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PMS, Politics, and Personal Space

PMS, politics, and personal space – how to not want to unfriend your travel companion while traveling, backpacking, or just spending too much time together.Traveling with someone is a great way to test out a relationship. You and your travel companion are in close proximity for a long time. And most of the time, you are around each other every minute of every day. This is true especially if you backpack. Personal space is important.

When exploring a city maybe you want to go to the museum, while your travel partner wants to go to the aquarium. Neither one of you has the want to see what the other does, so you split up. But with backpacking, you are working together to accomplish a goal – a goal of climbing a mountain, a goal of seeing a glacier or waterfall, a goal of exploring a forest from point A to point B. One of you has the the food, while the other has the shelter. With backpacking, you have to work together. And you are going to the same locations, so you are around each other all the time.

In addition to being around each other all the time, travel will test out your relationship because you are both tired, cranky, and overstimulated.

PMS or bad moods

I know, I know, I’m not very feminist here when I say PMS can affect a trip. Women shouldn’t be treated different than men, and that is true. But I have also been diagnosed with PPMD. PPMD is PMS symptoms that are so severe they can affect your life.

Sometimes I get so anxious I want to jump out of my skin. Or I get migraines because of the drop in estrogen, and it makes me on edge. Before I was diagnosed, I took it out on the people around me. But now that I recognize what it happening, I use a lot more grace with the people around me.

But like I said, we shouldn’t treat women different than men. I’ve know several men who have major bad moods. And I too have been know to be in a very bad mood, even when it’s not PPMD.

The key here is to recognize a bad mood and separate yourself from it.

Ask yourself, “Is my hiking partner being extra annoying today, or is it my perception?” Sometimes because you’re tired, cranky, and have been around someone for days on end, you are more apt to get annoyed with them.

Also this is not a good time to finally tell them the way they do something annoys the fire out of you and it has the whole time you’ve known them. It will come across wrong. Believe me; I made this mistake.

If you’re feeling extra moody one day, perhaps trying to put a little physical space between the two of you. Slow your pace, a little and take in the scenery. This will also help you have some personal space and cut down on the 24/7 togetherness.

Personal space

And that brings me to my second point – the need for personal space. There are some people who can spend every minute of every day with one person and be OK. I am not one of them.

Just as in any long-term relationship where there is constant togetherness, normal things begin to get on my nerves. It’s not what some is doing that really is the problem. It’s that this particular person is doing this particular thing, and it drives me crazy!

I used to complain about a person who would do something I found extremely annoying. I then realized I was complaining to my best friend who did the same thing.

“Oh, but when you do it, it’s totally fine!” I told her. As soon as the sentence left my lips, I realized she probably didn’t believe me. But honestly it was just when the person who annoyed me did it, that it bothered me.

Even certain words can get on your nerves. “I hate the way she says {insert word here}.”

And all of this annoyance is because you spend a great deal of time with someone. So like I said in the previous section, maybe when your hiking partner’s little ticks start to bug you too much, fall back and give yourselves a little space. Or after you set up camp, cozy in with a book. Getting lost in a book a great way to have personal space when you are still in the company of another person. There are others things you can do to find space, like write in your journal.

And the longer you are in a relationship with someone, the shorter your annoyance fuse is going to be. This is simply because you have moved past the being polite stage. You are hardest on the people you know who won’t leave you.

Politics or passionate disagreements

Our political climate right now is extremely divided. I realize you might find it important to stand up for your beliefs. But the start of a week-long trip is not the time to try to convert your hiking partner to your line of thinking.

This is also not a good time to bring up unresolved issues between the two of you. You will not be able to escape each other for the next week.

Whether you remember your trip as the time you couldn’t get along, or “you turn this car around and go home!” You will regret it later down the line.

I believe you should just steer clear of politics unless you both agree whole-heartedly. Actually, scratch that. Even those conversations can drift into politics you don’t quite line up on, so just steer clear all together.

Hiking in harmony with each other

Sometimes when you spend a lot of time with friends on the backpacking trail, and they seem to getting on your nerves, it’s easy to question whether you are truly kindred spirits. But don’t make any relationship decisions on the trail. You are probably both just getting on each other nerves. Bad moods and too much togetherness can take a toll. Just remember there are probably reasons you two are getting on each other, and nerves that has nothing to do with you as people.

Remember to let things go, put your bad moods and politics aside, and give each other space. Then you will be hiking in harmony with each other more often.

PMS, politics, and personal space – how to not want to unfriend your travel companion while traveling, backpacking, or just spending too much time together.

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