When you type in google “travelling as a couple” you really do get mixed reviews from couples who have travelled together for years and think its amazing, to blogs from solo travellers stating how many couples they met that split up while they were away and spent nights crying into flea ridden hostel pillows. I have travelled solo and had amazing times, but this world is a lonely place and i’m sick of coming home to a house full with no-one understanding my experiences; people rolling their eyes as I tell them just how amazing the Taj Mahal is in real life. No one gets it when you get back and that’s what I want to be different. I want to experience everything this time with someone who will understand what I mean and someone who can reminisce with me about amazing people we met and places we visited, someone who won’t get bored with my endless travel pictures and go pro footage and who better than the man I love (aww).
When I explain to people my newest plans for my South East Asia adventure it is not uncommon to get this response: “What about Joe?” I often hear as if i’m just going to leave him behind like a forgotten pair of flip-flops… and more often than not my reply that he’s coming too is greeted by a sound of shock or a disapproving look! Then comes the dreaded question i’ve become used to hearing… “WHAT IF YOU SPLIT UP?” How the hell am I supposed to answer that? You never know whats going to happen in life and that’s why my answer to this question is: “what if we don’t go?”.
Now this may be hard for some people to get their heads around but this is my logic: Joe and I met in America where our first date was a trip to A+E after Joe accidentally broke my collar-bone during a drunken piggy back incident! Our second date consisted of chasing a goat in need of a hoof trim around camp before heading to the local pub for a few drinks and our third date was probably the week we spent in Atlantic city trying to make one pizza last 4 days and mine sweeping in the local casino because we’d well and truly run out of money (and I mean well and truly). It was chaos. But it brought out the qualities in each other that we loved, I fell in love with the fact that Joe was ALWAYS up for a party and Joe loved the fact that my claim to fame was drinking 12 pints of Guinness. We fell in love with each other but whats more important is we fell in love with the madness of travelling, not knowing where you’ll sleep or what you’ll do next was part of the magic that brought us together!
I remember getting on the plane back from America and kissing Joe goodbye, trying desperately to hold it all together knowing I might never see him again. But now I look back at that diary entry and I realise that wasn’t my real fear… come on I knew i’d see him again I was going to hunt him down the second I got home, but what I didn’t know was whether or not it would ever be the same in one place. Whether i’d get that buzz from the day-to-day chores of a “long term relationship” back home. With the stresses of running a household and holding down a job. The truth is I don’t think either of us do get that buzz. Now don’t take this the wrong way we are very happy together, we like our jobs, we rarely argue and we enjoy a lively social life with varied hobbies (including long romantic walks on the beach and all that jazz), and we are very much definitely still in love. This trip is not a last-ditch attempt to save a relationship on the brink of collapse that of course would be a recipe for disaster. This is about making things better, about utilising our strengths and working together to both get what we want out of our lives. It is about enjoying every day and falling back in love with the madness and chaos of being on the road while learning even more about each other as we go. More importantly it’s about spending our time together doing something that we both enjoy because let’s be honest you never know whats just around the corner.
So what if we split up? I’m afraid that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross if we get to it. But the reality for me is that if we stay put, work 9 to 5 and succumb to this rat race that so many people call their lives we probably will split up. We’ve spent nearly 2 years trying it and we’ve made the decision that it’s not for us right now. So wish us luck, and i’ll do my best to keep you all posted.