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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.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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98 Comments

98 Comments

  1. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    December 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    100% agreed. Eric and I spent 4 years backpacking in through South Asia together starting just a few months after we met. We came back from that trip having spent more time together than most married couples do in their entire relationship. Traveling as a couple isn’t all romance and fairy dust, as you rightly point out, but it is illuminating and since married life is also noteably devoid of romance and fairy dust most of the time we concur: test drive your serious relationship out on the road before you sign on the dotted line.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Thanks Karen! I can’t imagine what it must be like to drive together as long as you guys have 😉

  2. Kirsten

    December 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Hey guys. Firstly your blog is awesome and i have used your website loads over the last few.months. great for tips and ideas! this blog post is sooooooo true. i have been travelling with my fiance since april and it has definitely taught us loads more about each other even though we had been together for years already. we also did 8 weeks in a van and wow does that really test your personal space!!! Ultimately this trip has been fantastic and we still have few more months to go…..such good times and great memories that we will have forever.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Hey Kirsten thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 So glad you have been reading our blog. Awesome to hear that you guys are enjoying your travels together. It can be VERY testing but well worth it in the end!

  3. Mich

    December 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Awwwwwww that is cayuuute cole 🙂

  4. T-Dog

    December 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Cole,
    Great article. What is the feedback from Steph and Bron?
    Tristan

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      Thanks Tristan! Mum actually just commented at the same time as you haha. They aren’t putting too much pressure on though 😉

  5. bronwen

    December 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Whoa yes I can totally relate to your blog and words of wisdom! I remember some of those silent treatment episodes (from me) and on a couple occasions overseas it did spoil our sightseeing. We have also spent 10 months in a 6m bus in NZ – brought us very close. Good luck together with your continued travels, love and friendship.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Hahaha the silent game is pretty boring after a while! The best thing you can do is laugh about it, which we are pretty good at. Sometimes…

  6. EurotripTips

    December 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while, you just took the words out of my mouth! I’ve been with my partner for 6 years now, and we lived as expats for the better part of it. And we got married last year! We survived a whole year in a 18m2 studio flat in London – we always said that if we got through that, we’d get through ANYTHING 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 3:20 AM

      We have been lucky that we have been based in Edinburgh so our room is actually massive and probably half the price of those in London 😉 Congrats on the marriage last year and well done sticking together through it all!

  7. Edna

    December 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Well said Cole! My fiancé and I met as roommates then immediately started traveling around Southeast Asia for a year while keeping Singapore as our base, so it was sink or swim right off the bat. We knew after we happily navigated through all the travel and living together that we could make it no matter what (including now being in a long-distance relationship that’s lasted over a year and might last a few more)!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 3:22 AM

      Cheers Edna 🙂 Congrats on sticking at it over long distance! It is always hard. Adela and I did it for our first year too BEFORE we started travelling. So must be doing something right haha.

  8. Vera

    December 14, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Love your article – and agree very much!! Although, admittedly, Loz is naturally happy, while it’s always and only me who gets cranky when sleep-deprivated or hungry. Or loads of other things. Someone has to wear the grumpy-pants in the relation-ship, and I sacrificed myself and committed to it a 100%! Oh yes. Anyway, great article, and LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED:)! Apart from sleep and food, maybe;).

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      Loz is only happy because he has you though 😉 And its not our fault if we get cranky when we are hungry, it is a natural reaction haha.

  9. Lane

    December 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    We have said the same thing. If you cannot take off six months, at least take several trips — long weekends, road trips, cruises or whatever. Mix it up. Nothing tests a relationship like traveling together, rolling with the unexpected and seeing how each other reacts in various situations.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Good point Lane! You have to be in different situations to test what works and what doesn’t in a relationship. Just going to luxury resorts together for 6 months probably won’t test you much 😉

  10. Pete

    December 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    We did it backwards, as we married young and then found out we both had the passion to see the world. You’re right that it will either strengthen or create serious challenges. For us it has only brought us closer. Sure there are days where we annoy eachother, but that is expected when you’re with the other person 24/7. We’ve been together 13 years and it still feels like our honeymoon. Keep it strong you guys, hopefully to finally meet you at ITB?

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Not sure about ITB yet because we are spending the winter in the French Alps. Hopefully we get to see you guys! Congrats on going for 13 years too. You guys prove that long term travel definitely works.

  11. D.J. - The World of Deej

    December 16, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    This might be your best advice yet:) When MJ and I were about 4 months into our relationship, I took her to Europe to test how well we could travel together. It was a deal breaker if it didn’t work so I got it out of the way early. Thankfully, she passed the test, although she would say I did the same:)

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Pretty stoked with the post to be honest 😉 Congrats on getting through Europe together and now you get to share a passion for travelling!

  12. Cheryl

    December 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    You guys are awesome! Such a wonderful post and wishing you many more years on the road together. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Thanks Cheryl 🙂 We have been lucky at times but there have been some blood, sweat and tears on our 3+ years on the road.

  13. Kate - CanuckiwiKate

    December 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    I whole-heartedly agree! My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years now, and have taken two trips together (to Rarotonga and Thailand) and next year start our longterm journey of driving across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax together. I can completely agree, especially with the vulnerability and being stripped bare while traveling – I got food poisoning in Thailand the night before we left, and that was the kind of situation that taught me Thom and I could handle anything curveball life will throw at us.

    Awesome work 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      I really want to visit Rarotonga! And Thailand but without the food poisoning! Hopefully get to both in late 2013 or early 2014. Congrats on the 2 years together too 🙂

  14. Jade - OurOyster.com

    December 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    haha I have had many a relationship dissolve after travelling with them for extended periods of time… luckily I eventually found a person I can stand for long periods of time 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      Glad you found that special someone in the end! You guys have done some fantastic trips together.

  15. Rachel

    December 17, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    What you’re going to experience with your partner when you get married are the same or almost the same, or worse things you could experience when you travel together. Because living outside of your comfort zone will truly show the real you. If you’re able to accept and lived thru your bad times when traveling, you’re in doubt will get to do the same when you bind yourselves together for the rest of your lives. I’m not married yet, but this is also what I’m trying to do

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      Totally agree with you Rachel! Travelling can be VERY stressful and lots of people don’t realise that when they first set out together. Good luck with looking in that special someone 🙂

  16. Ray Waruhari

    December 17, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    Hi Cole, Traveling together before marriage is healthy for the mental outlook of young people? It also makes couples to know each other better.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Definitely agree Ray! Getting to know each other, especially what makes each person tick, is very important in our opinion.

  17. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    December 18, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Traveling together is the ultimate test.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      It is a tough one that’s for sure. And one that is constantly evolving!

  18. Jennifer

    December 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Tim and I were on the verge of divorce back in 2007. We stuck it out and moved to Europe in 2009. I was so scared to make the move because once we got to Italy, we would literally have no one but each other. Travel has taught us so much about ourselves, each other, and our marriage. It has brought us closer together and the constant tests of dealing with things outside of comfort zones has only taught us how to better communicate, have more patience, and compromise.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      So glad to hear that travel brought you guys closer together Jennifer. Wonderful story and definitely encourages us to keep at it when we are going through the tough times too!

  19. Amanda

    December 19, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Yeah, forget pre-marriage counseling or living together first – traveling together is the real test for a relationship! It’s definitely going to be a requirement in any future long-term relationships I find myself in.

    I’m glad it’s only strengthened your relationship – that seems to be the case for a lot of traveling couples, which is so nice to hear about.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      I haven’t heard of too many break ups from the road to be honest. But that is definitely a good thing!

  20. Jeremy Branham

    December 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Definitely a great way to get to know strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. Nothing like being stripped bare on the road in front of your partner (I mean this travel metaphorically speaking of course)! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Haha nothing wrong with being stripped bare in both senses Jeremy 😉

  21. Josie

    December 19, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Hey Cole,
    Totally agree — to the point that travel should be required before marriage! It’s definitely a deal-breaker or deal-maker.
    Three months after meeting Conrad, my eventual husband, he asked me to go to Australia with him. We both knew the risk. What if we ended up hating each other after the first three days? We would be stuck for the next month with each other. But we took that leap of faith and soon discovered that traveling brings out the best in both of us. Now we live a house sitting lifestyle, traveling the world.
    I have traveled with girlfriends in the past and it turned into a disaster. Just because you get along with someone, doesn’t mean you travel well with them. When traveling you must have the same rhythm as your partner — the same pace, appetite, sleep needs, etc. It gets finely tuned as you travel and takes a great deal of compromise.
    You guys sound really cute and “together,” as they say. Thanks for a fun post.
    I wish you happy and safe travels always and all ways.
    ~Josie

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Brilliant comment Josie! I find the same thing with some of the friends I have travelled with too. It is kind of like living with a friend I reckon. Looks good on paper and then as soon as you start being in each others back pockets all the time, it can be really hard.
      Thanks for stopping by and appreciate the nice comment 🙂

  22. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    December 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Great tips and insights. I 100% agree with you. I’ve traveled with two partners. The first was scared to walk around the block in India without a guide and his preferred travel destinations were all-inclusive resorts. I didn’t know it then, but that should have been a huge flashing warning light to run far and fast. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention soon enough and it ended in divorce. My second partner not only welcomes the unknown but also helps me become a better person by encouraging me to face my fear. I truly found my Mr. Love.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      It is amazing what you find out about a person when they are pushed into uncomfortable situations and out of their comfort zones. Glad you have found the Mr Right-Travel now 😉

  23. Candice

    December 21, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I couldn’t agree more! I traveled for around 4 months with my now-husband before we got married, and it was a confirmation for me that he was the one:-)

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Better to find out before the honeymoon that you can travel together I think 🙂

  24. brandy bell

    December 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    what a lovely post, Cole. 🙂 Seems there’s no better test for a relationship than the test of extended travel. It’s amazing to me, still, how much one’s attitude can change towards a person on the road! Thanks for writing this, it’s good to be reminded of it.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the post Brandy 🙂 Even friendships get severely tested on the travel road!

  25. Matthew Karsten

    December 23, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    I’m taking notes. Any future Mrs. Karsten will have to pass the “travel test”. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Looks like she would definitely be put through her paces once you find her considering the adventures you go on Matthew 😉

  26. ieishah

    December 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    My partner Vin and I met in an airport, so I guess you could say we were destined to travel. In the last year we’ve traveled about 8 countries together, never a dull moment! My favorite this year has to be our epic 24 hour journey from Greece to Germany. By the 8th leg of the trip (no joke), I felt like I could jump in front of a bus. But we were laughing so much, I also knew then that we could really make it as a couple. I co-sign 1000%. Love this post!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      That is awesome that you met in an airport! Surely a sign 🙂 Congrats on still being able to smile after your 24 hour journey. We have had a few tense moments when travelling long distances together haha. Always pull through though.

  27. Courtney Mroch

    December 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    AGREED! Great post!

  28. Tom @ Waegook Tom

    December 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Loving this post, guys! My partner and I will be travelling in the US together for 1 month next March, which will be the first time we’ve spent together that hasn’t been in one of our home countries. By that point we’ll have been together for just over a couple of years so I think we have each other pretty well figured out….but I’m anticipating a few surprises (and hopefully no 8 hour silent treatments…that sounds awful!)

    You and Adela sound exactly like my partner and I in terms of being extremely cranky with no sleep (him) and the Hulk without the green tinge and bulging muscles in the absence of food (me).

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      As long as you can get passed the silent treatments and smile about it all at the end of the day then everything will be alright! Enjoy your trip and good luck 🙂

  29. Lianne

    December 31, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    I just read a bit on this site, and got to this page. While I do agree with many points you make, I actually have a few counterpoints. Firstly, I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume all couples can travel, particularly for six months. Not everybody has the money etc. Also, I think there are many other ways to really get to know each other and “test” your relationship. Before anyone starts saying I can’t know because I haven’t traveled as a couple, that isn’t true. My partner of 3 1/2 years and I have done a lot of travel together, actually. He is Australian and I am American, and we live together in New Zealand now. However, when we travel, those are the relaxing fun times for us. The real testing/trying times for us have been in everyday life, during which there have been many things that are far tougher than anything we have ever faced while traveling, like both our mothers dying within days of each other. I am not trying to seek out sympathy here, I simply want to demonstrate my point that every couple has a different experience and can get to know all the good, bad, wonderful, and difficult about each other in their own way.

    In short, this is an interesting read, but I think it gives a bit of an impression that this is the magic answer for every couple, when indeed I don’t think that’s true.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Hey Lianne.
      Firstly, thanks so much for stopping by our blog and commenting. We really appreciated it. And secondly, great counterpoints! Totally agree that not everybody can travel. Let me be the first to point out that we are not rich either. We saved our butts off to travel the world and that is why we still have to work while we are travelling. It does allow us to travel slower though as we spend more time in each place we visit until we can afford to move on again. We think that lots of people do have the opportunity to travel though if they decide they want to if they cut spending etc.
      To be honest, it was a little tongue in cheek this post and we definitely agree that a lot of couples are EXTREMELY happy together and they don’t travel. Travelling is not for everyone and even my brother who is younger than me and married doesn’t have as great a desire to travel as I do. Luckily my brother found the perfect girl and they knew each other BEFORE they got married. I guess that was the point I was trying to make. It seems some people get married now before they truly know someone. And travelling is a great way to peel back those layers so to speak!
      So glad that you guys get to enjoy your holidays together and hope you have some wonderful trips this year!
      Thanks again and hope you continue reading along with us 🙂
      Regards,
      Cole and Adela

  30. Spencer

    January 2, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    I couldn’t agree with you more. If you can travel together then you are definitely marriage material!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Thanks Spencer! I have travelled with great friends that have since fallen apart because of travel. It is one part of life that tests your patience anyway.

  31. Jane

    January 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wonderful post! Great for anyone who wants to travel as a couple!

  32. Michael

    January 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I am totally agree with your point. Traveling can help to know more about the living behavior of each other. By the way, it’s the best time for the couple to discover more about each other as well before marriage.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Totally agree with you Michael! Thanks for your comment.

  33. ANGLO/Dale

    January 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Four months into it, we’re beginning to understand a little more about each other, and somethings that we can’t understand all together, so now we’d agree with you one hundred percent.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Haha yup travelling is like that! You will discover new things about each other that you originally thought you knew 😉

  34. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home

    January 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I never thought about this type of test for a relationship 🙂 It makes sense and I think that I’ll try it. Thanks for writing it! Happy 2013!

  35. Linda McCormick

    January 11, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    So true! Years ago, I spent three nights and four days on a tiny felucca with my boyfriend of six months. He was very lucky he didn’t ‘accidentally’ drown in the Nile. That didn’t last long at all. My next boyfriend, we went travelling six weeks after getting together… 13 years later we’re still together. Definitely the best test of a relationship.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Haha I am sure the crocodiles would have enjoyed your previous boyfriends company 😉 Great to hear that you found someone you can travel the world with Linda!

  36. Turtle

    January 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Beautiful post!
    I understand completely. I have seen myself at my most vulnerable. I have supported myself through those difficult situations. I have talked to myself for days on end.
    I think I am ready to marry myself.

  37. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    January 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Great insights.

    I’ve been together with Cris (she’s helping me manage Marginal Boundaries starting in February of 2013) for two years now, but we still haven’t traveled together. I’ve been hunkered down for the past couple of years growing the community and getting the social media racket going after writing all the guidebooks/etc., and now that’s the next thing on our agenda in 2014.

    Right now we are busy with the retreat in March, April and May here in Cancun, but if we end up going to Bulgaria or Colombia in the summer, that will be our first “travel together” opportunity. Otherwise, we’ll be pushing off our first “couple adventure” until 2014, at which point we’ll be going to Rio de Janeiro to run retreats and write the next “Live Like a Local” guidebook + hang out for the World Cup + Summer Olympics.

    I think more than anything else, traveling as a couple is a great way to stress-test the relationship and see if there are any hitches. It’s also a great way to get to know the other person under “out of the comfort zone” conditions, when there are things completely out of your control that you both have to deal with and overcome as a team.

    Team building is one of the most powerful elements of a great working/emotional relationship…and if you can work through stressful times together, there’s nothing you cannot accomplish 🙂

    Great post!

    I can also second the whole “vulnerability” thing. While it didn’t happen while traveling, I had a horrific parasite infection in 2012 that rendered me bed-ridden for 6 weeks, during which I couldn’t sleep, lost 10 kilos, was in the hospital getting tests run (thinking it was bleeding ulcers, stomach cancer or something else before we finally figured out what the issue was)…and she was there with me the entire time, taking care of me/etc.

    When someone works through that sort of event with you, as a team…it builds a bond that merely spending time together cannot compete with.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 21, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Sounds like your travel plans for 2014 will be awesome! I am sure you will be fine especially since you guys have done so much together already. I probably should have made the post read: “Travel or go into business together”! Because I am sure both are just as testing.

  38. Kristy

    January 21, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    I find this article very heart warming and interesting to read especially your struggle as a couple while travelling. I also feel very inspired to travel with my boyfriend and can’t wait what will happen to our adventure that will test our relationship through thick or thin that will curve great memories that will definitely we will cherish forever!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I am sure you guys will be fine on your travels. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  39. Kelly

    January 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    I absolutely love this post and find your entire blog inspiring. Next month my boyfriend and I will be setting off on our travels around the world together. From one extreme to the other, we will be going from an ‘army life’ relationship where we spent most of our time apart for the last 3 years to living in each others pockets every moment of every day. I know there are going to be lots of tough moments and challenges ahead but SO many amazing moments to outweigh those and I hope that we can strive together in making our dreams come true, as you guys have.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Glad you love it Kelly and thanks for commenting! Good luck for your travels with your boyfriend and I am sure you guys will be fine 🙂 You are definitely right that the beautiful moments will far outweigh those fights you have every now and then.

  40. Esther

    January 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    True, and the more difficult the trip, the best. Lol, I’m still waiting for that with my boyfriend, I think the sky trip isn’t enough 😉

    I’m a tour guide and one thing that I love is meting very different people every day, couples are the best.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Haha you must see a few fights then as a tour guide Esther 😉

  41. Emma

    February 2, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Hi Cole and Adela, Great blog and wonderful post!!

    There is a lot of advice in there and will deftly take them into consideration.. We are going travelling for 5months very soon and I must admit I am a bit worried! Not in a bad way of course!! But my partner is a bit more “active” than me – I do like to take my time etc… I am more relaxed about things!

    Anywoo, it was good to read you guys and will deftly follow you!

    Next Stop New Zealand… 🙂
    Emma

    • Cole Burmester

      February 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      You guys will have a great time and will quickly find a balance that works for both of you when you are travelling. And who knows, you may even discover you are a lot more active than you think ;D

      Have a great time and let us know how it goes in New Zealand Emma!

  42. Antje Jordon

    February 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    What honestly moved you to write “Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage”? I personallyhonestly adored the post! Thanks for your effort.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Because I believe that travelling can bring couples closer together which is vital before marriage 😀

  43. Suitcase Stories - Nicole

    February 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Hi guys. Love this post. My hubby and I have been full time traveling for 12 months so far. I think traveling together is the best way to really get to know each other. Even though we have been together for 14 years, over the last 12 months our relationship has strengthened and grown beyond what we ever thought possible.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      That is so great to hear Nicole! I love how travel can cement a relationship 😀

  44. Alexandra

    February 16, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    This post rings so true to me! I met my boyfriend on the road and 1 1/2 years later we are still going strong. Although I must admit funnily enough we are better on the road than standing still. I would never imagine marrying someone I hadn’t traveled with. I firmly believe it is the true test.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Great to hear you guys are going so well Alexandra! And if you are better on the road then you might as well travel forever 😉

  45. Shalu Sharma

    February 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I like the idea of travelling together before marriage. Seems like a good idea. You never know what you will discover about the other half, something you like or don’t like. At the same time, you never know it might bring you closer together. Brilliant idea.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      Couldn’t say it better myself Shalu 🙂 Travelling will open up a relationship, hopefully for the better.

  46. Pingback: Why you do not need to travel together before marriage | Keep My Lover

  47. ryoawesome

    May 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    i love this post. i so can relate! and it is true, couples should travel together before getting married. i was the other half of a traveling couple last year and i am now a solo traveler. no, we didn’t break up, we just have 2 different destinations this year and we’ll catch up with each other in a month. traveling together does put a lot of test in the relationship and it will either bring out the best or the worst in the partnership. and every couple will have the chance to get to know each other better on the road. all the best to traveling couples!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Sounds like our relationship at the moment. We are taking a break as well because we both wanted slightly different things. I am in Africa and Adela is in Edinburgh still. Hopefully crossing paths in SE Asia in the middle of the year 🙂

  48. Samantha

    May 31, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    This is a great post! And I agree 100%, traveling with your partner teaches plenty about yourself and your significant other. My boyfriend and I aren’t married yet but we planning to soon in the future and we have gone on many trips together. We were long distance for two years so the only way to see each other was to travel! It makes you realize very fast if you can truly get along with that person or not. It’s interesting how some travel pairs can work well together but not romantically and vice versa.
    Just found your blog by googling “top travel blogs to look for in 2013” so keep up the good work! Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

  49. Nicole @ Green Global Travel

    July 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Traveling as a couple does make it quicker to find out if you are compatible. In 6 months on the road you will know someone better (for better or worse) than you would in 10 years of ‘normal’ married life.

    I remember in our past life we would only spend one full day together a week. The other days we would spend a few hours together. Now it’s completely opposite. 24/7!

    • Cole Burmester

      July 31, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Completely agree Nicole. It is definitely make or break when on the road. Although when I settled down, that was actually when the issues began…

  50. Jane

    March 17, 2015 at 3:27 AM

    Yes, that is a good point and in my case we did the same, but now after the marriage we travel less.
    So maybe is better to travel a lot before marriage because anyway, after that you will travel less.

  51. Micheal A

    September 3, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Yeah… its cool. Most times after marriage, you have less time to travel as couple.

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Travel Tips

Why you Should book Zimbabwe as your Next African Safari Holiday

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Following years of planning and a supposed £120 million loan from China, Zimbabwe finally opened its landmark Victoria Falls International Airport back in 2016.

Even more recently, it was announced that Brits would be able to board direct flights from London, creating a portal into a world of unheralded adventure and relatively unspoiled landscapes. It’s also seen demand soar for africaodyssey.com African safaris, which help you to navigate some of the wildest terrains safely and securely and depending what you opt for, even in luxury.

If you’ve yet to discover Zimbabwe as a viable holiday and safari destination, however, you’re missing out on an incredible escapade. To confirm this, here are three reasons why you should consider booking Zimbabwe for your next safari excursion.

1. See the iconic Victoria Falls

The development of the new airport tripled the capacity to around 4.5 million passengers each year, meaning that more people from across the globe could see the iconic Victoria Falls.

Offering one of the very best reasons to visit Zimbabwe, it’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and serves as the greatest mass of falling water anywhere across the globe.

Towering 5,633 feet wide and a staggering 343 feet tall, it’s provides a stunning backdrop to any holiday and represent a true must-see destination.

While it’s possible to view this wonder from a number of neighbouring locations, Zimbabwe offers up to 16 viewpoints including a particularly unspoiled vantage point above the thunderous Devil’s Cataract.

2. The Diverse Range of Available Lodges and Accommodation

Whether you want to stay in town or enjoy a more rustic travel experience on the outskirts, you’ll find that Africa, and particularly Zimbabwe, has an incredible range of options on offer.

The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is particularly beguiling, as it offers tremendous luxury and is in close proximity to the iconic water fall. It also enables you to see of the so-called ‘Big five’ game in their natural habitat, which is the whole point of booking on a safari in the first place!

If you’re in search of a more intimate experience and wish to stay on the outskirts of town, the Zambezi Sands bush camp offers the ideal getaway. Located on a remote and unspoiled stretch of the Zambezi river, it was created by conservationist Mark Butcher and provides a unique insight into Zimbabwe’s beautiful wilderness.

In addition to heading out on safari, you can also arrange a host of activities here, including fly-fishing and photographing the lunar rainbows that are cast over the falls at night.

3. Enjoy Several Different Species of Wildlife at the Hwange National Park

Another iconic location in Zimbabwe is the Hwange National Park, which covers an incredible 5,625 square miles and is approximately nine times the size of Greater London.

In addition to its vast expanse, this location is also home to a wider variety of wildlife than anywhere else in the world. More specifically, there are an estimated 50,000 elephants in the region (who often roam in herds as large as 400), along with more than 100 species of mammal and 400 different types of bird.

The type of game that you see depends on the precise area that you visit, with the hilly, north-west region home to several species of wild dog. In the central area, lions are frequently spotted, including select prides that have perfected the art of elephant hunting.

Regardless, the Hwange National Park is a great location for any true wildlife lover, particularly if you want observe species’ in their natural habitat.

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Travel Tips

How to Pack for A Walking Holiday in the UK

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A sense of real-life adventure, the great outdoors, and the fresh air are all the things you can expect from a walking holiday. Indeed, one main reason that a walking holiday is so rewarding is that it’s challenging, therefore, you get a sense of having really achieved something.

Of course, to make the challenging aspect of a walking holiday enjoyable as opposed to uncomfortable, you’ll need to pack adequately.

Packing 

You’re really excited about your South Downs Way walking holiday; a well-deserved break rumbling through the serene countryside, exploring the local villages, and taking in the beautiful woodlands. But, you’ll first have to pack. This checklist will ensure that you’ve got everything you need for that perfect walking holiday.

Medical Kit

A small medical kit which can fit in your rucksack might be very useful if you or anyone you’re with encounters minor health issues which can be easily addressed especially when you’re far away from the nearest pharmacy. For instance, you can pack painkillers for strained muscles and headaches, wet wipes, diarrhea treatment, and plasters for blisters. If you suffer from altitude sickness, you can request your doctor to prescribe some medication.

Comfortable Boots

The foundation for a perfectly enjoyable and unforgettable walking holiday is comfortable boots. Your legs and feet take a lot of strain from walking, and getting the right boots will significantly reduce the chances of blisters and sore feet. The best walking boots have great ankle support to cope with uneven or slippery paths. Where the route is less arduous, trail shoes or lower cut boots would be a good choice, particularly if your feet get really hot during summer.

The ideal boots are lightweight, solid, waterproof, and have a breathable membrane to keep your feet comfortable and dry. Planning on buying new boots for your trip? Try on several pairs before settling on one. And then, before you go on holiday, wear them as often as you can to avoid getting blisters. Also, buy socks that are specially designed for hiking. The socks usually have extra cushioned soles to protect your feet.

Quick-Dry Shorts or Trousers

Heavy cotton and jeans trousers or shorts are okay for wearing at the hotel, but not a great choice for your day’s walk. They’ll fast get soggy in case it pours. You should pack at least a pair of walking shorts or trousers made from lightweight and quick-drying material. Or, instead of carrying shorts and trousers, you can find trousers that double up as shorts. Alternatively, you can use sports shorts or tracksuit bottoms which are also made from quick-drying and lightweight fabric.

Shorts or trousers with plenty of pockets are very useful for keeping your items, including phone and maps, safely.

Waterproof Jacket

Summer in the UK is characterized by occasional cooler mornings or showers. You’ll need a waterproof jacket for these types of weather changes. Get a jacket that’s substantial enough to keep you warm in the morning or evening yet small enough to fit in your rucksack.

Consider buying a jacket with the following: adequate pockets to put all your small items, a breathable membrane to ensure you don’t sweat excessively, and zips for your under-arm ventilation.

Walking T-Shirts

Choose a variety of lightweight T-shirts, and a few vest tops. Vest-tops are great if you want to get a tan, but you should alternate them with sleeved T-shirts. This will help avoid the discomfort and irritation of sunburned shoulders. T-shirts that are made from treated merino wool or technical fabric are designed for walking, and they’ll keep you cool as well as wick away excess sweat.

A Bandana or Hat

Summers can get extremely hot, and a sunhat will definitely come in handy. You don’t want to risk getting unsightly sunburns or worse, sunstroke. A cotton bandana will help keep hair away from your face. It can also prevent your neck from getting sunburns and be used to wipe off sweat as well.

A Fleece

Pack a fleece in case you encounter chilly moments in the evening or even in the early morning. Your T-shirt, when layered with a mid-weight fleece, should give you adequate warmth. If you can get a waterproof fleece, the better.

Day Sack

Since most walking holidays entail walks from your hotel, you’ll only need a sizeable rucksack to carry what you need for the day. A sack of about 20 to 30 liters with mesh pockets for holding your water bottles, lots of zipped compartments, and loops should be ideal.

It’s also advisable to carry a few plastic bags to store items such as your phone, clothes, maps, and anything else that can get wet in case of a sudden downpour.

Walking Pole

For gentle and flat walking routes, you’ll not need a walking pole. However, for arduous routes or paths that have steep climbs, you might require a walking pole. If you’re walking on a mountainous terrain, a walking pole will help ease the strain off your legs and knees. The walking pole will give you some much-needed support on steep, slippery, and uneven paths.

Foldable or telescopic poles are recommended since they are easy to pack and carry in your rucksack.

A Reusable Water Bottle

The most important part of your walk is to always stay hydrated. When you’re taking a walk in the rural areas, you’ll need plenty of fresh water supply. To avoid wastage as well as conserve the environment, get a refillable bottle to carry your water.

Underwear

Supportive and comfortable underwear is definitely a must for walking. Pack only a few lightweight and wicking underwear including sports bras. You can wash them as you travel.

Evening Wear

At the end of a long and adventurous day of walking, and after a shower, you’ll want to put on an outfit that’s suitable for relaxing or dining out. Lightweight clothes, shoes, flip-flops, or trainers will fit the bill perfectly for your post-hiking wear.

Toiletries

Pack all the necessary toiletries and keep in mind how long they’ll last. Some hotels provide small containers of shampoo, soap, and lotion. However, it’s best to bring your own, as well.

Extra Essentials

Remember to carry sun cream or sunscreen, sunglasses, camera phone or camera, insect repellent, universal plug, washing detergent, antiseptic gel, and camera and phone charger.

Food

Many lodges or B&Bs will pack a small lunch for you. You can also stock up on heavy snacks such as trail mix, protein bars, cheese, bread, or crackers. You’ll need plenty of protein on your walk. And don’t forget to carry candy. You’ll relish a sweet treat while you’re burning those calories.

Ultimately, the right equipment and packing right will make your walk trouble free, relaxed, and more enjoyable.

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Travel Tips

Camping with Your Guitar: Things to Consider

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Going on a camping trip with an acoustic guitar is always a fun and exciting idea that’s definitely possible with proper planning. Going anywhere with an instrument can be a complicated affair, with factors to consider such as the weather, handling, storage and even if your guitar can survive the trip to and from your destination unscathed.

If you don’t want to risk your primary acoustic getting damaged during your camping trip, consider investing in a guitar that’s designed for traveling. A travel acoustic guitars are small and lightweight, yet produce a sound that’s good enough for jamming around a campfire or at the back of a van. Some travel guitars are even equipped with a pickup, allowing you to plug them in a small battery-powered amp. Getting a travel-friendly guitar is actually the best way to protect a more valuable instrument from the risks of transit.

Let’s say you haven’t gotten around to acquiring a travel acoustic yet. What can you do to keep your beloved guitar in top condition during your outdoor adventure? Consider the following and prepare accordingly!

Storage

Is your guitar case suitable for a camping trip? If you have a hardshell case and you’re going to the camping grounds by car, storage shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re backpacking however, a hard case probably isn’t the best idea. Choose a sturdy padded gig bag that’s lightweight and has straps to make it easier to carry.

Make sure your guitar fits snugly in its case and it doesn’t move around in it. Put soft shirts (without buttons) around the headstock, lower bout and other places where there’s extra space. You want to make sure your guitar doesn’t get jostled around in its case so it doesn’t get damaged.

Loosen the strings a bit to prevent warping if the wood on the guitar expands or shrinks. Put masking tape or better yet, duct tape along the seams and clasps to prevent water from coming in and to keep the case tightly closed.

At camp, find a spot where you can place your guitar without it tipping over or getting trampled on. Inside a car in the shade (with windows slightly open) and inside the tent are your best options. Avoid keeping it close to the campfire or leaving it in a hot car.

Humidity

Acoustic guitars are made of wood, which needs just the right amount of moisture to keep it from cracking or expanding. Your guitar should be kept in an environment with a relative humidity of 35 to 50 percent.

While you can’t control the humidity outdoors, you can control the humidity in your guitar case. Get a humidifier-dehumidifier, which absorbs moisture from the guitar when it’s too humid and humidifies the guitar when it’s too dry. Remember to keep your guitar in its case when you’re not playing it, and make sure to lock or zip the case properly.

The weather

We’re assuming you have the good sense to plan your trip during the summer or when you know there isn’t a storm coming. However, the weather can be really unpredictable, which means you can get drenched in an unexpected shower. In such event, it’s important to keep your guitar dry. If your guitar case isn’t waterproof, make sure you bring along a plastic sheet or an extra bin liner/trash bag where you can place your guitar case if it begins to rain.

We hope you keep these considerations in mind when planning your camping trip. If you still have time, it would be really wise to invest in a lighter, more compact travel guitar than to expose your favorite and probably more expensive guitar to the elements.

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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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