Today I was remembering our first flight together. The destination? Dublin. We had been together just for a few weeks. In any case, Easter was coming and we decided to spend it in Dublin. Why? I suppose that Ryanair low clost flights took part in our decision. More than four years later, we have created lots of memories together at the same time that we have added plenty of destinations in our bucket list. But, what is more important, travelling has become a source of learning for our relationship.
While travelling, we have grown as a couple. People can travel on their own, with family or friends. But for us, travelling together is a special and intimate way to do so. We think that every couple should travel together early in their relationship to better know each other and to improve some abilities that are key for the relationship to be successful.
1. Reaching agreements
Choosing the destination of the next trip requires an agreement among us. But even when the destination has been chosen, we might have different opinions on the itinerary to be followed or the activities to do there. During all this time travelling together, we have learned to balance our trips so that they can be satisfactory for both of us.
Dídac loves nature and adventure, while I (Laura) prefer urban destinations and museums. I might propose a trip to Firenze, while he wants to enjoy of the snow in the Pyrenees. But since we love travelling, in all manners, we are open to each other’s suggestions and because of that our trips are mixed and funny.
2. Overcoming adversity
For the time being, we have self-organized all our trips. Although all of them have been satisfactory, of course we have experienced some setbacks. We almost run out of fuel in the Etosha National Park. We weren’t able to find a free campsite in Tomar (Central Portugal) so we thought we would not have a place to sleep that night (until we finally found such desired campsite). We weren’t sure about one of the trains that we had to take from Koyasan to Nara and finally trusted on the advice of a kind Japanese man. Our hotel in Moscow was worse than expected. But after all, we were on vacation, so we tried to cheer us up and go ahead with our trips.
3. Managing our joint economy
We travelled together months before we started living together, so it was during our trips that we trained ourselves on managing a joint economy. All destinations offer lots of activities, tourist sites, good restaurants and nice hotels, so we constantly need to choose among them. Everyone has his/her priorities but the important thing is that you share them with your travel mate.
For us it is important to see and do as much as possible in each destination and this reduces the budget for luxury hotels and expensive restaurants. But as always, the key is to achieve a good balance among all the offer to meet the expectations of both Dídac and me. If possible, we try to have a nice dinner and a unique accommodation in every trip.
4. Opening our minds
I hardly had eaten sushi one week before our departure to Japan and now I love it. We were concerned about the difficulties of self-organizing a trip to Namibia until we saw with our own eyes that it is a quiet and significantly modern country. Dídac wasn’t sure about the tourist attractions of Lyon, but it became the perfect weekend break. Travelling has helped us be more cultivated and tolerant. Being together 24 hours a day in a strange environment is messy and funny at the same time.
5. Creating good memories together
I love when we are watching a film or a documentary at home and we both say at the same time: “oh, we’ve been there!”, “oh, we’ve eaten that”. I like decorating our home with our own pictures and souvenirs. A photo from Lisbon, another one from Hallstatt… Listening to songs that remind us of a place or a moment. Each couple that travels has its own map of emotions and memories and if we draw them down into a real map we can track the exact route until what we are today.
As Charles Schulz said, “in life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with”.