Travel can certainly bring out the best in people, but it can oftentimes bring out the worst too. With stressful obstacles such as lost luggage, language barriers and noisy hotel neighbours to contend with, it’s not unusual for tempers to flare when things go awry on the road. Which is why couples who travel the world together continuously inspire and impress us – just how do they manage to journey cheek by jowl without killing each other?!
With that thought in mind, we recently chatted with Evan and Tracy, founders of the website travels4couples.com. Together since 2000 and hailing from Vancouver, Canada, the pair took their first trip in 2005 through Europe and have since gone on to visit a whopping 28 different countries side-by-side (and they still like each other!) The nomadic duo was recently generous enough to share their survival tips with us so that other twosomes might learn how to experience the wonders of travel without breakdowns or breakups.
What’s the best part about being able to travel the world with your significant other?
We love being able to share the amazing experiences – like swimming with the sharks in Bora Bora or seeing the Pyramids in Egypt – that occur during our travels with our best friend. We don’t always find the same things interesting or captivating but sometimes seeing things through someone else’s eyes allows you to get a glimpse of something special that you might have otherwise overlooked. Also, you always have someone to support you during the tough times. Travel can be stressful and challenging, knowing that someone has your back in all circumstances really helps to get through those tough times.
The worst part?
Being two individuals, you do have different ideas on what to see and what to do. Compromise is key to avoid arguments and disappointments, so sometimes you have to spend hours longer in a particular museum or shopping for clothes than you hoped. In addition, as a result of compromise, you may miss out on something that you wanted to see.
Are there any other travelling couples out there who inspire you?
We are particularly inspired by parents of our friends who are still actively traveling well into their retirement. We hope to also keep travel as a big part of our lives for as long as we are physically able to get on a plane and go! Other travel bloggers who inspire us include ThePlanetD.com – we love following along on some of their epic adventures around the world and hope to one day follow in their footsteps to Antarctica and Africa for a Safari. Being from Vancouver, Canada, we are also inspired by another local couple, the TravelingCanucks.com who are transitioning from couple travel to travel with a family.
What do you think the biggest misconception is about travelling couples?
Travel has definitely taught us a lot about ourselves individually and as a couple.
That traveling together for long periods of time is impossible because you would fight too much and need time apart. For us, it is the opposite- the more time we spend together, the better and stronger our relationship becomes. Yes, of course, there are stressful situations but we have found that in those times we come together as couple to deal with them as opposed to turning on each other. Travel has definitely taught us a lot about ourselves individually and as a couple.
In terms of romantic destinations, which ones would you recommend for a couple looking to rekindle the spark?
This is a tough question as it really depends on the individual couple’s preferences, whether you associate romance with tropical destinations, history, culture, or nature. We also strongly believe that anywhere can be romantic; it is just a matter of finding the romance in each destination. Here is a compilation of some of our favourites:
1) Bora Bora – For the most romantic experience, you have to stay in an overwater bungalow, there is nothing more magical.
2) Paris – Known as the “City of Lights”, Paris brings out the romance in everyone. There are plenty of beautiful parks right downtown to share a picnic with your significant other, captivating sights to see and delicious food.
3) Switzerland – The perfect romantic setting for the outdoorsy types with lush greenery, snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear lakes.
4) Hawaii – Each island offers its own romantic setting but how can you beat a romantic sunset stroll on one of Hawaii’s many beaches?
What have you learned about each other through your journeys?
We have learned that we support each other 100%. We know that we make a great team and are more aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, Tracy is really good with reading a map and getting to a destination for the first time. Evan is better at returning to a destination for a second time without needing a map.
What advice would you give to a couple who’s about to undergo their first major travel excursion together?
Know that things WILL go wrong and this is not a time to turn on each other
First of all, do it! Don’t let fear stand in your way as travel is so rewarding. Try to sit down before you head out on your trip and talk about the things that each person would like to see and do. This way, you can come up with a plan (which needs to be flexible) so that it encompasses both peoples’ interests. Also, know that things WILL go wrong and this is not a time to turn on each other, instead use both of your skills, knowledge, and support to get through the problem. Most of all, we believe strongly in living life with no regrets, so if you want to travel, make it happen!