On a day like this that signifies exactly 4 years since the very first date between me and Dale, I feel quite pensive and meditative about many things that have happened especially since last year when our lives changed completely for ever.

Dale & Franca in Venice - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Franca kissing Dale in Venice - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

If I look back I cannot believe how much we went through, the experiences we lived, the places we visited and everything else that came with it.

One of the questions that we hear the most is: “How can you two manage to travel and stay together 24/7 without any problems and without killing each other?”

Hang on a minute, who has ever said that there weren’t any problems?

Franca & Dale in Savelletri - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Thanks to Jackie from Dale and Franca - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

I personally think that during our trip so far we had some of the toughest moments as a couple, but these have only made us stronger. It could have been so easy to drop everything, listen to our stubbornness and not compromise, but we didn’t – phew!

I always hear people saying that traveling as a couple can either make or break a relationship and after having experienced it I can say that it all depends on which kind of person and how flexible you are and how you deal with unexpected situations.

Franca & Dale being silly in Tokyo - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Dale's Ticket Face in Tokyo - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Franca with a Japanese poster background - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

I’m sorry if I disappoint you, but there is no such magic formula or an established set of rules to follow, you can listen to other people experiences and suggestions – that’s true – but when you are out there it’s all up to you and your partner and no one else!

I personally started this trip with no expectations and actually a bit of fear. I don’t mean to take anything away from the bond between me and Dale, but I also knew it wasn’t going to be all easy and straightforward.

Franca & Dale in Hualien - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Dale at the beach in Hualien - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

Traveling as a couple is unlike anything else I have ever experienced, for both its ups and downs it has been and still is a challenge for me and for us. Everyday there is something new that will test our relationship.

Traveling together has had so many advantages: sharing some of the best moments of my life that I’ll never forget, getting to deeply know Dale and discover sides of him that I didn’t even know existed, learning to deal with the selfish part of myself and getting over it, getting better at finding the middle ground between us and literally making our attachment growing more and more (I only hope I’m not the only one between us thinking this, am I Dale? :))

Franca & Dale in Singapore - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Dale in Bangkok - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

If I ever get homesick, I like to know that I’ll always have a ‘piece’ of home there with me that reminds me of what I’ve left behind and how far I’ve come.

The communication between us has always been pretty good, but with this trip has gotten even better. I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t dare tell Dale (and I’d like to think is the same for him).

What About the Low Points?

We had our fights and I wish sometimes we didn’t argue for silly (and sometimes not) matters, making a big deal out of nothing, but on the other hand it also shows what we are both capable of. Often I found myself thinking about what would be better for us as a unit, putting our couple needs before everything else, before myself, losing a bit my sense of individuality. It’s so easy for me to became almost ‘dependent’ on our couple lifestyle that sometimes I forget to think of what I would have done if I was on my own.

Muddy shoes - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

But I like it this way, sharing a life experience like the one we are living with the person I love is the best way possible for me right now. Those few times I experienced solo traveling, the only thing I didn’t like was not being able to share my emotions, feelings, appreciation or dislikes with someone who I know would have listened. I need to share my thoughts!

Dale & Franca in Perugia - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger
Franca acting silly - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

Whatever way I look at it, traveling as a couple is an amazing experience and I am aware that it’s entirely up to us to make it worth it and to make the most of it.

Looking forward I’d love to see ourselves even more supportive partner in crime, less complacent but still maintaining our own individuality (myself especially). I know it’s something I have to work on and still have to find the right balance.

Franca & Dale in Tokyo - Travel As a Couple - What Doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger

If you are seeking some advice, after our experience of traveling as a couple for so long, the only thing I have to tell you is to be yourself fully. There is no need to hide any thoughts, opinions or behaviors. Considering you’ll be pretty much together 24/7, this is the best chance you can get to really know everything about your partner so do it and happy travels! 🙂

Would you consider traveling long term with your half?