Things continue to look bleak when it comes to travel. With several changes to how we fly on the way, the days of carelessly globetrotting may be behind us for a while. On the positive, if you were bunkered down with your significant other and came out of this with your relationship intact, travel may be something to look forward to. How come? If you can isolate together, you can travel together.
Isolating and Travelling with your Partner
The side effects of isolation and social distancing certainly are taking it’s a toll on relationships. Divorces are reportedly on the rise and sadly, so is domestic violence.
This made me realize something interesting: if you can travel together, you can isolate together. These past few weeks have drawn some interesting parallels to my time travelling full-time with my significant other. Despite what my Instagram feed may have you believe, things aren’t always sunshine and smiles. Travelling with someone can really test your relationship. You will often be the only other person of comfort or person to lean on and it can take its toll.
This certainly was the case for myself and my partner many times. How could it not be? With moving to a new place every 3 days comes the stress of packing up, rushing to catch a flight/bus/train, and figuring out where you are going to sleep. Rinse and repeat. This was exhausting at times. The lack of sleep didn’t help either and short patience sometimes boiled over into frustration and anger. Ironically though, it was the times where we sheltered in place to recharge that proved to be the most trying.
Based on my experience, here are my tips on making it through this isolation together. And for those thinking about long-term travel with your partner, this definitely is the ultimate test.
While living in Chiang Mai, I had a routine apart from spending time with Erin. I would go to the gym in the morning before going to my favourite coffee spot to work. Space apart helped provide a little breathing room in an otherwise overcrowded situation. We had been travelling straight for 3-months at this point and both needed a bit of a break from the road and each other.
That said, we still made time to reconnect. Every day I would meet up with Erin for a Khao Soi lunch or fresh juice in the afternoon. On top of interacting with other people during this time apart, we would surprisingly have stories to share and something to talk about…like the time Erin was tossed around in the back of a songthaew while gathering groceries to make a killer Panang curry.
Now at home, we are lucky to have space to work in different rooms. That said, we still reconvene for lunch or a walk at the end of the day. Although there are no car crashes to talk about, we catch up on our day and the going-ons of life outside our bubble.
Even though times may seem sad, make an effort for some happiness.
In Chiang Mai, we were staying in a place that had an amazing rooftop pool. Since we were visiting during the very hot summer months, we had the place to ourselves. We made a habit of enjoying happy hour drinks (often just bringing Chang beer to the roof) even if we weren’t feeling particularly happy. I remember reluctantly dragging myself away from blogging somedays but was always happy that I did. Looking back, those rooftop happy hour sessions are some of our favourite memories from our time in Thailand.
Today is no different. Although there are obvious pitfalls and it can be a slippery slope, we are making an effort to put work and life aside most nights for a cocktail, walk, or both. Maybe someday when we look back on all of this and those cocktails and the time we spent enjoying them will be something to smile about in an otherwise melancholy period.
Make Time For Friends!
Despite being miles away from family and friends, we were never out of touch with those that we love. The world is incredibly connected. No matter where we were in the world, we would take time to connect with others. This gave us a much-needed break from leaning on each other.
During this isolation, this has become the norm for many. For us, this has meant FaceTime dinners or drinks with friends and family. Good or bad, I got back into playing video games with friends, ones that I have not talked to in years.
The point is, you are not alone with just your partner, roommate or even by yourself in isolation. Reach out.
Did you Pass the Test?
Times are stressful and it can be hard to share that with just one other person. Hopefully, you are coming through this still married or living with your significant other. If so, congrats! You passed and can start thinking about taking that next big trip because, if you can isolate together, you can travel together!
What say you?
Thoughts on if you can isolate together, you can travel together?
Let’s hear it in the comments below!
Looking for more travel tips?
Absolutely, no truer words were ever spoken. A great article Shaun, we are looking forward to the trips and visits that are in the near future . Memories of all the good times we have had and the difficult will make the times ahead even more memorable because of what we have all learned during Covid-19 2020.
Thanks Dani! Safe travels when you can travel again!