Lessons Learned as a Backpacking Couple

August 23, 2017


I believe a large part of the fun and excitement when backpacking is the research that goes into looking into the next destination. It helps me to look forward and prepares me for what is to come. I also believe in going with the flow and learning as you go, however I am so happy Kevin researched a little about Nusa Lembongan before we headed out to the island. A key piece of information learned was there would be few options for transportation, mostly consisting of bicycles and motorbikes. When we found out where our hotel was in comparison to where the boat would drop us off, it appeared to be a nice 4km walk… Perfect! I was actually really excited to finally put my backpack to the test and enjoy the purposeful workout in the process.


According to the map we looked at the night before, once we got off the boat in Nusa Lembongan, we should hang a left and follow the beach. Simple. The first thing we noticed once we arrived was there was a massive cliff making that plan impossible. We took off on our walk with me leading the way along a new path. Kevin quickly realized we were going in the wrong direction, however I urged him to keep following my plan. You would be dripping sweat out of every pore by simply sitting in the shade, sipping on your ice cold Bintang, (which I can vouch for) so you can imagine we were dropping some serious water weight lugging our 40 pound bags in the scorching sun, walking up and down dusty old roads. I was surprisingly cheerful, and loving every second. When I hear that it’s snowing already in Calgary, I find it hard to complain about the heat.  Kevin on the other hand was not too happy with me as I promised I was leading him in the right direction when he could clearly see I was delusional.  But it is a testament to how much he loves me (and maybe how often he proves to be directionally challenged himself) that he let me do my thing. After approximately 2km and calves burning, we ended up in the exact same location we started. Oops, sorry Kevin!


I let Kevin lead this time and although we had to do some trekking in the ocean (as seen in the picture above we made it to our hotel safe and sound 7km later. We learned some valuable lessons through this experience…


     1. Getting lost is part of the fun

It may not have been the most efficient way to walk, but we got to see a part of the island we normally wouldn’t have. It can be hard to admit that it’s all part of the journey in the moment but that’s the essence of backpacking. If we wanted an easy experience, we probably shouldn’t have gone travelling. And most importantly, the walk ended up being a great way to justify the many beers we enjoyed later.


     2. Look for ways to snap out of it when your in “grump mode”

I don’t want to bully Kevin, but he was not the happiest of campers. However, while lost, a young girl came up next to him and started to join in our journey. She got Kevin talking and smiling and something clicked where he totally snapped out of it and realized that this was a beautiful moment and he would be just fine!


     3. Apologize!

“You were right” and “I’m sorry” are hard words to say, but apologizing is so important. Acknowledging when you messed up is hella good for the ego as well. We can’t be right all of the time, and when we aren’t right, laugh about it and move on. Kevin could have rubbed it in my face with a big fat, “told ya so”  but he didn’t (isn’t he perfect!?) because it’s obvious I was wrong and there is no point dwelling on what I should have or could have done differently. Learn from the experience and move on.


Reflecting on these moments can actually be fun. I know I sound like a nerd, but talking about what we learned has proven to enhance our ability to communicate more clearly with each other. In my experience, more open communication leads to way more fun for both people.


Over and out,


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