Can you imagine traveling with your partner for a whole year? 365 days, 24
hours a day. Every day, together.
Well, we did. We are Gigi and Nico and for the past year we have been
traveling together throughout Southeast Asia and South America. We visited
16 countries and experienced many beautiful things. Of course we also faced
different challenges. The best part about traveling as a couple, is that
you face these things together. You are never alone. We would like to share
what we learned, how we survived with each other and how it actually was,
being together every single day.
But first of all…
WHY DID WE DECIDE TO GO FOR SUCH A JOURNEY TOGETHER?
We have been together for almost 7 years and traveling has been always one
of our greatest passions. Every time we went for holidays, we couldn’t get
enough of the new country. Sadly, we discovered that 1 or 2 weeks of
holidays were not enough to get to know the country as much as we would
like to. That is why we saved enough money, quit our jobs and bought
one-way tickets to Indonesia.
Before we started our journey it didn’t even occur to us that we will be
together every day. It might seem strange, but we took it as a normal
thing. We were actually asked: “Aren’t you afraid that you will break up,
hate each other or kill each other?“
Our answer: “Well, we will see!” 😀
HOW DID WE DO IT?
I am lucky to say that our relationship is based on a strong foundation as
we have many things in common. We flew to Bali and started to plan our life
and travels. We planned everything spontaneously. During our 1 year of
travelling, we discovered many different things about ourselves. Most
importantly we learned that we are a great TEAM. You can’t do things alone.
Traveling a year with your partner might sound super romantic, but not
every day is going to be great. At times we were stressed out because of
our surroundings. We didn’t know where to put our anger or disappointment.
Sometimes we lashed out at each other to blow of steam although the other
one didn’t do anything. I guess this is how we as humans are. Our advice is
to not take it too far and to quickly return to being allies in dealing
with the different struggles. It wasn’t always easy but we did it TOGETHER.
We also split the tasks according to what we actually like to do. It was
the most natural thing ever. We respected each other and what the other
likes or doesn’t like. For instance, I would be in charge of creative
things, such as the blog, editing pictures and looking for places we visit.
Nico was the transportation manager, drone captain and in charge of our
HOW DID WE SURVIVE TOGETHER?
Easy. Words like: RESPECT, PATIENCE, COMMUNICATION and SUPPORT were on our
table every day. We learned that we shouldn’t take things so seriously. It
doesn’t mean that we became indifferent, but we realised that we started to
care about different things. Things that actually matter to us. Being happy
was our PRIORITY NUMBER 1. Making each other smile was OUR GOAL. Being
grateful for what we have was OUR PURPOSE.
Of course, we would still get annoyed by things like: rude taxi drivers,
bed bugs, being ripped off just because we are tourists, etc.. But soon, we
forgot about it and concentrated on the good things which happened to us.
Seeing the Milky Way, watching sunsets, diving with whale sharks, enjoying
the most beautiful beaches, having each other…
When someone had a bad day, we tried to cheer each other up. If we would
struggle with something, we would support each other. For example, I never
thought that I will have a scuba certification. I started a diving course
but I quit because I just couldn’t get used to being under water. Nico
encouraged me to try again. At the end, I finished my open water course and
together we did a deep dive into 30 meters on the Philippines and saw a
tresher shark. Without him I couldn’t have done it.
WHAT WAS OUR BIGGEST CRISIS?
As you might know, traveling is not just rainbows and butterflies. Things
will go wrong. Always. We had many crisis and we have to say we mastered
them like pros. Our biggest one? We were flying to Vietnam from Thailand.
We were a bit late for our visa application and therefore contacted a
“professional” agency. The agency sent us the documents to our email. They
looked official and we thought we are good to go.
At the airport the AirAsia employee sent us to the wrong queue for the
check-in. We flew to Hanoi via Bangkok and we explicitly asked if we were
right at the domestic flights gate. Of course we were not right. We wasted
1 hour in that queue and once we made it to the counter the lady sent us to
the international flight’s counter. The flight was about to leave. We could
have made it but there we found out the documents we had were not the
visas. Can you imagine, that the visa agency forgot to send us the right
documents? 😀 We missed the flight. AirAsia didn’t feel responsible and
didn’t allow us to board the plane from Bangkok to Hanoi after we made it
there with a different flight. So in total we had to buy 2 new flights (of
course not with AirAsia) and spend a great night in freezing Bangkok
airport. It was nice to have each other and find a plan B together. We were
stressed out and super angry yet we made it work together.
DID WE NEED TO TAKE A BREAK FROM EACH OTHER?
Never. It was so natural to be with one another that the idea of being
apart made us sick. We got so used to being together and dealing with all
good and bad that we couldn’t imagine to be apart. We heard stories that
some couples spent some time apart while traveling for a longer time. They
decided to travel solo for a bit. We never been apart during our journey.
Simply because we love each others’ company and we didn’t need to be apart.
But everyone is different, you should follow what your heart says. And if
it happens, it might not be a bad thing. Sometimes we need some time out.
Take a break and I am sure you will appreciate each other even more after.
WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN?
Hell, yes. The 1 year travelling together as a couple connected us even
more. We are unstoppable together.
We learned that we need to live in the moment. Time is the most valuable
thing we have. The way you choose to live is up to you. You are the creator
of your own happiness. That is why we don’t regret quitting our careers. We
don’t regret spending all our savings, because money will return. Your time
won’t. And most importantly, we would do it again. We want to inspire other
couples not to be afraid and go and see it for yourself. I am sure you will
love it as much as we did.
By Gigi & Nico from @mybeach_addiction