Couch Surfing

Did you know there is a community of travelers that open up their homes to other travelers for free? It’s true! Couchsurfing.com. It is one of the greatest treasures Tom and I have found this year.

Here’s the basic concept; you make a profile on the site (much like other social media sites), then you can either “host” or “surf” with other members of the website. So when you surf with someone, you typically meet up with them and hang out and they will either show you around their city, or at least give you some ideas for fun things to do while you’re there, and they let you stay at their home. After you either host or surf, you then are prompted to leave a review for the person that you hosted or surfed with (and of course they do the same with you.) This is how the community stays safe. Everyone can see your reviews and if you get a bad one, no one will want to host or surf with you again.

I cannot imagine a more fun way to meet new people! We’ve met countless different, wonderful people just this year alone through couch surfing. Many of these people we now call friends! And they are from all walks of life. We’ve met chefs, lawyers, farmers, event organizers, musicians, students, rock climbers, and even a hypnotherapist! We’ve also met people from Europe, Asia, and South America. The things all of these vastly different people have in common are their love of travel and their open minds and hearts. They also all have some pretty great stories to tell!

Oh, and you get to meet all these lovely peoples’ incredibly adorable pets!

So if you are looking for a way to go to new places that you don’t know much about, have a tight budget, or just want to meet some fabulous new people, I HIGHLY recommend joining couchsurfing.com!

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Nomadic Relationship Difficulties and How We Deal with Them

Maintaining a healthy relationship with a nomadic lifestyle is not the easiest thing to do. Many people have asked us how we do it, so I’ve decided to write all about it!

First of all, Tom and I are so lucky to have found each other. We are truly yin and yang. Our personalities naturally balance each other out and we make an incredible team. So we’ve got that going for us right out the gate! But being around any one person 24/7 can be very difficult. Now add the stress of relying on each other for making money and it is even harder.

I’d be lying if I said we never argue. I honestly couldn’t count the number of times we’ve fought over the last year. Life is really stressful at times, and when there’s only one person with you all the time, it’s easy to take out all of your stress on that person. Most (and in the grand scheme of things, all) of our fights have been over very insignificant things. I don’t remember what they all were about, but I definitely take the cake for starting a fight over the silliest thing. I let myself become overwhelmed with anger over a toothbrush. That’s right. A toothbrush. It took about 3 hours for me to calm down and realize just how ridiculous I was being. If that doesn’t show you how crazy stress (and hormones) can make you, then I don’t know what would.

So how do we overcome the stress and hardships? Being able to mentally step out of your emotional state is a huge help. Look at the situation from a outside perspective and see just how small the problem you’re upset about truly is. When you’re lying on your deathbed, are you going to think about whether or not your partner admitted that they were wrong about the (fill in the blank) that one time, or are you going to think about all of your beautiful moments together and wish for more? The second option, obviously!

Letting go of your pride is also pretty vital in making the relationship work. This is MUCH easier said than done, but it can be done. Anyone who really knows me knows that I really enjoy being “right” about things. Tom does too. Sometimes our fights feel like an unstoppable force against an immovable object. Gotta love that Taurus and Virgo combo!

So how does a couple overcome that? In a way, I think our lifestyle helps facilitate the emotional growth and maturity needed to overcome our pride. Since we are around each other constantly and must rely on each other for everything, we don’t have the option to walk away from a fight. We’re stuck in a car together on the road a thousand miles away from anyone else we know. We HAVE to work it out. I’ve found that love is always the answer. The best way for us to resolve an argument is to stop and think, “I love him/her MORE than I love being right.” Once you realize that, you’re able to let go of whatever is getting in the way of your happiness together. You realize that, that small thing is not worth damaging the one you love. Then you are free. Sometimes it takes some time for your emotions to catch up with your logic. You may need to just be quiet and breathe before you can hold hands again, but that’s ok. You’ll see that you’re smiling at each other much sooner than you would have, if you had just waited for the other person to say exactly what you want them to say (which, let’s face it, doesn’t typically happen anyway.)

Love > Ego

It helps that this is the most wonderful my life has ever been, and, despite the hardships, this is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m able to think to myself, “Where else would I rather be in life other than here with him?” The answer every single time is, “Nowhere.” So while we do argue about dumb things from time to time, they typically don’t last longer than an hour or two, and they are always resolved within a day. For me, that’s pretty miraculous!

So most of the time, Tom and I are that adorable/gross super affectionate couple. I actually love getting to spend so much time with him. We are partners in every aspect of life. We get to experience it all together. Our life is a beautiful gift that I try not to take for granted.