In honor of Cupid Day, we’re opting to bring some romance to this blog and give our traveling couples out there some tips for traveling abroad together. If it’s your first trip abroad as a couple, you’re likely to run into some unexpected disasters allowing you more insight into who your significant other really is and a deeper perspective on if your relationship can stand the test of time.
Social media feeds us this idealistic, yet unrealistic, portrayal of the romantic couples getaway; stamped passports, sunset champagne toasts, and epic adventures for two. Of course this is all attainable on your extended trip abroad, but what you don’t see is the planning, budgeting, decision making, and problem solving that involve the cooperation of two different perspectives; the compromise, communication, negotiation, and balance of power that is an absolute must for success as a traveling couple.
So, are you ready to take the leap with your beau? Here are some tips we’ve gathered from couples who’ve survived the tumultuous ride of traveling abroad +1:
EMBRACE THE UNEXPECTED
Growing accustomed to strict itineraries is a downfall of many couples who’ve vacationed together in the past. But everyone who’s traveled knows that there’s no perfect plan. Everything from weather, to traffic, to losing a hotel room key can throw a wrench in your travel plans. Our advice? Embrace the unexpected. Things happen and life still moves on. The more you’re able to let go of what you can’t control and embrace the adventure that it brings, the better off you’ll be.
Shared interests only go so far; one might opt for camping while the other is more interested in a homestay; one might insist on learning about the historical sites, while the other is more interested in joining a volunteer abroad program to address current issues. We’re here to tell you that when your time is limited and you can’t do it all, compromise is necessary!
Although it may seem difficult to come to a mutual decision, compromise is a blessing in disguise. It allows you to really get to know your other half, and yourself! Questions like, what are their true interests and why? Where won’t they budge and where are they a bit more flexible? What are they willing to sacrifice to make you happy? And are you capable of working together to meet one another’s needs?
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You've just got to love our outdoor Spanish immersion lessons learning about the history of Guatemala! . . Photo Credit: @victoriasj . #MaximoGuatemala #MaximoNivel #LearnSpanish #SpanishImmersion #SpanishAbroad #StudyAbroad #antiguaguatemala #guatemala #TakeMeAbroad #MaximoAbroad
Two heads are better than one, and it’s been proven that couples who work together forge a stronger bond. Activities that involve teamwork will be cherished memories for every pair, and if you’re not sure where to start, try a mini-adventure that involves ziplining, whitewater rafting and a waterfall hike. The adrenaline is sure to kick in but having your sweetheart’s hand to hold (preferably not while you’re each paddling furiously through a rapid) will be all you need to make it through together.
On the flipside, your space can certainly get cramped when you’re spending all your time with your significant other. Alone time is essential to centering yourself. Having a moment to consider where you are, how you’re feeling, your thoughts, ideas and plans can make you a better partner when you reunite after being away for some time. Whether it’s just a stroll on the beach, your private Spanish lessons, or a drink at your new favorite bar, getting the chance to acknowledge your individual being can help you to appreciate your other half in new ways, and vice versa.
MEET OTHER TRAVELERS
Sometimes traveling with a partner makes it difficult to meet new people. It may seem that the single travelers can easily meet one another and group up, while the other traveling couples are off doing their own thing. But extending yourselves to others will allow for a different dynamic, expands your social circle, and helps you to create new friendships as a couple. Some tips for easily meeting others abroad?
Get your TEFL –remember how easy it was to meet friends in school? Get back into the classroom while overseas! Enrolling in a TEFL program will not only bless you with best friends all over the world but will train you to become a competent English teacher so you and your better half can make traveling together a lifestyle.
Join our Tandem Conversation Program — Maximo Nivel institutes bring people from all over the world to participate in the various programs offered, but unique to our organization are the local students who study English in the very same location! During your program in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru you are matched with our local English learners who want to meet new friends, develop their conversation skills, and increase their cultural understanding. Whether it’s conversation over coffee at our institutes or vocabulary sharing while walking through the local markets. You and your tandem partner can catch a soccer game, go hiking, check out local museums, have lunch together.
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We had an awesome time at #MaximoCostaRica during our speed tandem night, where our international students and volunteers made friends with our local English students through a fun-filled language exchange event. #MaximoNivel #LearnSpanish #SpanishImmersion #SpanishAbroad #StudyAbroad #CostaRica #TakeMeAbroad #MaximoAbroad
And if you want to get a bit more active, invite your new friends to participate in the weekly salsa lessons and cooking classes so you learn the moves and secret recipes for a complete cultural immersion experience.
Traveling abroad as a couple is a challenge that can result in a stronger relationship. Being able to navigate foreign circumstances (and succeed) together is a feat that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, take the leap and go abroad with your beau. After all, what’s meant to be will be, right?