The Sole Sisters’ Guide to Keeping Sane While Traveling in Twos (Part 2)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Photo Credit: eweliyi
Part 2 of 2

As I've said before, traveling is the ultimate relationship test. But not just that, traveling with someone actually speeds up the relationship.

You can go from faint like to absolute closeness to open disdain in just a matter of days! That's because being together 24/7 can make you privy to intimate details about your partner/friend/random couchsurfer. Things you were not aware of  previously like bathroom habits, whiny bitching, laziness and drunken behavior. Need I say more?

If you haven't read the Tips 1-5 of this guide, read The Sole Sisters’ Guide to Keeping Sane While Traveling in Twos (Part 1).

Here are Tips #6-10:

6. Bare it all

No matter how perfect or how squeaky clean someone is, we all have flaws. It would be great if we were brave enought to admit to them. It's happened to me many times on trips. Have you ever gone on a trip with a colleague who is usually perky and smiling but transforms into the incredible hulk before they drink their morning coffee?

Photo Credit: Claire&Dave
Solution: Create a pre-travel confession list. I'm starting with mine. Chichi, are you listening? I snore. (It's supposed to be the cute, softer version.) And I'm the energizer bunny upon waking up- really early. Whew! That was easier than I thought. So Chichi, do you still care to travel with me?

7. Share-a-Load

The Sole Sisters’ Guide to Keeping Sane While Traveling in Twos (Part 2)
Can you spot Chichi? Can you guess where I am?
Yep Im behind the camera.
Okay I'm not referring to autoload here. I'm talking about delegation of responsibilities. Don't you just hate it when you're breaking your back pitching the tent and the other guy is napping away on the hammock?

Solution: Assign tasks before you go on a trip. Chichi is the Queen of Logistics and Research. I'm the Princess- of what exactly? I just realized I'm a good for nothing tag-along. Okay I guess I can be relied on for carrying heavy stuff and chatting with other travelers. For taking pretty pictures too. I'll add more to this later..

8. Accept Murphy's Law

If anything can go wrong, it will. Your bus will have a flat tire in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere- and your bus driver won't have a spare tire! That's a reality when it comes to traveling.

Almost everything is beyond your control.

Solution: Roll with the punches and take what life throws at you both. Why would you want to always be in control when going into the unknown is so much more exciting?

9. Talk the talk

Miscommunication is a major challenge when traveling with someone. I have met couples who have had disagreements that have stemmed from a simple case of miscommunication. This becomes even more difficult if the two of you are not from the same country nor do you speak the same language (literally and figuratively)!  
By the way, we're drafting a Sole Sister's Guide on International Relationships next. Watch out for that!

Solution: Be as open and honest as you can to each other. Easier said than done right? Forget about tampo (sorry no direct translation here). If you're uncomfortable about something, you better say so. Unless you can read each other's minds.

10. Com Promise

Chances are, you and your partner are not identical twins. So don't expect them to like the stuff that you like, every single time. Sure, you probably have traveling in common. That's just round one. There are other factors involved such as: Are they also comfortable with budget traveling and backpacking? Or are they more of a luxury traveler? Do they like to do several high energy activities in a day or would they rather lounge (read: vegetate) by the pool for the rest of the weekend?

Solution: For both of you to enjoy the trip, there are 2 words to remember: Com Promise. Be open to doing what the other person wants to do half the time. That way you keep your sanity and still end the journey in twos.

Can you imagine what it would be like if Chichi and I disagreed? Yeah, you can just call this blog, Sole Wanderer.


11. Open a bullshit fund
It’s an undeniable fact when traveling: You will get ripped off. Accept it. Embrace it.

Thanks Mr. Tuk-tuk driver! You just donated $5.
Solution: Create a bullshit fund. Whenever a tout rips you off, or a vietnamese girl forces you to buy a pineapple, just think that it's going to your bullshit fund. Sure, you're never gonna get your money back. But it's gonna make you smile when you go: Honey, that cabdriver just made a generous donation to our bullshit fund!

And that's how the Sole Sisters survive traveling with each other sans catfight, name calling or hair-pulling!

Have you ever gone on an adventure with another traveler? Did it drive you nuts? How did you manage to keep you sanity? Share your stories with the Sole Sisters!

Sole Sister Lois

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  1. The BS fund sounds nice even for day-to-day purposes. Hahaha.

  2. I know right! We received a donation today for the BS fund en route to Baler. It came from the toll gate lady who 'forgot' to give us the correct change. Minus 100PHP ;-)

  3. I like the idea of "bullshit fund" i will be borrowing this term in the future, no worries, i will link it back to you. hehehe


  4. things you were not aware of previously like bathroom habits, whiny bitching, laziness and drunken behavior. Need I say more? -- bathroom habits? how i pray my would be travel partner have one! hahaha
    once i traveled with a friend sa vietnam, 11pm ang flight 4pm palang gusto na pumunta sa airport..asar yung ganyang moments!

  5. Hahaha..don't worry Ron. Also just got this term from a couple going on a RTW trip. And there's no copyright!

  6. Hahahaha... I should have added the word word 'weird' to bathroom habits. Good catch! Si Chichi din gusto lasi maaga. Pero pareho na kami naiwanan ng eroplano!

  7. I like the idea of a bullshit fund. Getting ripped off is never fun and it's better to just turn it into something funny rather than stressful. I had a couple bus drivers in Costa Rica rip my fiance and I off and it made us mad. But I think it would have been less stressful to put it in a bullshit fund. It was only a few dollars anyways. I think all your other ideas are great too. I know how hard it can be to travel with someone else just because you're with them all the time and they can get on your nerves.

  8. Hey there Steve! It seems like everyone has bullshit fund story. I would say bus drivers and cab drivers are the biggest contributors. But you got the whole point- Let's not stress about the little things.

    My boyfriend and I travel a lot and we still have many things to add.. I guess Part 3 should be in the works.

  9. I have embraced the BS fund specially after so many encounters in our Baler & Puerto G trip. I hope the fund will not escalate so much in Mission 1. But I'm a convert of sharing a wallet. It felt relaxing not computing all the time. Let's see what part 3 will be ;-)

  10. Thanks for your comment Pishy! Yes, donations to the BS fund seem to be getting popular these days. I'm glad you liked the Share-A-Wallet bit. It does come in handy and simplifies things a lot.

  11. Great post guys! I'm loving the "vietnamese girl" reference. Too funny!

  12. What a fun article! traveling as sisters adds a whole new dimension to things. I echo the other posters - the BS fund is a great idea and a kind/tolerable way to tolerate a lot of BS : )

  13. So far me and my sole sister Chie has not yet scratched each other's eyes out....But, we do get manage to cover each other's mouth from too much laughing during travels...hehehe...:-D


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