Since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the couple is, par excellence, the protagonist of the journey. And as anthropologist Jean-Didier Urbain, a tourism specialist, says, the archetype of travel as a couple is of course the honeymoon. A travel “obligated, offered and openly initiatory” which allows you to devote yourself to the other and to focus on love.
Therefore, any getaway for two is perceived as “an enchanted parenthesis”analyzes for her part the psychosociologist Patricia Delahaie. “It’s a moment when the couple multiplies the opportunities to discuss what they see, what they experience, the people they meet. Everything is exotic, even the topics of conversation. Physically, too, the spouses get closer, and not only at night, she continues. They are side by side on the plane, the train, in the photos… Closer than ever, in short. »
“Getting to know your spouse better”
The trip takes the couple out of routine and prosaic subjects and gives them the opportunity to share impressions and sensations. “One will like a flavor or a color and ask the other for their opinion, adds the author of how to love each other forever (The Duke). These exchanges will allow you to get to know your spouse better, but also to get to know yourself better.. »
From him, Jeremy learned that he was “able to bounce back” and “to relativize” about some material issues. “When you travel backpacking, you realize that another life is possible”, he jokes. At Sandy, his companion, the young 33-year-old engineer says he discovered a “tremendous generosity” and “organizational ability” that he did not see “not necessarily on a daily basis”.
Settled for three years in the United Arab Emirates, where the couple “seized a professional opportunity”they traveled for eleven months between Iran, Southeast Asia and New Zealand, before returning to France in 2018.
Experiential couples therapy
If the trip gives the opportunity to get to know each other better, it can also make us discover aspects that we like less in others or in ourselves. The longer the journey and the more off the beaten path, the more it exposes the spouses to this disappointment. “Travel is experiential couple therapy,” even says Jean-Didier Urbain. Leaving as a couple is “an act of emancipation from family, friendly or professional social networks to move towards discovery, but it is also a sharing of hardships that can consolidate or explode the couple”, reminds the book author The trip was almost perfect (Ed. Petite Bibl. Payot).
Jeremy confirms: “It is a revelation for spouses, he analyzes with hindsight. You have to get along well and trust each other because you can only count on the other or on yourself. » The young man recognizes that the couple has sometimes experienced difficult times. ” This adventure united us, but it was also an ordeal in discomfort, with budgetary restrictions, the unknown and moments of insecurity. »
A moment of truth for spouses
In the adventure, it is necessary to manage the daily life, the activities, the organization of the time and “especially the unexpected, whereas in a trip of two or three weeks, everything is planned”raises the globetrotter. The enchanted parenthesis would only last a while, he even suggests. “It is difficult to make efforts in the long term. After one or two months, the natural comes back at a gallop andt, there, it is a moment of truth for the couple. »
Anaëlle and Cyril, who left for ten months on a traveling trip to China and South-East Asia, for example needed to take time alone so as not to be together 24 hours a day. “My partner would get up early to go do yoga or read and I would go for a walk while he was taking a nap. Without those breaths, I’m not sure the trip would have gone so well.” she confides (Read more of the testimonial here).
“Each one is a bit in the rough”
The needs of the spouses do not always agree naturally. One may want to push the adventure by being satisfied with rudimentary hygienic conditions, while the other will want to stay connected, take a real shower and sleep in a bed. “In this kind of trip, everyone is a bit in a raw state, observes Patricia Delahaie. IThere is no longer too much room for seduction.We must take into account the promiscuity of bodies, smells… It’s a real moment of sharing. »
Couples who go on an adventure often consider that they are a little apart, according to the psychosociologist. “They like the unexpected and are happy with the solutions they find to deal with it, she says. They see themselves a little different from the others, more open, more courageous.And since they are in phase in sometimes difficult situations, they think that they are made for each other. »
Choose the right time, the right duration, and the type of trip
Must we then have already lived together to embark on a long-term journey? ” Not necessarily, replies Patricia Delahaie, love is also being carried away and going to places where we would not have gone alone. The important thing is to know yourself well and to be sure of your tastes. » On the other hand, she adds, there may be “moments more propitious than others for this kind of trip”.
The duration must also be evaluated. For Jean-Didier Urbain, leaving for more than a month “leave time to repair, to rebuild, because there are times when solidarity crumbles, when we do not interpret what we live in the same way and when we need time to discussion to continue on the road. »
The increasingly rare backpacking trip
Before starting, it is also necessary to agree on the type of trip, he advises. ” Backpacking has become rare. Couples prefer itinerant or stage trips with rentals booked in advance. » Among Voyageurs du monde, we also note an increase in longer, more unusual trips that are more focused on the great outdoors. A model that Jean-Didier Urbain compares to pilgrimages, “extremely fashionable”.
Jeremy and Anaëlle each keep an unforgettable memory of their adventure. ” VShe journey is a place where we draw to build our relationship”, said the native of Nantes by adoption. As for Anaëlle, now a mother of two children, she would like one day to repeat the same journey with her family.
The new aspirations of the French in terms of holidays
Relaxation and relaxation. The French want to take their time during their holidays (62%) to rest and recharge their batteries in peace (61%), according to the National Federation of Institutional Tourism Organizations.
Change of scenery, disconnection, discovery and enrichment. 78% of respondents want to discover landscapes and 68%, new places. The study also notes a strong demand for heritage discoveries (69%) and gastronomy (54%).
Comfort, well-being and nature. For future stays, the French are looking for more comfort and well-being (+10 points) as well as a return to nature (+4 points). They also yearn for longer vacations.