It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but missed connections and deep breathing exercises.
The side of us you won't see on social media.
We've been together for almost two years now and for the better part of that time we have been together essentially non-stop. In our travels we've seen amazing places and have shared incredible experiences. We have bonded over a myriad of happy moment; sunsets, deep sea dives,
elephant-petting or trekking; we had the opportunity to share our lives' best memories together. Yet, the moments that have galvanised our relationship aren't the ones you won't ever see on social media or our blog.
Travelling together can be bloody hard.
You know that well balanced seasaw of happiness, understanding and compassion that you have worked so long to perfect? It will tip. Delayed flights, missed bus connections, cancelled routes, sickness, harsh weather conditions, bad food, money related stress or just sheer sleep deprivation can put your relationship to the test.
Alix and I have had our fair shares of relationship trials: from shouting matches, hospital visits, crying, to stubborn games of silence in which we ignore each other in the hope that the other person will crack first. Airport sprints in which I end up shouting at Alix for being too short and not being able to keep up is a favourite.
Stress will crack the best of us. And when you live, travel, sleep, eat, shower, shop, dress, brush your teeth, do the laundry, swim, hike, climb and drink together every day the cracks can show. And when those cracks start to appear you better fix it.
It's how you cope, communicate and finally reconcile that strengthens you as a couple. It's not just over coming issues but resolving them and addressing these that foster a strong and healthy relationship.
Travelling together is an ever changing SWOT analysis of your partner, yourself and your relationship. Knowing your partner's strength and weaknesses is critical. You rely on the strength of your partner to get you through stressful situations that have you wanting to Spartan Kick the person in front of you for holding up the check-in line when your flight has negative amount of time left for boarding.
Opportunities to improve should inspire you to learn more about your partner. By knowing your threats, which may be fears, phobias, allergies or budget related stress, you can avoid potential problems at a grassroots level.
All relationships consist of compromise. The trick is to be able to adjust that compromise in ever changing environments of unknowns and live for the happy moments, to leave behind negative thoughts, even if that person at the check-in counter deserved a drop kick to the head.