Jarryd Salem, one half of travel-blogging couple NOMADasaurus, outlines the ways travelling together can make a couple stronger and happier
Hiking in Albania (NOMADasaurus)
Few experiences bring out the best and worst in people as travelling the world long-term. Stresses are amplified when you are in a place where you don’t speak the language or understand the culture.
Yet, at the opposite end of the spectrum, nothing can compare to the thrill and excitement of experiencing something you never anticipated in quite the same way that travel does. Having your partner by your side allows you to see them at their ultimate highs and tragic lows when on the road. This creates an unbreakable bond and builds strength and commitment that will last for the rest of your lives.
The talking worked... Jarryd proposing to Alesha in Hang Son Doong, the largest cave in the world, in Vietnam (NOMADasaurus)
It can be hard to get a chance to spend hours or even days at a time chatting with your partner when you are in a standard routine at home. But when you’re travelling there are so many opportunities to talk about anything and everything that comes to mind.
Spending 18 hours in a minivan crossing a dusty road in Tajikistan allowed us to explore all our thoughts, dreams and worries when the potholes wouldn’t allow sleep. By the end of the journey, we were exhausted, but had a greater understanding of where we each wanted to go in life.
Jarryd and Alesha at Darvaza gas crater, Turkmenistan (NOMADasaurus)
Knowing what each other is strong and weak at allows us to predict situations ahead of time, and help mitigate them. I am personally bad at organisation, yet Alesha excels in this. Likewise, I can handle intense situations while Alesha tends to get stressed easier.
Travelling has taught us this, and we now step in and take over when we know the other would not be as strong in a certain situation.
Bus crash (Dreamstime)
If you travel in a spontaneous, independent style, you will encounter all kinds of challenges on the road. Transport, language barriers, visas, scams and health issues are all things that eventually wear you down.
Alesha and I have used our experiences in overcoming these challenges to bring us closer together, and now we know we can put ourselves in almost any place in the world and be ok.
This has transferred over into our everyday lives as well, and having been through some of the toughest travel situations imaginable helps us manage problems in the ‘real world’. If we can survive a head-on bus crash in Myanmar or a freak storm in the middle of the night 100 miles out to sea, we can survive anything.
Selfie during balloon ride (NOMADasaurus)
Traveller Christopher McCandless penned the lines “Happiness is only real when shared” on his final days on this earth, and having travelled both solo and as a couple, we believe this to be absolutely true.
Watching the sunrise over the temples of Bagan or trekking deep into the Albanian Alps means so much more when you have the person you care the most about to share the experience with. It gives you something to reflect on, to appreciate and to love. No matter what happens, you’ll always have those memories together.
Sunrise captured with a drone (NOMADasaurus)
When you immerse yourself in a new environment, you develop new ideas that can change the path you were originally on. You start to fall in love with new hobbies and passions.
After years on the road, Alesha and I started to play around with photography and writing, and quickly discovered a love for it. Soon, we were nurturing each other’s skills and ended up turning our new passion into a career. Watching each other grow with new talents was a beautifully rewarding experience, and something that never would have happened if we weren’t travelling the world.
Watching the bags (Dreamstime)
Working as a team doesn’t always have to be confined to a business model, even though we do work together with our own business (our blog). Travelling with your significant other helps make travel a lot more enjoyable and smooth.
It can be something small, like one person watching bags, while the other searches for accommodation, or having one partner get medicine in case the other has a bad case of food poisoning.
You also have another set of eyes to watch out for dodgy situations, which has saved us more times than we care to count. This reliance on each other actually adds deeper trust and respect in our relationship.
Main image: Jarryd Salem and Alesha Bradford on the beach in Thailand (NOMADasaurus)