Having A Hand To Hold While Traveling

Traveling as a couple has its ups and downs, and it really isn’t all a bed of roses. Something you have to be prepared for is having to cope with things you wouldn’t need to if you traveled alone. For example, when I get really hungry I’m not that fun to be around, and Nathan has to deal with it. The same way I have to deal with the fact that Nathan gets restless and bored sunbathing at the beach. Sounds a little annoying to you? The upside of this is that when bad things happen and we feel like we’re slipping, the other person is always there to catch us. We never have to deal with problems alone since there is always someone else there to share the burden, which takes some weight off your shoulders. One of those times when I was so happy to have someone by my side was in Bali.

Having A Hand To Hold While Traveling

We discovered a little restaurant that served really cheap food, and since it was so cheap I felt like spoiling myself, so I ordered some fried banana with chocolate ice cream. Three hours later I was lying in bed having the strangest dreams, sweating like crazy and feeling the nausea creeping up on me. The next morning I was a total mess. I had never in my life felt this bad and I seriously started to wonder if this was the end. The hotel owner was worried that it was something really dangerous and called the police and doctor to come over. I couldn’t eat, drink or even think clear.

I was far away from home and my family, had no idea what was happening and couldn’t understand a word of what the doctor was saying. All that I could think of was how in the world I would be able to make it through. Then I felt Nathan’s warm hand squeezing mine, and I suddenly felt like a stone was lifted from my shoulders. Having his hand to hold when I went through this, having him there to support me, to hug me and tell me it will be alright, making sure that I wouldn’t give up, was worth more than any medicine to make me get better. It’s at times like this when I realize how much traveling with my boyfriend really means to me. Going through something new and terrible is difficult enough, and having someone there who I love and who loves me makes it so much easier to deal with. As much as I appreciate having someone to help me go through difficult times, I also feel like it means a lot to share the beautiful moments with someone as well. To me, there is something magical sharing a sunset with someone else.
Do you want your life to be like a boring movie?

The impact of ‘yes’ shows even more clearly while traveling. By saying yes to things – you never know where you’ll end up, you never know who you will meet, or what might happen – that is the excitement of life right? Traveling equals changes and choices, and the choice of yes will most often take you to far more interesting places than if you say no. I often think of the advice a woman once gave me. She used to travel to India at least once every year, and return with three full bags of clothes and jewlry. She said that if there was anything she had learned, it was: If you hesitate, BUY! My point is that often we hesitate when we really don’t need to – LISTEN to your gut, if it feels wrong, don’t do it, but if it feels good, say Yes. And live the life of YOUR dreams!

21 Responses to Having A Hand To Hold While Traveling

  1. ilunamanna December 7, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    you’re right.. that is one of the reason that now I prefer traveling with someone.
    I cant wait to start traveling with my boyfriend next month 😀
    Thanks for sharing

    • Sofia December 9, 2010 at 8:30 am #

      Have a great time you two!

  2. Theodora December 7, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I travel with my son, who’s just turned ten.

    Things I love about it? His sense of humour. His joy in new things. His ability to mix with different types of people, different cultures, different places… His understanding of and knowledge of the world.

    Watching him grow up, the physical triumphs (he climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, a fairly tough climb, aged only nine), the friendships he makes, his growing confidence…

    • Sofia December 9, 2010 at 8:35 am #

      Wow, it must be such an incredible experience to travel with your child, and watch them grow by every step on the journey.

      I’m brought up in a family that travels a lot, and ever since I can remember I’ve had a love for travel and exploring new places and cultures.

      Traveling really shapes you as a person, and starting at a young age is an amazing thing.

      When I get a family myself I will definitely take them around the world 🙂

  3. Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] December 7, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    I have never traveled with a boyfriend – but I would guess it is a true test of the relationship. Friends I have traveled with have seen the worst sides of me! I agree I prefer to have someone with me to calm me down when I am in panic mode. Sounds like you guys make a nice pair.

  4. Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    what you described at the beginning is totally me and poi – if i am not fed I get extremely tetchy and Poi hates sitting still for long periods of time!
    When I was ill in Dalat I was so thankful I wasn’t going through it by myself

  5. Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Great post. People often ask us what’s it’s like travelling as a couple and I really wouldn’t have it any other way. When you see something amazing, it’s made all the better by someone sharing it with you. It’s so difficult to decribe the things you’ve experienced to someone who wasn’t there. Another benefit we’ve found from having two of us is that it’s much easier to get good deals and avoid getting ripped off – it’s great to have backup! 🙂

  6. OneGiantStep December 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    J and I did a great job of splitting responsibilities and it was good to just know that those pieces were taken care of. But our year of traveling was one of the hardest years of our 12 year relationship. We learned a ton though and will apply those lessons to future travel – we do better when we travel slowly and have a ‘home’ base, it’s better if we have a plan (no matter how short term that plan is), and never never never get over hungry!! I wouldn’t do it any other way but it’s important to remember that it’s not all walks on the beach and romantic sunsets…it’s hard!

  7. Amy & Kieron December 7, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    Great post – Amy and I are lucky that we’re both so alike (and we both get bored sunbathing!) but obviously there are ups and downs as with any relationship.

    Most people ask us when we get back from traveling “don’t you guys get sick of each other after a couple of weeks together 24/7?” – and truthfully, we don’t. In fact, we crave more! Another reason for the RTW next year! 🙂

  8. Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Up until about four months ago my travels had been shared with either a good mate or my now ex-girlfriend. My trip to SE Asia was my first go at traveling solo – or so I thought. I quickly found ‘solo travel’ is actually a very difficult type of travel to embark on.


    You’re always meeting like-minded people on the road. I was looking forward to ‘getting away from it all’ in Thailand. No such luck. I met and traveled with no less than 12 fellow travel bloggers and heaps of other backpackers. It was fantastic. While I do miss having that companion on the road during the best and worst of times, a new travel buddy is never far away.

    • Michael December 8, 2010 at 2:57 am #

      So true. It’s really difficult to actually be solo at all.

  9. Andrea and John December 7, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    Now that we’ve been together six years, I can’t remember what it was like travelling without John and I couldn’t imagine travelling without him. We share the same sense of humour and enjoy the same music and activities – it makes for very fun trips! I was never a solo traveller; while I think I probably missed out on some things there, I really like experiencing other places with someone I care about. Being a duo also helps with the problem solving aspects of travel. We can get snippy with each other on travel days – all that stress! But over all, we’re good travel partners…can’t wait to get back to it in a couple of weeks! – Andrea

  10. Ayngelina December 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I have traveled both as a couple (loved it) but now I’m solo. I really loved splitting the responsibilities with someone else. We had it down to a science of who was best at what.

    But I’ve been traveling 8 months now on my own and there’s nothing compared to the freedom you have when you travel solo. Most people don’t understand that solo doesn’t mean alone, I meet great people along the way and when I need some alone time I just move on.

  11. GlobalButterfly December 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Awww, I want to give N a big hug for taking care of you!!! While I LOVE traveling solo, and I think it’s an absolute must several times in one’s life, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE traveling with a partner. Nothing brings you closer! And if it brings you apart, you shouldn’t be with that person.

  12. Michael December 8, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    So much love going around the blogosphere! I like this.
    Hope you’re feeling better Sophia.

  13. Andrew Murray December 7, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    How strange, I had a very similar experience in Bali myself and will forever be greatful to my wife Laura, and a kindly local who helped us out. As much as I get restless while Laura’s sunbathing, it provides me with time to write!

  14. enrolled agent cpe December 8, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    This is such an inspiring post. Traveling with someone definitely has its pros and cons. But when you travel you see places that seems magical and at times you have high emotions especially feeling overwhelmed of being in front a sight to see. This type of feeling is one that is great to witness and experience together with a loved one.

  15. Dave December 8, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Over the years I’ve travelled for weeks or months with (now ex) girlfriends, a good mate and most recently, solo. I’m so pleased that I’ve had the chance to experience all of these different ways of doing it, and to be honest I don’t have a particular preference. There’s upsides and downsides to all of the options, but to echo some earlier comments, you’re never actually alone no matter how you’re travelling unless you really set your mind to it.

    It doesn’t matter so much to me who I’m travelling with any more – it’s the travel itself, and the new people that I meet while doing it, that are the reason I hit the road these days.

  16. Joshua Johnson December 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Your experience in Bali mirrors an experience I had in Cambodia with my wife wreathing in pain and unable to eat…it is terrifying! I am glad everything turned out OK.
    great post!
    Here is to the hands we hold!

  17. Sarah Wu December 9, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Aww this is such a cute sweet post! I always travel with my fiance. We sometime has different interest when it comes to traveling. For example, I love Art (I’m a designer) and I like to visit art museum in Florence. On the other hand, he’s a automotive tech, he hates arts so he was bored out of his mind when he go with me. However liek you say we encounter problems and joys together and that is what make it so sweet.

  18. Anonymous December 9, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I do both, and I like both for different reasons. I find that when I travel alone, I meet a lot more people (locals and travelers), and I grow more as a person because I have to rely on myself completely.

    Traveling with others, though, particularly my husband, I get to share the experience, and I feel like I can relax more because I don’t have to do all of the thinking, planning and doing on my own.