Blakey and I have been on the road now for nearly four months. We have never, in our five years together, spent anywhere near this much time together.
For the first five years of our relationship Blakey worked away for two weeks at a time, and I’ve had to be away a fair bit too. So really, we’ve only spent half of that time together, even when we lived in the same house.
Imagine going from that to suddenly being together every day. And not just every day, but pretty much every minute of every day, barring the odd toilet break or two. For four months. With another year and a half to go.
Let’s be honest – it could only have gone one of two ways. And it turns out it’s gone the right way. We haven’t killed each other… yet.
Friends back home and people we meet are always asking how it’s going, and if we’re sick of each other yet. So this is how it’s going…
Getting used to being together all the time
Luckily, we’ve found out that although absence makes the heart grow fonder, being together is pretty awesome too.
For the first six weeks of our trip, we were on the Kiwi Bus in New Zealand, surrounded by other backpackers and staying in dorm rooms. This meant that we were constantly socialising and always with other people too, which definitely kept things fresh. It was socialisation overload, we never had enough time alone.
For the last two months, we’ve jumped to the other extreme. We’re in our van, just the two of us. We haven’t met any other backpackers – we’ll have conversations with other people at tourist spots and occasionally when we park up the van at night, but for the most part it’s just me and Blakey.
Arguments on the road
When we chat to other people they ask us if we argue a lot with us being together all the time, but we don’t really. We argue less now than we ever have – what’s there to ague about? There’s nothing stressful in our lives really. Well… except directions and who does the washing up.
If we do argue, we usually end up laughing about it and taking the piss out of ourselves and it blows over pretty fast. To be honest though I think we’re just lucky to have found that we do actually get on and don’t annoy each other any more than we do at home.
Spending time apart
When we were staying in hostels we could go off with other people if we fancied doing different things, and people on the bus always commented that it was good we didn’t live in each other’s pockets.
Now that we’re in the van, it’s a bit harder to find that space. We’ve learned over the last few months though that it’s the little bits which make a difference – Blakey is much fitter than me, so when we go for hikes I tell him to go on ahead rather than have me holding him back. This works well… I can amble along at my own pace, taking everything in as I go, without feeling guilty that Blakey has to wait for me. He’ll get to the top of whatever mountain we’re hiking up and sit and take in the view.
I think it helps that we spend plenty of time in our own little worlds – Blakey loves playing games on his phone or reading, and I spend half my time with my nose in a book. This gives us the space we need to completely zone out, even if we’re right next to each other.
Running out of things to talk about
People also ask us if we get bored of each other or run out of things to say. We definitely haven’t got bored of each other, but we definitely have run out of conversation on the long drives. Especially driving through the outback where there’s pretty much nothing at all to comment on except the endless dead kangaroos. Thank god for audiobooks. We’ve smashed through all three books of Lord of the Rings (as we’re super nerds) and now moving on to Harry Potter.
In general we’re always comfortable staying quiet, but we still always have new things to say – whether it’s about travel plans, friends and family back home or plans for the future (wedding talk, poor Blakey).
We don’t have any advice to give to other couples who are planning their travels – it’s simple really… you’ll either drive each other nuts or you’ll be fine, it’s make or break!
So that’s how it’s all going guys – we’re really happy with each other’s company, but we are definitely looking forward to getting back to hostel life in our next country and can’t wait for friends to come out and visit us. Pack your bags and get on the plane!