Last week I read a great post from my blogging buddy Jo – it was all about travelling with her husband and how they manage to make it work when both have different ideas, likes and interests. You can read it here – The Travel Quiz
When you stop and think about it, travelling with your other half can be fraught with danger, if both are strong willed, perhaps when things don’t go to one or the other’s plans….it can become quite stressful. Being out of one’s comfort zone can affect people in different ways.
But in my opinion, it’s like any marriage or partnership – it’s all about understanding your partner and making compromises sometimes. It’s your attitude that’s important.
And that’s where having fun together in life is so important.
Happiness and Togetherness
We are coming up for 40 years, yes forty years of marriage in January. I know, I know, looking at us you can’t believe we’re old enough to have been married that long, well me anyway! I understand your confusion 🙂 but it’s true, I was only 19 when I was married and the Mathematician was 23.
Up until my early 30s, we hadn’t even travelled overseas together, we were too busy producing 3 gorgeous little girls and coping with parenthood while trying to get ourselves ahead.
But that all changed when we took on the experience of a lifetime, and participated in a Teacher Exchange program, swapping houses, cars, lives and jobs, moving our little family across the world from Australia to England for a whole year.
How brave we were taking on this mammoth life-changing trip – well brave was one word, at the time there were other more descriptive words that came to mind. It turned out to be the best thing we’ve ever undertaken and gave us all a serious case of the travel bug.
Having our daughter and her family living in England, we always tend to head that way first, so we can see them, but we try to arrange interesting side trips, mainly so that we don’t overstay our welcome. It’s great to have a base though!
Over the years we have had some amazing adventures together.
- We’ve taken a barge and bike cycling tour from Paris to Bruges (with my parents no less)
- We sailed and cycled in the Southern Dalmatian islands of Croatia
- We’ve walked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea
- We’ve cycled in the South and North Islands of New Zealand
- We’ve trekked to Annapurna Basecamp in the Himalayas in Nepal
- We’ve joined a Rotary Friendship Exchange trip to India being home hosted by Indian Rotarians
- We’ve cycled and sailed in The Netherlands
- We’ve taken our 35 year old daughter on a 7 day self-drive tour of Iceland as part of our 3 month Odyssey
- We’ve visited friends and family in England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany – to name just a few!
- When we lived in England for the year we took our girls on a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ camping tour of Europe during the summer holidays – with borrowed everything!
So yes, we’ve had some great trips but although travelling together is usually fun, sometimes it can be quite stressful. As Jo said in her post ‘we’ve learnt a lot about how to get the most out of a trip by respecting each other’s travel personalities’. That goes for us as well.
In her post, Jo gave her husband a set of questions to answer about her as a travelling companion and then she also answered them about him. I was really taken with this idea, so made a note of some of her questions and gave them to the Mathematician to see how he would answer them. I told Jo in a comment that I would be doing this and she was very supportive!
Unlike Jo, I wouldn’t say we were food people, in that we eat food but we don’t travel for food. The Mathematician has lactose intolerance issues so food can be an issue at any time. Instead we enjoy being active, seeing new things, with history, nature ,culture and people being our most commonly enjoyed things to do.
So here are my answers on the Mathematician as my travelling partner and his responses about me. It was a fun exercise to do 🙂
Q: Where are you likely to find your partner in a new place you’ve travelled to?
Deb: I’d probably find him taking in the world outside in the fresh air, in a bookshop, or reading a map of the area getting his bearings.
Grant: She’s probably out photographing something quirky for her blog.
Q: What’s the first thing your partner does in a new place?
D: Have a cup of tea, writes up his diary, walks around the local area to get a feel for it.
G: She’s good at finding the Wifi code, sorting out her clothes, and having a cup of tea.
Q: What is your partner’s travelling downfall?
D: Being super early and overly punctual – can be good and bad! Always having to know where the toilets are.
G: She’s easily lost and the amount of luggage she wants to take with her far exceeds her needs. She’s getting better!
Q: What is your partner’s travelling personality?
D: Id’ say he’s chatty and outwardly calm but on the inside it’s a different story. He also has an adventurous spirit.
G: She ranges from very excited to very tense. But she’s always fun!
Q: Where does your partner like to travel?
D: Anywhere with the possibility of an adventure, walking, cycling, he can’t sit still for too long, and loves being anywhere that he feels he can be useful. He’s always interested in local customs and learning the facts and figures of a place and the history.
G: A mixture of old and new each trip – mainly for the experiences she can gather.
Q: What is the most fun about travelling with your partner?
D: Seeing things from his perspective and being together. Having his sense of direction, spatial awareness and general knowledge. He’s always full of interesting facts.
G: Her enjoyment of new experiences and she’s prepared to try new things, making the most of what is available anywhere we go.
Q: What is the place your partner most wants to travel to?
D: Antarctica, Camino walk, parts of Australia not been to yet. Out of the way places but nowhere too unsafe or dangerous.
G: Now it’s anywhere the grandchildren are. She’s always wanted to go to the Greek islands, so maybe we will get there one day.
Q: What is the place your partner least wants to travel to?
I always thought we’d hate to do a holiday at a resort where it was all about sitting by the pool but we were both pleasantly surprised when we went to Fiji for our daughter’s Destination Wedding, it was a brilliant holiday for everyone and we may look at something similar for a family holiday when the grandkids grow up a bit. We also aren’t too keen on doing a cruise – not sure why but it’s not on our bucket list.
D: Anywhere too touristy, he’d rather get off the beaten track!! He also likes to be active most of the time.
G: Somewhere that doesn’t have reasonable quality accommodation.
Q: What is your partner’s favourite part of a new country?
D: Talking to everyone he meets and finding his way around. Learning new things, taking photos, writing his diary and breathing it all in.
G: The people she meets after getting talking, she’s usually happy to chat to complete strangers and makes friends easily.
Q: What does your partner dislike about travelling?
D: Having to be careful about what food he can eat.
G: Poor Wifi.
Q: What is your partner’s travel superpower?
D: Sense of direction, writing up his diary religiously and making photo books afterwards.
G: Her pre-organisation, planning and attention to detail. A fun attitude!
I think we’ve been quite honest in our comments – and very concise! No wasted words for us, we know each other well!
Really it all comes down to attitude, we know it’s going to be hard at times, the endless waiting, the long haul flights the stress of driving in a different country, the things that go wrong, the high expectations that often go unmet and the stress of being outside your comfort zone.
But we also know we are so fortunate to get to travel as we do, we’re still young, we’re retired and we know how to enjoy ourselves, making the most of these times together and our attitude is so important.
Neither of us are the types who miss our own beds or home comforts, but we do appreciate getting home after a trip, it makes us see our home and community differently.
To travel is to live is our family motto when all is said and done!
How would your partner answer these questions about you? Maybe do a similar exercise and think about your partner’s superpowers!
This week for Denye’s #lifethisweek the prompt is self-care. At the moment, with all that is going on in my life, self-care for me is all about distraction. So I have had a nice time compiling this post as a distraction. Whatever works for you I say!
Also linking up to the weekly Midlife Share the Love party #mlstl – such a great group of midlife bloggers with interesting stories to tell!
Thanks for visiting my world, it’s always great to have you join me.
Have a great week 🙂
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A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world. A young retiree, after being made redundant from her 22 year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now loves reading, blogging, riding her ebike and a good cup of tea! Also known as Granny Debs to her 4 grandchildren.
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