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5 Ways Couples Find The Meaning Of True Love By Traveling The World Together

5 Ways Couples Find The Meaning Of True Love By Traveling The World Together

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

There are many couples across the globe that find the meaning of true love by traveling this world. Part of my job is to scan the internet and various sources in order to compile enough information to complete an article. The other day, I came across an article that struck a nerve. It was a compiled list of things you should not do while you are young. One of the points was: do not fall in love and stay in it. These are the years you are supposed to grow as a person, the years you are supposed to explore the Earth. The gist of the article was falling in love will only hold you back. Why turn down that opportunity to experience love with the hopes that you will explore the ends of this Earth? Why can’t you do both?

I (and a lot of other people on this planet) can say from experience that falling in love is a great idea… as long as it is with the right person. You can travel the world and grow as a person, as long as the person that you are with is just as enthusiastic about it as you are. This is what I mean by the right person.

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I have traveled more of this world in the past two years than I could ever fathom seeing in a lifetime. I am not the only one either. Ryan Fontana and Molly Joseph are a couple that sold all their things, packed up their necessities and started their journey together (here’s the proof if you don’t believe me).

You can grow as a couple, in addition to growing as a person, as well as experiencing what this world has to offer with someone to share the memories with you later down the road. When you travel as a couple, you see each other when you are at your most vulnerable. You are seeing them when they are living in the moment, when they are the most exhausted, and the two of you find the meaning of true love along the way.

1.You’ll both be lost before you are found.

When you two start your journey, your starting point is more than likely home. This is a place where you are comfortable and a place where you know your way around. When you travel, you are constantly lost (even with a GPS) and you are both out of your comfort zone. This is when you will see each other in the rawest form, exposed with the true emotion of frustration across your faces. This is a point that you will get to faster if you two are driving in an unfamiliar place. Fighting when lost is completely different from fighting over leaving the toilet seat up or staying out too late. You both need to cooperate and work together in order to get to your destination.

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Once you do though, you both lay in bed and relax. You cool off a bit from whatever mean words you said while wandering around and both agree that some food would be best. Over dinner, the aggravation of the wrong turns shifts into giggles and then laughter. Then it will hit you two. You are in a completely different country. You are far away from home and are actually here. Later down the road, the tales of being lost will become anecdotes that you tell your friends and family. With more and more trips, the two of you will learn how to deal with each other’s actions caused by frustration and it will go smoother. Notice I didn’t say smoothly because you both will still be lost with each country you visit. Trust me.

2.You’ll both be alive and present.

Being in a different country usually makes one present. By that I mean that there are usually no distractions electronics wise, with the exception of a camera and the occasional Wifi hot spots you can pick up. During our travels, we typically just purchase a paper map at the local gas station, relying on that and street signs. Sadly, the world now revolves around what is happening online. We are constantly checking our messages, newsfeeds, and making sure everyone knows what we are doing. Let’s be honest, you are probably reading this on some sort of mobile device. This is just how life at home is now. Being around the world, we usually don’t have enough for hotels, flights, cars, sights, and cell phone plans. Guess which one is mostly likely to be cut off the most important to fund list?

Without that distraction, you are forcing your brains to actually focus on the here and now. Most importantly, you focus on the person you are right next to. You notice the small things they do, the smiles they crack at the random tourists around, the smug look they get when they are pushed in a crowd, and the foreign words that make them giggle. You see them scream when they fly down a rope on a zip line, their face light up when you both walk in an unfamiliar city, and their hand squeeze your hand when you are late for a train. Equally as important, they see you and all of your actions. You both are living and experiencing life together without an electronic extension to your body.

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3.You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.

With that all being said, you keep these memories close to your heart and soul because you have fully lived them. You both vividly remember the places you were, the people you met, and the things you saw. It will be great when you are both sitting on your porch decades later, reminiscing on what a life you both have lived.

4.You’ll both learn to love.

You both learn how to love, and not just each other on a deeper level, but you also learn which places you love over the places that you liked. You learn which dishes you absolutely fell in love with and want to make when you get home. You both have had countless discussions over meals about which countries (of the ones you’ve visited so far) you two would live in if you won the lottery. Furthermore, you both have a list of which country was the best so far. You both fall in love with the beauty of the world and all it has to offer, in addition to falling deeper in love with each other.

5.You’ll find each other as a source of comfort.

Their familiar face gives you comfort when you are out of your comfort zone, when you don’t understand anything on the menu, when the street signs are on the building instead of on street poles, and you don’t even see letters on the shop signs. Their embrace calms your nerves when you are homesick. The very thought that they will stay at your side with each border you cross, each sea you sail, and everywhere else is a comfort. You learn that this is the kind of love you won’t ever want to give up because it is the truest form.

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Featured photo credit: Follow me to Rome Murad Osmann via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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