Being a huge travel addict myself I would certainly hope I get to travel a lot with my partner but regardless of wether you like to travel or not I think that it is very important that you travel with your partner before things get very serious or to ensure that you could get serious if that makes sense. Yes, you might already be living together and spend most of your days together but it’s different when you travel. When you travel you are out of your comfort zone, you are in the unknown, a new culture, new people, different flavors, different everything, so the person you might think you know might be a completely different person out of her/his little bubble. It isn’t the same to live together and just take a break from each other and stay out of each others way for a couple of hours or maybe even a day, when you are traveling you might be in route on a 8 hour train trip so, buckel up! Can you really stand each other for that long without any distractions? Without any third factors affecting your relationship? (friends, family, your yoga class, errands, etc) Can you truly stand that person at its worst?
I recently read an article about couples marrying very young and it talked about how these marriages are not lasting very long, statistics say no more than three years. The author, Paul Hudson, mentioned that it is not because of the amount of time couples have been together because many married before 25-26 but had been in a relationship for over 5-8 years it was rather because of the lack of quality time spent together. If you think about it, if I were 26 and had been with my partner since I was 20-21 I can tell you that girl was a whole other person back then and if I didn’t give my partner a chance to explore me, to get to know me as I am changing and liking other things we would be marrying completely different people.
Which is why I think traveling can help us discover each other more fully. It helps to get to know each other well enough, to get to share each others’ negative traits and bad moments. It helps to truly get a glimpse of the good, the bad and the ugly. I can tell you by experience, yes, travel could potentially end a relationship but it can also make it even more amazing. When out of your comfort zone your stress levels are subconsciously much higher than usual and you get hungrier more often, you get tired faster, you get sick (food poisoning, headaches) so, you will have some bad days, some not so good days and then come the good ones, the unexpectedly amazing days. Your partner should be a part of this, he or she should know that yes there will be an ugly side to you but the spontaneous, independent you is way more valuable and totally worth those not so awesome days.
Obviously the hope in travel is that you both get our of your comfort zones together, team up and have an amazing time. The hope is that you will discover even more things that you like about the other person and will come back further in love, impressed with all the new things and the capabilities you have discovered not only in your partner and your relationship but also, in the person you are with your partner. And if your are thinking you already know everything there is to know about your partner, you are wrong, wrong, wrong! I think the whole point about forever with someone is not to know there every move and expect things to be a certain way but to discover, to explore, to be surprised on a daily basis. So, worry about truly liking the person you and your partner are now in the present and work on exploring each other together for the years to come.
Travel not only helps learn new things about your relationship or your partner but allows you to know how far you are willing to go to make your partner happy, it teaches us to compromise because lets face it, your partner might not want to go to all the museums nor would you want to watch a football game but you learn that you can’t win all of them and you compromise, you both agree to do things you might not like as much but you open up to new experiences because you want to share your partners likes and passion and be a part of it. If you can be with this person in a moment of crisis, of stress, of fun, of just being. Just sitting together at the beach not even talking, when you can actually share such an experience with someone without even having to say anything.. then you know..
So enjoy your trip, enjoy the adventure, let yourself be further surprised, for the good or the bad.
“If you have someone that you think is The One, don’t do… don’t just sort of think in your ordinary mind, ‘Okay, let’s make a date. Let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.” – Bill Murray