Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tips For The Backpacking Couple

So, you are both madly in love, you live together in the city..and you want to experience a glorious travel adventure together!!!! here's some tips for ya'll

1. Dealing with the cash flow:
 What works for us...
-We know we are staying on Phi Phi for 7 days..so we withdraw 7 days worth of money. Currency exchange is the best place, as they do not charge you for your transaction..bank machine charges $5 per trans.
-Make a golden number per day..put aside $ for shelter..(or better yet..pay for a chunk of days at a time)..and divide the remaining funds between you. That way there are no arguments when she wants to buy a dress and cute bag..and he'd rather buy big Chang's all day. You have your OWN MONEY. This is KEY.

2. Alone time:
This is something we all need..even individuals with tons in common! in the best relationships! Even those of us that live together, we spend at least 40 hours per week apart at work!!! So when leaving those jobs to travel abroad, time spent together goes from about 4-5 hours per day..to 12+ !!!!
What works for us..
I like to blog, write emails, upload pics, read other blogs etc. A good time for me to do this is when Shaun feels like taking a nap, or watching TV. That way we both have our time out..At this particular hotel, you can only get WIFI in the lobby..so currently here I am, and he's back in the room watching the tube. Perfect!
Another option that feels like alone time, is laying on the beach with your ipod..you are technically together, but in your own zone. I find alone time is crucial for me to re-charge, and centre. It is difficult for me to go go go..and maintain a good balance emotionally; taking some time out alone is good for a couple..and reminds you that you are individuals in a couple, and not one person!!!! I think about 2-3 hours a day doing your own thing is perfect!
The challenge is the dead zones..when you are in transit..on a 12 hour train ride, when you are waiting for a ferry for half the day...it's easy to get at eachothers' throats..you are both tired, overheated and irritable; but the journey, and the set backs are part of the fun! and those challenging set back days are what will strengthen your relationship! Also allow yourself to be annoyed, it happens!

3. Agreeing on an itinerary:
In my relationship I am the planner, I enjoy researching and collecting data. Shaun does not, and since we happen to have the same travel goals: beach, eat, meet people, fun excursions..it is pretty easy for me to plan a trip he will have fun doing.
If you are both planners: then balance the places you'd like to visit and the activities you want to do in those places..compromise!! Or one person plans the northern thailand route, and the other plans the south..etc!

4. To party or not to party?
This one is a biggie..if you both have the same intentions: get wasted all day every day, then perfect! Or if you are both non drinkers, perfect! BUT if one person wants to party and the other doesn't..what do you do????
Know yourself. I do not like to drink during the day- especially in 35+ degree heat! it makes me feel tired, and lethargic..Shaun is able to drink during the day, and have fun..so he drinks- and I don't. I like to have my first drink around 5pm or later, and that works for me. Neither of us like to stay out till 5am at the bar, so that works for us..but if there is a night I want to drink and Shaun doesn't he will take one for the team, and visa versa- if I want to go to bed early and he doesn't- he will take one for the team. Balance people!!!

5. Meeting people:
-We both like to meet new people..I have found there are many many couples out here, more then I expected..but that people aren't overly friendly (not so far) I haven't experienced anyone just coming up to me and saying hi, and starting a conversation. One night out on the beach, we walked by a cool looking couple, and decided we should walk up and just sit down with them..and it turned out great! we ended up going out for dinner together! So don't even think twice about approaching people..especially if you aren't staying in a dorm, or a backpacker hostel, it can be difficult to meet people..so you have to reach out!

6. Experiencing the emotional spectrum while travelling:
I had a little emotional breakdown, when we arrived in Phuket, because it wasn't what we expected..it was super busy, and un-island like..I was exhausted from the heat and travelling...and I felt like OMG I ruined the trip!!! But in the end, you just have to stay calm, and accept that you will have places you like more then others, and then you move on. You also have to accept eachothers' moods, and allow each other to freak out a little sometimes!

I hope this post helped..if you have any questions..feel free to post!!!


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