Welcome to the latest in our series Where Love Meets Adventure! Every month (or sometimes twice a month!) we celebrate our love for traveling as a duo and share the tales of other adventurous couples. Today, we introduce you to another awesome pair.
Meet Jessica & Laurence of Independent Travel Cats &
Hello! Please introduce yourselves!
Hi! We’re Jessica Norah and Laurence Norah, and we’re a full time travel blogging couple. We run two travel blogs: Independent Travel Cats and Finding the Universe. Independent Travel Cats is a couples travel blog focused on in-depth travel advice with a luxury bent. Finding the Universe is a travel blog focused more on travel photography, photography tips, and adventure travel. Jessica is from the United States (born in Ohio) and Laurence is from the UK (born in Wales, grew up in England and the Seychelles). Prior to setting off to travel the world, Jessica earned a PhD in clinical psychology and was working as a psychologist in California and Laurence was working as a IT consultant in England. Since we got married we’ve based ourselves in Scotland, from where we explore the world!
When did you first start traveling together?
From day one actually. We met while in a travel conference in Italy, then met up in San Francisco, and then in Finland. After Finland we’ve been together since. We’ve been to four continents together so far over the past 2 years.
How would you describe your travel style?
These are definitely different:
Laurence: Easy going, minimal planning, and always wandering around with a camera. Can sleep almost anywhere.
Jessica: Likes to plan ahead and likes to see a lot when she visits a place. Interested in culture and history and her tastes run more to luxury.
What has been the most rewarding part of traveling as a couple?
It is great to always have someone with you to talk to, get advice, share funny stories, and support each other when things are not going so well. The best part is all the shared memories.
What has been the most challenging part of traveling as a couple?
Sometimes having to compromise on what we do or can do because we do have different tastes and strengths. But we tend to both just go along with each other and make sure that we are both getting to see and experience the things we want. Laurence comes to museums and afternoon teas and Jess waits patiently outside for sunset photo shoots.
Have you ever had a fight on the road/while traveling, and how did you handle it?
Yes, of course! Luckily mostly over petty stuff but we have had a couple of bigger arguments while traveling, one in which I (Jess) actually left to travel on my own for a couple of days before coming back to get some time away. But generally they are small things that we are able to handle before they blow up through talking about it, trying to understand the other person, and compromising when needed. Patience is definitely key as it is easy to get cranky and upset during stressful travel experiences such as missed flights, lost luggage, or illness.
Can you share your funniest, most humorous experience traveling together?
We spent two weeks living in a small minivan with two fairly anti-social cats, which resulted in a lot of hilarity and one scar. Ok, so this wasn’t hilarious at the time, but we can look back on it with smiles now! I think most of our amusing experiences are like that – possibly stressful at the time, but once its over, you can look back and laugh!
Where have you been that you would recommend as the top destination for couples travel?
There are so many places we have loved and it depends a lot on the kind of couple. Paris is always a classic romanic spot and we’d also recommend Venice as that is where we got married. Hawaii is a great place for those looking for an easy sunny destination with lots of outdoor activities, and Scotland or Ireland are great for those seeking more rugged green windswept places. Luxury trains are great places for romance and we were lucky to have done a trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in 2015, although you do have bunk beds haha. But I think almost any place can be a romantic getaway with a little effort and one doesn’t need to look far. For instance, early in our relationship we did a weekend getaway in Redding California which is not known as a romantic destination, and we just sought out places and activities that fit into our idea for a romantic weekend. We recently went to Sri Lanka which is not really considered a romantic destination either but we put together a pretty romantic Sri Lanka itinerary (for us anyway!) and loved it.
How long have you two been together?
We have been together as a couple for over 2 years, and married for about 1.5 years (seems like just yesterday!).
Do you think your relationship would be different if you didn’t travel?
Yes, we definitely think it would be different for us. But travel has always been a part of our relationship as we met in Italy, then lived in California, got married at sea (and then we got married again in Venice), were nomadic for a bit, and now live in Scotland. As travel bloggers and photographers, we couldn’t do our jobs without traveling, and since we’ve always been traveling together, it is impossible to imagine. But I think that even if we didn’t or couldn’t travel, we’d still make the relationship work.
How do you define love?
We’re not sure we have a great answer, but we think love is finding someone you want to share the rest of your life with, who accepts you for who you are, and is always there for you.
Be sure to keep up with Jessica & Laurence’s adventures on all their social media: