We have been asked this question a lot; How do you spend 24/7 together and not want to kill each other? Fair enough question.
We have been traveling for 12 months now and the longest we have been apart is maybe a few hours. It’s not like we are newlyweds (we have been together for over 14 years), so we are not in any “honeymoon phase”. Most people that have been together this long spend over half their waking hours apart, mainly due to work, and even then they want a break! So how do we survive long term travel as a couple?
Well for one, we are fortunate that we do enjoy each others company. This obviously helps, but it is more than that. The word I will use is ‘similar’. We have similar interests (this blog being one) and enjoy similar atmospheres (mainly peace and quiet). When traveling we have similar ideas about what we want to see and both love the beach. Maybe the only difference is some of our music tastes (does any newly released music use guitar, bass and drums anymore? Do I sound old by complaining about today’s music? Probably yes to the second question).
The other thing we can do is ‘escape’ the 24/7 companionship in the same room. Nicole might be writing a blog entry, while I’m laying back listening to some podcast on my iPod. We can be in the same room and not talk for a few hours and be totally fine with it. You’re getting your private time, while being together. We find it easy to switch off from each other and do our own thing.
We also have a far less stressful life now that we are traveling. A lot of couples fights are built up through other things, such as work stress or some random guy cutting you off when you are driving home. This means we are generally a lot happier and this means we are happier with each other.
I also believe it has a lot to do with the fact we have house sat for a large portion of our travel life. It may be different if we were always stuck in a hotel room, or even worse a hostel. Having a house is fantastic. Nicole can surf the internet in the bedroom, while I can watch the TV in another room. This is one of the reasons we highly recommend house sitting to traveling couples.
Now it’s not like we don’t get on each other’s nerves. I know she does things that can drive me crazy, just like I do things that drive her crazy. I mean not putting my shoes away isn’t going to kill anyone! But with the fact we are living our dream and have a far less stressful life, it makes it easier to just move on from these things. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have you traveled as a couple? Did you survive it? Would you do it again?