Know each other deeply & manage expectations

Traveling as a couple: can you manage your expectations?

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Traveling is so exciting! You pack your best clothes, your coolest gadgets and all your highest expectations. When you travel with your partner, you don’t only create super high expectations about the places, the attractions, the people, the food… you also create a whole bunch of crazy expectations about the perfect interaction you both will have during the dream trip: everything will be flowers, cotton candies, unicorns and travel-orgasms! 
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Sorry guys… I hope there will be some flowers, many orgasms and at least one cotton candy (and damn! I wish there was a unicorn! Imagine how awesome?). But it will be filled with lots of stressful moments and it is not going to be only while you are getting there or in the first 3 days of jet-leg. Mainly for a LDR couple, that spent months apart before taking a trip together. 
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Booking tickets is a pain; Airports are hell; commuting in new places with local drivers makes you feel like a defenseless baby; ordering food is an adventure by itself (in Vietnam… you just point out a name you like on the menu and wait for the surprise!). Things will break (we had a window falling from the 4th floor – *cough*itwasDarko*cough*! ), receptionists and guides will drive you nuts… and if you go to Laos, a sharp bamboo might attack you on a trail and you will end up playing Scarface in the community play (Ana got a scar across her face in the jungles of Laos, but she won’t talk about it 🙂 )  
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Enjoying the sunrise at the rooftop of Royal Bangkok in our fist jet-legged day, awake since 3am Yay!
Now, you can let the stress and the anxiety of being in a new place to take over and destroy your experience and potentially your relationship, or you can get down to Earth and manage your expectations about the trip and your partner. 
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When we planned our 3 months trip to Southeast Asia (Nov 2016 to Feb 2017) we were pure excitement. For so many reasons. 
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Ana spent 7 years chronically sick. She went from a highly independent healthy dauntless woman to a frequently ill fragile almost-human in a constant starvation state. Anxiety crises were a regular part of her life and she went from a traveling addicted to a person who wouldn’t leave her house for more than 2 hours and would not go more than 2 blocks away. She couldn’t eat, her stomach would reject everything, she had no strength and not one doctor knew what the issue was. So nobody knew how to properly treat her. She spent years in hospitals, clinics, healers, voodoo ladies, meditation centers… (We finally found out just a month ago that she has Hashimoto’s disease and it was destroying her thyroid, so all those crazy symptoms were connected to that) . After years changing her lifestyle, she finally got out of that dark hole in 2014 (the year we met!). And she was finally able to embrace back the dauntless badass women she is and travel again! So Southeast Asia for 3 months was going to be her first big challenge. Exciting! (and concerning too…)
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Clash of Titans : Ana & the Vulture (She won!)
When we met in 2014, Darko had been traveling all around the world for the past 2 years. He visited so many amazing places, but he did not take the time to fully appreciate or connect with the site because he was too busy … running after girls 🙂 Ahhhh the 20’s! ❤ In one of his trips, he felt something was wrong with his body. He found out a cancer. He flew back to Canada and got immediate treatment. You guys have no idea how positive and optimistic Darko is. He loves life and he exhales positivity from all his being. His happiness is contagious and that is what Ana loves most about him. We are sure that his positive attitude was THE FACTOR that made him overcome the illness so graciously and fast. He deeply believes that the cancer was a warning that his lifestyle was not representing his true self. He also believed he had been breaking hearts around the world and remorsed it, so he thought the cancer was some sort of karma. Darko is full heart and full love, but he was living a life that (despite if it would be the dream of any young guy) had very little to do with his ability to love, commit and compromise. But he thought that finding “the one” was just a cute thing from romantic movies, so, even if he always dreamed of it, he never looked for it. He did not think it was possible. Once recovered, he did not waste time and started his travels again. Until he bumped into Ana in Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro), a year later, during the World Cup (we will eventually tell you the whole story in some other post 🙂 ) . That was it. She was the one. He was the one. And “traveling” got a complete new meaning for both of them: bonding, discovering, sharing, growing, challenging the unknown together. 
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Darko used to run after girls… Now he runs to Ana over and over again ❤
After we met in 2014, we spent almost 2 years traveling only between Rio and Canada, strengthening our relationship and testing Ana’s body limits. In the middle of 2016, after a brief test trip to some of the US national parks, with very little time and having chikungunya as a travel companion (man! Ana is so unlucky lol ) we thought we were ready to plan our first big challenge: 3 months in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. We were concerned, mainly about Ana’s stomach and the scary spicy food. But this girl was the only person around who did not fall sick! A trooper! It ended any limiting beliefs we had about her ability to travel again. 
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We wouldn’t say we should get a reward for our planning phase. We are not really proud of it. But we did something very important before our trip: we took in full consideration our personal histories. As individuals and as a couple. We discussed our insecurities related to our past, our anxieties related to the future, our expectations… And we truly believe this was extremely important to be able to mind each other, to care for each other and manage our inner demons during the most stressful moments of our trip. 
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After mud bathing elephants in Chiang Mai: Companionship & Complicity. Is Ana afraid of the river? No, she is afraid of mud on her hair 😀
Being aware of each other’s history, strengths, limitations and motivations was the key to manage our expectations towards one another and towards each adventure we chose to have during our trip. And during our “peak” moments, we did our best not to go into full excitement mode, neither full aversion mode. Just acknowledge what was going on, breath, calm down, and decide how to solve the issue from a place of love, seeking for the best outcome for everybody involved. Get to know each other deeply! 
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By the way, people: you really need to manage the unicorn and travel-sex expectations 🙂 When you are traveling and exploring the whole day, there is a huge chance that you guys will be both too tired to have an Oscars performance. Mainly when you are in shitty hotels with terrible spring mattresses, with only cold water in the shower and a squat toilet. Believe us: travel-sex is much better when you do it at home as an elaborated fantasy 😀 
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Not exactly a unicorn, but as great! 😀
Do you think you are able to manage your expectations about your partner, your interaction and your itinerary? It’s not easy at all, but we found out that it is mandatory in order to have an amazing trip. And one of the secrets is to know and take in consideration each other’s histories, limitations and motivations. 
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Take a look at our next post “Kneel down to each other and give up control” . There you will find essential tips to live, love and travel happily as a couple 🙂
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Loves & Happy travels! 
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Riding ATV’s in the jungles of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Thank you “The Peak Adventure“!

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Book Tips

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We are ballers on a budget, guys!

And this guide helped us to save lots of money while booking our tickets, check it out:

“The Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking Cheap Flights”

Learn how to find cheap flight deals!
So you can have more money to spend with your love in cool adventures 🙂

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Get to know each other!

If you are feeling like your communication is not as fluid as it used too be, that you ran out of things to talk about and silence is becoming uncomfortable and awkward, here you can find 1000 questions to reconnect:

“1000 Questions for Couples” 

Re-discover each other! ❤

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Would you like to contribute to our misadventures around the world ? 🙂

We will be more than thankful to any contribution!

Even 1$ can buy a delicious Vietnamese “banh mi”  🙂 ! Have you ever tried one? Yummy!


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