We have been traveling now for more than seven months around Asia but never really wrote about traveling as a couple. How is it to backpack as a couple and how different is it to solo traveling? Traveling together means sharing everything with each other and finding new sides from each other. There are many ups and downs on the way as well.
All kinds of traveling has its good and bad sides. For us, traveling together has been an amazing experience though and we have learned a lot about it! We collected 7 remarks that we have done while traveling as a couple.
Traveling together allows you to get to know each other better. This is true especially when the relationship is new. We had already been living together for two years before we started traveling. Anyhow, during the trip all the blocks are gone and we don’t feel ashamed of anything anymore. Talking about stomach functions is normal everyday stuff. It’s ok if there is no door in hotel room’s toilet and borrowing each other’s toothbrushes is not disgusting at all.
Our relationship is stronger than before. For some people traveling together might be challenging but for us, it has been just good! We share all the joys and sorrows and we have also become best friends with each other. We have weird inside jokes and we take embarrassing pictures when the other one falls asleep or just looks terrible.
A long backpacking trip is certainly not just a honeymoon but the everyday life will hit to the face at some point just like at home. It’s far from romantic when the other one has an inflamed toe and the other one has to run to the toilet in every five minutes… But traveling together is easy when both parts have the same interests, thoughts and ways of spending money. Budget traveling would be quite hard if the other one would always like to go to a five-star restaurant and the other one have street food.
Couples easily face prejudice and stereotypes. For some reason many people are afraid to come and talk with couples because they think that the couples just want to be alone. But we are already together 24/7! And why would we otherwise sleep in a 10-bed dorm and sit in the hostel bar, just asking? We also want to get to know new people, that’s the best part of traveling. Unfortunately, the truth is sometimes that it is harder to get new friends when you travel together. Anyhow, we try to break these stereotypes continuously and be that “not just cuddling with each other” couple.
Traveling as a couple is sometimes easier and cheaper than traveling alone. The culture in many countries is still very traditional and the basic assumption is that the man takes care of all the things. Sometimes the things just run more smoothly when Johanna keeps her mouth shut and lets Jarkko clarify them “between the guys”. Traveling as a couple is sometimes also safer because you don’t need to walk alone in the dark or in suspicious suburbs. For example hitchhiking is easy because many think that a couple is less scary than just a man traveling alone. We save money on many things as we can split the accommodation costs and other expenses.
Homesickness doesn’t hit so easily. Even if everything goes wrong, you always have someone who takes you on the arms. We don’t feel like we are bound in one place in the world but our home is where we feel good and homey. While traveling together we don’t feel longing and loneliness so strongly but of course we still miss our families and friends equally much.
There is not much own time. We sleep together, eat together, go sightseeing together and travel together. Being together is lovely but on a long trip, it is easy to forget that every person also needs some own time. Sometimes being together too much discharges as yelling and cranking. And no wonder. Travel life is indeed completely different to our old life where both of us had an own job, hobbies and friends. When the atmosphere gets too tense, it’s best to take some time and do something alone, and suddenly things feel better again. This is why we sometimes like to spend a longer time in one place. Then both have the chance to form own everyday routines.
Women always have more stuff despite traveling lightly. Both of us have the same amount of clothes but the cosmetics bags take quite a lot of space in Johanna’s backpack and sometimes Jarkko has to carry some extra stuff. But it is just a fact that a woman needs a bit more, isn’t it? Johanna spends more money on clothes if she gets bitten by the shopping bug (especially in Vietnam where you can get clothes for just a few dollars…). Jarkko, on the other hand, likes to try local beer and wine so eventually, our money spending stays quite equal.
What are your experiences of traveling as a couple?