There comes a point in every trip, when you’re traveling with just one companion, that you may start pushing each other’s buttons a bit. Especially once the novelty of travel has worn off and the annoyances of living out of a backpack, worrying about money and buses and rain, and walking endless miles every day start to seem more acute.
This point for us came in Lisboa (“Lisbon”, in English). We had been rocking through one big city after another and maybe we were more tired than we realized. You’ve probably been there. Suddenly, getting lost isn’t fun anymore, and then one of you is hungry but you can’t agree on where to eat, and then you stop being patient, and then “WHERE ARE WE GOING???? WHY ARE WE STILL WANDERING AROUND THIS TOWN LOOKING FOR FOOD AT SIESTA TIME?????? I’M GOING TO EAT MY ARM AND THEN I’M GOING TO FLY HOME WITHOUT YOU!!!!!” Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you see what I mean.
How do you deal with frustration on the road? For us, I think it’s a matter of space. No matter how much we love each other, we both need some alone time, which is hard to create when you are literally spending every waking AND sleeping moment together! It helps to let each other off the hook from being social every now and then. Read a book at a cafe instead of trying to talk all the time! Go running or for a walk by yourself! Just do some yoga in the hostel room while the other person surfs the internet. Escape into your own thoughts every now and then and don’t stress about always being “on” for the other person. Also, get some rest!!! It helps us to have a lazy day every once in awhile, where we just catch up on planning, blog stuff, and reading instead of traipsing around in the sun all day. Usually any rainy day is a good excuse for a rest!
Communication is also key. We often fall into the trap of expecting the other to read our mind, since we know each other so well. But that’s not fair. You have to constantly communicate your needs when traveling, unless your partner really is psychic. Otherwise you end up with, “How was I supposed to know you weren’t in the mood to wander aimlessly right now, isn’t that what we do every day?”
That being said, most of the time we are pretty cool with each other on the road. We’re always learning how to communicate and take care of ourselves better. Traveling together can definitely make or break a relationship and I highly recommend you try it before settling down!
Without further ado, here is Lisboa, which was really big, really tiring, but really beautiful too!
Lisbon has an unending supply of gorgeous views, great food, and happy nightlife. I hope we’ll be back to explore more someday!