So. You’re thinking of traveling with your boyfriend.
Should you do it?
What should you know before you go?
Much like those you might pick up in a doctor’s office, we’ve prepared this “pamphlet” for you entitled “So You’re Thinking of Traveling With Your Boyfriend.” As a traveling couple who met on the road and lives for adventuring side by side, our initial response is, of course, a resounding YES. But here’s what to know before you go.
It isn’t all postcard perfect.
Unfortunately, traveling with your boyfriend isn’t all swoon-worthy Instagram selfies and lying on the beach (though that can certainly be a part of it). It’s important to remember that part of travel is the travel itself: flights, layovers, navigating a new area, bus rides, jet lag, etc. And if you’re young and traveling on a budget, you might have to figure the romance that is the hostel into the mix.
While traveling with a partner can be an absolute dream, don’t forget to prepare for the less-than-stellar stuff. These moments, though sometimes stressful, often end up being the biggest laughs, however (and the best memories). So my advice? Choose someone with a sense of humor.
Traveling will test you as individuals.
We know that a typical vacation doesn’t present a lot of challenges, but when it comes to more long-term or far-reaching travel, there are lessons to be learned. Whether you travel on your own or as a couple you’re going to find that travel changes you. That’s one of the best and most beautiful things about it. But if you are traveling with a boyfriend, realize that these obstacles may be coming. This means, for a newer relationship, your partner will have the opportunity to see you in a range of situations, and these might not bring out the best in you.
Traveling will test your relationship.
A lot of people say that traveling is a great initial test of compatibility. Well, you don’t need to backpack through Southeast Asia for 3 months to know if a significant other is the one for you, but an experience like that will absolutely reveal your strengths and difficulties as a couple. Making it through a meaningful experience like travel and finding yourselves on the other side still in tact and still in love…well, that says a great deal about your long-term chances. If you’re ready to find out if he is the right match for your wandering soul, take him on a whirlwind trip and see how he fares.
Your introversion/extraversion will come out hard.
Traveling as a couple is a simple way to discover how your energy levels mesh. Nathan and I are opposites: he is an introvert and I am an extravert. This doesn’t mean that I constantly outgoing and ready to socialize and he wants to stay in every night. Instead, it reveals itself in the way we interact with one another and with the world around us. When I have a thought or a plan, I like to process it out loud. Nathan, on the other hand, functions mainly internally. Sometimes we drain one another. Sometimes we have arguments based on our energies.
If you’re a pair of opposites, these things will make themselves known quite plainly during travel. This is a chance for the two of you to grow stronger as a couple, learning to respect and understand your partner’s needs and natural temperament. It’s an opportunity to surmount conflicts as a team. And it’s also a time to see how well you can give and take as a unit. This has tremendous power in creating long-lasting love.
Not every couple is meant to travel together.
If it’s what you want, you will probably find a way to make it happen. Compromise. Discussion.
But the truth of the matter may be, not every couple is destined to become great travel companions. Travel can be like anything else. Maybe your boyfriend isn’t the person you go shopping with (probably not). Or maybe your wife is not the one you take fishing. Travel might be that way for you as a couple. And that is totally okay. It may be something you pursue more frequently solo or with friends. Or, if you do travel as a couple, it might mean making concessions to ensure each of you has the most enjoyable trip.
Does this mean you can’t have a successful relationship? Absolutely not!
At the end of the day, travel can never define your love. It does not really make or break a relationship. A trip gone poorly is not the death knell of your partnership.
If it is what you want, together, then travel can be an amazing way to connect, share experiences, and explore this beautiful planet together. But couples find joy in so many different things together. It doesn’t have to be travel.
So as you consider traveling with your boyfriend…remember, the relationship doesn’t hinge on this one experience.
And of course, this PSA isn’t only for those considering traveling with a boyfriend. Although adventuring with someone new is a different animal then setting out with your husband or wife, these caveats can apply in any partnership situation.
So, you ready? I say go for it. No matter what, you’ll have an experience to write home about.
(Or write to us! Tell us in the comments about your experiences traveling with a boyfriend, girlfriend, or other partner.)