How did you meet and when did you both realize your love for travel?
Pi: We met at my younger brother’s wedding who happened to marry to my now-wife’s girlfriend. I was the groom’s best man and she was the maid of honour. It was love at first sight for me and I believed it was for her too. The only difference was that it took her 6 months to realize that hahaha. Lynn (blushed) We both love to travel as an individual before we met so it is pretty natural for us to be a traveling couple.
Where was your first destination together and tell us about it?
Lynn & Pi: Our first trip together is to Myanmar. We had about 10 days for the trip and we did not want to rush here and there so we decided to cover Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake. In Yangon, we really enjoyed walking around the city’s colourful markets such as Theingyi Zay or Anawrahta Night Market. At places like these, we could felt the city’s heartbeats, its ethnic diversity, its people’s stories and traditions. The sunrises and sunsets in Bagan and in Inle were amazing. It felt like falling in love over and over again. In this trip we met a young local artist when waiting for the sunset on top of a temple in Bagan. For 10 years, he had been watching sunrises and sunsets from different spots in the area and then, captured the nature’s beauty and human activities in his paintings. Through him, we learned to find happiness in simple things in life.
How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?
Pi: We are both easy going and like to take things spontaneously so we do not really have to be very details about who do what. Generally, Lynn does the planning and agenda whereas I do the executing part.
Lynn: For each trip, we would have a list of to-do- things. During planning, we would look at that together then decide who fits best for each task. For example, normally I would take care of booking tickets and accommodation. However, when we did the trip to Cambodia and Thailand, since Pi was more familiar with the destination, he did all those works. On the way, he would do most of the carrying, bargaining, dealing with local people. I was more of a reading type so I would see about where had nice food, what to try and saw if the agenda should be re-arranged.
How do you make decisions together for next destinations?
Lynn & Pi: We each already had a list of destinations even before we met. So we merged these lists together and prioritized our trips based on the common destinations. Then we would decide where to go next based on 2 factors: time and money. Is it the best time to visit the destination (weather, political condition, what we would like to see there etc …) and whether the trip best fits our current financial situation (any flights or accommodations deal)? Since we both want to see the world, decisions are not hard to choose.
Have you noticed any changes in the relationship since you started traveling together?
Pi: Perfectly in love as always. (winked)
Lynn: Traveling definitely brings us closer and makes us stronger as a couple. Anything would happen during the trip, both good and bad. At times I did feel like we were constantly tested on stamina, patience, listening and communicating skill. Of course, we have collected many forever-moments together. But I really appreciate all crisis times where we sticked together and lifted one another up.
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?
Pi: We both agree that once the tasks are allocated, we need to respect the decision of the person’s in charge of that task. One cannot drive if the passenger keeps yelling how-to, right? And in case of one of us not knowing what to do, we consult each other. Once the decision is final, we stick with that. No complaints or blaming if something happens since the decision is mutual.
Lynn: I have an abracadabra sentence that seems to work all the time. When time gets rough, I would say ” hey honey, by the way, it is not the end of the world if … (let us say we miss the flight or lose some money), then we both could stay calm and see at all the alternatives.
What is the most beautiful moment you have experienced together while traveling?
Pi: I have so many but to pick one, I would pick the sunrise on Inle Lake, Myanmar. We started around 4:30 when everywhere was darkness. And then slowly, things came to lives with the first light of the day. The water birds started chirping and surfing, the fog started lifting, the sky became clearer, fishermen started coming from nowhere and, then once glorious sun appeared, it spread a veil of gold on everything. When the fishermen lifted up their nets, it was like them pulling threads of gold out of the sparkling water. It was truly mesmerizing.
Lynn: For me, it was at Maeklong Railway Market, Thailand. It is an open- air market where all vendors selling local produce along a rail track. The day we came was the first day the train operated again after a few months closure for maintenance. Everyone, from the vendors, the tourists to the medias, was so excited to see the train. Since the schedule changed a few times, we killed time by making friends with the local vendors and even helped them selling stuff. No one seemed to be tired. Enthusiastic vibe was everywhere. And when the train came, the vendors quickly collapsed all umbrellas and moved their display tables inside, just enough for the train to pass through. And I was so amazed at their precisions since the space was only enough for the train to move without touching anything. I guess the moment was beautiful not because of the scenery, but the positive energy coming from everybody there.
What do you like the most about traveling as a couple?
Pi: I love everything about it as my motto in life is that it is not where you go, it is who you go with that makes the trip worthwhile. I enjoy every minute traveling with her.
Lynn: I love that when we travel, we create many memories together. I do feel that after each trip, we come back home being better selves.
What do you like the least about traveling as a couple?
Pi: Nothing for me. Love every minute of it.
Lynn: Probably the end of the trip where we have to go back. hahaha. But after 1 trip, we will plan for the next so things will be good again.
How do you keep the relationship spark alive on the road?
Pi: I always try to be more understanding towards my wife, as I know that being a woman is not easy on long trips, physically and emotionally. Sometimes a little tenderness goes a long way.
Lynn: Always try to stay positive and appreciate the small things we do for each other. For example, if his shoulder gets hurt due to long hour of carrying bags and camera, I would give him a massage whenever convenient so that he would recover better.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to any couple wanting to travel together?
Pi: Plan well ahead but when times come, just follow the flow. Good moments stay forever in the heart, so make plenty of them.
Lynn: Never put all the money in 1 place. We always keep our money in hidden places and bring with us only the daily budget. Each of us keeps half of that. I always let Pi do the paying and when he runs out of his portion, I give him mine. So I am like the secret bank and he is the procurement guy. This is useful especially when we travel to places where cards are not commonly accepted.