3 months after we first met, Jochem and I took a 3 week trip to Iceland. So while we knew we would probably be okay when we decided to go travel around Asia for 6 months (that turned out to be 3,5, wassup Covid!) it was still some sort of a test. As always, other people seemed to be more concerned for us than we were, but it did get us to thinking. Should we talk about some rules? Traveling with your partner may seem wonderful and romantic and fun, but we all have our quirks. Did we talk about it? Nope. Are we still together? Yup. Here’s what we learned along the way!
Talk About Your Expectations
Take Your Me Time
Some of us need more time alone than others. I for one, need it at home and didn’t think I needed it in vacation mode, but I did and I was a happier person for it. (And so was Jochem!). Go take that massage, go shopping or whatever you need. Your partner will find something to do. If anything, it’s to drink beer, but do they ever complain about that?
Don’t Let The Heat Get To You
It’s 40 degrees, you’ve been walking around for hours, sweating like a sinner in church, humidity worsening every step you take and the mood goes sour. Quickly. You can’t find the place you’re looking for and you get snappy because all of it is just getting too much. Welcome to a day of our lives in Indonesia. Take a breather before it gets to that point. Find some shade or aircon and have a drink. You’re on holiday. And yes, that temple might be closing in 10 minutes but are you gonna enjoy it when you feel sweat rolling into your buttcrack?
Do Not Get Hangry
Imagine all of the above, and then you’re hungry. Don’t forget to snack in between meals, whether it’s a banana or pie. (And honestly, food is half the fun anyway). Our philosophy is; you never know when you’re gonna be stuck in a place without food and for how long. Take that for a life lesson!
Don’t Delete The Stupid Photos
The under chins, the eating with your mouth open and the falling off the boat. Yeah yeah, they’re embarrassing, but they’re so much fun! Not everything has to go on Instagram anyway. Speaking of Instagram, not every photo has to be staged or taking half a day to get right. Take the stupid photo.
It’s helpful to semi establish who’s responsible for what. Who’s good at planning, who’s good with money and who organizes the logistics? It takes some of the last minute pressure off and avoids the irritation of one person feeling like they’re doing everything and the other lounging about.
This will be different for everyone, but for us it meant spending a little extra dough on a nice hotel with a pool or bungalow with a bathtub or good shower. Just to get a good night’s sleep, enjoy decent water pressure or being able to cool off! Every now and then we’d also go for a nice dinner. When you’ve been traveling for a while, it works miracles!
Open Your Mind
To new experiences, to new people, to each other. If anything, now is the time to explore things you never have before, meet people you otherwise never would have and learn from everything around you. The good stuff and the bad!