Having traveled across the world together over a space of 4 years, Jonathon and Katrina Howe of Two Monkeys Travel Group have got a good amount of experience when it comes to traveling as a couple! Check out how traveling positively affected their relationship – and how it could do the same for yours!
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Two Monkeys Travel Group
Jonathan and Katrina Howe are travel writers from the UK who have been traveling the world together non-stop for nearly four years. They have visited over 70 countries together and have been running Two Monkeys Travel Group since 2014, providing tips, inspiration and travel stories to readers across the continents.
“Many people have been or will go traveling at some point, be it for holidays, work trips or backpacking and it all comes with a whole range of experiences and challenges. But when you travel as a couple, everything is different and every one of those experiences, especially the challenges, become all the more important!
Vacations are one thing, but when it comes to long-term travel, which can see you and your one-and-only backpacking around the world in sometimes difficult places, then you need to be prepared. But there is also plenty to be excited about and look forward to, as you experience things together that change both of you for the better.
My wife and I met while we were backpacking in Southeast Asia; me with two of my friends from home and her with her brother and sister. We met in Laos, decided to keep in touch then met up again a few months later and have been traveling the world together ever since, to over 70 countries on 6 continents. So when it comes to traveling the world as a couple, we’ve learned a few things!
Here are five ways that travelling together, as a couple, could change your relationship forever!
1. Shared experiences
Our lives are a long series of experiences, many of which pass by without us even noticing. When we travel to new and exciting places, the amount of significant experiences we have, ones that stay with us and affect us, increases dramatically. For anyone who has been traveling for a while, only to come home and be unable to fully explain where you went, what you saw and how you felt, you already know that words, pictures and videos can only do so much. They will simply never feel the way that you did as you lived through those moments.
When you’re traveling as a couple, then you’re not only experiencing everything with someone else who can relate, but with someone who understands you better than anyone else. This is probably as close as you’ll ever get to having another person understand exactly what your experiences meant to you.
2. Memories that last
When we spend most of our lives with one other person, then it can be easy for one day to blend into the next. Milestone events like the day we met, moving in together, the birth of our kids and travelling are what create the important memories that tie us together over the years. The simple fact is, when you’re travelling together you have so much less ‘empty space’ in between and almost every day brings something amazing, a real ‘wow-moment,’ that you’ll remember together for the rest of your lives!
3. A better understanding of each other
Traveling takes us straight out of our comfort zones – where we already know what to expect and how to deal with it – and throws us into all kinds of crazy new situations. Every one of these new situations gives us a new challenge to overcome, which shows us all kinds of abilities that we didn’t know we had and teaches us how adaptable we can really be. Anything from crossing dangerous borders at night, to getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with no transport and nowhere to sleep – traveling is full of challenges that test our strength, resilience and adaptability. When you’re traveling with the person you’re planning to spend the rest of your life with, it’s amazing to be able to see them in a new light, dealing with situations they have never been in before.
4. Learning when to question yourself
Traveling together often means spending more or less twenty four hours a day together, through all kinds of environments and uncomfortable journeys which can be very challenging at times! Tiredness, hunger, long bus rides and sickness can turn the smallest bit of stress into an all out argument if you’re not careful. Over time, we have learned to recognise when we started to feel annoyed with one another, questioning ourselves and asking, ‘Is it possible that I’m tired, hungry and being just a little bit moody?’ If the answer to any of those questions is, ‘Yes!’ then it’s probably time to accept that you need to walk away, close your eyes for a while, buy yourself an empanada, or even all of the above! Even better, we’ve learned to recognise the warning signs in each other too, so sometimes I’ll turn around to find Kach there holding out a black coffee and some random street food for me!
5. It might not end up quite how you thought…
It’s been said before that traveling together can be the making, but also the breaking, of a relationship. A couple who might have stayed together forever if they stayed home, could find that they simply don’t like what they see in each other when the tough situations arise. Perhaps an ignored problem was always there and the intensity of travel brought it to the surface. Either way, these things would have become apparent somewhere down the line, perhaps in ten years time when they had two kids, a mortgage and a dog to think about!
After almost four years, over 70 countries and hundreds of very challenging situations together we know which side our relationship sits on. We didn’t always know that, but now that we do, we know that it was worth every minute, every argument and every cheap empanada to get to where we are today – four years together, married, running a successful travel site and with the rest of the world still left to explore!