking in the warm baths of Budapest, to just walking around the food markets in Vienna, it’s great to have him by my side.
While traveling with Matt I’ve figured out some things about our relationship that wouldn’t have been possible to see at home. We complement each other. I’m the dreamer and he’s the realist in every way. I come up with the plans of where we should go, and Matt is the one that finds a way to get us there. When my body is exhausted but my mind tells me to keep going, he tells me to relax and take a break. I’m glad I’m doing this trip with Matt.
We’ve both grown together as a couple, both figuratively and literally–there’s so much great food in Europe! And so, I can answer that little question that’s been following us on our trip. I knew that we would fight and make up, and I knew we would have fun, laugh, smile, and share amazing experiences together. Whichever way you look at it, getting sick of someone on holidays is much more rewarding than getting sick of them at home!