A few years ago I made plans to travel with a guy I had just started casually seeing. My suggestion, a cozy bed and breakfast, his response, “In an old house? That’s too weird. No way.” He obviously wasn’t into camping, Couchsurfing, or Airbnb either. The only option he would accept was a boring, stale, expensive hotel. I knew right away I needn’t spend any more time getting to know him; next please!
Mark Twain said it best (he usually does), “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” In my travels I have found this to be true for friends, family, and especially for a significant other.
There is something about traveling that breaks us down to the nity grity and reveals our truest selves. How we travel (luxury or adventure, or somewhere in between) and how we respond in new or unexpected situations. Which is why I believe it is of utmost importance to travel far, and often with your partner, especially early on in the relationship. If you can hop on the fast track to learning the good, the bad, and the ugly about your person, while exploring somewhere new, why not? Might save you a lot of time and potential heartache down the road.
You booked online to rent a car, but when your flight lands and you find the car rental shop closed for the night, and the last train to the ancient Moroccan village you were planning to stay at has already left, and realize it’s going to be an 8 hour night on the floor of the Casablanca Airport (true story). This kind of scenario is a perfect patience tester. It is easy to see the true colors of frustration and discomfort seep out. If you happen to find someone who takes a situation like this and makes the best of it, don’t let them go! A cold, hard airport floor over night is much more cozy bearable when you have someone to snuggle with!
Have you ever tried setting up a tent with your significant other? It is a good way to learn how you two work together as a team. An even quicker way to learn is to try setting up that tent on a mountain with gusting wind. Or in the rain. Or try taking it down the next morning when you’re both tired and hung-over. Easier said than done. When this little test proves to be a cakewalk for you two, don’t take this this sweet treat for granted! Having a great teammate in traveling and in life is priceless.
When you are traveling there are no shortage of chances everyday to see how you and your significant other handle money together. It’s a good balance when you find someone who can indulge enough to enjoy a few treats on vacation, without maxing out the credit cards. If you are planning to spend a future with this person, it is absolutely essential you both trust each other with finances, and traveling can be a fun way to test that out! This might be a good time to see what money system works for you. Separate accounts, having a joint-kitty (you both put in the same amount of money and draw from there for common expenses), or some other solution that works for you two. When it comes to money, you need a partner you can really count on. (get it? like counting money.)
So glad I’ve found a life/travel partner who loves hammock snuggles & naps as much as I do.