Two For The Road

A nomadic lesbian couple takes on the world.

Avid travelers and dynamic blogging duo Rebecca Mayoll and her partner Prue tell us what it’s like to live life on the road and take on the world as nomadic lesbians.

Who we are…

I’ll start by trying to be precise; Prue and I are a lesbian, binational couple who are full-time travelers. Over the four years of our relationship we’ve worked/lived and travelled in four continents. When we met we were both working as scuba divers in Thailand but since then we’ve evolved into coffee makers, healthcare workers, landscapers, freelance travel writers and bloggers.

It is part of our nomadic lifestyle to be able to adapt but when the time came for two free-spirited solo travelers to mesh into one another’s lives we had our work cut out for us. Traveling as a couple means making every single decision together, from the big stuff (where shall we go next?) to the absolute mundane (what time do you want to go for breakfast?) and that doesn’t leave you much room to breathe. Adding to that we’ve co-created an online blog, that makes us romantic partners, travel partners and business partners, we are together practically 24/7.

I know what you’re thinking…

How come you don’t murder one another and how do you afford this?

And my answers to that would go a little something like this: we almost do and we almost don’t. Prue and I are lucky to share so much in common that our traveling styles blend together almost perfectly… almost. It’s been a path of trial and tribulation. I’ve learnt to read the signs for when I need to stop dragging her around a city (her concentration span is less than mine) while she has fine-tuned exactly when I need to eat before becoming hangry.

We try to respect each other’s space which for us usually still involves being in the same room but understanding that you’re newest news will be more appreciated after they’ve put down their book. For sure, on occasion we’ve wished we had anyone else’s company but our own but luckily for us that doesn’t last long.

 As for affording our travels we find work when we need it and we make sure we save. If you’re willing to work hard you’ll always find a job and we live by that motto. To keep us on the road we try to travel smart, limiting our nights on the beers, using local transport and not being afraid to camp have helped us out with or budgets. One thing is for certain, we love adventure and will never say no to new experiences, these seem to always take precedent regardless of the price… or whether there is a shower, ha!

It’s great; it’s certainly different, but traveling as a lesbian does have its challenges…

From past experiences I know that traveling as a solo female is an empowering experience, you silence any critics of your methods just by doing things on your own. One thing that both Prue and I have noticed since traveling as a couple is that we face challenges from people that we’d never encountered before.

Even if we’ve ordered a double bed there’s a huge chance that the staff will switch us to a single room. Presuming that we are just good friends means we have to traipse back down to the kiosk and point out the error.

Then there are the males of this world who ooze insecurity when they meet two women who are doing it (and do-ing it ;)) without a man. There is nothing more annoying than meeting someone while traveling and have them command the right to speak over you because they must convince you, or themselves, that they have lived it faster, cheaper and more adventurous.

This happens a lot. We could have driven ourselves to northern Alaska and some idiot is talking down to us about how we should drive the next hundred miles and didn’t we do well to make it so far. Sir we most certainly do not need your advice nor your condescension.

Exceeding all of this I suppose the hardest aspect for me is trying to maintain a balance between being culturally sensitive and being honest about who I am. Some countries are wholly intolerant of gay people and as a visitor I feel I should adhere to their beliefs rather than my own but it is hard to think that when there are also oppressed people within that society who would perhaps benefit from my acting out.

Certain places make life very easy, Thailand for example,has been intermingling LGBT mottos within its communities for decades. Canada are also keen to show off that they were the first place to acknowledge gay marriage, hell we even saw a pride sticker on a converted convent bed and breakfast!

And now for the science bit…

It’s safe to say that Prue and I are currently nomadic by choice but there is a real uncertainty that lingers upon our future. While the world is slowly coming to its senses, for some of us it is not fast enough. Several countries are resisting the right for freedom of choice and quite surprisingly, Australia is one of them.

I am British but Prue is Australian and we’d like to think that we will end up down-under one day but until something changes we are not welcome. Even if we were to marry, the immigration process would only recognize us as a partnership and I’d have to give up working for a year while we negotiated a process that doesn’t recognize our relationship.

So while we consider ourselves nomadic, we are also somewhat displaced and who knows what will run out of steam first, our thirst for travels or the governments desire to trample on their people.

So our journeys continue…

We continue to seek out work visas and make traveling plans. This year alone  we’ve visited Italy, got ourselves tangled up in all sorts of Spanish fiestas, climbed  volcanoes in Guatemala and fulfilled a lifelong dream by making a 100 day road  trip around Canada.

We’ve got our sights set on doing the same in the USA but  first we’re heading to New Zealand to pamper ourselves with a ‘normal’ life for a  few months before taking off again. The only thing we can be sure of is that it’s  going to be an adventure and we’re going to be doing it together, so cheers to  that!