There are so many reasons to travel as a couple and we keep finding new ones as we go. After spending pretty much 24/7 together for roughly two and a half years, most of it while travelling together, we’ve learned quite a bit about each other and about travel and relationships.
The major thing we’ve learned is that travel offers to couples a whole list of things that can’t be found elsewhere. It provides a variety of opportunities to learn about each other, grow, develop skills and make relationship decisions.
Travel doesn’t always have to be about the destination. Sure, you may have always wanted to go to a particular place, but even if one of you has no desire to see new places, travel itself can be an important tool for a relationship and worth it in the end.
We’ve Created A Video on “5 Things Travel Does For Couples”
Watch the video if you don’t feel like reading.
How Travel Helps Relationships
Though the list could be a lot longer, we’ve put together 5 major reasons to travel as a couple. These are things that travel does for couples and their relationship, that many other things can’t offer all at the same time.
1. Creates Bonding Moments
Travelling as a couple offers opportunities to make so many memories together. These become bonding moments, not only as those memories are being created, but also as you look back on them and remember. Each time that memory arises, each time you retell the story, or each time something comes up to trigger that memory, you are both thrust back to that moment and that time together.
These experiences and memories are things that only the two of you share and that in itself makes it a bonding moment, time and time again as you reflect back on it.
Over the years, whether we’ve travelled or not, we’ve created memories that are shared just between the two of us. It’s during travel however, that we’ve found ourselves bonding the most. While travelling you’re together 24/7 for the most part, sharing every waking moment and every experience together. There’s boundless opportunities to make significant, humourous, interesting and, sometimes, private memories.
These are pieces of your relationship that come together to form a timeline of events and experiences that shape your relationship. They are pieces in time that no one else can understand.
For example, no one really understands our 150cc scooter ride from Chiang Mai to Pai, around 762 turns, up and down mountains with our backpacks on. The excitement, the adventure, the worry when the scooter just wouldn’t seem to make it up one particularly steep hill… all of it, every breathtaking landscape we saw, every stop we made where we communicated with locals in broken english and hand-gestures, is ours. Plain and simple. It was created by us, for us, and when we bring the story up, when we look at each other as we retell the experience, we know that there’s something intangible about that scooter ride that only we share.
2. Teaches You About Each Other
When you are with someone 24/7, as you are while travelling, you become quite exposed. There’s really very little you can hide from the other person.
Think of all the moments, both private and public, you have in a day. Now think of having someone else beside you for virtually all of them. And if they aren’t beside you, they know where you are or what you’re doing. That’s what travel does with a couple – it exposes them to every aspect of the other person’s day and life and it has you learning fast about the nitty-gritty of the person you’re in a relationship with.
There will be a great many things you learn that will bring you closer and have you knowing the other person on a deeper level. There will also be a great many things you learn that you may not have thought you needed to know… especially around personal habits and bodily functions. But in the end, you’ll be learning about each other, and that’s an important thing. Travel is a just a tool to speed up that process and help you delve into every aspect of each other and the relationship.
There will also be things that you never would have thought of that may, or may not, cause some tension and require thought and conversation to work out together. Things about each other that may test the relationship.
We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time together and though we still manage to learn a few thing here and there, we’re pretty confident in our knowledge of each other. There’s really nothing we don’t know, don’t speak about or don’t share because when you’re on the road, you often don’t have a choice!
3. Teaches You Survival Skills
Learning so much about each other is also a part of surviving as a couple and travel helps you discover how best to do that.
Together, you’ll face the best and worst of times while you navigate new destinations and situations. How you work through the good times and the bad, is part of learning to survive as a couple. It’s not easy to spend 24/7 with someone, faced with the brutal honesties of who you and the other person are, thrown into different situations you both need to work through together but in doing so you’ll find how the two of you can best cope and manage.
You’ll discover whether you can live with what you’ve learned about each other and you’ll find out whether or not you can work together, and how you both do so best.
You’ll also discover whether the relationship is even something you want to survive, whether you even want to work together. This may be a hard pill to swallow but travel can thrust your relationship into the light and have you seeing exactly what it is and what you want… even if that may be no relationship at all.
4. Strengthens Relationships Through Common Goals
Sharing common goals is one of the important hallmarks of a strong relationship. Having something you work towards together, and going through the steps to get there, is a powerful connecting force.
You’ll be motivating and supporting each other through the process, feeling good about achieving those goals and hitting milestones along the way, and finding a sense of purpose as individuals, and a partnership, that fosters happiness and a closeness with one another.
Travel, and all the steps while travelling, sets up common and mutual goals that you can work towards as a couple. There’s the planning and booking, the actually transit and travel and the execution of the plans that were made. It can sometimes take the both of you, working together, to accomplish the many parts of travel and in doing so, you’re brought closer together.
When unexpected situations arise, you’ll have to work together towards a common goal to sort through the problems or changes at hand.
As a whole, travel becomes a tool not only as a goal itself, but as a creator of smaller ones you can both work to achieve and strengthen the relationship as you do.
5. Develops Relationship Skills
As all of this suggests, relationships take work and developing relationship skills is an ongoing process. While travelling, you’re able to develop and improve on skills you can use in other situations as a couple and for life in general.
For instance, problem solving is a skill that is definitely honed as you travel. You’ll be able to see how you work together to deal with the unexpected and improve on how you do so. You’ll also see how to best work through problems that arise and solving them as you go. How do the two of you fare when the going gets tough? What are each of your strengths and weaknesses in those situations and how can you combine them in a way that works best at solving problems together?
Another major skill is compromise. What happens if you have differences in what you like or don’t like, where you want to go, what you want to do or how you want to do it? Being able to compromise in a relationship is huge and travel is a great way to practice and improve on that skill.
In large part, travel together is also about communication and that’s an important relationship skill that many people need to work on. Not only is it important to be able to express how you feel, it is also important to be able to receive that information from your partner and process it appropriately.
Sure, we get hangry and can find ourselves becoming short with each other, but we also know that, at the end of the day, we are able to explain ourselves effectively, tell each other whatever we need, and discuss any issues we have openly and with a positive reception.
Overall Importance Of Travel As A Couple
Obviously there’s a lot more to each of these points. Relationships take hard work. Travel is merely one way that a couple can grow together and because it is able to help in so many ways – by creating bonding moments, teaching you about each other, showing you survival skills, providing common goals and developing relationship skills – it is an invaluable tool to do so.
Whether you want to stay local or travel far, take a road trip or jump on a plane, simply getting away as a couple, facing the challenges and joys of travel together, will have you growing stronger together, learning more about each other than you thought possible and even making very real decisions on the future of your relationship.
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