‘Til death do us part. Acacia Africa knows how important those few short words really are. Whether you’re celebrating years since the happy day or are looking to tie the knot in the distant future, you’ve made your way together through the good and the bad. You’ve weathered every challenge life has handed you along the way and come out stronger than ever. You hold each other up when times get tough, and your partner is the first person with whom you celebrate your victories. You’re a team. And now it’s time to head out on the ultimate adventure together. Travel can be one of the most inspirational and eye opening experiences of your lives- but it can also be a challenge to navigate with another person. How do you make the most of travel as a couple- and stay sane while doing it?
Travel is the ultimate test of your love
This isn’t a mere trip to meet family in a different state or a weekend away at a nearby beauty spot. We’re talking new continents, new vistas, new experiences- new sights and sounds, languages and cultures to navigate together, new challenges to meet and overcome. Travel is, undoubtedly, one of the very best things you can ever do for yourself, alone or as a couple. Your horizons will be broadened and your eyes opened in ways you can’t truly understand until you’ve been there. It isn’t all glitz and glamour, though, and the wise couple knows that (as in your relationship itself) travel will bring moments that will test you. Sure, the Instagram moments will come thick and fast, memories will be made that last a lifetime… but reality, just like love, isn’t only about the pretty moments.
Travel brings new challenges- sometimes ones we never expected. Annoying situations can arise, and tempers can get short and misunderstandings abound. You may discover you and your partner have different travel styles and treasure different experiences. Making it all work with different jobs, lives and schedules to coordinate can be a problem in itself. All those comfy rhythms that have become part of your daily life together are suddenly gone. It’s just you and your loved one awash in an unknown land. The real you, and the real them, exposed. How do you rise to the challenge and come home stronger than ever?
The honest couple’s travel survival guide
When you’re home again, those fraught times will seem like nothing. What you remember will be the remarkable moments, the shared experiences. You’ll laugh about things that seemed of life-and-death importance in the moment. But the smoother you make the shared road, the greater the bonding along the way.
- Remember to be flexible: It isn’t just about you out there. Listen to your partner, and honour their suggestions too. This is an ‘us’ experience, not the ‘you’ show.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: Missing the train because your partner didn’t pack the night before is just a small blip on your travel radar. Part of the uniqueness of being human is that contrasts help us remember what really matters. If we never had to face the bad, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the good. So while those gaffes may make you want to throttle them in the moment, always keep a sense of real perspective. You’re travelling, you’re on holiday, you’re with each other- roll with the annoyances and enjoy the person you love the most for who they are.
- Expect to be surprised: You’re both far out of your comfort zones. It may bring sides of your partner you’d never expected to light. You may find a bossy insistence on the importance of schedules lurking underneath, or you may find they long to laze by the pool while you’re keen to explore and learn. Just remember point 2 above, and focus on the core of your relationship and what you mean to each other instead.
Travelling with your partner will test you in ways you’ve probably never expected. In many ways, it may be make-or-break for you both, the final test of your true compatibility…and your ability to work through the bad and embrace the good. And you really shouldn’t want it any other way.
Travelling together will help you recreate yourselves, your love and your partnership. It will bring you a few low moments, but these will be far outnumbered by the memories you make with each other. You’ll emerge from the other side happier, more successful and closer than ever. The moments you spend on the road together may well become some of the best of your life. And Acacia Africa can’t think of anything better than that. Life, after all, isn’t in the things we own, but the moments we share with the ones we love.