Words by: Beth Commons
This one time I went to Europe for three months with my boyfriend. It was cool, man. Europe is dirty and cool and full of pickpockets. I’m not here to tell you about Europe, though, Wikipedia that shit. I’m here to help you navigate the intensely stressful times you’re bound to have when travelling with another human being. Particularly when that human being is the person you’re in love with.
1. Bring enough money, idiot.
Money is one of those things that you need to live. You need money especially when you’ve accidentally got on the wrong train and you’re accidentally going to Poland and accidentally having to spend an extra $360 to get there. That’s a rough situation. When this rough situation happened to me in rough, real time my love was very, very mad at me. We had to pay this aforementioned $360 using my credit card. We had to pay for a lot of stuff using my credit card. Nothing like a credit card debt to really put you in the mood. The mood for like…murder.
2. Eat Polish dumplings tho.
Bond over food. Food in Europe is all over the shop. It’s cheap, too. If you’ve just had a huge argument over which leaky tram to take, go sit in a restaurant and eat a Polish dumpling. Eat twelve. They’re delicious. Drink a mulled beer. ‘What the fuck is a mulled beer?’ I hear you guffaw. It’s delicious. Drink one. You’re in Europe, who even cares?
3. Pack every fucking sock you own.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. I started running out of socks around day four of our Eurotrip and I think my companion maybe packed about one pair of socks. He didn’t even pack socks, what am I talking about, he just wore them there. It got to a point where his feet smelled so bad everywhere we went that I could smell them whilst I ate churros and I could almost taste the stench as we bicycled high through Vondelpark.
I ended up going insane with the smell. I screamed a lot. About the smell of his feet. Then he made a positive change. He started reusing my socks. My dirty socks. He started reusing them. This, of course, meant that he transferred his dank foot odour onto all of my socks and no matter how many sinks-filled-with-weird-smelling-hand-soap I soaked my socks in, the smell lingered. Fucking gross.
I ended up just buying my socks (on my credit card) as I went. One time I sat on the floor of a busy train station in Naples, Italy and removed my crusty, brown sock and shoe combo and put some new ones on. This, apparently, is not a commonly accepted practice in Naples’ train stations. Which blows my mind and leads me to my next point.
4. Naples will tear us apart.
Don’t go to Naples, friends. If you love yourself and value your relationship, you won’t go to Naples. Naples is Europe’s butthole.
5. Always be on each other’s side.
When it comes down to it, and it very often does come down to it; it’s you two against Europe. Don’t side with the cruel hostel receptionist that won’t give you your money back when one of you decides that you’re too weird and introverted to stay in this weird orgy hostel. I’m not naming anyone here but I, Beth Commons, had a rage blackout and howled outside the reception for the longest time until she gave us back our money.
I’m going to take this opportunity to say thank you to Sam who very patiently tried to explain to the receptionist over my resonant wails that it was very important that she just gives us our money back. At first he thought I was being ridiculous. Which I was. But then I think he remembered that he wasn’t spending the rest of the journey with the receptionist, but with me, Beth. Nice 1, Sam.
6. Don’t get mad that they can’t take a decent photo of you.
I got very, very uppity about the fact that all of the photos Sam took of me were over-exposed and made me look like some sort of tourist. Please can you JUST for ONCE IN YOUR FUCKING LIFE TAKE A CANDID PHOTO OF ME IN FRONT OF THE EIFFEL TOWER THAT MAKES ME LOOK LIKE I LIVE HERE AND IT’S NO BIG DEAL THAT I LIVE HERE? No deal, friend. You’re a tourist, your companion is not a professional photographer. Deal with it, little lamb.
7. Don’t break up.
Mother Europe is not the place to break up. When you’re crying in a huge German train station because you can’t find the train you need and your companion has said something not entirely to your liking, don’t suddenly decide that this is the opportune moment to break off your five year relationship. Take a lot of deep breaths, friend. Sit the fuck down. Just don’t break up. Wait until you’re home in your bedroom to break up. If you still feel hollow when you look at them, then maybe act on it. Stress does crazy things to a person, and you need to remember that it is not your companion’s fault that you’re neurotic. We came home and I realised that I was still deeply in love. Easy peasy.