Alisha Popat & Hannes Eckmayr
We met at my aunt’s food truck at The Alchemist Bar. I’ll admit that I made the first move. I saw this tall, handsome man struggling to choose a meal off the menu and swooped in to save the day. My recommendation was excellent, so we spent the next hour eating our crispy chicken poussin together, drinking whiskey and chatting.
The best part about travelling together is that we get to fulfil a common shared love for travel, with our individual favourite human being! There’s the popular saying that ‘couples who travel together stay together’. Travelling will reveal who you really are…your strengths, weaknesses, fears and passions. You get to grow together and create memories that make your relationship stronger.
The most romantic destination we’ve been to together is a toss up between Rome and Cape Town. Rome was so romantic because having lived there for a while, he knew exactly where to take me and what I would like. Our days were filled with good food and wine, long walks through cobbled streets listening to street performers, gardens filled with oranges and cathedrals covered in historic art. I used to live in Cape Town and knew that after I showed him around, he wouldn’t want to leave. Swimming with seals, wine tasting all day, sunset horse rides down deserted beaches, cuddling in a cave overlooking the ocean listening to Xavier Rudd…this was no doubt one of the most romantic destinations we have travelled together.
Travel tips for couples: If you’re travelling to a place that your partner hasn’t been to before, surprise them! Don’t plan too much ahead of time and keep things mysterious by not sharing all the planned activities. Don’t share a suitcase; take your own to avoid silly tiffs. Challenge each other by choosing activities that neither of you has done before. Finally, remember to date someone who is home and an adventure all at once.
Chandni Parmar & Nikhil Shah
We met in high school when we were both 15, and we stayed really good friends ever since. We however only started dating in our final years at university.
Couples should travel together because you really get to know each other. You are together 24.7, and there is no escape! You discover pet peeves you didn’t even know you had. Traveling together for a few weeks is honestly the ultimate relationship test, so do it.
The best part about travelling together is that being each other’s best friends, there’s never a dull moment. We make each other laugh, always cook together and it’s nice to have a cuddle buddy on hand. We also have similar interests so that makes trips all the more fun. When you’ve been together for long, the “remember when…” conversations a few years down the line are priceless.
As far as romantic destinations go, Diani Beach is really close to our hearts but I’d say our trip to California where we rented a Mustang and drove down to San Diego was pretty epic for us. It was like being in a movie. We had dinner at a restaurant on a pier and watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. San Diego was a dream!
Travel tips for couples: Just consider one another’s interests. We’re lucky to enjoy similar things but sometimes there’s stuff I want to do more than he does and vice versa, so just learn to compromise.
Our next trip will be back to Sieku Glamping for my birthday. It’s one of our favourite places in Laikipia. Later in the year, we’re planning to visit Italy together, so fingers crossed things work out.
Jan Fox & Gabriella Waugh
We first met 10 years ago at university in London, in the courtyard of our student halls. I was fresh off the boat from Kenya while she grew up in the countryside in the south of England. We were friends through most of uni but got closer in our final year, and I eventually managed to convince her to move out to Kenya with me.
When Gabie first moved to Kenya I just really enjoyed taking her to places that meant a lot to me growing up. Now, six years down the line, we’re discovering new places together. We learnt very quickly that we shared the same travel interests so deciding where to go next is never difficult. We’re both keen campers, too, which diversifies our options and means that we can travel on a budget. Kenya is full of fantastic out-of-the-way camping spots and we love nothing more than spending our weekends exploring them together.
The most romantic destination we’ve been to has to be the Robin Hurt’s campsite in Shaba. We’ve got a real soft spot for this little reserve – mainly because it’s where I proposed! The campsite sits on a broad bend of the Ewaso Nyiro River, and is shaded by doum palms and acacias – what more could you want? The week after we got engaged we spent a night at The Cliff in Lake Nakuru National Park and that was a pretty special trip too.
Travel tips for couples: Don’t always rely on your partner to pack what they say they are going to pack before a trip. I’m often guilty of leaving things behind, so double-checking doesn’t hurt. We use an extensive checklist now when we pack for our camping trips to make sure that we don’t forget anything essential.
Our next big trip will probably be to take the Chogoria route up Mount Kenya, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Not to the summit, but to spend a few days camping by Lake Michaelson.
Brian Musili & Elizabeth Mutua Musili
We met 26 years ago in nursery school. Brian says I was the most annoying person he had ever met because I was that deskmate who harassed him a lot. We lost touch in high school but reconnected the year he graduated. We’ve been inseparable since then and actually got married in 2017.
Traveling together offers room for mistakes to be made and flaws to be revealed. You however quickly understand that there will always be challenges and learn to forgive each other and move on, otherwise the whole trip might be ruined.
Traveling together is exciting and always reminds us of the reasons why we are together. Sometimes we’ll set off on an impromptu trip right after an argument. We’ll leave the house mad at each other but once we hit the road, we are always back to laughing and cracking jokes.
The most romantic destination we’ve been to is Pwani Mchangani in Zanzibar. The lodge we stayed in was a true lovebirds’ nest. We visited Mnemba island and got to enjoy exciting activities like snorkeling, diving and swimming with dolphins. The highlight of the trip was however our interaction with the locals at a village near Mnemba. Their stories made us appreciate their struggles, how that brings out the best in them and makes them stronger. Getting to know people and hearing their stories is one of our favourite aspects of travel.
Travel tips for couples: Take up activities that involve teamwork. Enjoy some time separately whether that’s swimming or simply reading a book and remember to have fun and make something special out of the smallest of things. In 2015, for instance, we planned a trip to visit a friend in Arusha and what was supposed to be a regular trip that turned out to be a great milestone in our lives. While in Tanzania, we got engaged while on safari in Serengeti National park, and that was quite memorable.
Our next trip is to The Maldives. We’ve been planning this for the longest time possible and 2019 might just be the year that we actually make the trip. We want to go diving there and see some Manta rays, swim with whale sharks and also get to see the bioluminescent phytoplankton in the waters at Vaadhoo island.