Vicky: I genuinely feel that I am a strong independent woman and I do channel my inner Beyoncé on a daily basis. However, when it comes to travelling I personally love travelling with the awesome Mr ESLT (or friends). I understand that solo travel expands your horizons and helps you find yourself, or so I have read so many times. In reality that’s great if you’re single but when you’re married I don’t think ‘I’m just jetting off to the other side of the world for a couple of weeks darling’ would cut it. Maybe in some, but certainly not in the ESLT household and that’s fine by me. Of course our relationship is built on love, friendship, laughter and trust but all those things grew from our joint love of travel. I can’t imagine being in a relationship with someone who wouldn’t jump on a plane at the drop of a hat.
For me, couple travel is not about one person being totally reliant on the other. I am not scared or afraid to solo travel, it’s just not something that I have ever had to do or that has ever appealed to me. It’s about a mutual understanding and being two parts of one thing. So here are my reasons why I love travelling as a couple so much :-
I love talking
In fact it’s probably one of the things I’m best at. I can talk the hind legs off a donkey. Yes, Mr ESLT and I are at that stage of our relationship where silences are very rarely awkward, if ever. So we are both capable of taking in/enjoying our surroundings without shouting from the rooftops about it about it but it’s so nice having him there to talk about things with either at the time or afterwards over a large glass of wine. I’m sure if I travelled solo I would, of course, meet people as I am not a shy retiring wallflower. However the people I would meet, whether in a hostel or on a bus, don’t know me and I don’t know them which of course has it’s benefits that I’m not opposed to. But with a partner you share a bond, you already know their likes and dislikes. The likelihood is you have the common interests and possibly even langauge.
Sometimes I’m not a great adult
Come on we’ve all been there, those days when adulting is just too much. In reality I’m a great adult, I manage to get myself out of bed in a morning, hold down a great career, function well in social situations and I’ve even got a mortgage. But then there are those days when you want to revert to being a helpless (possibly petulant) child and just stay in bed with the duvet over your head with someone bringing you comfort food and stroking your hair telling you everything is going to be ok. I’ll be honest my days like that are very few and far between but when I do have one and we’re on the road I love the fact that Mr ESLT is there to be the ‘bigger’ adult. This means either pandering to my every need, sorting things out when I simply do not have it in me or in extreme cases grabbing me and telling me to pull myself together (taking is life in his own hands whilst doing so).
We’re a team
I think travelling as a couple makes you less selfish. It makes you realise that in life you really do need to compromise, as an only child this is something I have had to work on over the years but I think I’m getting there 🙂 For the good of the Team you need to make decisions based on what works for both of you. If one of you really wants to do something then the other should have their turn at doing something that interests them too. Otherwise resentment would creep in and then anger and then the arguments. As part time travellers – ain’t nobody got time for that! We work hard to plan adventures before we take them so we know what we are doing when we get somewhere and we are both on board with it therefore eliminating the potential for a full on meltdown in the street when there. Also, as a team we have each others backs and support one another, it’s a bit – you mess with him, you mess with me – type of thing.
We are getting a joint education and expanding our horizons together
In the none travel world Mr ESLT and I could not have more different jobs, he sails the seven seas and I am a desk dweller. We have very different qualifications in very different areas of expertise. So when we travel together we are getting a joint education in something we both love. We have learnt so much about different histories, cultures and traditions from many countries all around the world and we now share that knowledge and can both recall it when necessary. We have developed a greater understanding and appreciation for things that are not what we would consider our norm. We have seen things that will stay with us forever which, I believe strengthens our bond. Also, if one of us forget something we have learnt you have the back up of the other one hopefully remembering and being able to remind you.
We are creating memories that will last forever together
We’re married, we’ve made the committment to be in this for the long haul which means one day (fingers crossed) we will have children and in turn grandchildren. I feel that by travelling together we are creating memories and stories that we can tell for years to come giving two sides of the story. If we are never lucky enough to have children we still have those stories for ourselves. We even do it now…..’do you remember that time when we went to…..?’ and we reminisce and moon over where we went and what we did. Those memories are ours, they belong to us, we were there together. How many times have you been in a situation when someone has told you about their holiday and its a – guess you had to be there situation? I know I have and you are interested and listen intently but you cannot visualise it as you weren’t there, you didn’t experience it.
All this being said I am not stating that travelling as a couple is better than solo travel and I’m sure that travelling alone has a million and one benefits too. I just simply can’t comment on it as I’ve never experienced solo travel. Maybe I should, maybe I never will. For me couple travelling is something I hope to continue for as long as we possibly can 🙂
What are your thoughts? Have you travelled solo and as part of a couple – which did you prefer? What did you learn from each?