How many times have we heard of people booking themselves a one-way ticket to mend a broken heart? I have known a number of acquaintances who have done the same thing. Most often, they would say the roller-coaster ride of going somewhere unfamiliar by one’s self brings some sort of energy that empowers the broken heart, bringing it back to life.
But, travel isn’t just for the broken-hearted. It’s definitely for those who are in love too! While you are both in love, there is also the constant need to learn how to live with each other, working things out as a couple. Even if you live just five minutes away from each other, travelling together on your own offers a whole new experience, and can lead to discoveries about the love of your life.
Chris and I met online and had been in constant communication for a couple of months before he flew to me and we became, officially, a couple. (Technically, we had been together but as true blue realists, we wanted to meet personally to hug, hold hands, kiss and have dates the way normal couples do, so we can gauge where we go from there.) With this, we would go travel together. When you are in a long-distance relationship like us, then I believe subjecting the relationship to a series of travel tests is essential.
Based on our experience, here’s why we think travel can be quite a catalyst for your romance.
- It strengthens your bond through the test of communication skills. When you are both in an unfamiliar place, you are left to finding things on your own. With this comes the need to communicate clearly and compromise on certain choices you have to make as a couple. You will find yourselves trying to come up with solutions to troubles you are facing, like missing your boat rides. When Chris and I traveled to Boracay, the weather wasn’t really on our side and the cancellation of trips to the island is a possibility. We tried to talk about the possible game plan and agreed on our alternative schedule for the day when it comes to worse. Also, we would talk about the food we can try that day, of the place we will hang out for the night. So just as with anything else, travel gives you the chance to talk and have your points heard.
- It gives you the chance to take control of things alternately. Going places mean asking for directions, right? Believe it or not,even just the simple task of asking for fare rates, transportation available and nearby restaurants is a a training for teamwork too. Though both of you might be quite endowed with the gift of gab, there are certain things that one partner can do a bit better than the other. When we travel together and are in the mood for European food, Chris takes the role of finding out what I could eat from the food choices available. When we want to buy local, example from food stalls and souvenir shops, I go forward and would make him smile when I get some discounts from the storekeeper. This is after all a partnership and not dictatorship. When we go shopping for our food, there are things I would remember and there are things he would put in the basket because I missed the list.
- The privacy offers much opportunity to be freely romantic. I live in the city that is quite an amalgamation of education & freedom and religion & restrictions. While majority of the citizens here are educated and the younger generation is generally liberal, the strong sense of religiosity and the unbending belief to the adherence on acceptable social attitude can be challenging. I know this is especially true in areas outside of Manila, Cebu, and Angeles where interracial couples are a commonplace. Chris has a very good relationship with my family and this gives us more leeway to be a bit showy at home. But, when we travel, we can truly act romantic freely, even amidst the sea of strangers. We could go strolling around while wrapped around each other’s arms by the beach or give a quick kiss on the lips while talking over dinner.
- The little fights helps you draw the lines of your partner’s limits. Travelling can be a sort of a test for couples as it puts you both in the middle of situations that can be annoying. As two very different individuals, you may want to do another thing or try some other stuff, right? This clash can lead to fights while travelling. When you are both pressed up to each other at all times, this can take its toll too. Imagine when you are both irritated or hungry or thirsty. Just one word can spark an argument and you find yourselves frowning on even the dumbest of things. Don’t get me wrong, this type of fighting isn’t negative at all. In fact, this is the sign you both are still the same unique persons you once were, and this makes you clash too. Naturally, you have to settle the rift and talk about what one likes and dislikes to settle the frustrations. For sure, you will come out quite closer with a deeper understanding of your partner. While in one of our trips, Chris and I had this fight over the 7/11 clerk’s mistake which ended up to me walking way ahead and him losing his way. We both met in our hotel’s shuttle pick-up area and after some seconds decided to talk about what went wrong. It was not perfectly pleasant but it told us about where the limit should be set.
- Gives you a sneak peek of the “living together” scenario. Once a relationship goes serious, there is no other way it should go but to the vision of having to share your life together. Since you can’t really be around each other round the clock, travelling together when possible gives both of you the chance to experience how life can be like when you have to share the space the whole time. This also entails that at some point, you will have to take the role of taking care of each other. No matter how simple the efforts can be, having the opportunity to be in the same flat together can inspire your instinct to care for the one you love. At home or vacation, I would always hand him his cup of coffee or tea, and he would always get up and hand me a glass of water when I wake up in the middle of the night. Sharing space can make you realize what your partner can be like when you finally live together.
Travelling with your partner can be a combination of thrill, challenges and discoveries, but overall, I believe it is an awesome experience. When you go to places, you share the trouble of planning and overcoming challenges when you arrive. Imagine two heads trying to figure out the nearest route. That can be a disaster too, though! When one has to do the personal necessities, there is no worry of missing bags and stuff. Alternately, when facing a terrible situation, one of you may try to confront the restaurant staff for the wrong beer flavor and the other kept telling you to calm down and let it pass.
The travel with your partner may not be always perfect but the precious moments of spending life-changing events, seeing funny happenings and being in a totally awkward situation together can really boost your romance by turning you into best of friends and ultimate source of comfort.