How did you meet and when did you both realize your love for travel?
We were old friends from high school and had traveled separately. Thanks to social media we were able to follow each other’s travels and we reconnected that way. We jokingly discussed leaving our jobs and traveling around the world and a few months later we were on our way.
Where was your first destination together and tell us about it?
Boracay, Philippines. It was amazing! Crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and fresh mango shakes (with rum), what more could we ask for? We traveled to many other cities in the Philippines and absolutely loved it. The people are so friendly and helpful and there is almost always a beautiful waterfall around the corner.
How do you share your work on the road? Who does what?
We split things pretty evenly for the most part but it just works out that we do more of what we are better at. For example, Chris does a lot of cooking and takes a majority of our pictures. He has also become a bit of a handyman during our travels thanks to Youtube tutorials and trial and error. Jen does most of the planning and writes the blog.
How do you make decisions together for next destinations?
A lot of our decisions are based on cost. We look up which destinations are least expensive to fly to and see what interests us the most! We chose New Zealand as a working destination because we are able to get a 1 year Working Holiday Visa here. We are stopping in the Cook Islands on our way back to California. Our next big destination is yet to be determined, but we like the sound of a Working Holiday in Australia.
Have you noticed any changes in the relationship since you started traveling together?
We were not very close when we first left home so we have definitely grown together during our travels. Obviously we are much closer now than we were when we first left. Since we are around each other 24/7 our relationship has developed at a different rate than one where you see each other only once in awhile. This was challenging in the beginning of our travels, but we have reached a point where we are comfortable around each other and enjoy our time with one another. While in New Zealand we have managed to have a bit of normality in that we each worked separate jobs which caused us to spend some time apart. This has shown us how much we have grown as a couple since we first started traveling!
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?
The ultimate test of our relationship was motorbiking through Vietnam. Although it was an amazing experience, it was definitely stressful when weather wasn’t cooperating or when we couldn’t locate ourselves on a map. Lucky for Jen, Chris is very good at staying calm when we encountered these stressful situations. Going through these types of circumstances has taught us not to stress out over little things and to focus on the big picture.
What is the most beautiful moment you have experienced together while traveling?
We have seen so many beautiful places while traveling, but we have probably seen the most during our road trips. While motorbiking through Vietnam we were able to see everything from forests to beaches and encountered many local spots we might not have seen otherwise. We also road tripped around New Zealand in a camper van and saw some of the most amazing scenery! We drove through sheep fields, along the coast, and up mountains.
What do you like the most about traveling as a couple?
Too many things to list but we will try! It is nice always having another person to bounce ideas off of. Sometimes one of us might see a location on social media that we might have missed had one of us not seen it. Also having someone else’s input on things to try. Chris wanted to buy motorbikes and ride them across Vietnam. This is something Jen would have never dreamed of trying on her own but Chris convinced her it was a good idea. Now we could not have imagined seeing Vietnam any other way! And last, but definitely not least, sharing all these amazing new experiences with each other. Reminiscing on all the moments we shared while traveling brings us closer and makes for great stories.
What do you like the least about traveling as a couple?
There was definitely an adjustment when we first started traveling. Constantly being with one other person can be a bit trying. Over time we learned when one person needs space and have been able to respect that.
How do you keep the relationship spark alive on the road?
Despite traveling on a budget, we make sure to have a “date night” every once in a while when we treat ourselves to a nice dinner. While on the road for long periods of time, it can be easy to overlook these small gestures that would be prevalent in a relationship at home.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to any couple wanting to travel together?
Do it! But also set realistic expectations, budgets, and come to an agreement before leaving. You can’t expect to make it work if one person only wants to stay in posh hotels and the other one is interested in living out of a car or van. Traveling as a couple can make or break a relationship as you are often tested by stressful conditions, but if you can make it work you won’t regret it!
Get to Know the Couple:
Jen & Chris: @chrisandjensexcellentadventure
Travel Blog: chrisandjensexcellentadventure.com