Mitch Hyde and Thuymi Do have made all the couple travel mistakes in the world already. Hyde, a former footballer and teacher from Australia, and Do, who has business and marketing background and is from Canada, literally live their life on the road together. We asked the Dubai-based digital nomads and social media influencers behind the online forum they started in 2015, Adventure Faktory, to describe how they manage life on the road from China to Botswana to Antarctica. Here’s what Mitch had to say about how to travel better together as a couple.
Being a full-time travel couple certainly has had its fair share of ups and downs. From not talking to each other for an entire day on our intercontinental road trip, to the resulting fight after our drone managed to disappear from the skies above Mexico, we have certainly been through nearly every scenario imagined. On the flip side, we have shared hundreds of truly unique and wondrous experiences together, from majestic sunsets to romantic boat cruises, and have been able to visit every continent on earth together.
There are not too many full-time travel couples and there is a good reason for that: it is simply not easy to do. Not only can it be a strain on the relationship, but sometimes it carries over into other facets, especially if you work together as well. The other couples we have met along our journey have all shared many of the same sentiments. It’s a difficult combination of regularly fighting off jet lag, trying to communicate in foreign languages you have never tried to speak before, figuring out maps and directions, carrying bags full of weeks of clothes and camera equipment, not able to read menus, and working full-time, too, all while trying to maintain a healthy relationship. So here is a list of our tips and tricks on how we survive and thrive as a full nomadic travel couple.
Deciding where to travel
Having a common interest in where you want to travel is probably one of the most important parts of traveling with someone else. Make sure you sit down and have a good conversation on where you want to travel. If you still cannot decide, then you may have to compromise a little, perhaps one holiday at the beach surfing followed by the next holiday snowboarding down the slopes. We like to visit places that have a multitude of things to do, so at least some of our different interests are being accommodated.
Play to each other’s strengths
The conversation on who will be organizing what part of the trip is an important one. Usually one person in the couple will have a strength or affinity to doing particular tasks, For example, I love to write and arrange itineraries. So when we are traveling, I write the articles and arrange flights, book attraction tickets, transport and places to stay and Thuymi will focus on the photography and editing section of our website.
Give each other space
Travel can be a stressful venture. Not knowing where your accommodation is, losing your passport or running out of petrol in the desert are just some of the things that have happened to us when on the road. Sometimes you just need to give each other a little bit of space. But that does not only count for the stressful times. Having some downtime to yourself is a vital part of any travel routine so make sure you arrange to have some every day.
Talk it out
Communication is vital when traveling and in relationships. So many things happen when in a new country or situation that it can often overwhelm us. Many people have a tendency to bottle things up and keep it to themselves. This is usually counter intuitive, as it usually means one of you will overreact to something that does not matter and it will become an argument. Talking it out before anyone blows up is what we try and do.
Relax and enjoy the moment
When you are traveling, it is very easy to get caught up in things that in the grand scheme that are not that important. Getting upset over a taxi driver who gave you the wrong change really does not matter. Compared to many parts of the world, travel is a luxury that most cannot afford. Enjoy all the moments that make you smile, like kids playing in the street, the view from the top of the mountain or sitting down to watch a magical sunset.
Like most good things in life, it is all about compromise. You are part of a great team, so there will be give and take in every part of a successful relationship, and that it particularly is the case for travel. Gents, you might not want to go and visit the cultural village for a few hours but she may not want to go on the night safari, either. Compromise is the backbone of relationships and central to a happy and healthy travel couple.
Featured photo Mitchell Hyde and Thuymi Do.
Mitch is a former semi-professional athlete, personal trainer and physical education teacher who has decided to explore the world and work with his partner in their adventure travel business. When not flying off to exotic destinations, Mitch can be found on the beaches of Dubai waiting for that next wave.