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It’s a common misconception that couples traveling long term are on a big romp around the globe, swinging arm in arm in romantic settings and drinking beers at sunset.
While that’s mostly true, and is definitely what most of us post on our websites and social media, we must admit to you that that’s not always the case.
Long term travel and living abroad with your partner is amazing most of the time, but there are plenty of times when it’s not.
Especially when traveling on a tight budget, our travels can end up being the exact opposite of sexy and glamorous.
When a 10-hour bus ride and border crossing turns into 18 after our bus breaks down.
Or when we get traveler’s diarrhea and are staying in close quarters. Especially the time in China when our hotel’s bathroom walls were made of glass.
When we are lost, sweaty, hungry and exhausted after arriving in a new city with our heavy backpacks on looking for a guesthouse.
When our budget in more expensive places doesn’t accommodate a room with air-con.
The time Stevo got bit by bed bugs all over his back and legs in a “nicer” hotel.
When we overestimate our skins’ ability to handle the tropical sun, and look and feel like cooked lobsters who then molt for several days.
When a seemingly harmless cut or mosquito bite gets infected, warranting a trip to the pharmacy and antibiotics.
When a cockroach crawled under our mosquito net and onto our bodies, waking us from peaceful slumber.
When we had to take cold bucket showers for weeks on end because there was no hot running water where we were.
Life on the road is always an adventure, and we take the bad with the good in stride. What doesn’t kill you brings you closer…right?
Robert Smith says
Hi, as to stomach bugs, a medical doctor friend (i am not a medical doctor) for many years recommended traveling with Ciprofloxin for stomach bugs and other type infections. It’s a broad spectrum antibiotic and works miracles. I’ve traveled with Cipro for more than 40 years, visiting and/or living in over 50 countries and frankly have only needed it a few times, but probably saved my life twice and certainly avoided evacuation at least once.
Great stuff and for the record, I travel with 500mg tablets and at first sign of a stomach invasion (and you know when you’ve been engaged and what is to come) I take only 1/2 or approximately 250mg and that typically settles the matter and usually within 8 to 12 hrs. In most countries outside of US, you do not need a prescription for Cipro, but the world is changing and so you might want to load-up while you can. Or, you can always pay a doctor to write a script if you prefer. The point is, I do not travel without it.
Additionally, I also carry and have for 40 plus years, amoxicillin, which is great for up respiratory issues and have used also for toothaches at the most inappropriate time. Both antibiotics are almost as old as time and efficacy proven.
I do not concern myself with issues of over use of antibiotics since this is occasional and only the need for one or two doses. If your immune system is in relatively good order, you only need to reduce the bacterium and your body will take care of the rest; or so it appears to me and on a personal level, I’ve proven over many years of time. When you’re on vacation/holiday and have only a week or two, the last thing you want is a bout of food poisoning that will in-fact last 10 to 14 days. I presume some individuals might be allergic and so probably a good idea to check with your doctor prior to travel
All good advice! As you said, it is easy to obtain Cipro and anti-biotics in many places in Asia (for better or worse). Getting sick while on vacation is never a good time, so it’s great to have these medicines handy if it happens. As you also said, it’s definitely a good idea to check with a doctor before taking any of these medications. Cheers for your comment!
I always kill dad when we travel. Ask him about the patio furniture. However, he’s always the one I want by my side. Blessings on your adventure ❤️❤️
Vicky and Buddy says
Haha! This was an awesome post. I’ve found that one of the most stressful times with my boyfriend is when we are on our way to the airport. Even if we’re doing good on time, the thought of missing a flight just puts people on edge. We end up snapping at each other and arguing over the simplest things!
Meg Jerrard says
Haha absolutely loved this – my husband and I travel as a couple a lot, and you’ve hit the nail on the head – can relate to almost every single one!! Couples travel is so rewarding in so many ways, though there will always be the good with the bad, and there are always going to be moments where you think you probably could have handled it better alone.
Though when it comes down to it, my prefernce is for traveling as a couple as the pros in my mind outweigh the cons 🙂
Natalie Deduck says
Have been there….
We faced tough times in the Philippines, cockroaches and cold bucket showers. One day there was no water at all so our shower was on the sea :p
The good thing is to look back and have some laughs !
All of this isn’t funny at the moment – but these are great stories to tell afterwards 🙂 And it’s even funnier then, when you have someone to share it with!
I think this is the not-so-sexy side of travel in general! Having someone there to deal with it with you is probably either a blessing or a curse. I honestly can’t imagine traveling with another person longterm, especially staying in close quarters!
Carol Colborn says
We were RVing across America so our home traveled with us. It is the best way to travel full time, I think. But it is only for places with a good road network.
First of all, so funny! You had me laughing out loud, dragging my husband to the computer to read your post. One of my not-so-sexy moments for sure had to be when I battled a flying cockroach in the back of my tuk-tuk in Cambodia. It was just me and this gigantic black roach that kept trying to fly away, but continued to smash back into me because of the wind in the back of the tuk-tuk. I can only imagine what it looked like to the locals to see a crazy fair-skinned lady swinging her fists and hat as she sped through the countryside!
So true! My husband and I learned quickly that it’s not all sunshine and roses. Those weeks with no AC, mosquito’s eating us alive, and stomach trouble eventually brought us even closer together.
hahah this made me laugh so much….applicable to friends as well as couples, while on the road, you need patience, tolerance and a huge amount of humor 🙂
I laughed so hard when reading it but not because it’s so funny, more because it’s so very true! And even if I usually travel solo I can relate to most of these situations!
All too true. Nothing like BOTH of us getting a little tummy bug in Cambodia, where there was literally NO wall between the bathroom and the bedroom (just a slated “window”). The sights, sounds and smells only made us closer…..right??? At least we knew the other was going through the same thing (both the diarrhea issue as well as having to face the music of the other one!)
Jennifer Joslin says
NO wall-yikes!! That literally brought you guys closer. Similar thing happened to us in Beijing, a week of misery, both of us unable to stop pooping. If you can get through a tummy bug together you can get through anything!