¨Constant togetherness is fine – but only for Siamese twins¨
My Experience with Couples Traveling Too Much Together
While this is primarily a problem for couples, it can sometimes be a problem for almost any Fifty-Plus Nomad. I find that if I more than six weeks participating in group travel, all I want to do is be alone. Since I know that this can be a problem, I plan my extended travel to include at least a week every month where I am entirely alone. During these times I usually pick the most anonymous, big city hotels possible and I go out to eat and visit museums alone.
While I usually travel by myself, I have had several opportunities to travel in a couple during the last several years, generally for two to three weeks at a time. It was fun for a short period. I doubt, however, that I would be comfortable traveling for much longer at one time. It is too hard to accommodate the needs of another person for an extended period.
Stories I Have Heard About Couples Traveling Too Much Together
When I have talked to other Fifty-Plus Nomads, who travel as a couple, many say that sometimes, they wish they could spend some time alone. Travel tends to cause this feeling because you are spending a lot of time with your partner in close spaces (i.e., cruise cabins, hotel rooms, etc.).
You also have to resolve problems that arise in your travels. Some of these problems are ones that you have not addressed before – i.e., how to deal with persistent vendors in emerging countries– and can easily cause conflict between partners. (Often one partner is more generous and tolerant with vendors than the other, for example).
It’s also rare that two people have the same travel personality. Usually, they will, therefore, have to make some concessions to accommodate the needs of their partner. Making these concessions can get tiring after a while.
I have never met any Fifty-Plus Nomad couples personally that have broken up during their travels. However, I have heard stories of broken relations among Fifty-Plus Nomad couples.
Most of these relationship breakups involve couples who have retired and then decided to become a Fifty-Plus Nomad. Many of these couples spent a lot of time without their partners before retirement — for couples sending all their time together, traveling causes a lot of friction.
How Couples Can Overcome Too Much Togetherness On the Road?
Much of the advice from the section on loneliness also applies to too-much togetherness.
That said, there are some responses to too-much together, which are different from how to do with loneliness. The following suggestions are inspired from Planet D.
- Don’t forget that you are a couple traveling together. Take time to have body contact. It’s easy to become simply ‘pals’ on the road;
- Set aside romantic times. Occasionally, stay in a luxurious room, order in-room service, or eat out in a nice restaurant. Spend time talking about how much you like each other and all the great experiences you have shared;
- Communicate more than at home. When traveling together, you are like to notice more things that annoy you about your spouse than at home. You are spending more time together often in a small space. If you bottle up your frustrations, it could have worse consequences than at home;
- Be willing to give and take. Try to find activities that you can enjoy together. When that is not possible, do something one spouse likes one day and something the other one enjoys the next day,
- Be willing to argue but also forgive and move on. Once you’ve gotten it all out and made up, accept the apology and leave it alone.