As Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and love is in the air, I thought I would share some reasons why I love travelling with Mr Ayla so much. I spend so many hours at home just staring at our giant world map on the wall, amazed at all the pins in the places we’ve been, wondering where we’re going to discover next, and I wouldn’t want to fill up my map with anyone else.
I applaud those people who travel solo but it’s just not for me. I once took a flight from London to Edinburgh – yes, only an hour long – and it just felt so strange. I had no one to excitedly make my way to the airport with, no one to point to things out of the plane window, and no one to help me lift my heavy hand luggage into the overhead compartment. Sigh.
After 12 years of exploring the world together, Mr Ayla is my favourite travel companion. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without him and here’s 10 reasons why…
1. Learn more about each other
We had been together for almost 5 years before we went on our first big round the world trip and surprisingly there was still so much we didn’t know about each other. I never realised how utterly clumsy my husband was which I found out after his numerous accidents from tripping over – a lot – to somehow managing to fall off a stationary moped in Thailand, causing a domino effect of falling mopeds! (I also didn’t realise how much he liked telling exaggerated stories because his version sees him hurtling down the biggest hill in Thailand, crashing into a whole load of mopeds at the bottom of the hill and somehow coming away with only a few scrapes and bruises. It so didn’t happen that way.)
2. Experience new things together
You get to share those feelings of excitement and anticipation when visiting a new place, eating a new food or trying a new activity. Adrenaline has coursed through our veins as we jumped out of the same plane in Namibia; we got scared swimming with sharks in Australia; we have been awe-struck seeing gorillas in the wild in Uganda; and we’ve encouraged each other when climbing the challenging Inca Trail. The list of experiences we’ve had together goes on and on, and that’s a bond that just can’t be broken.
3. You can rely on each other
When you’re feeling homesick or have become ill in a strange place, travelling with someone you love means there’ll always be someone there to look after you. We always have each other’s back.
4. Always have something to talk about
You know those couples who sit in complete silence, eating a meal with absolutely nothing to say to each other? That’s never us and I don’t think it ever will be. We have so much to talk about whether it’s future travel plans or places we’ve already been and things we’ve done before. Just a sentence that starts with “Do you remember when…?” could lead to so many funny and interesting conversations.
5. You never get bored or lonely
Long-haul flights to Australia, overnight train rides in India, or overland bus trips across Africa, all are incredibly long and can get extremely boring. Arriving at a hostel full of people who already seem to know everyone else can sometimes make you feel incredibly lonely, but with someone by your side, it never seems as bad as you always have each other.
No matter how beautiful those landscape shots might be, we all want some photos of ourselves too when we travel and travelling with someone else means you can take it in turns to get in the pic. Plus there’s the bonus of not feeling quite as silly when you take a selfie with two people instead of on your own!
7. Learn to work as a team
You learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses when you spend so much time in each other’s company which comes in so handy when travelling for long periods. If we wanted to meet some locals or other travellers, Mr Ayla always has the confidence and makes friends so easily, and he always keeps a check on our money. Whereas if we wanted to explore somewhere off the beaten track, needed a bed for the night or a plaster, then that’s more my forte.
8. Brings you closer together
Spending every waking second with someone else can be hard work, especially when you’re away for long periods of time. You can either get along better than you ever have before or just annoy the hell out of each other. They say travelling as a couple either makes you or breaks you and, for us, it only ever makes us stronger.
9. Someone to make you feel safe
A lot of people avoid travelling because they’re scared of going alone (which you shouldn’t be!). But when you travel with someone else, especially someone you love, there’s no need to feel scared. Whether it’s walking through the crowded, bustling streets of Old Delhi with lots of locals staring at you and asking to take your picture; getting lost in a different country where you don’t understand the language; or almost get mugged in Namibia, you always have that person there to make you feel safe and comforted no matter what.
10. Create lifelong memories together
The memories we’ve created from our travels will last a lifetime and we’ll always have thrilling and adventurous stories to tell our kids and grandkids when we’re old and senile and, no doubt, still travelling!
Who do you love travelling with most? Let me know in the comments below or at: