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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you travelled as a couple? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.
5 Travel Destinations That Will Leave You in Awe
There are many destinations in the world that people escape to for their vacations, or travel to explore and create memories, some for work too.
However, some destinations stand out above the rest with their spectacular, unique sceneries. So, if you are looking for an awe-inspiring destination that enlightens your mind and inspires your soul, here are places you can start with that won’t disappoint:
Thailand is mostly popular for its amazing beaches, thus making it into an idyllic holiday destination. Thailand has 1500-mile-long coastline. The best places to visit along the long coastline would be the Phang Nga Bay and the beautiful Koh Phi Phi islands. The waters around the islands are filled with limestone karst and will give you the chance to snorkel and explore coves.
Thailand will not disappoint when it comes to adventures. From sailing along rivers, water rafting, rock climbing, paddle boarding, kayaking to ziplining, you will not go short of thrill-seeking activities.
Thailand is also rich in culture as this country has many fantastic festivals such as the popular Loi Krathong festival. The festival will give you the luxury to experience the largest water fight in the world. Oh, and the view is priceless.
Romantic, luxurious, unforgettable – these are words that will slip off your tongue after visiting the Maldives. The Maldives offer some of the best private beach destinations in the world.
It is popular with honeymooners because of the scenic white sand beaches, lagoons, and, undoubtedly, the most romantic water villas. The structural designs are unrivaled with their uniqueness and exquisiteness.
The whale submarine gives children and adults memories that they will never forget. The submarine gives tourists a 45-minute tour of the colorful reefs and underwater marine life.
Egypt had to be on this list. It is one of the oldest, most sought-after destinations for explorers and tourists. The country is rich in history dating back to biblical times.
The ancient temples and the pyramids are the fascinating, awe-inspiring scenes that many travelers rush to experience. However, besides these monumental attractions, the red sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Siwa Oasis, the royal tombs of the valley of the kings and queens also offer visitors the chance to experience spectacular sceneries.
Ever fancied travelling to Peru? It is sure to leave you in awe as it is rich in both culture and ancient history; it is a great holiday choice for any explorer. The ancient sites include the city of kings, lima, which happens to be the capital city of the country and Cusco, the home of the Inca empire – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The topography is beautiful; Peru is home to the stunning rainbow mountain. As if the sites in Cusco are not awesome enough, the scene from this mountain is breathtaking. To top it all, the nature trail to the Incan fortress, beautified by stone terraces on the hillside and ending on Machu Pichu will create visual memories that will never fade. You will also get to experience one of the seven wonders of the world.
Like most countries south of the American continent, Venezuela is also rich in sandy beaches and endless national parks. But, the location that will rejuvenate your imaginations is a visit to the Angel Falls. Angel Falls is the only uninterrupted highest waterfall in the entire world and interestingly, the water rarely reaches the bottom as it evaporates midway.
Top 7 Outdoor Activities for your Trip to Alaska
Alaska is paradise to adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. This state offers many outdoor activities from heli skiing and horseback riding to kayaking and mountain climbing. If you have finished your first trip and still want to explore more, plan a second trip, and a third. You will never run out of activities to do or scenes to see in this state that is more than twice the size of Texas. If you need ideas on how to get your Alaskan outdoor activities checklist going continue reading this article on the top 7 outdoor activities for your trip to Alaska. It is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
There are more than 10 miles of horseback riding trails in Anchorage alone. This activity is a great way to explore Alaska because you will have access to places vehicles can’t take you. You are guaranteed to see a lot more in a single day on horseback than if you were to travel on foot and experience the wilderness from a new vantage point. While riding you will gallop across streams and through clearings while you watch all the wildlife Alaska offers. Watch mountain goat trudge through mountain terrain and salmon skip across rivers with your trusty steed.
If you are an advanced snowboarder or skier or just looking for a huge rush of adrenaline then you must check out heli skiing Alaska. It is guaranteed to be an extreme winter sports experience. You won’t be jumping from a ski lift with this intense sport. Instead, you will be given a ride to the tops of the slopes by a helicopter before you are able ski the uncharted terrain. Razor-sharp ridges and plunging chutes are to be expected.
Dog Sled Rides
Some Alaskan cruises include dog sled rides through the snow in their itineraries. As one of the top cruise destinations for adventures, you know that this Alaskan outdoor activity will not leave you disappointed. Dog sledding may be one of the most unique ways of traveling across the fields of Alaska. This fast paced activity allows you to explore a small part of the 1,300 mile long Iditarod National Historic Trail.
Alaska is home to some of the best whitewater rafting sites in the country. If you do choose to participate in this activity then you should do so in Denali, home to Nenana River and Alaska’s top whitewater rafting destination. The Nenana River is the best locations to much of the state’s wildlife such as, moose, Dall sheep, caribou, and grizzly bears. There are rapids tours available for all skill and ability levels.
Visit a Glacier
Most United States glaciers are found in Alaska and you are able to visit them by kayak or seaplane. There is nothing more magical than seeing one of these massive ice sheets up close. Be sure to check into tours that take you over the longest glacier, the Kahiltna Glacier by sea plane.
If you want the true Alaskan experience then you must go fishing. Give fly fishing a try and hand catch your own salmon. Nothing beats the taste of a fresh caught salmon. Catch an arctic grayling, a coon fish in Alaska that populates many of the waters. If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, give ice fishing a go. There are guides available to help get an ice fishing experience set up for newbies and travelers.
Visit the Totem Poles
Do you remember making totem poles out of oatmeal canisters in elementary school? Do you remember the history behind it? Ketchikan Alaska is home to over 80 Native American totem poles and they are considered to be the state’s most striking pieces of art and they are an attraction that anyone visiting Alaska should not miss. Visit the totem poles and learn of the history and lore while you appreciate magnificent works of art.
Why Traveling Alone Can Be The Best Experience
When you think of traveling, you might think of a big family vacation, a group of friends setting off to see the world, or perhaps a couple’s romantic getaway. What you might not think of is traveling by yourself. However, solo traveling can be an amazing experience, and there are so many benefits that if you’ve been tempted to visit a far-flung destination but didn’t have anyone to go with, you really should just book your tickets and head off to explore! Read on for more details, and you’re sure to understand what we mean.
It’s All Down To You
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau
One of the most significant benefits of traveling alone is that every decision you make is yours entirely. You get to choose where you go, to begin with, without having to compromise because other people you are traveling with want to go somewhere else. You can pick the hotel that you like the look of best, or choose to stay in a hostel or camp out if you prefer. You can go out on day trips or spend a relaxing day by the pool playing games on Unibet. You can make your own itinerary and not have to work on someone else’s time frame. If you decide you don’t like a place, you can move on somewhere else without having to persuade anyone else to. It’s an amazingly freeing feeling.
You Can Meet New People
“Wherever we travel to, the wonderful people we meet become our family.” –
Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!
Meeting new people is one of the joys of traveling, and according to Psychology Today making friends is essential, but it can be hard to do when you’re in a group or traveling as part of a couple. First, it can mean that you tend to stick with the people you already know because there is no real need to look outward to other travelers or even the locals around you.
Secondly, even if you did want to make new friends, those around you who might have struck up a conversation if you had been on your own could choose instead to stay away because they feel you are already with your friends and aren’t looking to meet anyone new.
Either way, you can miss out on some fantastic, life-long friendships in this way and that can be a big regret which Pocketmindfulness.com explains is not a healthy way to live.
You Can Find Yourself
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
It may sound strange to say that you can find yourself when you travel alone, and it might not initially be something you think you want to do. However, if you can start to understand what it is that makes you happy, what fills you with joy, what you want from life and even how you intend to get it. When you return home, you will be more powerful and better able to do whatever it is you want, without compromise, and without damaging your mental health or your personality.
Understanding more about yourself is fundamental to living the best life you can, and when you are traveling alone this is a much easier thing to do!
Meet Cole and Adela
We 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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