Love and Travel – Maintaining a healthy relationship as a digital nomad couple

by | Jan 16, 2024 | 2 comments

Maintaining a healthy relationship as a digital nomad couple can be challenging – and it can be a huge opportunity for deeper connection. 

After traveling together across Asia and Europe as a digital nomad couple, my boyfriend Badr and I found out what must be true for us in order to facilitate and grow as partners, individuals, and business owners.

Falling in love is amazing. Being able to love unconditionally is testament to the inner healing you’ve done. Maintaining a healthy relationship takes work, commitment, and choosing the relationship every single day, no matter if you’re settled or traveling. 

Here are six things Badr and I have put in place to maintain a healthy relationship as a digital nomad couple specifically while we’re constantly changing environments, apartments, cultures, and continents. 

Which ones do you agree with? What am I missing? Let me know in the comments. 

maintaining a healthy relationship as a digital nomad couple
Badr and I on my birthday in Gran Canary Island

1. KEEP YOUR ROUTINES THE SAME ACROSS COUNTRIES

Routines might sound mundane, not like the secret ingredient of a healthy digital nomad relationship (and business!).

Besides, any couple needs to find out what works for them, settled or traveling. AND, we’ve found that being intentional about maintaining certain routines is crucial in helping the relationship grow and deepen amidst external change. Here are our objectives for the routines we established: 

  • Connection
  • Understand and meet each other’s needs
  • Facilitate communication 
  • Establish intimacy and celebration 

Here are just a few examples of things we carry out around the globe: 

  • We keep our Sundays open to explore the countries we’re in. Together. 
  • We have a 60-90 minutes check-in every Monday morning. We go over our respective business goals, domestic needs and requests, fears and anxieties, and discuss anything from client acquisition strategy over SEO to specific client situations. Our objective here is to celebrate one another, support our businesses, and set ourselves up for success. 
  • Household: I keep the kitchen clean, Badr keeps the bathroom clean. We shop for groceries on the same day of the week and tend to keep our home-cooked diet the same. 
  • De-briefs: We make time to connect every single night before bed, even if it’s on the plane. 

Maintaining these routines across countries not only helps the relationship, but also helps us settle into a new country more quickly. That way, we can maintain business operations more easefully while traveling and can start to explore a place more quickly. 

DO THIS WEEK

Have a conversation with your partner about which routines can support you in maintaining a healthy relationship (and communication + business) while traveling. 

2. BUDGET FOR YOUR ACCOMMODATION NEEDS

I’ll regularly meet couples that live in a one-bedroom villa in Bali with an outside kitchen and pool. There’s a desk inside and a kitchen table outside.

Honestly, I don’t know how they don’t tear each other’s hair out. I get that budget can be a hindrance to booking a bigger apartment, and respect that.

But in general, I suggest that you get very honest about your apartment needs as you travel and make room for those needs in your budget. BE GENEROUS – your home will be your base for your business, your relationship, AND your sanctuary for me-time. It’s key to a healthy relationship for a digital nomad couple.  

These needs may be different from your needs when you are (were) settled. And it also depends on your type of work. For example, Badr and I both serve many individual clients. Having two offices is a must-have for us to facilitate a private and confidential space for our coaching calls. Moreover, we prioritize sleep, healthy food, and our businesses. Based on that, we have a non-negotiable list of amenities we seek out: two offices (or bedrooms + desk), fully equipped kitchen, either two bedrooms or a king-sized bed, and A.C. 

Adding all these in might require you to up your rent-budget and decrease another part of your budget. In my experience, doing so has been a huge blessing to the health of my business, body, and relationship. 

Note- I started my relationship inside this literal shoebox-apartment in Tokyo. And we made it work – with a lot of communication, sexy time, calls taken seated against the bathroom door, and humility. With love present, there’s always a way. AND…I’m not gonna go back to that place. 

DO THIS WEEK:

Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves that your apartments around the world must provide in order to support your relationship, you as individuals, and your business. See how you need to adjust your rent-budget. 

3. TALK ABOUT MONEY REGULARLY. MORE FREQUENTLY THAN YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE SETTLED.

As a digital nomad couple where both partners have spikey entrepreneurial income, BOTH your income and expenses can fluctuate significantly depending on the business and country you are in.

Learning how to communicate about money has helped us build a “Rich Life”, encourages us to celebrate, and gives us peace of mind throughout the month. 

You’re going to be spending in different currencies, paying 50K Rupia for a coffee in Bali, 10,000 Baht for lunch in the Philippines, and 70EURs on your weekly groceries in Spain. And with varying cost of living in, say, Bali versus London, you may need to adjust your budget rather drastically. 

None of these factors are present if you’re settled. For us, the keyword is visibility: We both have access to our shared budgeting spreadsheet. We both add to our daily expense app, we know each other’s monthly revenue, and when the next AirBnB installment is due.  

We also both use a Wise Travel Card to minimize costs in foreign transaction fees and increase security when spending internationally.

Big shout out to Ramit Sethi at this point – his book, I Will Teach you to be Rich, lays out how to eliminate debt, automate your spending, and begin to build up your savings and investments. Ramit’s show and podcast are expertly curated and can teach any couple how to develop stronger communication skills around money. We listen to his podcast every time we’re in the car.

Learning how to communicate about money is a game-changer. It’s the foundation for your day-to-day spending just as much as it is a cornerstone aspect of your longer-term goals. Being intentional about discussing budgets once every month and a few times before moving countries will provide you with a blueprint for the rest of your stay. How are you talking about money? 

DO THIS MONTH:

Discuss and implement at least two steps you can take as a couple to gain visibility and improve your budget planning by at least 10%. 

4. SEEK COMMUNITY both as a couple and alone

Together and apart from each other. A certain fixation on one another might emerge when you’re traveling as a digital nomad couple.

You’ll want to be intentional about seeking community, connection, and contact with others outside of the relationship. For example, be sure to chat up the person next to you at the Café or the yoga studio you go to.

Attend MeetUps (or throw one yourself!). Frankly, community is the only reason why I join co-working and co-living places. 

In the same vein, be sure you’re maintaining your friendships back home – keep your tribe healthy, and you will maintain a healthy relationship with your fellow traveler. 

DO THIS MONTH:

Attend a networking event or meet a new person at least twice this month. Have it be so that at least one is a solo-experience for each of you. 

5. SET AND DISCUSS YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS REGULARLY

It’s tempting to not think beyond the next flight or country, isn’t it? It’s easy to talk about what you want to do once you get to Spain, or get hung up on AirBnB searches for Vietnam. But you’re not travel buddies. You’re partners. So be sure you talk about the big picture things regularly: 

  • Where/when do you want to settle? What sort of house should we live in? 
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
  • Should we integrate our businesses into one entity? 
  • When do you feel most vulnerable? 
  • What’s a long-held dream you don’t think is possible to attain? 

Most importantly, WORK towards these goals. If you want your relationship to last, you’ve got to be working towards a lasting relationship, choosing your commitment to one another every single day.

What can you do TODAY to get one step closer to your goals as a couple? What one thing can you implement TODAY? What adjustment can you make to your travel itinerary to help facilitate a goal of your partner? 

We talk about a few different types of goals regularly: How we want to live once we settle. Our business goals and dreams. Our intimate life. And our goals for our communication.

The more we talk about it, we find, the more our travels can begin to help build towards these dreams. We also don’t shy away from seeking out help when we feel stuck or feel that we can break through a limiting belief. 

DO THIS WEEK:

Set aside at least an hour to talk about your goals. Can you be intentional about adding these kinds of conversations to your routines? 

THE OPPORTUNITY OF IT ALL:

From both lived experience and what I’ve observed in some of my clients, traveling as a couple is amazing – it can be a catalyst into an unknown depth of connection, intimacy, and love. Yes, there are challenges, and you’ll see different facets of your partner in different environments, and every single one of these challenges, when faced with love and honesty, is just another gateway into MORE. If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this: 

How can I be more intentional about having travel be the thing that facilitates a deeper connection with my partner? 

Tell me in the comments, what do you love most about traveling with your Love? And which of these tips will you integrate into your relationship? 

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2 Comments

  1. Simone

    Wow, reading about your adventures as a digital nomad couple is like flipping through the pages of a thrilling travel diary! It’s awesome how you and Badr have figured out the perfect recipe for keeping your relationship strong while globe-trotting. Your tips on sticking to routines, chatting about money (the ultimate taboo, right?), and setting long-term goals hit close to home – it’s like you’re speaking right to us fellow wanderers! Thanks for sharing your insights in such a down-to-earth way. Can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next – keep living that nomad life to the fullest!

    Reply
    • Dina-Marie Weineck

      I so appreciate your comment, Simone. Thank you! I wonder if I should write more about money…money mindset/psychology, money management, etc.? I’d love to hear your questions and I’ll be sure to answer them in a next post.
      love, Dina

      Reply

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