Couples Travel 1 Month In: Do We Still Like Each Other?
So here we are, 1 month of continuously being together, having left the safety of family, of regular income and the buffer of living apart. Thrust into an alien country, surrounded by strangers and added to the maddeningly vast world of backpacker nomads.
Now life consists of negotiating maps, sticking to a budget, sometimes living in a two-man tent, exploring new sights and meeting new people. Well, life in England also consisted of those things, once in a while. But now, navigating new territory and watching every penny we spend has become our whole lifestyle.
Travelling is the only consistent thing shaping each day now, having left behind work and our friends/family. Now days are spent in movement, be it sitting on a train, walking places (mostly walking places), hitch-hiking, or planning our next journey. Our time is characterized by never staying anywhere too long, constantly embracing the next experience or destination.
That's not to say we haven't settled at all. We spent a cosy and tranquil 4 nights in the Blue Mountains, in the brilliant Flying Fox backpackers. We then spent 10 nights in Port Stephens, a place we nearly bypassed, but are so glad we didn't despite the crazy storm we got caught up in (read about it here).
But there always comes a point where the unpredictability of your next destination and the excitement of discovering it, overcomes your desire to settle, sit still and relax. Although most of the time, wherever we find ourselves in Australia, we spend a few days languishing indoors or outdoors, not doing much of anything, but simply taking in the sights and vibe.
Travel can be as action-packed or as sofa-and-cider-packed as you make it. You can spend a day tiring yourself exploring the local area out then spend the next slowly eating your body-weight in Dorito's.
That's the beauty of the open and flexible schedule which travel now affords us. We feel very little pressure (despite the obvious need to get an income soon). Maybe that's what makes our couples travel experience so smooth and rewarding so far.
Neither of us has really got homesick or lonely, but we both had occasional pangs, but being that we always have each other, its easier to move past negativity. Having your person there to cuddle when you feel a bit sad, or need reminding of how lucky you are to not only have this experience, but to get to share it with someone; you become a little team.
It hasn't been too difficult to get space from each other, which was what worried us most... Whether one of us sits and reads whilst the other goes for a walk, we have so far managed to have distance, not even when we might of needed it most, but it still does both of us good.
Very rarely, in the tenser moments, which I suppose you can call arguments, have we found ourselves wishing we weren't together 24/7. There are moments of epic eye-raising...like when two tired and clumsy people negotiate a tiny tent at bedtime, kicking and elbowing each other 5 times before getting cosy. Or when you find yourselves not wanting to do the same things, or you have totally different energy levels.
Taran is someone who jumps at the chance to go out in the worst of weather or walk down to the beach in the pitch black of a power-cut. I am sometimes scared and more reserved, more likely to want to be warm, dry and comfortable. These are aspects of our personalities we always knew about, and most of the time, Taran eases my adventurous side out, and I manage to surprise him. Sometimes he hits a brick-wall with me, and thanks to my stubborn nature, we can find ourselves in a stalemate...
I would be lying if I said we haven't clashed or had moments of difficulty. But its also been a very easy and surprisingly stress-free few weeks. Its hard to feel angry or stifled by one another when our days aren't defined by monotony or framed with petty arguments over trivial things. Yes petty disagreements will still happen, we are still the same people we were in England. Neither of us perfect, both very sure of ourselves and our likes/dislikes. But its been so much easier than I could have imagined. And that isn't because we are gritting our teeth and not being honest, its because we are having fun!
Looking out for each other, cooking together, holding hands walking along unfamiliar streets, making each other laugh whilst waiting on the side of a highway for a ride... all these new experiences that we are having together make this travelling lark worth it. And during the crap times or stressful moments, on the not so easy days, the promise of an evening at the beach or a lazy day slowly exploring with your best mate, makes up for it.
We hope it continues this way. And if it doesn't, then we will try to understand why and make it work for both of us. We both wanted this for so long, and we both feel free, happy and more at home than we did in England; our mutual passion for this is the thing which binds and feeds not simply our couples travel experience but our overall fulfilment with being nomads.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!