Love and Travel

Kelly Westhoff did something that everyone wishes they could do at some point in their lives but don’t always get the nerve to; they quit their jobs and starting travelling. In her article, “Love the One You’re With: How to Travel Together Without Killing Each Other,” is an extremely entertaining and humorous story of her 180day travel adventure with her husband. Her advice is useful and relevant when on a long travel extravaganza with someone you love.

When you’re out of your element and in a foreign land, it’s tempting to keep your loved one close. Of course you don’t want to lose him (or her) in a strange city, but if you step back and evaluate your reasons for holding on so tight, you’ll probably see that you’re hanging on to temper your own comfort. Eventually you’ll both end up feeling claustrophobic.

When traveling budget style, money is always of concern and looking back, it was a healthy thing that we bickered over these topics as the root cause of many wasn’t how much we were going to spend, but rather, what we valued.

Perhaps the biggest money lesson I learned from budget traveling with my spouse is that both people in the relationship need to carry cash.

I will admit, as a woman, it was tempting at times to let my husband carry the dough. But it’s just not smart, or safe, and it ended up making me feel less in control.

You’re bound to get lost in a foreign land. Therefore, it does no good to blame your partner if his (or her) reading of the map leads you astray. It might be his (or her) fault that you’re lost today, but chances are high that it will be your fault tomorrow.

And besides, if you are lost, you’re lost together. Bite your tongue when blaming words want to rush out and try instead to be part of the solution. I’ll linger to place an emphasis on “part” of the solution.
It seems that when both of us had our linguistic rugs pulled out from under our feet, we got along best. Which makes sense. It meant we had to pool our travel skills. We had to cooperate.

It was as if our trip condensed six years of marriage into six months. I returned home with a deeper understanding of myself and my husband. Because of travel, I have seen him in situations I would never have seen him in at home, situations in which he was forced to act fast, think nimble, or just be vulnerable.
And it’s not just me. He, too, agrees that our travels turned our beginner marriage into something else, something stronger than it was before.