I now know why people travel alone.
Want to feast on squid and prawns at that seafood restaurant again? Go ahead.
Did you happen to stumble back to the hotel at 3 a.m. after too many cervezas and wanna sleep in until noon? No worries.
Life’s compressed when travelling with a spouse. You’re together 24/7, stressed in a foreign land with strange currency and culture, and tasked with deciding where to stay and what to do.
Having just returned from a three-week trip to Southeast Asia as a fifth-wheel, with two couples, I got to witness this spouses-travelling-together phenomenon.
At the airport in Phuket, Thailand, we saw a young European couple in a screaming match during which a travel companion whispered to me, “Oh my god. Is that what we look like?”
Needless to say, I was glad to go back to my own hotel room alone each night without a care in the world. And the super king bed to myself wasn’t anything to complain about either.
On the first leg of our trip, the group of us went on a 40-km mountain bike ride through some villages in Bali and stopped at a local family’s home for a tour.
One of the humble buildings on the property was a little one room house that’s used by the town for couples before they wed.
The pair, as part of their culture, must live in the home for three days before they marry, our tour guide, Poni, said with a smile.
It’s “try before you buy,” he said.
If only this was a tradition in Canada, I told him. Divorce rates would plunge.
In a sense, travelling with a spouse is kind of like this Balinese practice, sort of like a trial run of living together, and is a good indicator if the relationship will work.
I propose all engaged couples go on at least a two-week holiday before marriage and if they survive the trip they’re given a license to tie the knot.
What do you think?
Sounds a little more exotic than getting holed up in a tiny shack for three days with no running water or HBO.