As I’m sure you are all well aware from my social media – I love me a holiday. I’m currently in a fortunate position where my job allows me the freedom of travel. I have to say, although doing long distance is difficult for the most part, it does mean I get to feed my travelling addiction and visit many places in order to see The Boy! And I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one who suffers from wanderlust.
Being a millennial, as we are affectionately referred to, has many big plusses. (Obviously I’m not talking about the fact that we will never be able to buy a house or pay off our ever growing student loan). I mean things like, internet dating (although I know some people wont agree, but I’m pretty sure I’d be erring on the side of spinsterhood if it wasn’t for Bumble) and things like being able to travel so easily!
More people than ever are utilising this and going on hols with their new beau, very soon after meeting. And why the hell not? You enjoy their company – you’re feeling spontaneous, the idea of a weekend getaway is exciting right? Well. It could be. But it could also be a disaster. I’m sure you’ll all agree, there’s no better way to really get to know someone than when travelling.
In theory it’s a great idea. Effectively a very good way if you want to wheedle out the good from the bad – but you’re also at risk of being stuck, mid holiday, realising, you’d rather be anywhere else. A friend of mine went to Rome with a guy she was seeing and promptly ended it after a full blown argument half way through the trip. She had to spend the next 3 days in awkward company, sharing a hotel room and wishing the time away.
Another friend took his girlfriend of 1 year to a beautiful holiday in Santorini. But after two days he had discovered she didn’t like swimming in pools, she didn’t like music, she didn’t like making new friends and excursions of any sort were absolutely out of the question. How he did not know any of this before, is a question I’m sure you’re all asking? I’m not sure either – and after discovering on their supposedly romantic (expensive) trip that they just weren’t compatible, well, needless to say two days after the holiday was over, so was the relationship. But these are worst case scenarios.
The same thing applies when you go travelling with your SO (Significant Other). I feel like this is the moment you really discover if you are meant to be together. Because it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows – let me tell you.
Mitch and I recently got back from a 5 week trip around Africa – which was incredible, but we definitely, definitely discovered a few things.
Things I learnt travelling with Mitch:
- There Is A Middle Ground. I’m the type of person that wants to get to the airport
insanely early, whereas Mitch is quite happy to coast along and arrive just on time. The idea of missing a flight makes me so stressed I could break out in to hives just thinking about it. And I’m a total control freak. However, we learnt to compromise, and Mitch was right that we didn’t need to leave so early just incase the train broke down (like that ever happens) – it all worked out just fine.
- I May Need To Invest In A Gas Mask. Right, so obviously after two years in a relationship, I knew he farted a lot but – I mean, seriously? I think the boy single handedly could produce enough methane to heat the entire Earth’s atmosphere – no joke. He also has the maturity of an 11 year old when it comes to farting and revels in seeing me gag and my eyes start streaming from the stench. I’m hoping that one day I will become immune to the smell, but until then, I may need to invest in a mask.
- We Do Good Cop/ Bad Cop. When one of our domestic flights was delayed and meant that we were going to miss an activity we had booked and were really looking forward to – we actually took it in turns to stress out, while the other assured everything was going to be fine and we were somehow still going to make it. Although ultimately we all know whilst I was doing the reassuring part – I was completely lying and that I was stressed as fuck. I like to think we balance each other out but in reality – he does more of the balancing. (FYI to anyone wondering, even though the plane was 2 hours delayed we still managed to make the afore mentioned activity.)
- Mitch Has The Patience Of A Saint. I don’t do well on no sleep, muggy heat and no food. Sleeping in tents for basically the entire trip was quite challenging. It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be but I don’t think either of us slept the night through in an entire month. So when we are having the not so fun days – lugging around 15kg backpacks on a hot, crowded ferry across to Dar Es Salaam on no sleep, springs to mind – the real test began. Once the grump ensues, it doesn’t take much to turn me to tears and I start to act like everything is the end of the world. While it can’t be much fun for Mitch to feel like he is being accompanied by an adult sized toddler, he has the tricky task of dealing with the grump and not upsetting the balance, which he deals with very well. He has learnt that food and hugs are often the best way of achieving success and removing the grump.
- We Will Enjoy Being Old Together. We spent many hours doing puzzles from our
puzzle book. And we loved it. We basically turned in to a couple of 80 year olds.
- You Know You Really Love Someone When you hear the effects of food poisoning and it doesn’t disgust you. One night we stayed in a hotel and poor Mitch ate a dodge chicken and let me tell you, the result was not pretty. And even while I was listening to the entire contents of Mitch’s dinner leave his body all night (soz Mitch), I just wished there was something I could do to make him feel better. If he had long hair, I definitely would’ve been in there holding it back for him.
Holidating Survival Guide:
- Always Have Snacks To Hand – If Brownie Guide’s taught me anything it was to always be prepared, and having snacks at the ready was a sure fire way to diffuse any bubbling hangryness when it was starting to rear it’s ugly head.
- Factor 30 Sunscreen – No Less. One day we went paddle boarding on Lake Malawi
– and whilst it was a beautiful, fun day, wearing Factor 20 was NOT a good idea. I got so sunburnt, that I actually matched the neon pink bikini I was wearing. I struggled to sleep/walk/shower/wear clothes/think about anything else for another 3 days. Obviously this didn’t put me in the best of moods and It was from that moment that I made a solemn vow to myself, never to buy Nivea Tan Enhancing Factor 20 Suncream EVER again.
- Give Yourself Space – As much as you love spending all this time together, don’t forget to give yourself a little ‘you’ time. It’s important to keep everything fresh. Whether that’s by reading a book, taking an extra long shower or going on a little stroll. I sometimes did a 15 minute yoga practice.
- Split The Bill – the last thing you want to worry about when you are away is money. We took exactly the same amount of money and since we mostly did the same stuff, by the end of the trip we made sure we were even on the money front – this eliminates any sort of difficulties about who spent what.
- Be Prepared To Go With The Flow – Now, spontaneity and going with the flow doesn’t come naturally to everyone (especially me), so when things go slightly against the plan the key is to: REMAIN CALM. Remind yourself – it’s not the end of the world. Getting ratter at your travel buddy because thing’s didn’t go exactly as you expected is not going to help anything. It’s not their fault is it?
- Take It In Turns To Make Decisions – If you’re in a relationship where neither one likes making the decisions, like us, save yourself the pain and effort and take it in turns to decide. Alternatively, download an app called ‘The Decider’ and let technology do it for you. This saved us many an argument!
- Make Friends – Dilute your time with each other by going out and making friends! It adds another dynamic to the trip so thing’s don’t become repetitive. Meeting people is great, especially when you meet people together.
Holidating is a huge test. You really have to like someone to be able to spend 24 hours a day with them. And despite his best effort to get on my nerves, it didn’t work. Well, it did, very much so, he can be incredibly annoying, but not enough that I was fighting to be rid of him. I really feel like as a couple, if you can deal with travelling together, you can pretty much deal with anything that comes your way. And if our Africa trip was anything to go by, with any luck, we are in it for the long haul. Holidating? Passed it with flying colours.