Courtesy of @halfhalftravel
As a part of our new series about long-distance relationships, I had the plesaure of interviewing (Becca and Dan of @halfhalftravel).
Becca and Dan are a NYC-based couple who met in 2015 and dated long distance across the world from 2016 to 2017. During this time, they started the Instagram project @halfhalftravel as a way of staying together remotely and using their creative passions to make something unique, combining their loves of photography and travel. Becca and Dan are both creatives, who now run a website called @halfhalftravel, providing their audiences with remote work tips, travel advice and destination guides.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you share a little bit about yourself?
We love exploring places, food, coffee and culture through photography and media. When we’re not out exploring, we enjoy the challenge of working remotely, as we feel it gives us a lot of creativity. We enjoy telling people about that too, and how they can make remote work a part of their lives. We’re both photographers, and Becca is a writer, while Dan is a web engineer. One of our passions is connecting with people and making meaningful friendships all over the globe, which we’re always working on at @halfhalftravel.
We met on a date in Manhattan, New York, in December 2015. It was the first day of winter, and ironically, it was really warm out! We both remember sitting outside, and thinking how peculiar that was.
Courtesy of @halfhalftravel
Long-distance is tough, what made you decide to give it a try? Did you have a conversation with your partner, or did it happen naturally?
Long-distance is very tough. Our story begins when Dan was accepted into a remote work and travel program called Remote Year, which allowed him to take his job as an engineer and travel the world with a group of professionals who were also all working remotely. I said to go for it — that’s an amazing opportunity! We chose to stay together because that also seemed like an enticing challenge that we would have to navigate, and figured the world isn’t that big, right? I could always visit him, and we could have adventures.
During your time apart, how did you stay connected? Please share examples or helpful tips.
During our time apart, we stayed connected very often through Google Hangouts (which at that time was referred to as Gchat), e-mail and WhatsApp. If we could, we would have a video call, and we’d get around to that about once or twice a week due to the nature of how time zones worked out. Most of the day at work, we’d be Gchatting and sharing things about our days.
It isn’t easy to be away from loved ones for an extended period of time, especially during special events or bad days. How did you celebrate one another (i.e. birthdays, promotions, holidays…etc) while apart? And how did you support each other when either of you had a hard day?
The first birthday surprise was when I got in touch with a friend of Dan’s from his group and ordered a birthday cake through her that would be for Dan. It was a total surprise! She even was able to FaceTime me in when it was delivered to him, and all his friends sang “happy birthday.” For Valentine’s Day, Dan ordered me a Valentine’s Day surprise that was delivered to my office. I was completely surprised and had no idea it was coming! To surprise him back, I asked one of his friends to buy him chocolate and give it to him with a card that I typed out and she printed. We were lucky everyone was so virtually supportive.
When we had a hard day, we’d make time to chat and talk about it. If you’re committed to someone, you always make time for them!
What did your family and friends think about your long-distance love? Were they supportive?
At first, our families weren’t sure what to think, because we had only been dating for 4.5 months before we decided to try long-distance for 12 months. After some time, they were supportive, because they saw how happy we both were from how the other made us feel.
What was it like for you when your friends would go out during the weekend? How did you keep your spirits raised?
I would always go out with my friends on the weekends, and sometimes I would step out to have a call with Dan, as I was six hours behind him while he was in Europe for half the year. Other times, we’d text goodnight, or talk about how our days were going. We both kept up our social lives like normal because we love being around friends.
Communication isn’t always easy, especially when there is distance. How did you handle miscommunications within your relationship? Can you share a brief story about how this played out and what steps you took to resolve things?
Miscommunications is one of the top tips we like to give our readers in our long-distance relationship tips guide. If there were any miscommunications, we’d ask the other to get on the phone so that we could chat it out rather than keep typing and keep assuming a tone of voice that didn’t exist.
Most higher-stress communication we had was about booking flights! To resolve any type of miscommunication about this more technical type of situation, we’d get on the phone and do this type of thing together.
Can you recommend any books, podcasts, documentaries or other resources that you used to help sharpen your communication skills during your LDR?
I started originally reading long-distance relationship advice on blogs on the Internet. I don’t think Dan did any research, but that’s understandable because he was on his way to Iceland, and then to Prague, and he had to keep track of all his work deadlines in the midst of all the travel. For resources, we talked to a bunch of friends and also family members who had ‘survived’ long distance relationships, and all were doing just great!
What surprised you the most about your LDR experience? Please share some stories or examples.
I was the most surprised about how well it worked out, but of course, it depends on both people and their communication styles, and what they want. Dan and I rarely had misunderstandings, supported each other and always counted down the days until our next visit. If I had a stressful day, he would always be able to talk on the phone.
What also surprised us both was how much FUN it was to have visits! We took a road trip in Argentina, toured around Portugal, went hiking in Colombia and explored Barcelona. We never had a dull moment when we were together.
If you feel comfortable sharing, our readers would like to know how your LDR ended. Are you still together?
What are the most valuable lessons you learned from your LDR experience? And would you recommend long-distance for other couples? Why or why not?
The most valuable lesson is to believe in yourself, in your significant other and in your relationship. The more you doubt, the more stressed you’ll be! We recommend doing distance, for any couple, if you foresee that the person is worth it and you can picture a future together. If you haven’t discussed that yet, then don’t delay!
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us!
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