The Travails of Travel in Relationships

Jun 24, 2014 by

 

I’m not a psycho-expert or anything but I know that when you travel with someone, it’s either you end up liking each other or hating each other. This social interaction dynamics of travel is so fascinating. If you look up the internet, a myriad of studies both founded and unfounded will tell you that when we travel we let out the best and the worst in us. That’s why if there’s someone you consider for marriage, the best way to seal the deal is to travel together first and see if you jive as a couple or as friends. If not, then might as well look for someone else along the way.

An article by Judith Fein published in Psychology Today (February 26, 2013) encapsulates the idea of this blog: “Traveling with someone is almost like a marriage and, like a marriage, it can end in renewed vows, extreme intimacy, or divorce.

I know of numerous friendships that have broken up after a trip. Even though they knew each other well, they didn’t know each other THAT well. In one case, a woman turned out to be extremely vain, and she lingered in front of a mirror for hours every day. Her friend was furious that she had to watch hairdressing and makeup application instead of seeing sites.”

The following tips on traveling with friends are entirely Ms Fein’s work but I agree with every single one of it, so I’m re-posting it here. If you have additional ideas on how to make a successful traveling with friends adventure, feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below or you may share with us your travel stories!

1. Talk Before You Walk.

Sit down with your friend and discuss what your preferences are when you hit the road. Do you like to get up early or sleep in? Do you want to splurge on meals, or travel on the cheap? Are you interested in culture or shopping for clothes? Spell it out in advance so you eliminate at least a few surprises.

2. Too Much of a Good Thing?

Discuss in advance if you both want a lot of togetherness, or if it’s okay for you each to do things on your own. Do you want to have all your meals together? Some of them? Is nighttime the right time to go out together, and is there more flexibility during the day?

3. Overnights.

What if one of you meets a person of interest? Is it okay to go off and spend the night with him or her?

 4. Museum Burnout.

Some people want to spend all day in a museum, and they leave reluctantly when the guards turn out the lights. Others have a two or one-hour limit. Find this out in advance, so one of you can search for alternative things to do instead of fulminating in front of a Dubuffet or Daumier.

5. To Plan or Not to Plan.

Is your style to plot out all your days, and know what you are doing from dawn to dusk? Or do you like to set out and discover things along the way? There is a middle ground between being the Plan Man and Spontaneous Suzie. Can you find it together?

6. Hand Signals

Establish a code sign or word to indicate that it’s time to split. One of you may want to stay at a bar until the customers roll out the door, and the other has had enough after one glass of wine. If you don’t know your buddy has had it, how can you act on it?

7. Quiet Time

Some friends want to indulge in wall-to-wall chatter, and others like quiet. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Do you want some quiet time?” or to request a little down time to regenerate. If it’s done with sensitivity, you stand a chance of getting your needs met.

8. Show Interest

If your friend is interested in something, and you find it completely boring, have a little patience. Show some interest, even if you have to fake it. Hopefully, your friend will do the same for you.

9. Don’t Lose Your Sense of Humor

You may experience friction, hurt or anger no matter how much you discuss in advance. Sometimes it can be diffused by saying, “We’re both ridiculous,” or “I can’t believe we are arguing over the type of pasta to buy.” Loosen up. You’re on vacation. Laugh at yourself, and you can laugh together. Laugh mockingly at your friend, and you laugh alone.

My best travel companion, Kevin Piamonte.

My best travel companion, Kevin Piamonte.

The best kids to travel with (because I AM in control hahaha): The UPV Hublag Dance Company

The best kids to travel with (because I AM in control hahaha): The UPV Hublag Dance Company

My best buddies, Pau and Gus Banusing are great travel companions, especially if Pau IS IN CONTROL. Hahahaha!

My best buddies, Pau and Gus Banusing are great travel companions, especially if Pau IS IN CONTROL. Hahahaha!

My travel groupies forever.

My travel groupies forever.

The most hyper-active travel buddies: SSEAYP Paglaum 05.

The most hyper-active travel buddies: SSEAYP Paglaum 05.

The most constant travel surprise buddy, Wil Laxa.

The most constant travel surprise buddy, Wil Laxa.

 

The Party-crazy travel buddies: Doc Ayn, Doc Daniel, and Resy.

The Party-crazy travel buddies: Doc Ayn, Doc Daniel, and Resy.

 

My favorite family travel buddies: the Tajanlangits! :)

My favorite family travel buddies: the Tajanlangits! :)

 

**My other favorite travel companions (apologies for not including photos of them as I can’t find my external drive at this time): Nico Golez, Queenie Manalo, Luisa Beltran, Jovert Mayuga, Niccolo Cosme, Glenn Sy, Trisha Somo, Ike Legaspi, Amir Acosta, Christian de Lima, Mark Cabasac, Jun Ramirez, Mark and Tata, Abe Beltran, Mike Cortez, Johann dela Fuente, Mikkie Bradshaw, Gemini Quintos, Ana Detoyato, JR Macahilas and the whole crack platoon of Team On Ground. 

 

 

 

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