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Facing my Fears: Afraid to Travel

Have you ever been travelling and when it has come time to move on you can’t or don’t want to? I am facing my fears on that at the moment.

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We are strong believers that slow travel is the best way to see the world. We don’t like rushing through every city and country gathering stamps in our passport.

That’s why we choose to work abroad while on our adventures. It allows us to travel for longer. It is why we lived in Jasper National Park for a year before choosing our European base in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle Braveheart Scotland

Our original idea was to stay a few months in different places to experience a part of the globe before skipping off to the next destination.

That was two years ago.

Before I knew it our temporary destination has become our home away from home.  The driver on my bus to work knows my name. I recognize people in my local supermarket.

And now that we are facing the possibility of leaving I find myself scared. I am too attached to leave, but don’t really want to stay.

I am afraid to travel.

How did this happen to us? When did we forget our travel purpose of being temporary residents in a city?

In hindsight I made a few mistakes.

I found a really good group of friends. I am in a job I really enjoy and could easily see myself here in five years time. I have even scoped out a local coffee shop with a gorgeous chocolate cake on the menu.

Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs

In essence I have made myself a life here. And now I feel like I am going to be leaving home for the second time.

But as I sit here writing this post, I can see our motivation in the background. A giant map of the world. And I am reminded that Edinburgh is a very small part of that world. There are so many places I still want to see.

World Map

And moving isn’t all that bad.

Moving to a new place is exciting. Exploring new neighborhoods, eating at new restaurants and finding secret views for the first time.

It can be so easy to lose sight of your travel goals. That is why travelling as a couple is so great. We can remind each other of our purpose.

Cole is great at cheering me up when I start to get sad about leaving. But all it takes is a small reference to a city on my bucket list dream list and I am dreaming of the future in a new destination…

Three Valleys Sunset

This might become our next temporary home.

So as I finish this article I am happier than when I started writing. I cannot call myself a traveller if I am not facing my fears and I am reminded that the world really is our oyster. We have so many great adventures ahead of us to experience.

While it will be hard, it will be worth it.

All we have to do is take the leap.

This is a post from a series called Facing my Fears. It helps us to step outside our comfort zone, in comfort. Check out the rest of the series here.

Tell us about how you Face your Fears when moving to a new destination in the comments.

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69 Comments

69 Comments

  1. Annette | Bucket List Journey

    October 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    It would be hard to leave a place once you feel happily comfortable, especially hard to leave that cake! But, you are right, there is a whole big world out there to see 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Thanks Annette! We are taking the steps to make sure we get out there and see it all 😉 But you are right, that cake is delicious haha.

  2. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    As fellow slow travelers we completely understand that comfortable feeling of having a temporary home on the road–and the reluctance to leave it! We’ve begun house sitting (which we love–post on that going up this week) and we’re currently back in Nicaragua at a friend’s house enjoying the comforts of home (doing laundry! cooking food!), at least for now. It will be hard to move on again, but exciting as well–especially with batteries fully charged by a period of non-travel. Can’t wait to hear where you guys are off to next!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      We keep looking at house sitting for our next option. Applied for a couple of them but then when it has come around to finalising the details we haven’t been able to make it. Next time for sure.

  3. Victoria

    October 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I can relate to this. It’s hard when you find somewhere you love, but I guess you can always go back if you want to. I think it’s also important to not feel too much pressure to see it all. Staying for longer than you thought in somewhere you love isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a tricky balance sometimes. On another note, your next temporary home looks colder than Edinburgh! Do you brave the jandals in such cold climates?!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      Haha we can’t go back because of the visa situation actually!

      We love the snow 😉 But might have to leave the jandals in storage while we are there.

  4. Laurence

    October 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    It sounds like you have a great life up in Edinburgh – but you’re right – the world is such an amazing place and there is so much out there to see! Change is always going to be a scary thing, however many times we do it – but I think you’e on the right path 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Maybe we need to find someone that has a small campsite or something to relax on for a few weeks…

  5. Vera

    October 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Adela -I left Rotorua although they had THE BEST chocolate brownies EVER on the weekly night market, and so can you;)!! …I’ve had a few places that I didn’t feel like leaving, because I didn’t have the feeling I was ‘over with it’ yet (and then I just got stuck there until I got more excited about leaving than I was happy with staying). I think that it is actually pretty awesome that you have had such good experiences with making friends, loving work, being greeted by the bus driver – and finding THAT chocolate cake! Locating good chocolate cake is never a mistake, it’s a talent, and you shall take it with you, to your next destination, so don’t be afraid;)!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Thanks Vera, you are right I do look back on my time here with really fond memories which is great. And you are so right about not leaving a place and getting stuck there! And I have high hopes for finding a new coffee joint 🙂

  6. Lesley Peterson

    October 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Does traveling mean never going back or retracing one’s steps? Is a place the same place once moved forward in time? I really enjoy revisiting places, again and again, for new art shows and architecture, to see what has changed and what hasn’t, just to enjoy what pleased me before: the food, the weather, a favorite painting. I get around pangs of travel regret by consciously saying ‘next time’. And surprisingly there nearly always is a ‘next time’ even if I don’t plan for it. Happens more often than not, even if it takes years. Love Scotland, it’s definitely on my short list for a revisit.

  7. Andy

    October 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    The old notion of the hardest step is the first one was never more true. It is extremely difficult to move sometimes especially if we have been stationary for a while. The longer you get to moving, the easier it becomes. Thanks for the cool post! Keep traveling and living the dream!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Thanks Andy, I am hoping after I make the choice to move the actual move will be easy! As you said I have to keep living the dream!

  8. Jenna

    October 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    It’s tough to leave a good thing, no doubt! Though sometimes it helps to remind yourself that things rarely stay the same. The friends you have could leave, the job could change its home base, and the coffee shop could turn into a nail salon 🙂 I don’t mean to say you should expect the worst, but rather appreciate the moment without attachment, as Buddhists say. You have the rest of your life to move back if you choose!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      I so know what you mean Jenna, in fact a few of my friends are moving on not long after we are planning to leave – so that is a comfort! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Just remember that great big wide world that’s out there waiting for you and I think you’re gonna do just fine. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Thanks Raymond – I try to keep reminding myself of that! Or at least Cole is there to remind me 🙂

  10. Trudy

    October 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Good luck with your next move – where are you off to next? We are leaving Holland in December after over a year and I’ve got mixed feelings. I’m totally ready to go but it takes this amount of time to really know a place and we have such good friends here. It’s hard also if you have a job you love cause that’s always something that’s hard to find. I’m glad you love Edinburgh though, I think it might be on my future home list!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      You should definitely put Edinburgh on your “to live in” list Trudy, its a great city 🙂 We have a few options in mind for our next destination; France, Berlin or maybe even Spain. Holland will be great though – good luck with the move I am sure you will do great 🙂

  11. Juliann

    October 17, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I love moving to new places. Until I met my husband, I moved every year or so. But he likes being near family, and I’ve come to value that more and more, too. Now we just take move vacations to quench my wanderlust. But if he ever says, “Let’s move,” I’ll have our bags packed and ready to go within minutes.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      We do miss our families a lot! But luckily with Skype and cheaper travel we do get to see them lots to keep our homesickness away 🙂

  12. Pete

    October 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I think we all have the same feelings at times, but for they immediately disappear once I step foot on that plane, train or whatever and know that I’m going somewhere else. It’s the challenge that I strive for. Staying put for too long and having a routine is what scares me. Best of luck and hopefully our paths will meet up sooner or later 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      The act of travelling is definitely a great motivator to keep on moving. We have just become too relaxed with our slow travel way of life. Need a good kick up the a$$ to get going again!

  13. Cathy Sweeney

    October 19, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I always get a little sad whenever I leave a place — whether I’ve been there a short time or a long time. But I get excited as soon as I think about the adventure ahead! However, that chocolate cake does look like it might be just enough reason to stay in Edinburgh. Happy travels!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      I think on our last day in Edinburgh we will be visiting the cake shop 😉 We have too many other places to visit to get tied down for too long, that’s for sure!

  14. Laurel

    October 19, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I like having a base too and exploring from there. Looking forward to seeing where you next adventure takes you.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      It is a bit scary that we still haven’t organised where our next adventure will be. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks we will have it confirmed!

  15. Mikeachim

    October 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I love travel…except when I’m about to do it. There’s something in me that digs its heels in and has a Little Madam (Little Mister?) hissy-fit. Confuses me no end, because once I’m off, I almost always love it, partly because I have no choice by that point, but partly because of the excitement you mention…

    I’ve concluded it’s not travel that I’m afraid of, it’s uncertainty, and the more predictability I have in my life, the more difficult I find it to handle leaps into the dark. When I’m ready to move, my mind is coming up with all sorts of excuses as to why I need more time. I haven’t got x done. I haven’t taken advantage of the local delights of y. I haven’t properly said goodbye to z. But what I’m really fighting, I think, is my mind having grown accustomed to predictable routine. It’s not the place – it’s the certainty of being here tomorrow, and the day after, etc.

    Wherever we stop, we are surrounded by routines. People making grooves in the world by doing similar things day in, day out. This is how societies survive and the world would fall over if people didn’t set down habitual roots like this (travelers being freakish in this respect. If everyone decided to hit the road, governments would collapse overnight. Discuss). And it’s not about “good” or “bad”, it’s how almost all of the world works. And partly because of that, and partly because of thousands of years of cultural conditioning, we settle into routines so very easy, and we grow comfortable with predictability.

    (Disclaimer: I may be talking out my ass, you’ve met me, you know what I’m like – but also, I’m reading a very good book called “Uncertainty”, by Jonathan Fields. Much food for thought on this topic).

    Here’s a really interesting read on travel and stability – where the author is making a case for constant movement being as difficult to get out of as constantly staying in one place: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/07/31/on-being-an-illegible-person/

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Brilliant points Mike. You should probably start writing or something as I think you have a great way with words…

      Totally nailed it though and it is amazing the comfort we all get out of having a set routine. Whether it is being able to visit your local coffee shop every morning or knowing that the Formula 1 is on at 2pm on a Sunday, it just works. I guess that is why we love travelling so much. We love to step outside our comfort zones, but I think humans can only handle so much unpredictability for so long. It is why everyone suffers from some sort of “travel burn out” after a while.

  16. James Shannon

    October 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Sweet ski photo near the end of the post … where’s it located?

    No worries guys, I’m sure you’ll find aspects of your new destination that will hook you just as you found those things about Edinburgh that appealed to you…

    Facebook is a wonderful thing … you and your new friends will make plans to link up again, somewhere in the world, before you even realize it! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      The photo is from the 3 Valleys ski resort in France. Epic area and about 20 times larger than Marmot! No joke.

      Cheers for the reassurances too 😉

  17. D.J. - The World of Deej

    October 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    This is definitely one of my biggest concerns with venturing out long term. I’m afraid that every place I’d land would start to become home. But you’re right…they’re just small pieces of a big world that needs exploring…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      Nowhere will be exactly like home, but when you get into a routine it is really hard to break it! I guess that is why so many people don’t find the time to travel ever in their lives!

  18. Stephen Schreck

    October 22, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    I have moments like that, usually about a month before I am due to leave until my first day traveling. Once I land in a place I have never been all those feeling are replaced by the amazing feeling you can only get while traveling. That being said I challenge anyone not to spend a long time in Edinburgh and not want to leave.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Definitely agree Stephen! Once we step onto the plane on our way to a new destination all our fears evaporate and the sense of adventure returns. Pity we all like routines so much.

  19. Peter Lee

    October 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I think it is really difficult to move from your comfort zone to a another place. But it all depends on you, if you like changes than it would be the best thing you can do yourself. Moving to a new place is great way to meet new people, experience their culture and explore new places.

  20. flip

    October 23, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    moving to a new destination is exciting for me as I’m motivated in seeing new things and trying new stuff… but after being on the road for quite some time now (18 months).. i’m thinking of staying put in just one place for a few months to rest and just to chill and do nothing 🙂 thanks for sharing your insight on this topic…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      We all need a little bit of routine in our lives every now and then. It is amazing how quickly the itch to travel comes on though after just a few days or weeks in one spot!

  21. Pola (@jettingaround)

    October 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I can understand getting comfortable in a place and attached to friends, favorite hangouts, the daily routine. I hope that your fears soon give way to the excitement of exploration you describe. Best of luck and enjoy!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      We are getting excited about moving on now that we have a plan… all will be revealed soon! 🙂

  22. Angela

    October 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I understand your fear of traveling and leaving the places you love, I have it too sometimes, but the fear of not traveling is bigger 😉 Probably the most painful time for me was when I left China, I’m almost afraid to go back because I don’t want to feel the pain of leaving all over again!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      Totally agree that the fear of NOT travelling scares us more. Not sure what we would do with ourselves if someone ever told us we could never travel again!

  23. Lijiang

    October 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I also love to travel from one place to another places, that is so exciting. Always imagine about next destination. I like relaxing pace, not to rush.

  24. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    October 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I understand your mixed emotions. Traveling the world is great … but it’s also good to have a home, to see friends regularly, and to have a job you enjoy (though this can be on the road, too!). We recently moved from the U.S. to China for at least a year. There were mixed emotions as we had to give up a lot and bid farewell to a lot in order to come here, but we’re very glad we did. And I’m sure in a year or two when it’s time to move back home, we’ll face similar emotions about moving back! Good luck with your decision, guys!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Thanks Ellen for your support! It is always hard to say goodbye, but so exciting to go to new places. But as long as we keep reminding ourselves of that, then we will be fine 🙂

  25. Ali

    October 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    No matter how exciting change can be, it’s usually scary too. I like the comforts of home too, but I know I *need* that change. You keep in touch with friends and make new ones, and suddenly you have friends all over the world even if you can’t see them often. Good luck with the next step!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Cheers Ali. It is definitely the excitement of meeting new people, eating new foods, and trying new adventures that keeps us going after 3 years on the road!

  26. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I can relate to your fears. As an adult, I’ve never lived outside of the Atlanta area. For now, Bret and I both function best when we have a stable home base with friends, family, and our dog Huckleberry. Unfortunately, having a permanent home base has it’s drawbacks as well- more expensive to live, more expensive flights, less time to explore a new place. Good for you for facing your fears and moving on to the next phase in your travel life. Best of luck!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I never knew you had a dog called Huckleberry! Cute 🙂 We do like having a base, and that is part of the reason we have enjoyed living in Edinburgh so much. We can pack up for the weekend and in 2 hours be in another country with different cultures, food and adventures. Makes life very simple. But we do need another challenge now I think 😉

  27. Michael @ Changes In Longitude

    October 29, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    We’ve had similar feelings on our RTW, but the excitement and anticipation of seeing a new place outweighs the thought of staying put, at least so far.I guess in the end you just have to do what feels right to you. I think travel is turning us into unstoppable nomads.

    Cheers,

    Michael

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Totally agree with you there Michael! You will reach a point one day where you will feel burnt out. That is when you realise you need to slow down. It happens to everyone, no matter how many years you travel for 😉

  28. CreditDonkey

    October 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Hi Cole and Adela,

    Every travel blog I read fuels my desire for travel. Fear is in there too, and I have yet to take my first step but once I do, I also plan to take it slow like you do and savor the experience.

    Best of luck in your new adventure!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Thanks Theresa! Once you take that first step, all you will want to do is start running and never stopping 🙂

  29. Abby

    October 31, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    It is never a mistake to make great friends!! I love moving and thrive on that excitement. But I have now stayed put for two years myself. It is amazing. It was a fear I needed to get over, and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about myself during this time period. It’s strange where life can take us!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      But you are still getting the crazy adventures in Vegas so that is alright 😉

  30. Steve

    November 3, 2012 at 5:33 AM

    It’s really hard to leave the place which you have fallen in love with. You’ll miss the place, people, cuisine and culture. This makes us afraid to travel and try something new. Just be brave enough and think that something better is coming!

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Everywhere that we go we seem to fall in love with. We just hope our next move will be just as good 😉

  31. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    November 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Yum.. CHOCOLATE CAKE! You know.. I think I suffer from the opposite – fear of staying put. The last year, all we’ve known is travel and being on the constant move. I always admire those who can stay in one place and truly absorb it all in but am afraid that I’ll want leave the moment things get comfy. Let’s trade places and conquer our little fear together, shall we? 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Sounds like a grand idea Kieu 😉 Would be great to finally meet you guys somewhere!

  32. Maddy @ I'm Not Home

    November 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    I am in Asia atm and those pictures of chocolate cake are just too much!

    I know what you mean – it’s hard to leave somewhere you’re so attached to, especially as you know you’ll probably never live there again. At least if you stay in Europe you know you can pop over for a visit! I’m thinking of making a base for myself next year so it’s good for me to hear the perspective of someone who has done it. Good luck with the move!

    • Cole Burmester

      November 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Sounds like we might be swapping places as we want to hit up Asia at the end of next year 😉 Need to swap some ideas etc

  33. Reena @ Wanderplex

    November 12, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    I think it’s really natural to crave familiarity and a sense of routine which is probably why you’re so afraid of moving on. But I think you can get that “familiarity” on the road too – you just have to travel more slowly. I find after I’m in a place for a couple of days, I start to feel more “at home”. You’ll be fine!

  34. Victor Tribunsky

    November 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    There are some sities in Europe where I know I could live, but I know there are some places that will be more interesting. So – constant search! 🙂

  35. Alexandra

    December 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I’m nearing 20 months on the road with the longest in one spot my boyfriends home of Germany. It’s funny I never really feel at home here I actually feel more homesick when I have a base that isn’t my home. Maybe I’m crazy but I’m happier when I am on the move! Less than a month to go before another crazy 6 months of RTW travel and at least 13 new countries to visit!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 12, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      Totally agree with you Alexandra! When we are travelling I often find we are too busy to think about home because we are having so many adventures! But as soon as we slow down and stop for a bit, that is when we get home sick.

  36. Teresa

    January 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I completely understand how you feel. I have been back home for a couple of years and am planning to head off again in the next few months. I did it before so I know I can do it again – rent out my house and go – but… I didn’t expect to be dragging my heels (which is what I am doing). It is important to remind yourself of your goals and the reason why you are living this type of life.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Well said Teresa! There is a much bigger picture that we sometimes forget to look at when we start staying for too long in one place. Not that staying in one place is bad necessarily, but to achieve all our dreams and see the world we really need to move around 🙂

  37. Mingma @ green lotus trekking

    August 29, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I like your information which is very useful for me. Thanks.

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Travel Tips

Tips for Couples Travel: Keeping Romance alive

Travelling as a couple on the road can be extremely hard. Use our tips for couples travel to help your travels especially in time for Valentines Day.

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When you are travelling as a couple it is really important to remember to keep romance alive. These tips for couples travel will hopefully help.

You have to take great care to not only keep each other happy but also to celebrate special events such as anniversaries and other romantic moments in your lives.

Why?

Because travelling can take it’s toll on even the strongest relationships.

A lack of sleep while crossing different time zones will leave nerves frayed. While the stress of navigating your way around a foreign country will rattle tensions further. And to top it off you will be in each others faces through the good times and the bad 24/7.

Hospital Broken Collarbone Marmot Basin Ski Area

Adela in hospital after breaking her collarbone

Considering that with most budget travel, your savings will not usually allow for extra expenses such as romantic dinners which can help to recharge those relationship batteries. Instead you will find yourself arguing over whose turn it is to cook the spaghetti on toast!

With Valentines Day nearly upon us it might be worthwhile sharing some of our own little secrets of how we travel as a couple.

So how do we find the energy while on the road keep from tearing each others heads off every second day?

It’s easy!

Think outside the box

You shouldn’t have to look very far from where you are at that moment to gain just a little bit of inspiration. Travelling is romantic in it’s very nature!

Valentines Day in Paris

Sure you may not be in one of the most romantic cities of the world like Paris or having an epic Hawaii holiday on the beach. But, you are likely to be somewhere that isn’t home! That is what makes it special.

Stop being a tourist and slow down

I don’t mean for the entire time you travel but you can definitely spare a day or even an hour to slow down. For that short period you need to stop, think and act like a local.

What do locals do to keep their romance alive wherever you are? I am sure that they don’t wake up at the crack of dawn to be the first in line at the local attractions! No, they sleep in and savour each others company. Or they just stroll hand in hand through a park.

By slowing down you will enjoy those moments of madness as you run to make your train travel trip because you know you can chill out sometime soon.

Samoa waterfalls

Don’t be selfish

Travelling as a couple is all about compromise. If you have chosen the last 2 places to eat at or the last activity then it is time to hand over the reins. There is nothing worse than just getting to enjoy what you want while the other grins and bears it.

Other selfishness acts can be as simple as showing a little bit of courtesy. All it may take is to help her put on her backpack after a long day of hauling it around a dusty city and the romance will be kept alive.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You need to let the small things slide. You know that really cute chewing sound she makes when she is eating her food? Well that kind of starts to grind on your nerves when it is just the two off you.

But if you cannot learn to accept those small imperfections (and face it everyone has them and I am clearly no god myself) then the bigger worries are really going to set a wedge between you.

Time outs

Travelling is all about sharing special moments together. But, and I cannot stress this enough, everyone needs space.

Whether you like to chill out by going for a run, reading your book or just pondering life’s mysteries with a beer in hand then make time for it. Just tell them upfront and trust me they will understand.

In fact they probably can’t wait to get away from you too!

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Laugh

We have had some epic fights on our travels and have spent whole days silently driving across America not talking to one another. Do you know how hard it is to give your significant other the silent treatment for 8 hours when they are sitting next to you in the car?!

Let me tell you, it is near on impossible.

Those times are tough but as you sit in silence you will realise just how stupid the situation is. Here you are halfway around the world from your family and you only have one other person to rely on.

When you are laughing most of the time then the small arguments will bounce right off.

Four Jandals Maid of the Mist

Laugh at how ridiculous you look when acting like a tourist!

Spend time with others

Human beings are social in their very nature. Why do you think girls like to sit around with other girls and talk at a million miles an hour? It’s because we crave interaction.

I am quite happy to just chill out and be quiet. Adela on the other hand loves to talk. Early on in our travels I could not figure out how she can sometimes stand my quiet moments? Then it dawned on me.

It’s because we always find the time to interact with others on the road. If you spend your whole time abroad and only talk to one another then it is going to be one helluva boring trip.

Travel is about meeting others. When you do finally get that time alone together you will relish in it!

Date night

Most couples usually have date nights when they are at home. So why not when you are travelling?

I know I said earlier that most of the time budget travel won’t allow for you to go out for romantic dinners. But who said you have to spend $200 on a meal with a bottle of wine. Instead make a picnic and go chill out on the beach for a few hours.

Or just blow that budget and splurge! While your wallet might hate you, your relationship will thank you and the romance will be kept alive.

Splurging on chocolate in Quebec City

Splurging on delicious chocolate in Quebec City

Do you have any couples travel tips you want to share?

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Travel Tips

Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage

We think that every couple should experience couples travel before marriage. It will make you stronger by helping you learn more about each other.

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Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

I have said it before and I will say it again. Before every couple settles down and gets married they should experience couples travel together for at least six months.

And I don’t mean just going somewhere relaxing and romantic.

Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

I mean that you have to really travel together. You have to step outside your comfort zones together to see if you are going to go be able to go the distance.

Couples Travel

While we may not be married, we do know what 3+ years of couples travel will do to a relationship. There is nothing that will strengthen, or break, those intimate bonds of a couple in love quicker than couples travel.

Travelling as a couple can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any couples lives. It can also be one of the greatest challenges you will ever face.

Living out of each others back pockets for months on end in foreign countries can be tough work. You might not be able to speak the local language fluently which means that you often have only one another to talk to for a few days.

Or you might be driving 18,000 km across North America in a tiny car that is also your bedroom, kitchen and living room. There is no escape and nowhere to hide if you fight.

The silent treatment for 8 hours tends to get quite boring.

You have to be able to make it work.

Campervan, Couples Travel Tips, Cole, Camping

Yes we lived in that for 8 weeks.

So why should you travel as a couple before marriage?

Getting to know one another

During couples travel you quickly learn what makes another person tick. We have learnt a lot of life lessons while travelling as a couple and the ones that we stick to the most, are the ones that keep us both sane.

For example, I know that if Adela goes without a decent amount of sleep for a few days then she will be extremely cranky. And if I don’t get food on a regular basis then I am going to turn into something resembling the incredible hulk, just without the green tinge and muscles.

It is being able to spot those little changes in one another quickly that will help you overcome much larger hurdles later in life.

Cole and Adela, Couples Travel, Scooter in Tuscany

Good sleep + food = Happy couple

Facing your fears

Fears. We all have them. Whether it is a fear of heights or perhaps you suffer from claustrophobia, your partner can help you face those fears and overcome them.

We have a series on here about facing my fears where we deliberately put ourselves in situations that we are not 100% comfortable in. We think it helps us grow as individuals. But it also helps us grow as a couple.

When I suggested an adventure to go caving in Budapest, I knew that Adela would struggle with going underground. But she was willing to give it a crack. After we had walked just 50m underground, the door slammed shut behind us and Adela freaked out.

But knowing I was there to comfort her and help her out kept her calm until she got back to the surface. It of course didn’t stop me from carrying on afterwards and having an awesome adventure either!

Couples Travel - Caving in Budapest

Being stripped bare

Being stripped bare in front of someone you love is not the same as facing your fears. It is much worse than that. It is allowing someone to become so close to you that they see you at your most vulnerable.

Couples travel will open up your most vulnerable sides.

Imagine this…

One of you falls victim to a sneaky snake charmer throwing his pet snake around your neck. 12 hours later you can’t control the liquids coming out of either end of your body because of salmonella poisoning.

Marrakech Snake Charmer, Morocco, Cole, Couples Travel Tips

Not only do you wish that en-suite bathrooms with cowboy saloon style doors had never been invented. But this is also one time you don’t want to be alone.

For two weeks I was horrendously sick and lost a frightening 10 kgs. So far from home and without the support of my family I had only one person to rely on. Adela. Luckily she put up with the sounds, smells and stress, and supported me through it all.

For that I am so thankful because I will never forget how vulnerable I was and how she never exploited my vulnerability.

Perspective: It’s not all bad

Travelling as a couple is all about putting perspective on different events.

While you may become vulnerable, sick, frightened or angry, being there for one another is what counts to get you both through each situation. Because at the end of the day the good always outweighs the bad.

We never have to think too hard to remember the good times.

Indonesia Sunset Grim Lab

Sitting on a beach together watching the sunset. Drinking a coffee in a cute cafe in Paris or mountain biking in Canada. All of these experiences were made special because we did them together. They are treasured memories that we will share together forever.

Plus the bad can always be laughed at in the future.

In my opinion, if you can survive couples travel, you can survive anything. Including marriage.

Check out these Couples Travel Tips to learn how to survive travelling together. And if you want a “unique” Euro-trip adventure, you can always consider a holiday in Amsterdam to spice things up.

Have you travelled as a couple? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

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Travel Tips

Budget Tips & Tricks: How to go on Vacation without Breaking the Bank

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A vacation does not necessarily have to be the money sink that we all fear and dread. In fact, if done properly, you can end up saving a lot more money than you can imagine.

While there are a lot of luxurious vacation packages that are being pushed by travel agencies and the words “affordable” and “accessible” are as common as water and blinking, a truly frugal traveler would know better than to fall for them.

There are ways in which you can have a proper vacation in which you relax and enjoy yourself without having to spend your hard earned money. All you need to do is be very careful while at the same time be willing to plan and choose everything yourself.

1. Choose your destination and scout out the economy

The very first thing that you have to do is decide where to go on vacation, and while we are aware of the popular destinations, the truth is that every place has something to offer so don’t be afraid to venture out into less popular and frequented destinations.

Make sure to check out their economy online by searching for the prices of various basic items such as bread, bottled water, and so on. This will give you a rough idea of what the real price of various items are, thus allowing you to avoid over-inflated prices and “tourist taxes”.

2. Set up the transportation and lodgings

First off, check and see what the cheapest way to get to and from your destination is. The cheapest train tickets, the cheapest flights, the cheapest buses, and so on.

Then check and see what accommodations you can find. You might not want to go for the very cheap ones but be sure to at least pick one or a few with decent and reasonable prices. Of course, you can always consider camping which is why we recommend taking a look at the best down sleeping bag money can buy. This will keep you warm in any situation regardless of the choice you make (cheap motel or tent).

Once this is all said and done, check and see if there are any travel agencies that can beat these prices. They usually partner up with airlines and hotels, so you might be able to get a better price that way.

3. Pack light and keep a tight budget

Only pack the essential items that you will need on your trip. Usually around 3 changes of clothes, a washroom and toiletry kit, a couple of seasonal items depending on where you are going, and one of the best outdoor watches that you can find.

A good thing to do is to set aside a decent vacation budget and an extra 10% in reserve, just in case something happens and you need access to additional funds.

In conclusion

It does not take much to plan a proper vacation, even when on a budget. As long as you are careful and take the time to weigh in your options, you will undoubtedly find quite a few ways to save a good bit of money. Just make sure to have a backup fund just in case.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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