He Said/She Said: Division of Labor

He Said/She Said: Division of Labor

To get something done, do it yourself.  There’s a lot of truth to that saying as partnerships can often complicate things; like a two-headed snake, doubling the mind power doesn’t necessarily make things easier.  Partnerships always begin with good intentions, that the results will be greater than the sum of the parts, but all too often leads to frustration.  Traveling around the world as a couple is no different than a business partnership or normal marriage, the daily work may be different, but without dividing up the work it has the potential to create more work than it eliminates.  Here’s how we work together to travel.




I don’t know how she can stand in line for hours.  I don’t know how she can find energy to go grocery shopping instead of just eating fast food.  I don’t know how she can find 1,400 things to do in a town that doesn’t appear on a map.  LOCAVORista does things I couldn’t possibly do, she has the strength of a bulldozer, endurance of a migratory bird and sense of direction of a watermelon.  Quite simply she amazes me with what she can and cannot do.

If I were traveling alone I would have seen half the things we did, spent more money and eaten much worse.  I will testify that I couldn’t have done this trip alone.  I’ve traveled alone for months previously, but I realized my weaknesses, I knew I would need a good teammate to do something like we are doing, and LOCAVORista is definitely that person.  There are few tasks that we encounter that one of us is not willing or excited to do, which eases the burden for each other.  Together we can do what each of us could not do alone.

We knew this before we got married.  While people comment on how similar our outward personalities are, they don’t see how different we really are.  For many people, being with someone that thinks differently, has a totally different energy level, and approaches problems from a different angle would be frustrating, if not grounds for divorce.

Let me honestly tell you, when it comes to travel, having someone you can work with, but picks up where you leave off is a lifesaver.  Traveling together is putting a relationship under a microscope, the time to make a decision is compressed, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a daily hill to climb and it’s never a comfortable temperature.  It helps to have someone that grabs the baton when needed, does things I can’t and is willing to stand in line.




It’s hard to say exactly what each of our roles are because when you’re traveling the roles change constantly depending on the situation.  However, regardless of our specific roles thinkCHUA is always the logical one and I am always the emotional one.  I don’t know how he keeps a cool head on little to no sleep to be able to read a map and make a clear decision about where to go.

Reading a map for me is like attempting to interpret hieroglyphics.  This is where thinkCHUA shines, he has a map in his head and always seems to get us where we want to go.  If it weren’t for him I would still be walking around in circles where we started in Vietnam. I may know what there is to see in a city, but thinkCHUA gets us there.

However, when it comes to people interactions and emotional exchanges he’s at a loss.  I can always find a smile for a vendor when thinkCHUA can’t tolerate another sales pitch.  This is where we really balance each other out; thinkCHUA may bring the brains, but I can make the personal connections.  I thrive on people and that has helped us get train tickets in China, a drink with the locals in countless locations, enjoy room upgrades and score some great tour guides.

Ultimately your travel companion has to be someone that you not only enjoy, but compliments you.  I don’t know what I would do without thinkCHUA by my side.  He has made this trip possible and continues to propel us forward each day with his superb research, insane airline deals, internet savvy, exceptional map reading skills and continued ingenuity.  I can conjure up a smile on demand and make small talk with the best of them, but thinkCHUA is the magician behind the curtains without whom this trip wouldn’t be possible.

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» Shane :
Feb 1, 2012

We pretty different in that I’m chaotic but purposeful while she is organised, so while I keep the website up to date and decide where we go, she gets us there.

Though I keep it quiet, were I to travel on my own there would probably be more randomness to my travels but would undoubtedly swap my camera for some magic beans and still be trying to find my way home.

LOCAVORista Reply:

Shane, it is interesting to hear how other traveling duos make it work. I have to admit I would be very interested in reading about any adventure that involves swapping a camera for magic beans and trying to navigate back home. Safe travels!

» Grant & Barb :
Feb 3, 2012

What a wonderful article outlining how you two complement each other during your travels!

Imagine how strong your relationship/marriage will be at the end of the trip!! Keep the great articles coming :)

LOCAVORista Reply:

Grant & Barb, Thanks for the comment! Traveling together definitely teaches you a lot about each other and your relationship, it is an amazing experience not just because of the places you see, but what you accomplish together.

It was fun to follow along on facebook for your Philippines trip, sounds like you had a great time and made meaningful connections with people over there.

» Megan Jones :
Mar 6, 2012

I have not traveled with a partner, but traveling for 3.5 months on my own I really learned what I was capable of and what things I really need help with. I came away from that experience with a deeper understanding of myself than I ever thought possible. I can’t imagine what a great experience it would be to come to understand your partner’s strengths and weakness so fully. I bet your relationship has grown immensely and your ability to communicate your needs has exploded! Congrats!

LOCAVORista Reply:

Megan, we have definitely learned a lot about each other and about ourselves. We have both done solo travel and it’s much different to travel with another person. Our relationship will be forever changed from this time together.

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About the Author

thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.

About the Author
thinkCHUA: Photographing and documenting the world on a 3 year round-the-world trip to help future travelers discover new places, travel longer and enjoy the world's great experiences.


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