You might not want to marry him yet. You’re still getting to know him and sometimes you don’t really know someone even after dating them for a long time. Hell, you’re not even sure if you want to get married — your friends are getting divorced at the drop of a hat, and even those who are married cheat on each other.
Then again, you met a boy. He’s cute, fun, and likes to browse the travel guides section at the bookstore. Or maybe he’s just that guy who sits across the hall at work. Lately you’ve been having slumber parties a few times a week at his place and you’ve just about edged your way into your own drawer space.
He’s seen your morning face, you’ve met all his childhood friends from his geekier days and now he wants to see the world with you. These are big steps, and now you’re taking the ultimate step of travelling together.
Once you hit the road together, these are the things you need to pay attention to, if you’re sizing him up for the future.
Empathy: Watch how he treats others
When you travel, you’ll meet people from all walks of life. Does he yell at tuk tuk drivers in a new city when they misunderstand his request? Does he get grossed out by people who are different, or scoff in the face of the underprivileged? Recently, I saw a guy at the airport throw a hissy fit and demand that the woman in front of him move so he could bypass the lineup everyone else was in. His girlfriend looked super embarrassed, and I was super annoyed. The way your man treats people with less power will show you how kind he will be to everyone along the way.
Daddy Material: The “Aww” Factor
Maybe it has something to do with chilling out while on the road, but for some reason people notice babies more while travelling, so you’ll likely end up cooing at them together at some point. I once dated a guy who grimaced every time he saw a kid and he came off as cold and immature. If he’s not uncomfortable showing his softer side around children, then he could make for solid hubby and daddy material. This is a good opportunity to judge whether he’s good with kids, because that’s always a possibility, if things last with you two.
Taking care of you
It’s not like you need taking care of. You’re far from needy and demanding and you fancy yourself a strong, independent girl. But, man or woman, everybody likes being taken care of sometimes. Is he considerate of your hunger pangs after walking across a city? Does he lend you a hand, if you stumble a few times while hiking up a small mountain? Does he always know where you are, even if you’re each doing your own thing? Or, is he the kind who will walk too far ahead of you in crowded markets and not watch out for you out of the corner of his eye?
Taking care of business
When you travel together, you’ll see how well he handles the little but impactful things in life. Pay attention to how he chooses shared accommodations and splurges on indulgences. You’ll either get really turned on by his surprising organizational skills or find him intolerable when things fall apart. Or, perhaps you’ll lose your wallet halfway through your trip and he’ll concoct a brilliant plan to save the day. You’ll also see how much of a control freak he is. If he’s type A and expects everything his way, it’s a sign he’ll try to run your household with an iron fist, too.
Everybody has moods, and fights are inevitable when travelling. If you’re in the same place together at length, this is heightened by the fact that you can’t just get rid of each other. Travelling will show you how patient he is, and his willingness to compromise and fix things in order to make the most of your trip. Going on a trip together is not just about exploring a place; it’s about discovering each other, too. By wandering, getting lost, and plotting new routes together, you’ll soon realize just how many sides there are to your man and whether or not he’s a keeper. If so, then it might be time to plan the next destination – your honeymoon.
Caroline is an Indo-Canadian writer, musician and digital geek who can pack a small suitcase in under 30 minutes. Some days she likes dancing in the sand, getting lost in new cities and talking to strangers. Other days she prefers sitting on a bench or rock and people watching. Follow her on Twitter @caro2point0