Couples Travel: 99% Awesome, 1% Ugly Crying and Diarrhea
While the title pretty much sums it up, there is a little more to it that that. A lot of people have asked how we're able to live, work, and travel together full time without killing each other, so we thought it was time to share our thoughts and experiences on traveling as a couple.
While couples travel is not all Mai Tais and orgasms on the beach (bummer, I know), 99% of the time traveling as a couple is flipping awesome. You get to share the most amazing, beautiful, and eye-opening moments of your life with the most important person in your world.
You really do get caught in the rain (at a Paris bakery with a lovesick Corsican), you'll grind like Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing (at a gritty Puerto Rican club), you'll start eating a four-hour dinner at midnight (in the vineyard of an Argentine winemaker), and you'll laze on white sand by the cerulean-blue Medeterranean Sea like the glitziest of celebs (cold box of Rose buried in the sand).
You'll show each other your absolute best selves. You'll learn to compliment each other and pick up each others slack. You'll learn teamwork in a way no Ropes Course can teach. You must have each other's backs 100% and you'll fully understand true compassion, empathy and compromise. You will learn basic first aid and how to tell her with convincing and loving eyes that "no, of course it's not a parasite crawling under your skin, you'll be fine." Then secretly exhale when you find out you were actually right (Thanks, Jeff.)
You'll make love in an overwater cabana, in a greenhouse, in a floating houseboat on the Panama Canal, at 11,000 feet elevation. All of your most romantic fantasies of world travel will and do come true. But those times, while stunning, are not the entire picture.
You'll also be terrified. A lot. Especially as your bus clings to a hair-pin road not nearly wide enough on the crumbly side of a mountain, or when you get caught in an unexpected current that nearly drags you into the deep Black Sea. You'll literally bet your life on rusty zipline cables, the skills of your tuk tuk driver, and your tour guide's sense of direction. You'll freak the eff out when a crazy storm rips the front panel off the greenhouse you're living in clean off. Then you'll scream at each other as you try to duct tape it back on in the blinding rain. And you'll definitely hug your purse, and his hand, a bit tighter after your friends are held at gun point for a few pesos.
And in all of this, you'll show each other your very worst too. You'll lay all your fears, weaknesses, and buried sufferings at each others feet. You'll share everything. From feelings to finances, from deoderant to bathrooms, and you'll see, hear and smell things you never wanted to see, hear or smell from your previously 'perfect' Ken or Barbie.
You'll scream and ugly-cry all over the place, you'll say horrible things and doubt yourself and each other more than you've ever doubted before. And you know what, sometimes that is just too much. Sometimes this is where the story ends and you end up with great memories and a fresh start. And that's OK, because you did it. You went there and those lessons you learned and experiences you had will never be wasted.
But if you survive as a couple, which hopefully you do, then the absolute best is truly yet to come. The light that fills each other's eyes as you re-live, remember, and laugh about it all afterwards is priceless. Those memories are made exponentially better because you lived through it all, the good, the bad, the fantasies and the terrors, together. And often, being together is how you lived through it all in the first place.
You shouldered both the burdens and the blessings hand in hand, you helped each other up, and wiped away tears, and you're undoubtedly stronger because of that. You both gaped, speechless as the sun set over the mountains, felt the wave of relief when you put your greenhouse back together, or the diarrhea finally stopped. You lived those life-changing, crazy-ass moments as a team and no one else will ever understand it or feel it or see it exactly as you did together.
So, having said all this and lived to tell about it as a couple, would we recommend that you, dear reader, travel the world with your significant other? Abso-freaking-lutely! As long as you survive, and regardless of what happens to your relationship status, you will have enriched your own life in a monumental way. You will be a better person for whoever you end up with. But if afterwards you love your crazy travel partner even more, then that is just the icing on be-coupled cake.
So go on, get out there. Be brave, take a chance, and see what your relationship is made of...start with just a week or two and go from there. If you don't believe me, then at least listen to the wine: after all, the grape vines that are stressed just the right amount bear the best fruit! XO!