How to Travel Together When You're Complete Opposites

Tri & I could not be more different when it comes to things we enjoy while traveling.  Tri’s idea of the perfect weekend trip is lying on the beach for hours on end, lazily taking afternoon naps in a hammock between two coconut trees, and having a few drinks by the pool before retiring for the evening.

I on the other hand want to get up at 6 a.m, watch the sunrise over an iconic landmark, walking 10 miles in every direction possible looking at everything I possibly can and photographing it, trying all the best restaurants yelp has to offer, climbing every mountain summit and ocean trail, pretty much not stopping until late in the evening when I crash only to wake up and do it all again.

As I’m sure you can imagine, these two things can really clash when traveling together, so some thoughtful planning is always in order to assure no arguments are had and everyone’s soul is refreshed.  My strategy is always balance accomplished by tons of research.

A good example is our most recent trip to Bali.  Tri was there for work and I was there to play but we got two full days together to do whatever we desired.  After reading blog after blog and watching a dozen travel vlogs I came up with the perfect itinerary.

Day 1:

  • Sleep in and eat a long breakfast by the pool. (for Tri)
  • Take a walk into town to rent a motor bike for transportation (for Whitney)
  • Drive to a quiet, secret beach we read about and descend the 500 stairs through the monkey forest. Swim for three hours (for Tri)
  • Head back to the hotel and get ready for a romantic date night on Bali’s seafood beach and walk through local markets and nightlife. (for Whitney)

By the time we made it back to the hotel we were both tired and very satisfied with the things we got to do.  Was I bored at the beach for that many hours.  Absolutely, but I brought a book and got in the water and took some pictures which helped pass the time while Tri relaxed.  You have to compromise in a marriage.  At the beginning of our traveling relationship we fought so much we thought for sure we’d never be able to travel together.  In fact I took a solo trip to backpack Europe after we got married, and he took several work trips and didn’t invite me because we were so afraid of ruining it for each other.  Marriage can’t be selfish.  You have to learn what the other person needs and how to be ok with giving them that.  I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have finally learned that lessons years later because the trips we are taking together now are so much more meaningful than the trips we took alone.

TIP:  Get dressed up and go out for a trip planning date.  Bring your travel guide and a pen and paper and make a list of the things you both want to do.  See what things are the same and make sure you make time to do a few important items on each others wish list as well.