Traveling as a Couple – by Patrick

I’ve noticed some differences between traveling as a couple and traveling as single, as I did in 1991.

  • We are more likely to meet and socialize with other couples who are traveling, rather than singles. We’ve spent time with other male/female couples (either married or dating), but also other pairs of travelers (male or female friends).
  • Everything costs more, because we are two people, rather than one. However, most accommodations and some transport are cheaper on a per person basis based on double occupancy.
  • Like we do at home, we often share our meals, allowing us to try additional foods. In India, most meals are served ‘family style’, where we eat out of shared serving bowls. The risk of sharing meals is that if one of us gets food poisoning, we’ll both get it.
  • I think we’re less likely to be homesick, because we have a companion from home with us.
  • We can share the workload of planning, arranging, packing, washing, etc.
  • We need to reach consensus on where we go and what we do. This requires communication and compromise. We don’t always agree initially, but we always agree eventually.
  • One person can watch the bags, while the other person investigates something, negotiates, etc.
  • In certain situations where it is warranted, like on buses or trains where our bags aren’t secure, one person can stay awake and alert, while the other sleeps.
  • We are more accepted by single women, whether locals or other travelers. They’re more comfortable to talk with a couple than a single man.
  • We are less accepted in situations that are considered appropriate for men only (e.g. mosques, bars).
  • In some rare cases, we need to split up, for example — airport security in Jordan where they physically search women in a separate room; at the entrance to the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort in Delhi, where they have different lines for the security checks of men and women; optionally on subways in Cairo and major Indian cities, where women have the option of riding in separate women-only cars; on some boats in Egypt, where women ride at the front and men at the back.
    • We look after one another. I’m constantly looking out for Diane — making sure she’s with me and making sure she’s OK. She makes sure that I take my malaria medication, and that I don’t do anything too risky.
  • The biggest difference is having a partner to share the experience with, both the rewards and the challenges. Someone to talk to about what we’re seeing, feeling, and learning along the way.
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7 Responses to Traveling as a Couple – by Patrick

  1. Susan M. says:

    Hi Patrick and Diane, You're absolutely correct about the differences in traveling alone and in pairs. I just returned from Paris where I traveled alone for 9 days (nothing compared to your trip) and meeting people wasn't easy..especially other single travelers. I did however meet a few couples and had dinner with a couple from the U.S. my last night in Paris (he proposed to his girlfriend on the Eiffel Tower the previous evening). The easiest part of traveling alone is you are the road captain and make all the decisions of where to go and what to do without ever having to compromise. Since I had no one with whom I could share the day's events, every evening I wrote in my travel diary about all the places I had visited and thing I'd seen while relaxing in my room with a glass of wine….and resting my feet. I would definitely travel again on my own and look forward to my next adventure. In the meantime, I'll continue to live vicariously through your blog. Stay safe. Susie Q

  2. Patrick says:

    Glad that your trip to Paris went well Susan. I want to hear all about it when I get home, over a glass of French wine of course. I haven't had wine in at least a month. Look after that foot!

    Diane

  3. Annette says:

    Hey Pat and Diane

    I'm sure it has changed quite a bit in the last twenty years regarding world travel. It sounds like the benefits of having Diane with you are plentiful and having someone to share these wonderful experiences are pricless. My next question would be how would two females fair in this travel? I don't think I would want to try it.

  4. Bev says:

    Hi Diane and Pat
    I can see how rewarding it would be to travel with a love one. That is the key I think. I don't know for sure but friendships could be taken to the limit with the experiences you guys have had. As your friend I love reading about your days, on the other hand I would almost guarantee you would be loosing me in the crowd in India. You would have to peel me off your back first. I am getting better at reading your close calls but I will continue being concerned until I see your bright smiling faces in person. There is so much to comment on but I don't know where to start. I think I will print this out upon your return and start drilling you with questions later.
    Keep having fun and we look forward in reading your next blog.

    Bev

  5. Patrick says:

    Annette – We think that two females would fair just fine. We've met a lot of female travelers, some of whom are traveling by themselves. There's a lot of togetherness when you travel with someone else, which is nice but is a different experience than traveling with only your own thoughts and experiences.

    Bev – Don't worry about us. We're looking after one another. We can't wait to see your smiling face too!

    Diane and Patrick

  6. DMRC says:

    Hello Patrick and Dianne,

    Well, we're up to date on the blog postings now. As usual, there is no shortage of imagery (and even a visual on the smells…if you can get that…sweaty rats, wow!) that we can conjure up from your detailed descriptions…thanks!

    It is really really…really amazing to read your blog and see your pictures. You two are incredible story tellers and reading your postings allows us to experience things we may never be able to in our life times. We look forward hearing the stories that are unwritten…

    Mer wants to know if you're actually going to make it to the Ganges…as you only mentioned it factually (or did we miss it amongst the billions of bytes of information)?

    Anyhow, keep safe, keep cool, watch where you step, and keep up with the posts.

    Dave, Mer, Rebecca…

  7. Patrick says:

    Yes, we've already seen the mighty Ganges (known by Indians as the 'Ganga'). We spent some time in the city of Rishikesh, where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayas. This is considered a holy place for Hindus, with many temples and people bathing in the river. We also plan to revisit the Ganges in the city of Varanasi, where Hindus (who can afford it) have their bodies cremated and the ashes scattered in the river. We'll keep you posted!

    Patrick and Diane

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