Traveling with someone is all fun and games until true colors show. Whether it’s with your bestie, your sister, your significant other, or a stranger, travel will somehow bring you to depths your relationship has never been to before. Unless your idea of travel is an all-inclusive trip, or more like a vacation, (which is fine too), traveling is not always easy. It goes beyond museum hopping or sipping Mai Tais under a big umbrella– way beyond everything you see on Instagram. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, so if you’re going to be roughing it with someone, you have to pick carefully, no matter how sociable or likable you are. Here are 5 important things you need to consider before making a commitment.
1.) You will annoy each other.
Travel is no walk in the park. If you’re there together for the real deal which includes double digit hours of overland travel, sleeping in crappy mattresses surrounded by strangers, and a strict $15 budget a day, things will get a little bumpy. Patience declines, temper rises, and friendships/relationships gets tested. Circumstances may arise and if you’re around each other 24/7, you’re bound to get in each other’s nerves.
Quick Fix: Time outs from each other will refresh your mood. Go get breakfast alone, go for a walk, or go on a solo adventure for a breather. Absence always makes the heart fonder.
2.) You won’t always be interested in the same thing.
Even the most tested relationships doesn’t realize how different they are from each other until they’ve traveled together. You may be BFFs, but don’t assume that you’ll share the same interests when you’re out exploring the world. Remember that you’re finding out new things you’re both not familiar with and one of you may be down for that while the other one isn’t. You may want to go for a trek while the other would rather be sunbathing on a beach. You may want to shop on your last day but your buddy would rather go day drinking. The world is your oyster now, but when budget and timing is a bit limited, it can be a big dilemma.
Quick Fix: A simple civilized talk like you probably already know. Just avoid making assumptions that the other will be down for anything you’re into. Speak out also if you don’t feel comfortable doing something. Avoid peer pressuring each other because that’s just immature. It’s okay to do things separately, you know?
3.) It’s all fun and games until someone had a little too much to drink.
Part of the unspoken rule of traveling together is to have each other’s back when nights get a little wilder than you’ve expected. Once you’ve signed up on a trip together, pulling things like “if you get too drunk, I won’t be responsible for you!” is a complete d*ck move. There will be times when sobriety will be out of control and this should be highly considered because let’s be real, no one wants to babysit.
Quick Fix: Before making a serious commitment together, perhaps consider their drinking habits. If your bff is someone who can’t handle her liquor, then she probably won’t make the best travel partner if drinking is an essential part of the trip. If you yourself is a handful after a few shots, then it’s probably best to make an agreement on limitations prior going to the trip. Otherwise, you’re both setting yourselves up for unnecessary drunken drama.
4.) It will bring out the worst in you.
Annoying each other is one thing, but traveling together also means letting down your guard completely. Your travel buddy will see your temper. They will witness your meltdowns. They will know your weakness. If before marriage they say the true test is by living together, for me, in any relationship, the real trial is through travel. Although you’ll both roll with the punches just fine, it will change your relationship. It could be for the better, or it could be for the worse.
Quick Fix: Patience really is the key here, but that gets compromised too when shit gets tough. You can’t fix the other person, but you can fix you– so check yourself before you wreck yourself.
5.) And it will bring out the best.
Yes, it will change your relationship. But if you do it right, it will take your relationship to new heights. You will make memories that you will both grow and evolve from. Travel already changes an individual, so imagine doing it together. You’ll be forever bound by an experience so intangible you’ll both never forget it. If you’re family, your bond will be even stronger. If you’re best friends, your ties will be even deeper. If you’re in a romantic relationship, it will give you a chance to get to know each other on another level higher and deeper than any domestic relationship can.
Quick Fix: Ask yourself if this person deserves to see you at your best. Can your friendship endure the punches that comes along the way? Is your relationship strong enough to turn traveling together into a positive light, instead of letting it break you? After all, traveling should be shared with someone special enough that you’d want to keep them in your life even after the adventure ends.