Traveling with your partner.
I was always in two minds when it came to travel, I wasn’t sure what I needed. If I wanted a companion to have an Amazing Race of my own, or be Elizabeth Gilbert and find myself as I wander the unknown lands and seas. All of this confusion made me take a few amazing solo trips, where not only I discovered myself but also learnt for a fact that I definitely didn’t “need” someone to travel with. Soon I moved cities and a new life started, but the travel bug never left. That’s when I met the love of my life; by the end of this you will know why I have used such words to describe the man.
We lived in different cities, so the first time we met, I had traveled for around 4 hours to meet him for 2 and while on my way back home I knew it somewhere in my heart that these 4 hour trips were going to be a weekly if not daily affair. The next time we met was even more fun, he had decided to take me out camping on a full moon night. Of course I am a traveler, I’ve lived in hostels and random people’s houses but I had never camped before, and from all of his talk I could see his involvement in the outdoors. We met halfway from both out cities and headed towards our camp.
Things I learnt #1: I don’t like his music.
I love dance-y numbers you can sing to whenever on a trip of sorts and this boy had not one song similar to my taste on his playlist. In the coming years that changed, I started making him mixtapes for the car.
Outdoors bring out the raw you, held true when I had to wake up the next morning sweaty and smelling of morning breath, of course I was a little conscious but it didn’t seem to matter to him. It didn’t matter to him that our bottles from last night were lying around and that some dog had eaten the food we left outside the tent. Later I would find out that he is a cleaner, he always without fail cleans up after us when we are outdoors or traveling, which is also a big relief and turn on.
Things I learnt #2: I hate to pack the next morning.
After a few such trips I found out that my enthusiasm to pack our tent and belongings the next morning was a perfect example of Diminishing Marginal Utility, anyone who’s studied economics knows how those Gulab Jamuns get to you after a while. But he never complained. Soon, we would have a score chart that would tell us who had packed last time and would get a leeway, even though he still ends up packing after us most days.
You know when they say ‘travel with your partner to know him’? Well, my partner and I had traveled-lived together quite a bit before we went on our first trip. We were only 3 months old (too fast to soon? That’s how we work) and we decided to go to Goa with a couple of his friends. I was a little worried about how it would go, but you have to take the plunge someday right? So we went through with the plan. The first few Goa days were eat-sleep-rave-repeat with the friends of course, towards the end we didn’t want to leave Goa (like always!) so we decided to stay back and let our friends carry the things we didn’t need back home. In between all the excitement we had forgotten to the necessities from our bags — chargers, my wallet, pair of clothes. But nevertheless, we were in Goa, what could go wrong? Wait for it. The first 2 days we live the carefree waking up on the beach-drinking till we fall asleep kind of a life but by the end of the 2nd day we were out resources. We had a tent, a rented bike with her tank full and each other. We headed up north calling relatives and friends for help, but the Christmas weekend that it was everyone was too busy to take our calls. I remember that evening very particularly where we had a measly ‘samosa pao’ for dinner and thought how the situation would be if I was a pricey high maintenance girl and he was some guy with a bad attitude, we joked and made fun about this when we stopped at the bus stop to make a call.
Things I learnt #3: If I can survive absolute zero penny brokeness with him, we can survive anything.
My resourceful partner worked his little brain and got us a place to stay with the loveliest people I had ever met — they gave us money, food and a place to stay for as long as we wanted. It was our Christmas miracle; but I think my partner is the miracle that I got lucky with that holy night. After that Goa became out yearly trip destination, we make sure we go there everywhere since we’ve been together and spend at least one night talking about the Christmas that was.
Having a relationship with a person who lives in a totally different city than you is a little difficult even though its only 4 hours away, the travel time is what gets to you. So we made a deal to meet on weekends. We would huddle in cozy hotel rooms with our motorsports and football and no one would hear from us for those two days. We have gone from the very shady yet amazing to expensive yet hostile hotels on this journey of ours. So much so that some of the hotel staff would get us our TV channels without even requesting if they knew we were coming.
Things I learnt #4: I cannot sleep if the bed is dirty.
He wants a table with a drawer next to his bed and I want a clean soft bed, these are our pretty basic requirements we realized over time. One time (at band camp) we ended up in a hotel with a pretty messed up bed — unclean stained sheets. I was complaining all night so much so that my poor partner was even contemplating changing hotels that night.
When you travel a lot with someone your habits become similar, well that holds true for a lot of things but when you share a car with the same person every time you take a trip you and him are not too different by the end of it. I have started getting so comfortable in the car with him that I know exactly what he wants and when. When in hotel rooms we have our things to do list. I call the reception and order our feast while the mister is still busy deciding which side of the bed is his. He will do the last room check while I am already heading to the reception.
Things I have learnt #5: I love soggy fries.
We have never had a routine that we follow on a road trip but with time once in the car we take a few stops to buy necessities — our cigarettes, his beer, my assortment of drinks at McDonalds and our soggy fries. No road trip now is complete without soggy fries. Most people hate them but we look forward to the soggiest of fries in the carton.
Once I found this amazingly soggy fry and I shared half of it with him, he said ‘I’m glad I’m the one you wanted to share your soggy fry with’.
The next time I ate it and then told him how selfish I was and that fry was the soggiest in the world, he just looked at me. Yeah, people like weird things.
Both of us love adventure and last minute plans but there are times when we have it planned but never go through with it. We make hypothetical situations about how when we are in the Amazing Race we will do certain things and not fight and leave our differences aside for tasks. Even in everyday situations we keep reminding each other how we are in an amazing race and have to get to the next city to get the ticket first.
Things I learnt #6: Always take that bus even if you are angry.
There have been times when we are on a trip or about to take one and we fight, the about to take one situations are the worst. One such time we had planned it all and were supposed to go this little land of flowers and because of some petty issue that I don’t remember now I was very reluctant on going on this trip. My partner waited at the bus stand for me and calmly said ‘please come, let’s go’ the bus ride was too crowded but we managed to get the last two seats. On that trip we met two amazing souls, one of which we met and missed and the other one that treated us like family and took us around in his town. Cherry on top was the amazing day I had with my partner walking around on the vast grassland. That was one amazing destination our angry bus ride led us to.
We fit like puzzles, we are different personalities but if not for each other our picture is incomplete. The above mentioned are only 5 of the many things I have learnt and understood about me and him. It’s not like I want to tell every couple out there that they MUST travel together, but try alright? You will find your missing piece, your person to survive difficult situations, have the weirdest food preferences with and most of all, the person who you will never be bored to travel with. I found my travel partner the very night we went camping for the first time, you will too.