I don’t want to be tied down with someone. I am not tied down either. I am now set free with someone. Someone that I can honestly say I know, trust and love.
The thing with travelling is that it sets you free. As romantic as it sounds, it doesn’t mean it sets you free only in the sense of a tumblr post. It means every part of you is set free. The silly romantic. The wild lunatic. Also, the grumpy whiner. The angry snapper. The cranky sleeper. It is when you travel together that you see every part of the other person. And these are ten things that taught me why travelling together is important.
- You learn to trust each other
Trust, in every form. As you are trying to scale a rock face, and are terrified of falling down and breaking your neck, he extends his hand to you. And at that moment, you decide to put your entire trust in him; to literally place your life in his hands. And he keeps it safe. You will never doubt him again. You will not doubt his presence when you are trying to scale the hills of life, and you know one wrong move can plunge you to your metaphorical death. He is one to hold your hand and heave you up.
- You learn to work together
You two are a team, and nothing teaches you team work more than travel. I, being a perfectionist – my SO being a happy-go-lucky charmer, finding balance has been one of the toughest things to do. But we have now learnt that he can carry the heaviest load, and I am better at making sure that small but important details such as energy bars are within easy reach. We have learnt that I am faster at getting down a hill, but he is steadier and will always be the shoulder for me to lean on.
- You learn to deal with each other’s worse selves
If there is one thing that is always true, it’s that hiking rarely goes according to plan. There are instances where you get lost, lose food, lose water and lose sleep. You see each other when they are paralyzed with fear; you see each other when a sprained foot has made them exhausted and hopeless; you see each other when they haven’t had enough to sleep and lack of proper food has made them cranky. You see all this, and you know all this. You know the worst your SO can be, and you know that you can deal with it. You know you two are real partners.
- You learn personal space
Being thrust together in limited space with minimal interaction with the outside world gives a whole new perspective into “together forever”. You learn that each other need some alone time; a few minutes where you two are not attached at the hip. And when it is apparent that your partner is need of such space, you learn to read the signs and otherwise occupy yourself. And you do it willingly, knowing it is essential.
- You learn each other’s limits
Admit it, we all push the other person in our attempts to do what we want to do. Travelling makes you learn the limits that you can push the other person to. It also tells you the limits of their personality; at what point does all hell break lose, and all rhyme and reason fly out the window? What exactly does it take to completely break him down? What can you do to make sure that he does not reach that limit?
- You appreciate each other
There is something inexplicable wonderful about being grateful for the mere existence of the other person. There is something wonderful in just cuddling together and watching the sunrise or the sunset. There is something amazing in knowing that he will keep you warm in the coldest night, and that she will make sure you have your toothbrush.
- You learn to share each other
When you travel in a group, it is not just about the two of you. While the most understanding group does try to give you two plenty of alone time, it goes without saying that you two cannot be alone in a tent making love for heavens to come. Though travelling you learn to share this one person who means the world to you with others who like his company. You learn to share gracefully, without resentment and enjoy the way he blends and becomes a part of a larger group.
- You grow together
Nothing makes you grow as an individual than climbing a mountain or crossing a gushing stream. Nothing makes you introspect more than watching the sunset or realizing how truly insignificant you are in the great tapestry of life. When both of you witness the same things, experience the same things, you grow together in ways that are intricate and interwoven. The lure of shared experiences is beautiful in that it brings about the consummation of souls.
- You learn compromise and compatibility
If you are running off to the mountains at every chance you get, and he is reluctant to leave the comforts of a couch, you might not really be compatible. If you are terrified of water and he is a water animal, you should learn to compromise and let him go dive to his heart’s content without any objection, or find a terrestrial organism who has hydrophobia. Travelling teaches you little quirks about each other that could be potential deal breakers. It also teaches you how to compromise and make sure that little quirks do not come in the way of greater love.
- You learn love
Love is always patient and kind: when there is no way forward but up, and you refuse to budge a single foot because you are terrified, love does not yell or grow frustrated; love explains and encourages. Love is never jealous: when your love seem to quite enjoy the company of another a lot and wishes to spend time with them, being concerned for how they are coping with a climb, love does not get jealous and sulk. Love understands that it is the goodness of his heart that makes him do so. Love is never rude or selfish: although he can easily scale the mountain, love does not leave you behind. Love stays behind and walks at your pace and takes you onward. Love appreciates and admires your pluck, not mock you for the lack of it. You learn that love is ready to excuse your inability to tread deeper waters; you learn that love is ready to trust he will catch you when you trip and fall; you learn that love is ready to hope for a future together as you gaze at the stars together; and you learn that love is ready to endure the toughest climb, or give up their expectations of reaching the summit to be with you. You learn love.