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For the past 18 months Alyssa and I have been married, living in an RV, and traveling the country together. Last year we did our initial Hourly America tour and this year we’ve been working together in the RV, traveling a bit less, and flying more often. Something I didn’t anticipate would be all of the challenges we’d have to work through together in marriage and on the road.
Before we even bought the RV, people were already giving us a hard time.
“You’re crazy. I could never live in such a small space with my husband/wife.” This was probably the most typical response we received. But we decided to jump in and go for it anyway. And after doing it for the past 18 months, I feel like I can provide some insight into what it’s actually like to live, work, and travel with your significant other.
The Good Parts of Working and Traveling With Your Spouse
We get to spend all of our time together. For some couples this might not be a good thing, but I love it. I enjoy that we both don’t have to go to separate offices everyday, our office is our home.
The spontaneity. We can take breaks throughout the day to go on walks, watch The Office or Friends, or take a nap together (we do this everyday). I love not having a specific structure to how we spend everyday, I thrive on that. I think we both do.
The bonding. I feel because we spend so much time together, we get an extraordinary amount of bonding time. We get to go on mini adventures together all the time.
Camaraderie. We’ve met quite a few couples who work in different industries and when talking with them, I’m grateful that Alyssa and I are both writers and working on a film together. I feel like because we are working on similar and usually the same projects, we always have someone who can relate to what the other is going through.
The Challenging Parts
I’m going to be PC in this blog and not call it “the bad” :). There are definitely a ton of challenges to working and traveling with your spouse. It’s not all waterfalls and rainbows.
We not only work together… we do creative work together. Yesterday I was listening to a podcast about film making and this guy was talking about how challenging it is to work in the same industry as your significant other. I would agree with that. Alyssa and I butt heads while watching footage together or planning out the future. I’m always trying to overload myself with more work and that can be a nuisance for her. I’m slowly learning.
We approach work/leisure time differently. Something that’s been a big reoccurring issue for us has been the different ways we approach work and leisure time. I tend to work later and spend more time on the weekends working, while Alyssa needs a bit more time to recharge. The only problem is that we are always together. So while Alyssa is resting and I’m working, she feels guilty for not working. During that time I feel guilty for not spending time with her. We both feel anxious that we should be doing the same thing the other person is doing. Something it’s taken time for both of us to learn has been to respect the other persons’ needs. I won’t put pressure on Alyssa to work more than she’s capable and she won’t pressure me to watch TV if I feel like working. This is something we’re still figuring out.
There is a lack of surprise. Because we’re always together, we basically know everything that’s happening in each other’s lives. One time when Alyssa used to live in New Orleans I hopped on a late night bus and knocked on her front door at 5AM. She had no idea. It was spontaneous and we had an amazing weekend together. I would never want us to be apart again, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to insert some element of surprise. Being together always makes this difficult.
I wrote this blog because I wanted to illustrate what it’s been like working together on the road and as a team. It’s been challenging, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it for anything in the world.
Right now Alyssa and I are at the airport in Austin about to hop on a flight. I’m speaking this week in Atlanta and Chicago to different companies. Something that has been a constant in our marriage has been chaos and constant movement. But because we’re partners, we’re going together.
The best part about working on the road with your spouse is that you always have a team mate.
When things break down, Alyssa is there. When I found us a sponsor for our documentary, Alyssa was right there beside me saying that she’d film me working 50 jobs across America. I can barely operate Google maps, none the less execute a 50 state road trip across the country– that was all her.
I dream and she helps us execute. I help us find clients and people to work with and she makes sure we hit all our deadlines.
Working together with Alyssa has been the greatest thing I never knew I wanted in a marriage. I didn’t grow up with parents that work together, but working with Alyssa through the good and bad has been the best part of my life. I would definitely recommend it.
Do you have any questions about working together with your spouse while traveling? Or do you have any experience working with your significant other on the road? Leave a comment below, would love to hear!
What you have is what I would love to have in a marriage: teamwork, balancing each other out, and truly enjoying each others’ company.
Do you guys have things to talk about during down time (like over dinner)? Or has it already been said?
Lol, we still do have things to talk about. We had breakfast with someone yesterday who has been married for close to 30 years and he said he still learns new things about his wife. Something we’ve done that I love is incorporate “family time” into our dinner. We say a few things we are grateful for + what we are looking forward to. It’s kind of a format that allows us to open up and talk about things that matter :).
That’s a great communication idea to incorporate during dinner. Love it! Where’d you get that?
Some day you two will be able to write a book on marriage while on the road! 🙂
Lol that might be awhile 🙂 still working on it! We just created it during a time of chaos. Last October things were just super busy and stressful and we wanted to incorporate something into our daily routine that would allow us to be grateful and have something to look forward too.
Heath- I think what you have is quite special. Yes, even spouses need down time alone, but many couples would love to live life as a team in the unique way you and Alyssa do. Continued success to you both!
Thanks John! Really appreciate it. Hope all is well out in Santa Cruz, we definitely miss it out there and you guys!
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