Ana Raspini is a traveler, besides being an English teacher, and a writer.

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Brasileira, professora de Inglês, escritora, mas acima de tudo, viajante.
Lyrical Travel Journal

A personal, slightly lyrical, point of view on the places I have been to.

quinta-feira, 23 de julho de 2015

Travel as Union

On an article I read last week, Brazilian writer and traveler Amanda Noventa, from the blog Amanda Viaja, wrote about how a trip can be a type of therapy. She wrote about how a trip can mend the pieces of your broken heart, or clear the mists which were covering that answer you longed so much about your life. However, a certain sentence made me think: "A trip helps the lonely find new friends, it helps families reconnect, it helps friends reinforce their friendship, and it helps couples discover whether they really want to be together or not"...

That last park struck me: it helps couples discover if they really want to stay together... A lot has been said recently about traveling solo, especially for women, something I admire and support, even having a series about it here on the blog, where I interview friends about their solo adventures. I really want to have the solo experience one day, for I imagine it to be a tremendous discovery about oneself.

However, traveling with your spouse/life partner/boyfriend/girlfriend can also be a profound discovery. Moreover, it can be a serious test.

I have always thought that a partner must be chosen not based on his/her preferences, but based on his/her life goals. If your biggest goal in life is to purchase goods and have a stable life, don't get married to someone who does not have a clue about financial literacy and goes around buying ephemeral things. If your biggest goal in life is to have kids, don't get married to someone who doesn't want them. If sleeping is one the biggest pleasures of your life, don't get married to a hyperactive person who sleeps 4 hours a day and thinks sleeping is a waste of time.

It seems easy but it's not. I know.

Yet, besides finding someone with sleeping habits and life goals similar to yours, for someone who is a traveler it is extremely important to find a partner who is also a traveler. A traveler soul seeks another, right?

Nonetheless, when the trips have only started after the financial stability provided by the joined income and shared bills between the two, as in my case, there was no way I could know beforehand what kind of travelers we were going to be together.

I don't believe in soulmate or prince charming either, or in that falacy of love stories that were "meant to be". I know that life is hard, and that love is built every day, step by step, with a ton of effort and willingness to learn. I know that I've been describing what is actually life itself, and that is not news. What I want to say is that a trip is like life, but more intense.

On a long trip, everything is maximized: the joy, the delight, the pain, the problems, the learning process... There is no "routine" on a trip, and that is why traveling with your partner can be a tougher test than life itself can be.

Not only because of the habits of sleep, or bathing, or eating, but also because of the pace of walking, which is a different pace on the streets, on the subway, in a church or in a museum. The frequency you feel like photographing something, or showing something to the other, of stopping to observe something. The kilometers you walk easily, then with a lot of will power, and the moment to take a break. Getting lost and coming back to the last familiar place or keep walking to see where the street ends. Turning left on a touristic information plate or turning right because you saw a nice tower at the end of the street. Every step is a mutual decision on a trip, and it can be hard or easy.

The dynamics of everyday life are enhanced on a trip which makes the nuances of such dynamics very clear to both, either positively or negatively. If not everything is synchronized as a pocket watch between the two of you, the trip (like life) will teach you that if both adjust a little bit, the gear will work well. But the trip will also point out parts that will never fit.

Let a long trip to far away test your relationship. If it works, it's nearly indestructible. If it doesn't, travel to find a new love.


For the Portuguese version, go to Diario Lirico de Viagem

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