If I learned anything from Lena Kaligaris, my favourite character in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, it’s that a single trip can majorly change your life. Time and again in my personal experience this has proven true in a tangible way — perhaps most profoundly when it comes to romantic relationships. Travel has a way of bringing out the extremes in people, from the worst parts of their character to the absolute best. For this reason, travelling as a couple can be the ultimate test of a relationship; it helps couples discover the realest aspects of one another. Here are 13 other reasons why traveling as a couple should be a major priority in romantic relationships:
1. It puts you both out of your comfort zone:
If you’re travelling somewhere new to both of you, the experience becomes extremely immersive. Sure, you can learn a lot about a boyfriend when he shows you around his hometown, but the true discoveries about his character will come when you’re each out of your element! Whether it’s a language barrier that you have to tackle together, a missed train in a foreign country, or a declined credit card when you’re trying to make your way home, the challenges you’ll experience together will be an amazing bonding experience.
2. It gives you the chance to ask tough questions:
Long drives in the car, airplane trips, train rides, hikes, and sailing excursions are a wonderful time to have deep discussions. Don’t be afraid to ask him about his childhood, future goals, or past girlfriends during these moments!
3. It’s a great opportunity for compromise:
Planning trips can be a polarizing experience; for example, you might discover that your boyfriend has a serious love of history museums that doesn’t really allow for your desire to explore every used bookstore in the city. When situations like this arise, it’s important that you and your significant other find a compromise that pleases both of you. It might mean skipping the museums and bookstores altogether for a riverboat ride, or perhaps mapping out a couple of bookstores to visit on the walk to the museum he’s dying to see.
4. It gives you insight into their preparation style:
Observing your boyfriend as he plans, packs, and saves money for your trip together can give you a major peek into the way he handles important undertakings. If organizing a trip to the Grand Canyon is enough to make him frantic and irritable, how will he handle a wedding?
5. You see them in their least flattering moments:
There’s nothing quite like the realization that your boyfriend doesn’t allow food in his new car, enjoys tuning in to political talk radio on long stretches of road, and gets terrible indigestion after eating Taco Bell.
6. You’ll see how they really treat others:
Ask any flight attendant, and they’ll agree: travelling can bring out some people’s shocking personality traits. The combination of exhausting jet-setting and culture shock can bring out some deeply hidden character flaws, so pay close attention to how he acts toward waiters, flight attendants, hotel guest service representatives, and other service personnel during your time on the road together.
7. New experiences together trump old, tainted ones:
You may have visited Tahiti with your ex, but the disastrous breakup definitely spoiled that memory. Travelling with your new significant other is a great way to leave negative experiences in the past and create new memories.