The Joys and Woes of Travelling with a Romantic Partner

Hi, this is Bun. If you’ve seen the previous post (written by Bear), you’d know how Bear and I planned for our short trip to Cameron Highlands. It’s a great trip and Bear and I enjoyed 90% of it. Even before the trip, I was already in honeymoon mood, but now that the trip is over, let me just get straight to the point about what rocked and what did not work out so well.

The Joys

1. Finding meaning in doing things that you usually won’t care to do by yourself

As it was a pretty short trip, our itinerary was packed with activities, which required us to wake up early every day. We probably still had more sleep than on usual working days, but not quite enough for us to recuperate fully from all the travelling. On a regular day, with the same level of tiredness, we might have just chosen to laze in bed and snooze for another half an hour, but things are different when your partner rewards you for getting out of bed with morning kisses. (It works like small doses of coffee if you ask me 😉 )

Just did a quick google: Cameron Highlands is around 712 km² in area, which makes it just slightly smaller than Singapore. It’s not a ginormous place, and there aren’t that many things to do there. Even after we have done our research, we could only find a few activities that we were interested in, namely picking strawberries, hiking in the mossy forest, visiting a tea plantation and trying out that one bar that is located near our hotel. I have to admit that these aren’t special or extraordinary things to do. Every tourist there probably does or have done the same or even more.

The thing is, whatever you do there, no matter how lucklustre and pedestrian it is to others, will be special to you, because it is a shared experience with that special someone.

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It’s like their very presence sends beams of sunlight into your journey. (Photo taken at the Lakehouse, Ringlet)
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And you’ll realise that you are perfectly relaxed and at ease. Ignore other commitments. It’s just the two of you, and you’re just two little fuzzballs going out to have some fun. (Photo taken near Robinson Falls)
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Your head will be all up in the clouds. (Photo taken on Mt Brinchang)
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That’s when you know that you’re with the apple of your eye and the strawberry of your heart. (Photo taken at Lavender Farm)
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Nothing is special on its own, unless you look at it in a special way. (Photo taken at Lavender Farm. Apparently they have daisies too.)

Alright that’s too cheesy! We did some brainless things on our trip too, such as walking (or attempting to walk) back to Tanah Rata from the Lake House at Ringlet, while a normal person would have chosen to take a cab. (We did take a cab after walking half the distance.)

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The taxi driver told us that we had walked 5km, but it felt like we had walked at least 8km. 

It’s actually a little bit dangerous as vehicles kept zooming past us, missing us narrowly. (We tried to keep to the sides but the roads were pretty narrow and winding there.) The drivers who drove past us looked at us like we were idiots, cos it’s a crazy long walk who even does that?  One mischievous driver even tried to catch our attention by shouting suddenly, as if trying to “out-dumb” us.

But acting or appearing retarded is still ok with bae around.

2. Subconsciously setting and fulfilling roles

Like what Bear had written in her post, planning for a trip is a lot of work. For a lazy potato like me, going on a trip is a lot of work too.

Essentially, we found that travelling as a couple made things easier as we could split the work and take up roles that we naturally drifted towards.

On this trip, Bear was the navigator, the budget/accounts person, and the backpack carrier (while we were hiking). I am very fortunate to be travelling with her. Meanwhile, I was the camera person, the passport holder, the alarm clock (who might wake you up at undesired timings) and the person who lends you her phone when you lose yours.

Of course, the roles are not strictly assigned, and I don’t advise you to make it too black-and-white either because that takes away a lot of fun. But I think when travelling as a pair or even as a group, how comfortable you are with your stated or unstated roles largely decides how enjoyable your trip is going to be.

Even couples who usually seem quite compatible may find themselves fighting on trips (that incudes my parents too). I think it’s perhaps because they couldn’t quite agree with their roles, i.e. they find themselves having too much work, and/or too little power).

3. Sharing, and getting more because you share

Going on a trip as a couple generally makes accommodation and transport more affordable.

That aside, what I like about going on a trip with another person is that I can get double the variety of what I would get as a lone traveler, by paying the same amount of money. Let the pics do the talking:

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Morning brunch at The Lord’s Cafe
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Afternoon tea at BOH Tea Café.

And also, steamboat, not sure if you’ll get more variety as a couple but it’s just sad eating steamboat alone.

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We loved our steamboat dinner at May Flower Restaurant.

On a side note, we were also comfortable enough to share the bathroom at the same time. 😉

The Woes

1. There are, and will be screw ups.

No one is infallible. We make mistakes once in a while and two people probably means double the mistakes.

Some not-very-happy incidents:

At the beginning of the trip, Bear left her phone at the place of departure, and near the end of the trip, she left behind her freshly bought mint candy at our lunch place. Fortunately, both had been recovered.

I got myself wasted on alcohol during our visit to the bar on day 2, and was uncooperative for a few hours. Bear said that I acted like a brat. I believe her recount.

2. Proximity leads to more friction.

Frankly speaking, this only hit me on the tour bus on the final day of our trip. My period had arrived unexpectedly, I was tired and cranky (perhaps so was Bear), and I was extra sensitive towards everything Bear said.

I guess this is a pretty common problem during a bus journey/flight—you are literally confined to your seat. You can’t sleep in that uncomfortable position and your electronic device that you’ve brought along to entertain yourself is nearly dying. Out of choices, you turn to your sweetheart and start a half-hearted conversation. One of you end up saying something unpleasant. BLOOP!

Well, to be honest, our trip did not end on a very happy note with the exhaustion and negativity seeping in. But at least, there was no “error carried forward”, and even till now, we can look into each other’s eyes and say: “I want to travel with you again, again, and again.”

 

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