Since we wrapped our five month road trip around the US and Canada, I want to share some thoughts about life on the road. This is the first of a four-part series about relationships (marriage, friends, family, and strangers) while traveling around the US.
Before the Road
KC and I got married about a year and a half before we started traveling. During that time, we worked opposite schedules. Most weeks, we would only have two or three evenings to see each other and those evenings were often shared with friends and family. Nine months of the eighteen months before we left, KC worked nights and weekends in four months chunks (we left mid cycle), which meant that we had no regular days off together for four months at a time. Even when he worked days, we only had one regular day off together – Sunday. It was a rough schedule for newlyweds.
Thus, my married life resembled my single life four to five nights a week, where I went to work, came home, exercised or visited friends, cooked dinner, and went to bed, all by myself. During that time, KC and I had to use our limited vacation time to spend more than a day together. All that changed when we quit our jobs on March 18, 2015 to travel. Since then, we have been together every day, almost every hour.
The First Two Weeks
While we had a lot of fun seeing the West Coast, it was hard to get used to the nomadic lifestyle and being around someone 24/7. Each day or every other day, we set up and packed up camp, cooked meals and cleaned dishes outside with no sinks, and tried, many times, to find some item that was needed right then in a packed car and couldn’t find it without taking everything else out. Everyday during those first two weeks, we spent more time than I want to admit arguing with each other. However, after the first two weeks, we were used to being nomads and found an efficient way to pack the car where we were able to find and reach necessary items.
On the Road
What factors affected our relationship? Beside the obvious spending a lot more time together, we have to rely on each other for basic necessities of shelter and food (setting up camp or finding a hotel/motel/hostel and cooking), we suffered together (camping in the freezing rain or hot and humid temperatures, not finding a place to camp or hotel room, and driving long hours trapped in a car), and we shared some awesome experiences (beautiful views, hikes, climbs, and rafting, cooking and eating meals on the beach, and spending time with friends and family). This unique combination has brought us together in a way that living in a house together and living a “normal” life cannot. As we travel together, we still bicker and fight, but we have become a better team. He has my back and I have his, even if he’s on the wrong side of the argument.
Now for the Mushy
I have loved spending nearly every hour every day of the last five months with my goofball husband. He is a great travel partner, hiking/climbing buddy, tent-mate, and lover. Throughout this trip, we have both taken care of each other and know that we can rely on the other person to pull their weight on the trip. With few other people to interact with between visiting family and friends, we learned to communicate and to read each other’s emotions better than before (although there is still room to improve). Besides the first weeks adjusting to traveling, being on this trip with him has been much easier than I thought. Traveling with KC has been so easy that when most people tell us that this trip is a test of our marriage, I wonder if somehow we are cheating on the test.
You can read more about us and out trip on our About Us Page.