Successful relationships require compromise. And nothing shows your ability to compromise like traveling with your S.O.
If you plan on marrying your S.O. someday — or even if you’re just planning on moving in together — you should first travel to a strange land, even if it’s Poughkeepsie NY.
Traveling with your S.O. is a good insight into what life together forever will be like.
You’ll be out of your comfort zones. You’ll spend more uninterrupted time together than you do at home. You’ll get insight into each other’s idiosyncrasies. You’ll have to manage a micro-budget. You’ll interact with strangers. You’ll disagree on directions. You’ll likely fight.
So, go away with your S.O.
But watch out. You might discover that you like different things when you travel. How do you prepare for this life-lesson when you want to holiday differently together? Here are 11 points to keep in mind:
Talk before you walk.
If you’re certain you want to travel together and certain you’ll want different things from traveling, have a talk before you head off on your big adventure.
Be open and honest about what you both want. Talk through your differences. You may relish lying on the beach with a good book. Your S.O. may want to hike every trail available.
It’s possible to do both and both be happy. It’s just easier if you talk first.
I did say talk before you walk, but money requires its own talk.
Traveling with your S.O. can bring your different money beliefs into sharper focus. Before leaving with your bae, be clear on your vacation budgets. Know how you’ll divide and conquer expenses.
Be okay if you’re not splitting it 50/50, but know that you’re not splitting it 50/50 before you go. Be clear with how you’ll spend your money and how long it must last. If you each have your own budgets, be okay with the idea that you won’t spend the same amount.
Traveling long distance for a long time may be the ideal vacation, but it’s only ideal if your S.O. is your ideal travel buddy.
Take it slow at first. Go away for the weekend, maybe just a short road trip. After you survive 24 hours, maybe shoot for 48 hours, and then 168 hours, and so on.
With each successful trip, move onto longer and farther trips. It sucks when your first trip is two weeks together on the other side of the world and you have no place to go to escape from what turned out to be a Bad Idea.
Spend time alone.
You’re an extrovert and your S.O.’s an introvert. You’re the drummer and your S.O.’s the lead singer. This is okay. It’s not often that couples are the exact same and that’s okay. It’d be kind of boring otherwise. Be okay with time alone. Get away from each other. Distance yourselves from yourselves and make your hearts grow fonder of each other.
Use each other’s strengths.
The Wonder Twins are wonderful because they’re not alike. They have different strengths and personalities. Leverage what you’ve got and let your boo leverage what they’ve got.
One of you may be directionally challenged while the other can’t itemize a dinner bill. One of you may be better at driving on the opposite side of the road while the other is better at speaking the local language.
Let go of what you’re not good at and relish the ways your other half makes life easier on the road.
Whether you have a short-term S.O. or a long-term S.O., the success of your relationship hinges on compromise.
Don’t lose yourself completely in the life of your other half, but also remember that you’re not the only one in the relationship. Give a little while you get a little. That leads to a lot. The reward is you both get a little of what you want and a lot of time and experiences together.
Set a low bar.
When you first travel together, set low expectations. Don’t wish for or expect the worst; just don’t expect a honeymoon. Sometimes it best to hope for the best and plan for not the best.
Practice does make perfect. Patience isn’t just a Guns & Roses’ song.
You’ll both be out of your elements when traveling with your S.O. You won’t have the comforts of home. You won’t have your reliable resources. The environment may be unfamiliar. All of these variables, when different, add up and add pressure on both of you. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and forgive easily.
Practicing patience is about your reaction to your S.O. Being chill is about being patient with the unfamiliar.
Everything may be new and different to your bae and one (or both) of you might go off the rails. You need to stifle the urge to freak out and try to be calm.
Realize that things rarely go exactly according to plan. You need to be chill when traveling with your S.O. Be okay with how everything flows — or doesn’t flow.
Live in the moment.
Lao Tzu said, “If you’re stressed about something you’re worried about the future. If you’re depressed, you’re worried about the past.” Neither the future nor the past is
Neither the future nor the past represent true reality. Only the here and now exists. Live in the moment. You both will have a much better experience.
Remember the point.
Don’t forget that the point of traveling with your S.O. is to spend time and create experiences.
Remember that you had enough interest in this person to make them your boo. You enough interest to go away together. Value the time you spend together because before you know it you’ll be back to your old routine.
A vacation should be fun, exciting, and relaxing. Focus on the fun and whether you and your S.O. want the same thing, you’ll have a good time.
Do you have a story of traveling with your S.O.? Was it a nightmare or bliss? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.