For a week or two or even more than these, no one has invented that honeymoon can be done in any given amount of days. If you were given the chance to do this for 365 days, then why not grab this exciting opportunity? What would be the good things and the setbacks when you travel as a couple? We met a couple who dared to continue their love on the road. They then discovered the world as they discover each other.
Meet Camille and Mark Villaflor. The two met at a church, making their faith as the foundation of their love. Mark has been dreaming of traveling the globe and now that he is with Camille, he took this opportunity to achieve that with her. Prior to their backpacking adventure, they worked to prepare for this supposed to be 40-day honeymoon. They then decided to quit their regular jobs to see the world together.
They have explored Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama), South America (Ecuador, Colombia), Africa (Kenya, Tanzania), USA, Asia (China, Cambodia).
Travelling is a learning experience as this gets you to be exposed to the nature and build new memories that can last forever. Doing this is fun, whether it be solo backpacking or trips in groups. The third one, travelling together as a couple is definitely a great form of bonding. From the couple’s personal experience, here are the things they have shared to us.
Knowing how to budget money
People would think of travellers as someone who has lots of dough. They must have to be rich in order to have something to spend for a lavish vacation. The truth is, it is just a matter of deciding on what you want to invest your money on. “Prioritize your money, you can use it in shopping or even travelling like the one we are doing. In fact, we don’t even have a car nor a house and that’s where we spend on our travels.”
“When we were in Columbia, we did volunteer work while on the road.” In exchange of the free accommodation, they voluntary did social media accounts for the hotel since they do not have a Facebook, Instagram page at that time. It is a good investment have a place to stay.
As a bonus tip, hitchhiking can be an option if you don’t have that much money. You just have to be open to possibilities opposite to the notions of other people.
Having each other especially at dangerous times
The fundamental part of travelling as a couple is becoming each other’s soldiers to lean on. Times of trouble may be inevitable, being with each other is the safest thing recorded.
There was an unfortunate event that they have experienced while they were on a trip. The two got robbed by four guys in Zanzibar, Africa inside a cab. “They took our stuff and leave us with no money in the bank.” Still, this situation did not stop them from seeing something beautiful and just continued travelling and had an amazing time.
Handling misunderstandings better
“We fight like normal couple but we end up forgiving each other quickly. The only difference while being at home and being on the road is that things happen faster on the latter. We try to deal with everything. ” They put aside the hate because they only have each other. They then create better communication and understanding, instead of prolonging the whole ‘no talking’ thing.
Accepting all sides of each other
Along with the porters, they hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest steep mountain in Africa. Trekking for 6-16 hrs a day for six days, they did it without taking a shower. You get less oxygen as you go up. “You’ll never know your ability to push yourself more. I don’t know how hard it is gonna be. It’s his dream. I’ll support you.”
Camille considers this climb as the hardest thing that she has done in her life. “It’s not like a walk in park. I was like cursing then. ” Still we continued because the people we’re with, were very nice, encouraging for them to continue to climb.
Despite all the pain and the hardships that they have suffered going up, it was all worth it. When they reached the top, they were teary-eyed as they hug each other. “No one gives you a medal, you’ll just take a picture really quick and you’re done. Going down was another challenge.”
They then discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, complement each other
Learning how to go beyond their comfort zone
Traveled with a phone but did not used it at all. Instead, they just tell the other backpackers and tell them to meet on a certain day, time and place. “We got no excuses of being late or not showing up or anything.”
They cooked their own food instead of eating at restaurants. They don’t buy unnecessary things. “We don’t buy souvenirs because we have our cameras and that serve as our souvenirs. We have memories and that’s irreplaceable and priceless.” They document and share their adventure stories on their blog 365traveldates.com as well as with their Facebook and Instagram.
Remembering the purpose of traveling
Travelling to a country you have never been could give you a lot of unfortunate events like getting lost and even meeting accidents. Despite of these, you don’t just get pictures from the different places that you’ve gone to as you travel. The most important thing is to learn something from it.
“Fear? It’s just everything all in your mind. Fear is always irrational but you can overcome it. Remember that, you can always do it,” as Camille conquered her fear in their journey together.
“I was an introvert before like I find it hard to start a conversation. After travelling, all of a sudden I have become an extrovert because I have got a lot of story because it’s our story to share”, as Camille become better in communicating with people.
They participated in outreach programs and socialize and met fellow travelers solo rovers and couple travelers that went with them and they became friends. “It’s like you share the same experience in the trip and we find it intimate so we hang out with these people.”
Travelling together builds a stronger and a meaningful relationship. You get to know each other even more as you get exposed to different things and experience something new together. “Travelling as a couple is a whole lot of good and a whole lot of bad”, said Camille. They did not feel alone being in each other’s arms. It doesn’t have to be in a certain place, they are happy as long as they are together.
“Love in travel. Travel in love.”