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How to Survive Countless Days of Traveling with Your Partner (or Friend)

Kill your boyfriend

Fights happen.  Despite our efforts to believe in ourselves as flawless beings, we’re only human.  Nick and I have had our share of disputes over the past 2 and a half months of the trip.  From where we set my mug to how much food to feed Domino, the fights are usually over nit-picky details that transform into heated disputes.  But at the end of the day, we are able to settle our many differences and continue our journey.  We actually just celebrated our 4 year anniversary, which is a mighty feat for the both of us!  We are very different people, but our differences keep us on our toes and open to new experiences.

While I do believe that conflict is inevitable while traveling with a partner (and even necessary to learn about one another), there are some rules I have learned that keep disagreements scarce, or at least fleeting.  A few of these tenants are obvious, but it is always nice to be reminded of them now and again:

1.) Let bygones be bygones.
After a conflict occurs, the best way to prevent further hostility is to move on.  Let bygones be bygones, and let go of quip remarks after the fact.  Maybe your partner made a mistake, which proved you to be right.  Keep the “I told you so” to yourself – you are bound to make a few mistakes along the way yourself!

2.) Compromise without resentment.
You are individuals – of course you may not be as excited to take an 7 mile hike as your partner, just as your partner may not be thrilled to help you shop for your new shoes.  Compromise is a staple ingredient in any intimate relationship.  When the options are endless of places to see and things to do during a trip, it is sometimes hard to pass up rare opportunities.  Give to your partner to give, free of resentment or expectations of anything in return.

3.) Time away is OK.
While #2 is important, time away is also OK.  If I’m too tired to go out to the bar at night, Nick and his buddies go out while I stay at their house to recoup.  We both get to have experiences to share later, and the time away is a good “refresher” for the long journey ahead.

4.) Make requests of your partner.
Politely asking your partner to change his or her behavior may have an impact on their actions.  If there are matters that need to be discussed, be honest, and be ready to receive feedback. (TIP: I find these talks easier when I am not angry / in the heat of an argument).

5.) Take beer breaks.
One beer can go a long way (especially for us light-weighted folks).  I am in no way condoning the use of alcohol as therapy, but when tensions are high, a quick stop to sip a Tecate and lime usually boosts spirits!

6.) Pets are always forgiving.
Not everyone can bring a dog on their trip, but I have been truly thankful for Domino during times of frustration. When I want to run over Nick with the truck, Domino is there to console me, assuring that Nick’s back is void of tire tracks.

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