So you are ready to cast off the chains of modern life and hit the road, but your better half is less enthusiastic. How do you get them onboard with the whole long term travel or living abroad thing? First, be honest and up front with them. If going abroad is a dream or passion of yours, tell them so. They should be supportive. Help them to understand that long term traveling is feasible, and that many other couples have done it.
Second, compromise. Talk about what your partner’s dreams and goals are in life. Then make a life plan that incorporates the things most important to you both. Maybe after your time living abroad you will come back and do something your partner has been wanting to do (get married, buy a home, have a family, move closer to family, etc.).
As you plan your time abroad, make sure that whatever you are going to do, your partner will enjoy it too and won’t just be miserable the whole time. If your dream of spending a year without modern convenience in Timbuktu living with a tribe of naked hunter gatherers isn’t your significant other’s idea of a good time, you’re going to need a plan B. Perhaps you could do some volunteering with your significant other in a more modern city with more of the creature comforts they are used to, and then you can go hang out with your naked tribesmen on your own for a couple of weeks.
In the end, if you try and keep the other person in mind you can have a great experience and will find that the hardships and difficulties you sometimes encounter will bring the two of you closer as you learn to depend on each other. Traveling with your significant other will result in some epic arguments over such vital issues as someone using the last of the toothpaste, forgetting the water bottle, or other equally dire occurrences. There are likely to be a few long bus rides where neither of your will deign to give the other the satisfaction of speaking to each other. But in the end you will make up and move on. After a while you will learn how to travel together and survive, and will grow much closer than you would have if you had stayed home. And the memories and experiences you have shared in your travels will bind you two together for a lifetime.