How did you meet and when did you both realize your love for travel?
We met in London about 3 years ago – coincidentally at work, where we were sitting only two desks apart! One of the first things he told me was that he had accepted a new job in Abu Dhabi and would be moving shortly; I didn’t think much of it at first. Flash forward 6 months and I had moved to the UAE to join him! The fact that we had both lived in 3 countries by then was a clear indication that we were both restless, curious and proactive – key ingredients in planning successful trips.
Where was your first destination together and tell us about it?
Our first destination was a surprise trip to St Lucia in the Caribbean. It was only a few weeks after we were introduced and Seb’s spontaneous nature is one of the things I loved the most about him from the moment we met. Needless to say, it was amazing! We spent the whole holiday scuba diving, learning to waterski, jattended a Caribbean party, went on a catamaran tour to explore the Southern tip of the island and truly got to know each other. A week later, he travelled to Canada to meet my family and at the end of that month, surprised me with another trip to Venice for my birthday. It’s been non-stop travelling ever since!
How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?
Once we’ve decided on a destination, I’m always in charge of creating the itinerary. Seb usually decides on the flights, hotels and restaurants while I make sure the main sights, cities, attractions and local travel are taken care of. It really feels like we are a team when we travel, even more so than when we are at home.
How do you make decisions together for next destinations?
People tease us for this, but we’ve actually planned our holidays all the way until 2018! Since Seb is very much into kitesurfing, our trips are typically planned following the wind. We try to find a balance between his kiting and my passion of discovering new cities. This combination works really well for us – either way, it’s really hard to turn down beautiful beaches!
Have you noticed any changes in the relationship since you started traveling together?
From the moment we met, travel has been an integral part of our relationship. When we travel, we’re truly like a team: we’ve experienced so much together, allowing us to become a lot closer in a short amount of time. The beauty of travel is that it exposes you to so many new things at once; it really speeds up the process of getting to know someone inside out! I’m not sure there are many couples out there who’ve been together for 30 months and have seen and done as much as we have together (22 countries and counting!). We’ve definitely become best friends, and our shared memories have truly sculpted our relationship.
Living and traveling together 24/7 can sometimes be stressful and relate to moments of disagreements or misunderstandings. How do you cope with these situations?
We both have [very] strong characters and that can sometimes results in some friction. Whether it be on how to escape a dodgy ping pong show in Bangkok or a frustrating day with no wind for kiting in Mauritius, we always come together and try to find a solution. It’s a work in progress, but it’s all about compromise – I don’t think we’ve ever left a trip with any bad memories since we’re always eager to resolve issues and move on to enjoying the experience.
What is the most beautiful moment you have experienced together while traveling?
Last Christmas, we travelled to Western Australia and stumbled upon Eagle Bay Beach, which to this day is one of the most beautiful beaches either of us have ever seen – even better than the Maldives. We had it all to ourselves and there are really no words to explain how amazing that was – we never wanted to leave! Seb is still trying to convince me we should move there next…
What do you like the most about traveling as a couple?
We always joke that being in a relationship means you have a free travel buddy – we can always count on each other for a spontaneous weekend getaway or a trip to the other side of the world! Also, travelling with someone else allows you to try things you might not do on your own and really push yourself out of your comfort zone – why bother going to distance if you’re not willing to try something new?!
What do you like the least about traveling as a couple?
Traveling can bring out the extremes in people – extreme fatigue, stress, hunger…! You can see someone in his or her least flattering moments, but honestly… that’s the whole beauty of it.
How do you keep the relationship spark alive on the road?
Travelling is not only about discovering new places, but also each other. Every destination, every situation and every attraction brings out something in a person – a new emotion, genuine appreciation and overwhelming happiness. We love planning surprises for each other and try to do so on every trip. Once, we travelled on Sebastien’s birthday and I had asked a flight attendant if the pilot could wish him a happy birthday during his announcement… His reaction was priceless! The fact that you’re abroad is special in and of itself, but it’s the thoughtful gestures that make all the difference – even when they don’t cost a dime.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to any couple wanting to travel together?
“Travel – as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” Commit yourself to adventure and a life of experience: it’s the perfect reason to always want to be together. Oh, and always say it’s your anniversary when you’re making a hotel booking.