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Sexytime On The Road – Traveling The World Is NOT One Big Honeymoon

by Meg · 28 comments

Before I begin this article, I will apologize in advance for offending anyone or for sharing WAY to much detail about our private life with people… such as our parents.

But I feel like the topic of sex when traveling (especially long-term) is so misconstrued by non-nomadic folk, that I thought it was crucial to shed some light on the topic through my own experiences this past year traveling the world with my partner in crime (and loving husband), Tony.

sex when traveling with your spouse

Both during and after our RTW trip, I got a ton of “how do you do it”  type questions from friends and family… Surprisingly, a LARGE majority of these burning questions were around my sex life on the road! They went a little like this:

“What do you and Tony do with all your free time? You must have a TON of sex.”

“You’re living on a beach in Thailand for a month? Awesome – I bet you’ll be having LOTS of sex!”

“How’s the baby making going?”

…. This mildly invasive list of questions go on.

But somehow, people thought our year traveling the world would a be a romantic getaway and that we would be doing a lot of this…

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Dance

Photo Credit Dance of the Day

And because of this, my parents thought I would come home looking like this…


Photo Credit TMZ

But I am here to set this all straight. Because, a lot of times, it really was like this…

Bridesmaids Plane Scene

Photo credit Tumblr

And my thought on babies before/during/and after the trips remains the same…

Baby crying

Photo Credit thejewishmother.co.uk

Now, because I still feel a little weird writing about my sex life on our very public blog, I am going to jump in a little late in the article and introduce a code word to save face for the next few minutes. And because Tony and I love food, our sexytime code word for the purpose of this article will be:

Baking cookies.

Tony And I Don’t Bake Cookies with Others

I want to get this first point out early in my story. And yes, friends brave enough to ask actually questioned if we baked cookies with others… So I know other people are thinking it.

I sometimes have to remind Tony that sarcasm (such as when he comically references our membership with SwingingTravelers.com in past articles) doesn’t always translate in writing… and may come to bite us in the butt later.

And it did.

Yes, this question got asked over dinner with friends in Minneapolis after one too many cocktails.

And despite our shared dorm room living scenarios in South America and our weirdly long Hawaiian trips and retreats in the woods of northern California with our equally sexy travel buddies, Josh and Caroline of Traveling9to5, we DON’T bake cookies with others.

There’s not much more to elaborate on for this topic. Because let’s face it, I get wayyy too territorial when it comes to my man… and I’m not planning on sharing him with ANYONE!


Photo Credit PerezHilton.com

Moving on to our next point…

Traveling The World Is Not One Giant Cookie-Baking Vacation

Don’t worry. There is enough romance on the road to bake more than a few batches of cookies! My days traipsing through the countryside of France, the wine country in Italy, and the beaches of Indonesia with Tony were unfreakinbelieveable… And Tony and I enjoyed these moments to their fullest.

However, your sanity, health, and overall attractiveness is CONSTANTLY put to the test when you travel long-term.  And during this time, you learn a lot about your spouse’s preferences – especially when it comes to cookie baking.

For example, horrible travel days never seemed to affect Tony’s mood to bake cookies. We would have just wrapped up a 20 hour bus ride through the bumpy roads of Bolivia, where the bus’ bathroom was overflowing, the AC was broken, and a little kid was screaming for 75% of the trip in the seat infront of us.  By the time we FINALLY got to our luxurious 1-star hostel, Tony was ready to put some cookies in the oven. Here’s how THIS conversation typically went down:

Tony: “Hey baaaaaby. Lookin’ good. Now that we’re here, wanna bake some cookies?”

Meg: “How can you EVENT THINK about baking cookies after what I have just been through?!?!”

… This outburst of mine was usually followed by even more “I” and “me” statements… as if Tony (who just went through the same ordeal) had NO idea where I was coming from.

Yes, despite my typical zen ways, I can be a REAL diva when I want to be…

Baby Crying

On the other hand, cleanliness never seemed to affect my mood to bake some cookies.

Tony thought it was downright disgusting that I wanted to bake cookies after hiking Machu Picchu for 4 days and 3 nights without one ounce of soap or deodorant passing my body (okay maybe deodorant was used). And this is how this type of conversation went down:

Tony: “Meg, not no… just… get away from me.”

Meg: “Whatevs babe… “we aint nothing but mammals.”

And many times on the road, we BOTH didn’t entertain the idea of baking cookies. These totally off limit times included:

  • Sharing a hostel dorm room with 8 other coed backpackers
  • When we were actually ON 20+ hour bus rides
  • When travelling on an airplane – We have yet to join the mile high club (and probably never will) #gross
  • When couchsurfing at a friend or family’s place

And these travel scenarios happened quite a lot on the road!

Bottom line: traveling with your partner is not one giant cookie-baking extravaganza. Save your expectations for your one-week getaway vacation. Save your expectations for your honeymoon. Save your expectations for home.

When you are traveling long-tem, you shouldn’t have any expectations when it comes to baking cookies. So stop being hard on yourself and feeling like a failure if you’re just not “in the mood” 24/7 on the road with your partner. I am here to tell you that it’s OKAY.

Traveling can be luxurious at times, yes. But more often than not, it throws you some crazy curveballs and you aren’t always going to hit a homerun… hey OHHH!

After all of this cookie talk, I think I actually want some. Literally. Maybe chocolate chip?

Your turn: Do you travel with your spouse/partner? Do you find that your cookie baking habits change when you travel long-term? Don’t let me be the only one sharing all my naughty cookie baking secrets – Please share YOUR thoughts on the topic below in the Comments section!

About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

Dariece @GoatsOnTheRoad June 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Thank youuuuu for writing this! You’ve totally hit the nail on the head. Everyone thinks that just because you’re not working a 9-5 and are travelling that we just have tons of time to bake cookies! Well, ya there may be time, but like you said, we are feeling less than attractive, maybe have had the worst day ever, etc.

I recently wrote a post about how maybe backpacking can bring couples too close…there can be a lot of gross things that happen on the road that don’t exactly scream romance! haha

Cheers for the post, I can totally relate :)

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm

You’re welcome! So glad you appreciated the post. People have a hard time realizing that when you travel long-term, it isn’t a vacation and you are living a very REAL life – almost more real than back home. For me, the good days are the best days of my life, and the bad days…. well, they suck when you are on foreign soil. And your relationship sometimes suffers temporarily on those bad/yucky days. And yes, traveling brings couples INCREDIBLY close! But it has made Tony and I stronger than ever, so I wouldn’t take any of it back… with the exception of some food poisoning! 😉

OCDemon June 28, 2013 at 12:59 am

Those 20-bed coed hostel dorms don’t stop everyone, though. Earplugs, kids. They’re ALSO a form of “safety.”

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm

hahaha trust me, I KNOW. Earplugs were a lifesaver in the first few months when we did a lot of hostels… After that, we switched to private apartments and hotels/b&b/housesits when we traveled – The privacy was nice!

eemusings June 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

Bahaha, this cracks me up!

Surprisingly (and luckily for him) sometimes it turns out a private room is similarly priced to two beds in a dorm.

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

No kidding! In many places in South America (and especially Patagonia), dorms were WAY cheaper for 2 ppl than a private room, but everywhere else in the world, they were only a few extra dollars a night…. and we always upgraded in those situations!

Steph June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

Yeah but I mean, you do have a passport of countries you’ve baked in right? Gotta keep that number growing!

Seriously though, you are brave and hilarious. Love it.

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

SERIOUSLY. I always make sure I never leave a country without baking cookies in it first!

Thanks for commenting Steph – Tony and I miss you and Mike and hope all is well!


Steph June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

Yeah but I mean, you do have a passport of countries you’ve baked in right? Gotta keep that number growing!

Seriously though, you are brave and hilarious. Love it.

Samantha June 28, 2013 at 10:26 am

Thanks for this article! I was laughing all the way through and every point is so true. Sometimes it’s the adrenaline… sometimes it’s the excitement of being in a new place that gets you going even after being on a bus for 20 hours! Luckily, I’ve never had to experience other people baking cookies in hostels so far (keeping fingers crossed). Great article and love the pictures !

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

haha thanks for commenting Samantha and I am glad you liked the post. Adrenaline really does kick in a lot on the road – and for me, I either want to “bake cookies” with that adrenaline or I just want to eat cookies and fall asleep lol (like after 2o hour bus rides). And we also NEVER bake cookies in shared hostels… Private rooms in hostels, now that’s another story 😉

Jenny June 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Oh, this is so very funny! One of my favorite posts.

Meg June 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

So glad you like it Jenny! It was definitely a post I had a lot of reservations on posting!

Jessica June 29, 2013 at 3:56 am

Most of the time, I think that there couldn’t be a bigger contrast between the sexpectations of traveling and the reality. It can be very romantic, but over the long-term it also means seeing each when you’re tired, stressed out and sweaty, which all tend to be very unsexy states. It all seems to balance out in the end, though. Sometimes being in so many new places – so many unfamiliar kitchens, if you will – is really exciting and thrilling, and makes us want to bake lots and lots of exotic cookies; other times the kitchens are dirty, and unappealing, and we just don’t feel comfortable enough for a baking session.

Meg June 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

Such great points Jessica. It really is a balance on the road. I think its important just to accept that there will be dirty kitchens on the road and to not let it get you down about not baking as many cookies as you had hoped. Traveling is fun and enriching and you just have to go with the flow and set your expectations to the side and enjoy the ride… wherever it may take you! Thanks for commenting!

Morgan July 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

So glad someone FINALLY addressed this topic. It’s one of those “don’t touch” posts. I’ve had many questions myself. You rock! Now go enjoy those chocolate chip cookies :)

Meg July 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

haha Thanks Morgan! It definitely is a “don’t touch” kind of post….. BUT I have zero filter and no shame! Happy cookie baking to you too! 😉

Sam July 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Hilarious! So glad someone came out and said it: it really needed to be addressed.

Meg July 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Thanks Sam! I definitely needed to be written about… I just hope I am not judged too much!

Sam July 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Judged?! I certainly hope not. Everyone has sex, and everyone knows it. It’s just so weird that we don’t talk about it more. Sex negativity is responsible for a lot of crap in our society (rape, even); talking about it more and more openly, I think, is the first step to eliminating a lot of the prejudice and working towards a more accepting and healthy attitude to sex.

Meg July 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I 100% agree Sam – Thanks for your insights!

Angela July 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hahah so true! Thank you so much for writing this!
To be honest, I even find it harder to find the time for baking cookies! So many new impulses every day that need to be processed, they make me so sleepy. A lot of people seem to think that all we do is sight see, eat and bake cookies. I wish!

Meg July 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm

You’re welcome Angela and I am so glad you liked it. I 100% agree with you in regards to your statement that baking cookies is sometimes harder on the road – I am always so out of sorts (mentally, physically, etc.) when I travel…. And definitely exhausted after exploring!

Tom @ Waegook Tom July 31, 2013 at 12:53 am

This. Is. Amazing! I don’t know what it is about travel that makes people think that you’re just baking cookies all the time. When I was with my bf in the USA, we spent more time than usual squabbling, a lot of time hungry (I never bake cookies when starving), and a lot of time passed out on beds with barely enough energy to lift our arms, let alone legs and genitals. Of course there were romantic moments, but we did a lot of Couchsurfing and staying in dorms and, as per your rules, it is NOT OK to bake cookies in those situations!

Meg August 1, 2013 at 12:16 am

So glad you liked it Tom! Tony and I can totally relate to you and your bf! As much as we had a blast this year traveling together , we fought more than we ever have before in our marriage – and most of our feuds were driven by hunger (I call this hangry)! Traveling together strengthened our relationship more than we ever anticipated but it wasn’t all romance and baking cookies! People don’t realize that traveling is sometimes more in touch with reality than being back home! Thanks for commenting :-)

Ali August 4, 2013 at 7:19 am

Hilarious! My husband and I just spent 2 months traveling through Europe and somehow ended up with horribly uncomfortable beds almost everywhere, like the kind that are so bad they made me sore. So definitely not as much cookie baking as we originally hoped for. And hostel dorms? NO. I still can’t believe people do that. Some with airplane bathrooms. I don’t really want to even go in there to pee let alone try to squeeze a 2nd person in for cookie baking. DISGUSTING.

Meg August 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Thanks for commenting Ali! The beds when you are traveling are the worst and Tony and I often had rooms with two twin beds – Not ideal for cookie baking! I 100% agree with you on the hostel and airplane cookie baking – so gross and unsexy! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts :-)

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