How are we doing as a couple, being together 24/7? As a family? With no breaks? Without time apart? Without going to work or having any time alone? No time for navel-gazing! Well, we are doing quite well, actually! Then again, not always!
Good communication is the key to everything. It is easier said than done and we often forget to express ourselves correctly. Misunderstandings occur easily. You really have to make an effort to clearly express what you want and need. Often I may think about something that I would like to do. And get annoyed with Anders if he does not use some of his magic powers to simply instantly feel what page I am on. Why can’t he read my thoughts?!
Like everyone else we were also used to having time apart in our daily life. What changes when you are together all the time? Well, everything - and then nothing. You have to take time out for yourself in different ways and on different times of the day. As soon as Anton has fallen asleep at night we have time to do things together - or apart. For us this means: Time to work on our blog, write, translate or do marketing. Or just to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Talk. Read a book. There are lots of possibilities!
We do not have the option to go out for dinner or drinks. Not when we are traveling like we are currently doing. Furthermore we do not want to leave Anton in the hands of a stranger. This would take a lot of trust. Therefore we have to do it differently. We might give the other one a few hours during the day to do something alone. Anders likes to write. I like to go to the beauty salon to get pampered. This makes me feel like a woman again! It helps a lot when we do not have anything but practical clothes with us. No high heels or sexy clothes. Feeling groomed helps a lot! Also, just some time for me, alone! Lovely!
Before we left home I heard that journeys like these can be a bit of a test for the relationship. You either make it through together or you split up. Well, we are still together and we have learned a lot about each other during the past months. It is a whole new world. It took us some time to get familiar with our new roles as “travel-mates”. Who does what? Who takes care of Anton and when? Who books the campsites or hotels? How do we want to experience things and see the world? Fortunately we agree on most things. We are both rather spontaneous and like to “go with the flow” as the days go by. We do not plan too far ahead. Often we find our accomodation late in the afternoon. It is fantastic that I have found a partner who likes to travel in the same way that I do. We have become a lot closer and we know that we can trust each other. Many smaller “issues” will surface quicker and easier, and you will have to deal with them instantly. On one side you will have to accept what your partner is like and on the other side you may want to try to make improvements. We learn a lot from each other. We CAN work together and also give each other feedback. We have gotten better at dealing with criticism. We learn about ourselves. There is no distraction. You get instant reaction when room is tight.
The “family dynamic” has also changed. We are at equal terms when it comes to Anton. We are tighter than ever and mostly we are having the time of our lives! We enjoy the time together, learning from and about each other!