Wondering what is the secret to becoming successful couple travel bloggers? This Valentine's Day we asked our favourite couple travel bloggers to tell us what makes their relationship work. Some travel and work together 24/7 whilst others respect each other's space and seek independent hobbies. We learned that no couple is the same, but communication and love sure play important roles in making the relationship amazing and strong. Travelling and working together is most certainly not easy, but overall, the general consensus seems to be that travelling couples do tend to have a better understanding of what the other one needs, know how to approach difficult situations and are more open to tackling problematic scenarios. Being a (married) travelling couple as well as successful business entrepreneurs means combing the art of being in a loving relationship with the science of using excellent communication skills. So here is what you need to know from experienced couple travel bloggers who went over the initial hurdles.
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These Couple Travel Bloggers share their secrets - Contents
Couple Travel Bloggers
We asked 22 couple travel bloggers (ourselves included) to tell us what is like to balance work, play and travel together. We wanted them to share their secrets and tell us what makes their relationship work. We know it's about compromise, but how far should one go? What about having the same hobbies, or experiencing time apart? So what is really like to be couple travel bloggers?
Cory & G from You Could Travel
Being full-time travel couple bloggers is not always easy but for us, it's definitely the best thing in the world. We met in September 2013 and less than a month later we were already spending 24/7 together. That's when we realised this type of lifestyle really works for us. We quit our jobs and created our own digital agency where we could use our skills to get clients, achieve financial freedom and travel the world together.
We started travelling in 2014 and realised we both loved it. We are not the type of people who enjoy routine, so having these breaks strengthen our relationship. We learned how to communicate with one other, be patient and encourage to pursue dreams and ideas. In April 2016 we came up with the idea for You Could Travel. Running a digital company full time, then adding a full-time blog job into the equation had the potential to rock the boat, but actually, we took this as an opportunity and a fun challenge. I am the creator and the idea planter, whereas G is the technical mastermind and an amazing planner. I am passionate about marketing, G loves translating my ideas into seamless code. When we come up with an idea, we analyse it from all angles and create a plan around it.
We learned to complement each other. We also learned how to organise and plan our life to make it work. We respect each other, listen to each other and tell one another everything. We never need or take time apart. We take our work, life, play balance really seriously and it's because of our determination, perseverance and scheduling structure that we make it work.
And for those of you who are wondering: no, we don't argue. Although we do tend to be a bit more annoyed and snappy if one of us is hungry. So when they say, love goes through your stomach, they really do mean it. Luckily, we learned to be strategic about our shopping days and time to ensure we don't play the hunger games.
As travel couple bloggers, we learned that travelling plays a fundamental part in our life. We like our lifestyle and we are excited to continue working full time to make You Could Travel become a well known international brand. With our digital agency background, we have no doubt that the two of us can move mountains.
We do recommend that people travel together before getting married. Travelling can sure make or break a relationship. Not everyone can be 24/7 together. That doesn't mean your relationship is wrong, it just means it's different and you need to cater to your needs. When it comes to working with your loved one, having a structure in place is essential. Foster each other's skills and ensure you do what you are good at, whilst your partner does his part. Don't ever force things. We think learning how to communicate it's utmost important. When you disagree on something, sit down and talk to each other. Don't scream or tell the other person they are wrong. Listen to their side of the story, listen to their argument and then explain why you see things differently. You will be surprised how many times people simply misunderstand each other but most of the time want the same things.
And ultimately, don't ever go hungry.
Paulina from Paulina On The Road
In 2017 my fiancé and I crossed the Atlantic Ocean by boat hitchhiking. We were living together for almost 3 years in Madrid and we knew that it was about time to discover a new place. We decided to move to Luxembourg, but before we wanted to do something crazy… thus, why not try to cross an ocean by boat hitchhiking?
Not only did this trip require a lot of preparation including sailing lessons, studying the boating community and calendar etc., but it also put our relationship to the test.
Indeed going to marinas every day and talking randomly to foreign people whether they’d take you as crew, not knowing if and when you’d depart created a lot of situations where all you wanted to do was throwing the towel. Inevitably we started questioning our plan. Wasn’t it much easier to just book a cruise… or a flight? Why do we want to lock ourselves in a 10m boat with total strangers? On the other hand, this boat hitchhiking thing was what we had planned for more than 6 months and we both loved being on the ocean. We both wanted the challenge too.
I discovered that the key was positivism and becoming aware that YOU have a direct influence on the quality of your relationship just by changing your perspective on things. Of course, you can always see the negative side of things and be a fatalist. But this way of thinking will only bring you closer to the end of your relationship. The secret lies in finding something positive no matter what and emphasize it as much as possible. Even if only 1 person of the couple is rigidly applying this idea, the relationship will evolve towards the better. Of course, it requires an effort, but the result is so much worth it.
Tamason from Travelling Book Junkie
Having been together for 20 years you would think that we would have nailed the art of working and living together, however, this has taken time. When we first met, Paul was in the Armed Forces and shortly after I headed off to University which meant that we only saw each other at weekends, or if Paul was away, sometimes longer. At one point we didn’t actually come face-to-face for 6 months!
Things then changed, and it was me heading off each Sunday night to work away all week, living out of business hotels and eating room service. Eventually, the travelling and time apart got to us and we decided that a change of lifestyle was needed.
Bearing in mind at this stage we had probably only ever spent about two to three weeks at a time constantly together before when we were travelling, this could have been a strain. We are strong-willed and can at times be very opinionated so the idea of working and living together was a concern.
However, we are now heading into our fourth year of travelling and working together full-time and we love it. Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments but the key to our success is to make sure that we give each other space. Paul may go off and watch a game of football whilst I enjoy a quiet night in with a book, or I might wander into town for a coffee and to people watch for an hour or two.
We have also learnt to work to our own strengths. We now split all tasks required for the day-to-day running of our website – Paul deals with all the imaging whilst I concentrate on creating the content. We then equally split our time working on social media and research. This working harmony has taken time, and plenty of trial and error, but we are now in a space where we can happily work and socialise together and not feel the pressures of being around each other 24 hours a day.
Roma from Roaming Required
We've been a couple for a decade and travelled together for almost all of that. I’m a bit of a control freak so it took us a while to find our groove as a couple. I'm organised and like to plan, Russ is a little more impulsive, and I’ll admit I had a bit of trouble letting go of the reigns.
Our biggest take away from travelling together has been understanding and accepting each other's strengths and leveraging that to make us a stronger team. Simple things like letting one person lead into areas where they're stronger can make all the difference between having a great trip and having a row. That might seem complicated but it’s anything but that. It can be anything from the simple navigation of a new city to haggling and negotiation in markets, trip organisation, troubleshooting technology like the hotel’s shoddy WiFi connection to something more serious like crisis management. Ask yourself, who is better in an emergency? You or your partner?
Corinne and Jim of ReflectionsEnroute
My husband, Jim, and I run the blog ReflectionsEnroute where we aim to inspire people of all ages and budgets to get up and go explore the world, meet the people, taste the food, and just have fun.
We are one of those couples that feel very strongly about travel being one of the secrets to a long, happy relationship. Our first dates were hopping on bus tours and heading off to a different European capital city just about every weekend. We would let the tour company do all the work, and we’d talk all the way to our destination, chatting about everything from how many kids we wanted to world peace. Once there we revelled in the many sights, sounds, and new tastes.
Over three decades later, raising two daughters in the meantime (and taking them all over the world with us), we really haven’t changed the formula too much. Nowadays, we love to ride the train or take a car, but we still talk for hours on end about everything and anything. Although, since we do run our blog together our travel talk usually circles around to what the next blog post will be.
Running a blog as a couple makes it that much more fun. I started the blog and ran it by myself for a few years, but once Jim got bitten by the blog bug we’ve been splitting up all of the tasks. Jim is the tech guy and I'm the photographer, and we both share the writing and editing tasks. I guess since our human babies are grown up, we now have a blog baby to care for.
James from Worldwise Shopping Guide
My girlfriend and I have been travelling the world together for almost six years. As freelancers, we both work from home and this means that we are constantly in each other’s pockets.
There are two main reasons that we haven’t killed each other yet (apart from being hopelessly in love, of course!). The first is that we tend to slow travel: we either house sit or rent an apartment for a couple of months. This takes a much lighter toll than staying in hotel rooms, something that we have done for short periods of time but have found quite difficult. Our ideal setup is an apartment with at least one spare bedroom so that we can both work in separate rooms. This isn’t always possible, especially in more expensive cities, but it’s what we usually aim for.
We also try to give the other person some alone time, even if it’s just to work in solitude. This means one person working from a cafe or co-working space or taking up a hobby for one evening a week. Whenever we move somewhere new, we both take a look at websites like Meetup to see what our new hobby will be. It’s good for the relationship, and it means that we both get out and meet new people too!
Lina and David from Divergent Travelers
Travel has always been a significant part of our lives, both together and apart. We started travelling together in 2003 taking one to three trips per year. In 2013, we decided we wanted to travel more. So we sold everything we owned, including our house, quit our jobs and started travelling the world together.
We left in February 2014 and have been travelling full time together ever since. Not only do we now travel together full time, we run our business together. Communication, understanding and personal time are essential to the success of our sanity and business. We've learned how to compliment each other, how to play to each other's strengths and how to lift each other up in our weaknesses. Neither of us settles for less, and while at times this can be complicated it has made us stronger together. While we spend A LOT of time together, we enjoy taking time apart to do things we're passionate about too.
When it comes to the business, we're both sharks and go-getters. We feed off each other's drive and this is what makes us and our site successful. At the end of the day, we keep it fun and make sure we leave time to do the things we enjoy.
Sarah from The Whole World or Nothing
We’ve been together for about 10 years now, married for nearly 3, travelling full time for the last 2 years and our relationship is better than it ever has been. Our secret is simply the environment we are in. When we lived in back in the UK full time and were working in offices doing stressful jobs we used to come home every evening and pretty much just rant at each other about how crap our days had been. That would set the tone for our evenings. Saturdays were fine but Sundays were clouded with an air of depression awaiting Monday morning. That was the backdrop to our newly married life a couple of years ago.
Now we’re travelling and freelancing, waking up every day doing things that we genuinely love, it couldn’t be more different. We actually listen to each other and think about each other's needs. And it doesn’t really take so much work, to be honest. Simply because we’re happy. The stress has gone. We run our freelancing business and travel blog together equally, so naturally, that can be challenging at times, especially if we don’t agree on something. But we generally find a compromise easily. And we are also pretty strict with having regular business meetings and have a detailed business plan with goals we’ve both agreed on.
We also laugh. A lot. Externally obviously we try to portray a very professional image but internally, wherever our digital nomad office may be on any particular day, it’s not so ‘businesslike’. That’s not to say we don’t work hard. In fact, I’m not sure either of us has ever worked as hard as we are doing at present but we just have fun while we’re doing it. And travel in general just makes us take each other for granted less and work together on problems. When you’re sleeping on a hard airport floor because you’re flight has been cancelled or struggling with a sweaty 16-hour bus ride it tends to make or break a couple.
For us, this travelling and blogging life has definitely made us.
Inma and Jose from A World to Travel
About half of the time I spend on the road or travelling, I do it with my significant other. He is also my partner in crime and the photographer of our travel blog, A World to Travel. We've been doing it for almost 11 years and after many, many trips, we kind of have mastered the art of splitting the responsibilities along the way. That way, I usually take care of the travel planning, booking flights and hotels, plus taking care of the editing and he is usually the one in charge of photography as well as the one that takes care of the entertainment along the trip.
Finally, it is important to give the other room to fulfil his expectations and needs along the way. Even if this means catching up his soccer team's matches on the other side of the world when we should be sleeping or partying!
Darren & Shelley from Finding Beyond
Working together on Finding Beyond has been the most challenging part of our 14-year relationship. We've been travelling together pretty much since we first met 14 years ago. Our first year away to Australia was after just 9 months of being together and since then we've taken 2 additional years away, plenty of long holidays and now we're travelling indefinitely due to successfully finding a way to finance our joint passion. Travel blogging has totally changed our travelling style. Before Finding Beyond we would be constantly on the move, trying to see as many destinations as we could without a care in the world. Today we travel slowly so that we have the time to work on our blog and other online projects. In fact, it's getting more common for us to stop somewhere for several months at a time in order to find the time and head space to earn an income. We recently heard the term "nomadic nesters" which definitely sums up what we are today. We love living in exotic places and making a home so not only to work but also to really immerse ourselves in the culture and community.
While travel blogging may be the hardest thing we've done together it's also the most rewarding and exciting. It's such a great feeling to know that there is no end point for our travels and we will only go home when we want to, not when we run out of money. The key to our success is splitting the workload between us while considering what our separate strengths are. I (Darren) am the writer, photographer and WordPress expert, while Shelley looks after all our social media and client outreach/contact. Communication is incredibly important as there will be disagreements while working and travelling together 24/7. Our biggest challenge has been disagreeing on destinations and at times, our differences in priorities. It's important for both people in the relationship to be willing to compromise when needed.
Jessica from A Wanderlust For Life
Being part of a couple is kind of a big deal. Especially if you live together, and for sure if you travel together. It’s so nice to have that one person you trust, tell everything to, and have a ton of fun with. Just to make sure things are solid, I have always thought you should have at least one argument before getting really serious with someone. Now, I also believe you should travel with them too!
Being together for 13 years, we’ve learned some key tips to make travel as pleasant as possible. Know each other's’ strengths and play to them. If one is a great planner, they should probably plan the trip, or make arrangements to check in with the other to make sure everything is going smoothly. Don’t let one person get too overloaded-- sharing responsibilities is key, otherwise, resentment could creep in. Again, work with strengths, if one books the flights and hotels, maybe the other could find a great walking tour, make restaurant reservations, or even pack the snacks for the plane.
When planning the trip, have a half day (or a full day if on a longer trip) where the two of you do different activities. This is such a fun thing to do because you come back and tell each other all about your day!
It’s all about balance and respect. Remember to have fun, enjoy the new adventure, and have a date night. Planning can be a pain, but the reward is definitely worth it.
Lyn and Steve from A Hole in My Shoe
We’ve all heard many times not to commit to a partner until you’ve travelled with them. Good thing for us, we were compatible as our first travel was our honeymoon so it could have been a disaster. Instead, on our honeymoon, we fell in love. Not with each other, as that occurred years ago, but we fell in love with travel.
In the first two years after we married, we travelled to 16 countries and to date have visited 31 countries, some many times. We try and include our passions in our travel. Something music related, a Mozart Concert in Vienna, Moulin Rouge, or just taking the time to sit in a little Parisian café to listen to local play the harmonica.
Since we married it’s been one amazing trip after another. It is after the first two years of travel we decided to start a blog. Still working full time we juggle our times as best we can around the blog, writing, editing, sharing and updating social media, pinning, tweeting, flipping and of course travelling. Both of us have important roles, in our travel and with the blog. Steve is the technical creator, food lover and carrier of the bags. I am the dreamer and wish list maker, co-photographer and sometimes the one who gets lost.
We think we are the perfect travel partners, not perfect in every sense, but perfect for each other.
“My husband is the perfect travel companion, he balances everything, if I’m stressed, he calms me, if I’m sad, he cheers me, if I’m lost, he finds me!”
When we are not travelling we spend our time together, often photographing street art in and around Perth. We have visited some lovely places, seen some amazing sights and we bring back with us the very best memories. Thanks to my wonderful husband who gives me free reign to plan our trips.
Betsy & Pete from Passing Thru
We’ve been location independent since 2011 but didn’t start travelling full time until 2014. Looking back, it’s easy to see how our goals and objectives arose out of a shared sense of adventure, but it was something that we didn’t necessarily identify in each other when we were dating or even right away after we married. Initially, we found ourselves mired in what we came to call the “lifestyle treadmill.” The house, the cars, the everyday expenses that comprise a typical western couple’s life were chaining us to traditional, location-based employment. Even when we realized we could make significant changes - from work being someplace we went to something we do, developing a variety of online businesses to replace traditional income - we still kept a home base as a sort of safety net.
It wasn’t until we took a six-week odyssey across Europe to get to the Winter Olympics in Sochi that we realized our sense of adventure would propel us toward experiences we’d never fully imagined. Since that trip, we’ve set foot in more than 40 countries on five continents. We look back on our old life with a sense of wonderment; it’s so different than what we have now. We’re on the same page in terms of our willingness to risk, and our overall level of curiosity. If there is one piece of advice we would give to anyone just starting out in a new phase, it's making sure your potential partner is of like mind. Those two shared traits have made all the difference and rewarded us with adventures beyond our wildest imagination.
Hannah & Adam from Getting Stamped
There is no set secret to travelling as a couple. Traveling with a significant other 24/7 can be tough on a relationship. Spending that amount of time with one person is not normal and little things can start to bother each other. We’ve been travelling together full-time for 5 years and along the ways we figured out a few secrets that help us out. It’s good to have your own hobbies. For example, Adam loves diving, he’s had me try with him on four occasions and every time I freak out and hate it. In Koh Lipe Thailand we discovered this is a good time for him to go out by himself diving and while he does that I can go get $5 Thai massages or lay on the beach. Don’t force each other into doing things the other one isn’t comfortable with, this will just start a fight and make it unenjoyable for everyone.
Even spending a few hours apart is good. We even find ourselves working at a coffee shop at different tables, we tend to be more productive this way as well. You need free time and whenever you can carve it out is great. Also never ever get HUNGRY this will always cause a fight. Make sure to eat and have snacks ready for travel days, because travel days and hungry are never a good combo.
Brian & Amanda from Eat Work Travel
We will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary later this year. Guess what one of the largest contributors to us reaching this milestone has been? TRAVELLING! A complaint about long-term relationships is that the “honeymoon phase” eventually ends. For us, travelling and blogging have kept the “honeymoon phase" alive for nearly 10 years!
During the trip planning process, we connect by communicating on our needs and wants out of the trip. Vacation planning fosters compromise in a relationship because there are inevitably activities that only one of us have high on our must do list which enables the other to be the team player by supportively tagging along.
Once a trip is booked, the anticipation of the trip is similar to the anticipation we felt when we were going on dates and only saw each other a couple times a week.
Once the trip begins, it’s the time to really connect as we experience things together for the first time and have romantic evenings that are not part of our everyday routine. It is also not uncommon for one of us to surprise the other with an activity or dinner the other wasn’t expecting. As the trip comes to an end and we are travelling back, we have a tradition of brainstorming our next trip on the flight home! This allows us to start the process of anticipation and communication all over again.
Once home, we keep the memories and feelings alive through our blog. We love re-living our experiences as we share them with other couples to inspire other couples to travel. We are proud to say that we are still in our “honeymoon phase” after 10 years thanks to both travelling and blogging as a couple.
Oksana and Max from Drink Tea Travel
Max and I have been travelling the world full-time for over 2.5 years. And while we spend every waking hour together, working on our travel blog or on our other businesses, we realized over time that just being together 24/7 wasn't enough to maintain a healthy relationship. It’s a tough job trying to blend work and play when you are travelling and working on the road, so we found that instituting specific times for fun, going on phone-free dates, and taking part in activities just for us and not “for the blog” was essential to keeping our romance alive.
Ryan from The Opposite Travellers
Travelling as a couple is not always easy. And when I say travelling I don’t mean a 7-day vacation in the Bahamas. I mean an extended travel experience in a country that neither of you has been to, hearing a language neither of you has ever heard before, experiencing things you both thought you would never experience.
This is something my wife Rachel and I learned very quickly on our travels. We are a married couple with two very different tastes when it comes to travel. Rachel loves luxury and leisure, while I enjoy adventure and excitement.
When we first started travelling our styles of travel inevitably clashed very quickly. I would get bored lounging by the pool all day and Rachel would get short-tempered trekking through the hot jungle.
To come out the other side alive we both had to learn how to compromise. So that’s exactly what we did. We learned to compromise and created this hybrid of travel that was perfect for us. A perfect mix of luxury and adventure. We call it opposite travelling, which is also where the namesake of our blog ‘The Opposite Travellers’ comes from.
This style of travelling has been perfect for us as we have both experienced things we would have never experienced if we were travelling on our own. Opposite travelling has been such an enriching experience for the both of us and has brought us so much closer together.
Gemma from Two Scots Abroad
Craig and I (Gemma) have been travelling on and off together since 2013. We planned and executed a big 18-month career break, adventuring around the Americas and Europe, which we created our travel website and social media channels, Two Scots Abroad, for. I say we but I really mean, I. Craig plays no part in the content creation apart from offering his back for Instapics and providing the banter on press trips.
This was actually healthy for our relationship. I don't relax well, having this hobby of a website created the space every couple needs while living out of a backpack and in each other's pockets. Craig makes music so it's not unusual to see us both with electronics in hand and concentration on our faces. Downtime is recommended!
Craig refused to accept that the site was a business for the first six months, and he was right but he can't deny its success now! When I see travel couple competitors gaining traction ahead of me I do get pangs of frustration but then I remind myself, I'm a quarter of a travel couple business (I work part-time as a high school teacher too) and this brings me back to reality. When Craig is having a crap day at work I like to remind him there's an opening at Two Scots headquarters for a drone pilot!
Kate from Our Escape Clause
When it comes to travelling as a couple, solving problems and making plans is all about teamwork--and in our case, that means dividing and conquering! Jeremy and I have very different skill sets (I’m a planner, he’s an executor), and after almost two years of travelling full time together, we have our division of labour down to a science.
I book plane tickets, he finds bus routes. I research destinations in advance, he pinpoints them on a map and takes the lead on structuring our days once we arrive. He negotiates with taxi drivers, I handle tour companies. I set the budget, he finds great deals to save us money once we’re on the ground. In some cases, who does what depends on the destination: in English speaking countries, I tend to take the lead when speaking with hotel operators and the like, but since his Spanish is stronger than mine, in Spanish-speaking countries I kick back and relax while he handles the small talk.
Some of these things we specifically laid out, but most of our travel teamwork has developed naturally over time: by being able to rely on each other to get our “jobs” done, it makes our overall travel life much easier--when it comes to the logistical headaches that are inevitable with travel, the truth is that we each only do half the work!
Megan from Bobo and Chichi
Travelling with your partner can be a relationship altering experience. It can rip you apart or bring you closer together. One of us already lost a relationship over travel previously and that made us ultra aware and more keen on being proactive to not let that happen again.
We believe communication is key. You can’t expect read each other’s feelings. If something is making one of you uncomfortable or you’re not feeling great or whatever, you need to communicate and try to help your partner out whether they just needed to be heard in a vent session or they need help.
Traveling is exhausting and can wear down your patience with things that typically wouldn’t back at home. Some days you’re running late, tired, just got off a 12 hour bus ride, or you have a kink in your neck from a strange bed you’re not used to back at home then something that would normally be small and no big deal happens and you want to blow. It’s easy to get frustrated easily when you have any one of these examples going on let alone multiple at once. Try to test your patience on your partner and strangers to save yourself from an argument you’ll regret later.
Lastly, you must have respect. This goes in terms of your partner and others in general. When your partner communicates, even if it seems frivolous, respect them. Both of you are in a new environment and its bound to cause new reactions and emotions especially under the stresses of travel. Respect each other’s opinions and try to help the other person out. And besides respecting your partner, be sure to respect the local culture as well even if its far different from what you’re used to.
Cathy from RoarLoud
We started with a shared interest in both adventure and travel since both of us love to travel it is easier to work out any issues that arise during trips. Our first big adventure climbing Mount Kilimanjaro kicked off our blog with a bang. From that hike, we learned anything is possible and sparked even more of the desire to see the world! Many more adventures later we started another website to cover our local trips in New England. We both have full-time jobs, local travel is a great way to explore on weekends and between longer trips.
We tackle all the work for the websites as well as travel arrangements by sharing tasks and working together. Our strengths and weaknesses complement each other and that makes us appreciate one another even more. Our love for street art led to another website focusing on sharing art from around the world. Our sites compliment each other much like Frank and I do, they are a great mix of all of our interests and passions. No matter what the challenge is we know that we have each other and can do it together.
Margherita from The Crowded Planet
My husband Nick and I both run our travel blog The Crowded Planet full time. We started the blog as a way of documenting our travels back in 2009 in a .blogspot site, then we 'quit' for a few years and started again in 2013, and finally, we transitioned to full time travelling and blogging in 2015.
We work really well together, probably because we have been working together for years - we met while working in London and worked in a shop together for three years. We are aware of each other's strengths and weaknesses and divide tasks accordingly - for example, I (Margherita) am a natural communicator, so I take care of all the PR and outreach, while Nick focuses on the visual and technical side of things. On top of that, since living and working together can test even the strongest couples, we often give each other space - we are always happy to take solo trips, for a few days or a few weeks. When we get back together, our relationship (both personal and professional) feels stronger than ever!
Luke and Meagan from Two Restless Homebodies
We've been together 4 years, and have travelled and blogged together seriously for the last year. And we've found that it’s kind of like couples therapy.
Think about it: being stuck in a car with someone for 12 hours straight, or on a sardine can plane for 8 hours, or wandering around a new city together when you don’t speak the language, or even trying hash out the story you’re trying to tell in a new post – these are all stressful situations that reveal people for who they are, because they force you to negotiate with another human being when you are in some state of pure exhaustion.
In college, a friend told me how important it was for her new boyfriend’s “drunk self” to get along with her “drunk self.” Well. She and I may have grown apart, but the principle still sort of applies as one half of a travel blogging team: it’s essential that my “exhausted self” be able to get along with his “exhausted self.” Because if you’re traveling and blogging about it, you’re probably pretty consistently tired, whether you’re on the road or at home – it is, after all, a demanding, wonderful, stressful, fabulous job, and one that we juggle with full-time day jobs, as well. And if one of us is often a monumental jerk when tired, that’s just not going to work long-term.
Successfully being exhausted together requires two people with somewhat compromised (tired) brains to be able to demonstrate compassion, restraint, conflict resolution, communication, and listening skills. And, to be honest, we suck at it. But the point of it, just like therapy, is that we keep trying and talking and working at it, and every trip (and every post!) gets better and better.