Traveling with your life partner is very different to traveling as a family, with friends or alone. The responsibilities & priorities change and because your life partner will probably have an equal (or in most cases greater) say when faced with a choice, the itineraries will also change.
Although it depends a lot on your life partner and how different (or similar) she is from you, chances are there would be frequent stand-offs on decisions.
However, no amount of change beats the charm of traveling with your special someone and the experience is arguably the best of the lot. That said, there are certain life learnings which come as a by-product of traveling with your wife which cannot be argued upon and are probably universal.
1. Compromise is a one way street.
Most relationships are two way, however despite the patriarchal society we live in, the decision making process always ends with the husband making a compromise. It’s a tradition followed through the years and in no way an indication of your manliness.
It’s a known fact that the husband cannot win arguments without the threat of serious repercussions hanging over their head – which may come in any form and at any time of their lives especially when least expected. If a small compromise at the moment can elevate their peace of mind and probably lengthen their life by a few years, it is well worth the cost of their puny ego.
2. Always budget for your time.
If you survey 100 husbands privately, 98 would confirm the fact that there have been multiple documented occasions where this was proved true. The other 2 would probably be lying for fear of repercussions (refer to point 1).
The fact remains that every special activity on a trip would require a special outfit which matches the occasion or the activity it was intended for. The ability to reach that perfect choice varies and is not dependant on your answer to the question “What do you think/ Does it look good on me?”.
The question asked is in most cases rhetoric and requires a standard answer of “You look good/gorgeous/awesome”, anything else might cause additional delay directly proportional to the deviation from the standard answer. The formulaic learning has just one constant – there will be a delay and you should budget for it.
3. Me time does not exist and We time always falls short
This does not apply to couples who’ve lived entire lifetimes together and want the opposite. For newer naïve husbands still figuring out the mantra of life, it is a classic conundrum. The balance between Me time and We time required can put the craftiest alchemists to shame.
The referee who decides when each of them start and finish is the same person playing the game of MEWE tennis with you, your wife. Too much fawning is frowned upon, too little is unforgivable. Attention lapses are not tolerated and phones are a big no-no. On a vacation where the only people you know around you are each other, the lines can become blurry and once mastered it can mean a happy trip and by extension an happy life.
4. Your wife is a partner in every sense of the word.
A lot of times, due to busy schedules and non-overlapping work timings, it becomes difficult to appreciate how well your partner complements you. In most case even with certain household duties being shared, a disproportionate share does fall onto the wife’s shoulders.
Appreciation as a trait in men is often undervalued and not developed. On a trip where the reality is right in front of you, it is borderline stupid to ignore it and not appreciate it. Responsibilities are shared and though the heavy lifting and running around would (and should) fall on us husbands, it is easy to see how difficult the entire process could become if not for your partner.
Women are great multitaskers and are calm thinkers – keeping to budgets, packing, bargaining, asking for directions and hailing a cab are always better done by women and probably the only thing we as husbands do better at is choosing the restaurant (however the dishes chosen by the wife mostly end up tasting better).
5. It’s tough, but incredibly sweet.
Travel to a foreign location (foreign would mean anything new in this scenario) can be incredibly stressful. You are out of your comfort zone, have no-one else to bank upon and with plans which fail more often than not, it is hard not to have a downtime on most long trips. It is in exactly such times where having a partner matters. However it is not only in tough times that you come to (or should) value a partner.
Those amazing sunsets, sense of achievement on trekking up to the peak, that huge pizza impossible to finish alone among many other things, provide a lot more satisfaction when shared with your life partner. In the images above, add your wife sitting next to you watching the sun go down, or holding the selfie stick taking the photo on the peak and helping you finish that last slice of the gigantic pizza you took up as a challenge.
It simply isn’t the same doing them alone anymore. Those sweet memories no longer just apply to the trips, though it is probably when you first realized it. Life is like any other trip and barring a rare scenario of two incompatible beings coming together by means of marriage, is made better by the presence of your partner.