here i am, exactly a week later from getting back and starting my regular life again.
i have begun planning our next adventure and figuring out when, where, and how long i can go. everybody keeps asking me, “how was your trip?” but they are slowly starting to not ask anymore, because life goes on. that’s the sad thing, life does go on. nobody wants to hear me yap on and brag about a trip that i was on and they were not.
i won’t get too deep but i feel like everyone should go abroad at least once. me talking about it isn’t enough. i wanted to post a sobby blog about how much i miss it, but i changed my mind. there will be more adventures, right?
fortunately, lewis and i will be able to talk about this forever with one another when everyone else gets bored. i wouldn’t and couldn’t have had the same experience without him. i could have went alone, sure, but then i wouldn’t have had anybody to 100% share these experiences with. anybody can read my blog or nod their head when i say “it was fun!”.. but to experience it with another person who i love? that was the best part (besides the food).
lewis and i are in a pretty solid relationship. we live together and just went on a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip. i am no relationship expert by any means, but i will share what i learned/my impromptu list:
five reasons you should travel abroad with your S/O
1. 24/7 contact
out of the 576 hours we were together, i was only away from lewis for 3.. and we didn’t kill each other, so that’s a good sign.
there he was: on the train, on the taxi, on the plane, on the bus, in the hotel room. he was always right there, for about a month. 100% seriousness, i didn’t mind it at all. we had a few moments but there wasn’t once when i wished i was by myself.
this leads me to ask:
*can you handle being with your significant other 24/7?
*if you’re in a serious relationship: can you handle being with them for the rest of your life?
think about it! you will be referred back to these questions more than once.
2. getting to know them on a deeply intimate level
do you know every time your partner has to poop? do you want to? too bad, now you know. whose stinky feet are those? what does your S/O smell like without showering for a few days?
backpacking leaves little time to make hygiene a top priority. we were lucky enough to have friends let us do laundry at their house. i am also lucky that lewis is still dating me after a month of not getting my eyebrows waxed, watching me pop my very first blister, a few missed days shaving, and discovering that TOMs are not the most breathable shoe.
hostels and hotel rooms also leave little room for privacy. better get comfortable! we are all humans and you probably have to face how gross other humans can be. if you can’t handle any of this, refer to #1*
3. the breaking points
what makes your partner tick? i mean really tick? i am not talking about a favorite sports team losing or when someone cuts you off in traffic, i am talking about being with someone 24/7 and discovering the beast that lives within. what is that person like after 2 hours of sleep, with no coffee, and a mad case of jet leg?
unfortunately, lewis learned this the hard way. for me: i hated getting lost. i hated it every single time. i also hated when we missed a train or got on the wrong train. too bad this happened daily. it made my skin boil.
every time we got lost or missed a train, i went in to panic mode. this was not by choice. yet, every single time, lewis calmed me down. he made everything okay and long ago accepted the fact that i was crazy. that’s love!
it is also ironic i was the one who booked two wrong flights and showed up at the wrong airport both times.
it could be a warning sign if it pisses you off the way they chew their food or breathe at the end of a long trip.. and maybe it’s time to reconsider if you’re pulling your hair out or wanting to run as fast as you can. refer back to #1*
communication is key. we all know this from our psychology classes (or if we’ve worked in retail or customer service). it is especially important in a relationship. when you’re with someone on a trip like this, you can’t slam the bedroom door and send them to the couch. you can’t get in your car and drive to a friend’s house for a night. it’s time to face the problem head-on. lewis and i had to talk through any problems we were having right then and there. it helped us grow so much to openly communication every day. there were no text fights, no silent treatments. every problem was solved face to face.
being open about your feelings goes a long way. feeling tired? say it. pissed off? say why. if you can’t communicate abroad, you’re probably going to have some issues with that person when you get home.
5. allowing yourself to be vulnerable
i cried a lot and i am not afraid to say it. it’s okay to bawl your eyes out because you don’t want to go home. it’s fine to ask for a hug. it is 100% normal to be tired, cranky, and admit you need a nap. if that person really cares about you, they will understand. i never would have imagined myself being so open with another human being. it sounds so corny but it’s true. if you can’t allow yourself to be vulnerable around someone you have deep feelings for, there is a problem. right?
i feel like i should have a cheesy quote underneath this.
i learned so much on this trip and cannot wait for the next one. i cried on sunday, contemplating the meaning of life and wondering why i cannot travel all the time. it sucks but just means i have a lot of planning to do for the next. i am thankful for this experience and hope everyone else goes out there and does the same. find someone you love, get on a plane, and go.
to anyone who is still reading, thank you.
more importantly, a big thank you to lewis for dealing with me + editing my blogs. i love how we will always be able to look back on our adventures. i am a lucky girl.
i dedicate this to our next adventure.