The Significance of Traveling with Your Significant Other

When I saw Jenny, my bride, walking down the aisle toward me on a crisp autumn day, heaven met earth for a moment so significant that I’m still unpacking all the ways marriage is making me a better person.  The choice to pursue her, woo her, and join myself with her will forever be one of the most meaningful decisions of my life.  One which has set the course for both our stories in this world.

The decision to travel together is the ink filling the pages of those stories.

Here’s to dreaming big together.  Here’s to investing in a life we won’t regret nor forget.

I won’t lie to you and say that every day abroad is like walking through a field of daisies as the sun sets in sonnets of poetic bliss.  What the poets don’t tell you is there are ticks in that field.  Oh and don’t forget the overgrown thorns tearing your legs to shreds.

At least the sun is poetic.

No, traveling together is not always easy.  But it is significant.  And I think you should do it.  My wife agrees.  Here’s what we figure…

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Together You Discover

Jenny:  Discovery starts with questions.  What do we want out of life?  Where would we go if we could go anywhere?  What kind of people do we want to be?  Travel, for us, strips away what we previously held onto, namely the conveniences and comforts of a predictable life.  Our future becomes open-ended, allowing us to discover what we want and what’s important to us.  Along the way, we learn the most important lesson of all: we have the power to change ourselves and our world.

Joshua:  We decided early on to do things that scared us in order to adopt courage, do things we wanted to do in order to make the most of today, and invest in shared experiences in order to foster priorities that mattered.  These decisions are intentional practices of discovery – for us as individuals and as a couple.  And they help to shape our identity.

Together You Become

Jenny:  Together we become so much stronger than we would have been had we stayed behind.  Honestly, travel is just what we needed.  For us, it brings to light many of the issues we had a tendency to shove under the rug back home, for whatever reason.  But once we know what we’re facing, we can work through, face, and address those issues.  A greater sense of our identity as a couple is a gift we wouldn’t trade for anything.

Joshua:  As we journey along the road of discovery, we take on an identity, handpicking the best of everyone we meet along the way.  We learn from others the kind of people we want to be and what we want for our family.  Our daily decisions multiply to become our legacy.  Jenny and I determined together to be a blessing wherever we go.  As we live from that notion of who we want to be, we become more those kind of people every day.

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Together You Unearth Your Direction

Joshua:  Some know what they want out of life from early on.  For others, like myself, travel assists in refining those passions.  As I encounter differing worldviews and cultures, am removed from the comforts and stability of home, and thrust into an ocean of limitless possibility, what matters most in my life is sifted to the top.  And when I know what I want and where I’m going, I can better lead my wife into a future shaped by clarity and momentum.

Jenny:  When you travel outside of familiar life – the rigid work week, the keeping up appearances, the Tuesday night routine – you can step away from what’s expected of you and ask yourself what you really want.  When else do you truly get to ask those questions?  Pursue the answers in your travel and let the discoveries lead you where they may.  You might be right back where you are a year later, but you’ll have a better idea of why you are there.

Together You Grow Connected

Joshua:  When our campervan broke down for the 5th time in as many days, I was done.  Heartbroken.  And so tired of things not going our way.  We found a spot in the nearest town to settle in for the night then allowed our grief to spark a beautiful closeness in our friendship.  We were there for each other and it was our world at that moment.  Our connectedness to each other, especially being so far from home, proved an incredible strength, setting standards for whatever future adversity would come.

Jenny:  Living in a campervan for 2 months is the perfect illustration.  Where are you going to go to get away; the front seat?  No matter how you travel though, you have some really unique opportunities to become connected.  Not that it’s better when you travel than at other times, but it’s different.  You don’t deal in predictable decisions and you have to learn to become good communicators in order to make it through with enjoyment.  Travel and constant decision-making have the tendency to separate, but when you sit down and communicate, you learn to value the other person more than yourself.  It’s a really amazing way to become connected.  One we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Travelling Couple

Together You Make Friends

Jenny:  Couples shouldn’t always be an island.  When Joshua and I came to New Zealand, we knew just a handful of people.  A year later, some of the most amazing friendships we have came to us by surprise, but were just what we needed.  I can’t expect my husband to also be my girlfriends and Joshua needs men to drink and grunt and fart with.  We can’t expect each other to fill our every relational need, so finding good community on the road is so important and will create bonds we can share when we leave one place for another.

Joshua:  My friends are naturally separated into two groups – those Jenny knows and those she doesn’t.  Community is an important factor in the health of our marriage because we need the support and encouragement of friends and family in order to be our best.  All the better when we can create a worldwide network of people we love, who each have something important to sow into who we are as a couple.  As our network of friends grows and spreads across the globe, so does our appreciation for the people around us at this moment because we know they won’t always be in the same place as us.

Together You _____

Traveling will not answer all your existential questions and it certainly won’t solve all your relationship problems.  But if you take the opportunity to get away with your significant other, you may find a new depth of richness hidden beneath the surface.

I assure you it will be a decision of significant worth.

If your current big dream centers around the next Apple product on the market, take a moment and ask yourselves, “Is this really what we want”?  If not, you can make a change.  You can write the pages of your story with whatever ink you choose.  In fact, your legacy is counting upon it.

Because together, you get to fill in the blank.

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