Have you ever met a couple that didn’t take a honeymoon? It’s very possible you have, however, it is extremely uncommon for a couple to tie the knot and not want to venture halfway around the world on a honeymoon. But why do most couples wait this long to travel together? Traveling with your partner before you’re married has an incredible amount of benefits, yet so many couples wait until the honeymoon to explore together.
Obviously, our relationship and our lifestyle is a bit unique. Traveling as extensively as we do isn’t’ for everyone. We aren’t advocating that every couple should quit their jobs and travel together for 7 months straight. That’s what we did when we decided to travel the world. However, we are advocating that you invest in traveling with your partner before you tie the knot. Don’t let your honeymoon be the first time you travel together, and definitely, don’t let it be the last. We have written about this topic before but thought we would revisit it now that we are actually married and are seeing the points we expounded upon before actually coming to fruition. We have far more than 10 reasons, but here are
Remember when you first met your significant other? If you’re single, think back to when you and an ex first met. You were never bored, were you? You weren’t comfortable either. You were constantly trying to be your best self so as to impress your partner. That’s natural. We don’t want to show our negative personality traits to a new partner immediately. At this point in a relationship, the courting phase, you’re also likely going out on a number of dates, trying new things together, and spending real, quality time together.
Over the course of a couple years together something happens: we get comfortable. It’s natural. We have “won” our partner over and are no longer trying to court them. We assimilate into our new lives together and tend to neglect quality time as well as fun experiences. If you’re reading this and saying, “Crap. That’s me,” don’t worry. That’s everyone. While Alex we aren’t traveling we have to make a concerted effort to create fun experiences and spend quality time together. Yes, we are “together” most of the time. We both work from home, we often workout together or go to yoga classes together, and we enjoy running errands together. But that isn’t quality time. That’s life. You’re simply bringing someone along to do things you were already planning to do. We eat dinner together just about every night and spend the majority of evenings together on the couch watching movies or binging a TV series, but again, that isn’t TRUE quality time.
Travel allows you to create the ultimate date night – every night. Pay more attention to your partner than your mobile device or your computer. Remove distractions, and have unique experiences on a daily basis. BE PRESENT, not complacent.
Highs and lows are serious when it comes to travel. Walking through the Colosseum and envisioning what it must have been like during the height of the Roman Empire is a pretty big high. Having your bikes stolen in Florence or your credit card stolen in Bali is a pretty frustrating low. These are all things we have experienced while traveling. Travel offers highs and lows, which subsequently cause us to be in our best and our worst moods. It’s imperative to see your partner at his or her worst to know if you can spend your life together.
Traveling with your partner will teach you whether you are compatible. Honestly, you’ll figure out really quickly if you’re ready for marriage and/or if this person is the person you want to spend your life with.
The aforementioned challenges force you to either become a team or fail. Traveling together teaches a couple to be a team. Rather, traveling together forces a couple to be a team. At home, we get so accustomed to particular roles (I.e. Alex cooks us an amazing dinner and I leave the kitchen spotless after. Or, I lift heavy things and fix them when they’re broken and she does the grocery shopping and ensures we have the daily necessities at home). But what happens when we are thrown into situations where our roles are less defined and seemingly unfamiliar. Traveling together (extensively) before you’re married will prepare you to be a more versatile team when you are married. You’ll rise to unanticipated challenges and overcome them as a team. This not only reinforces how imperative it is to be able to adapt and change together as a couple but also prepares you to support one another in trials that will inevitably arise throughout your relationship.
It is inevitable that an individual will change throughout his or her life. That is a fact. Growth is not only a necessary evil, it is compulsory. It would be a pity for an individual to go his or her entire adult life in a stagnant fashion. Could you imagine that? Picture the guy who peaked in high school. Does anyone want to be married to him? NO way.
For everyone else, growth will happen. Growth can be both positive as well as negative. Perhaps it can be both at the same time. Often times positive individual growth (career, financial, hobbies) can put negative stress on a relationship. Often times, of course, these positive changes are positive for the relationship as well. To avoid the idea of “falling out of love” or “growing apart” over a period of 2 or 3 decades, it is imperative that a couple grows TOGETHER. Couples that grow together simultaneously strengthen their relationships and themselves as individuals.
Traveling together forces us to grow together. That isn’t simply a conjecture, but more so an observed fact. When we started traveling together (not long after we started dating) we were different people than we are today. Our eyes have been opened (together), we have become more worldly and educated (together), we have faced a myriad of challenges (together), and we have had an amazing time exploring our beautiful planet (together).
Some of our fondest memories of life are from traveling. Whether it was family vacations as children, or traveling together over the last few years. Experiencing incredible things together will inevitably create incredible memories for a lifetime. Traveling solo and with friends is awesome. We have both done that on several occasions. But traveling together as a couple is special. Being able to share such rich experiences with the person you love is one of the most magical things you can do for a relationship before a marriage. Go and create some lifelong memories!
Build the trust that you need to succeed as a married couple. There will be times during your marriage where your trust in one another is challenged. Developing that level of trust whilst traveling together before marriage key to ensuring the longevity of the relationship. Think about it like this. Would you want your foundation (trust) to be made of sand so that when it is tested the whole of the house washes away, or do you want it made of concrete that has been reinforced with steel so that when it’s tested and shaken and beaten with storms, it will withstand?
A fatal mistake that married and non-married couples alike make all too often is sacrificing individual lives. Sure, relationships come with sacrifice and with a unification of two individuals. But that doesn’t mean that individuals ought to give up their lives, friends, hobbies, etc. When you travel with one person for an extended period of time (or maybe even just a few days for some of you), you start to get on each other’s nerves. The stress of travel is magnified on top of the fact that you’re spending every second with one another. Most times you’re confined to a hotel or a one-bedroom apartment, leaving very little room for privacy.
Our wedding hashtag was #TheWildGallaghers because of the good old show The Wild Thornberrys. We plan to travel extensively with our children someday and we are excited to bring them up as global citizens who speak multiple languages and have a view of the world that is forward thinking. But we are trying to travel as much as possible before we have kids because we realize the dynamic of our travel will change.
New challenges will arise, costs will increase, and we will have to change the way we do things. But hey, we are great at adjusting because of all the travel we do together.
Most people assume that marriage = children. Many of our friends and family members have had kids within the first year or 2 following their wedding day (and some as early as literally 9 months to the day – no question whether they consummated the union). Our plan has always been to be married for at about 3 years before we have children. We want to enjoy ourselves in our new life as a married couple, build a foundation that can support our children (financial, lifestyle, etc.) before we bring them into the world. But for most people, kids do come quickly following marriage. Studies show that the average couple has children 2.5 years after tying the knot.
Assuming you work a standard American job and have only a week or 2 of vacation, this means that your opportunity for traveling with your spouse is limited to about 2-4 weeks before you bring a child into this world. 2-4 weeks. That’s it. And that’s if you take vacation. Most Americans enjoy being “busy” and work themselves into the ground. Most of our friends take MAYBE a week of vacation a year.
Life is quite linear in a sense. We have this thing called the status quo which dictates: You go to school until your 18, you go to college, you graduate, you get a job you hate (if you’re lucky enough to find a job you hate), you find another one 1-3 years later, you get married around 30, you have kids before 35, you buy a home with a white picket fence (let’s be real – our generation can’t afford houses), you raise your kids and teach them to do the same miserable shit you did while cautioning them not to make the same mistakes, and then you die.
Believe it or not, but there are actually scientific studies that emphasize the benefits that travel can provide on couples, children, and families as a whole. Traveling together as a couple (and one day as a family) is SCIENTIFICALLY proven to make your family stronger and to create a better family dynamic. Bang. Yeah! Science bitch! Don’t believe us? Check out these studies on the benefits of travel on family and relationships, how vacation makes kids smarter, and family and relationship benefits of travel experiences.
Why is it that the honeymoon is such a paramount point in a relationship? Well, it is massively celebratory in a way that commemorates the new union of marriage. It is (in a cliched sense) a tropical vacation filled with lots of sex and bonding time as a couple. But shouldn’t our relationships (especially our marriages) always be filled lots of sex, bonding time as a couple, and tropical beaches?
Many couples never travel together until the honeymoon. Anytime we see a couple fighting on their honeymoon, we assume they have probably never traveled together. They don’t know how to travel together. Outside of the time in the bedroom, often times they are incompatible and unable to adequately enjoy their time with one another.
A honeymoon should be a state of mind, and a way of life – not 7 to 14 days following your wedding. Our honeymoon was a fantastic 2 week trip to Bora Bora and a number of other islands in French Polynesia, but our travel lifestyle prepared us for a lifelong honeymoon.