7 Lessons traveling teach me about relationship

road trip

Being said, one of the keys to happiness is having a good relationship. Not only lovey-dovey relationship with boyfriend, but generally for people around us – family, relatives, best friends, just friends, even a stranger.

Meanwhile, one of my happiness comes from traveling. To feel my life is moving, to meet someone who later I call family, missing home, finding a new home, and seize the moment.

Just like any relationship, not all travel stories turn out into great memories. It sucks when I found out my flight cancelled due the snow storm while I had a convention to catch up next morning. I was devastated when my Dad was sick and I had to make a sudden change to return back home. But after the sh*t happened, I learned something. Something I might not realize until I travel.

English garden
I remember vividly, when my family went to road trip, It was a rush decision. My dad said it in the morning and within few hours, we embarked to the neighbor city only to find…Nothing. Yeah we didn’t managed it well, only go to the certain place based on what my Dad heard, no research, no plan A plan B, no idea which way to take. Along the trip, my Mom felt uncomfortable being nowhere, in the middle of jungle and wanted to just go back home. My Dad persisted we’re on our way. Me and my little sisters decided not to give any comment and just surrender followed by Dad whom also frustrated.

In the end of the day, I learned something just like this quote :

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it”
-John Steinback

But, hey life (traveling & relationship) always has its ups and downs. It is surely like dancing in the rain (storm, I might say). I experienced it, I learned from it. That’s why I’m so in love with traveling, because whenever I’m on the road, I find a piece of life-lessons about relationship.

1. You can’t make people happy if you’re not happy.

Traveling : When you traveling, you are planning to have a good time. With or without travel-mates. Yeah, by being with them you are not alone, you have friends to share the hostel room with, you have someone take your picture, etc but they cannot bring out the happiness in you if you’re always the one that has to surrender on where to go next.

Relationship : People said when you love someone, his/her happiness is yours too. Seeing the smile on their face is the payback for your efforts. But then you are forgetting that you also want and need to smile as well. I used to make everyone happy, so I can feel that I fit with them, I feel belong to the group. I follow them to do many things so I can claim I’m theirs. They are happy, I’m miserable. This will not end until you stop and asking yourself, what are you doing? What do you want? What makes you happy? For me, it’s just as simple as you can’t feed someone if you’re starving.

2. You can’t rely your happiness on others.

Traveling : You dream to go to Thailand. You made the itinerary with your friends. You saved up money like crazy. You booked the ticket and only to find out your travelmate cancelled it due to work. You scared out of hell thinking walking alone in the busy road of Bangkok. Sadly you cancelled the flight and live up thinking “What If” for the rest of your life.

Relationship : Don’t ever think “I’ll be happy if he changed.” The reality is he would never changed. He might grow and become a better person, but it’s also for the sake of himself. So why do you invest your happiness on him rather on yourself? Only you who can answer it.

3. Everything should be balance.

Traveling : Say, you treat your friend for lunch. One time, two times, or third times is fine. Maybe she or he is having a financial problem. The bottom line is this is not about how much money you spend on them, but the concept of taking and giving. If they couldn’t pay it with dollar, they can still offer it with nice gesture, a thank you card and a simply smile from heart.

Relationship : If you’re the one who always say “Good Morning” first, forget it. If you’re the one who always calls first, forget it. If you’re the one that always say “I’m sorry” to make situation better, forget it. If you think you can always give something for your love one, you are wrong. This is not a healthy relationship.

4. Don’t take something for granted.

Traveling : So from the points above, don’t take/give something for granted.

Relationship : So you see how difficult it is to find someone who is worth enough to keep, someone who is worth fighting for? If you happen to have one or some, lucky you. Treat them nicely, spend time with them, don’t hesitate to let them know how much it means for you. For tomorrow, no one knows and you better cherish the moment.

4. Be present, content.

Traveling : You own the smartphone, not the vice versa. Don’t be busy to take selfies to show off on your instagram and so you missed the chance to interact with the locals and at the end of the journey you don’t know what it is all about.

Relationship : It is common nowadays to see a couple communicates more by social media rather than having a face to face conversation or when you have family gathering, everyone seems busy tweeting and you forget to ask how is your grandfather or grandma doing? You never know when it is the last time for you to see him or her again.

5. Stop comparing yourself with others.

Traveling : All you can afford is the 3D2N backpacking to Thailand. While your friend get an exclusive tour to Turkey. I know how it feels. Envy is a common thing but don’t make it your best friend. The quality of the trip has nothing to do with destination.

Relationship : You wish your family not torturing you with the questions such as “When will you are ready to settle down?”, and you wish everyone mindstheir own d*mn business and stops to generalize the standard of happiness.

6. Say No, when you mean it.

Traveling : You fed up with Mexican restaurant every time your travel mate point it out for lunch. You nodded but you are screaming inside you. Why don’t you say “No” and give the reason while finding solutions or alternatives. I bet your travel mate won’t be so stubborn and they can be open enough to try different cuisine.

Relationship : You say yes every time to make people happy? See this is gonna be like evil cycle (see again point no 1)

7. Yourself comes first.

I sound like a self-centered person, individualistic, you name it. But that is true. Repeat after me: Yourself comes first.


Did travel teach you something about relationship?


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6 Responses
  1. Herlik Wibowo

    I never realize that travelling can give us so many lessons about relationship until I read your article. The lessons are so true and simple. Everybody should read and get benefit from it!

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