It seems like every other day a friend of ours is getting married or engaged–in the next month alone, we have four ceremonies to attend. With this wedding whirlwind swirling around us, it’s impossible to avoid the big question ourselves: Should we get married?
We started dating two and a half years ago, and since then almost everyone we know has asked us at least once when the ceremony will be. Most of the time the inquiries were accompanied by a wink and a nudge, but after a while we stopped ha-ha-ing and started to seriously weigh our options, especially once we had decided we were going to travel the world together.
Even though we’ve been together for a few years, we lived in separate apartments an hour away from each other for most of that time. That meant we had no idea how we would function once we started living, working, and traveling together, and it seemed to us that it would be better to wait until we had experienced all that to say “I do” or not.
There are tons of legal benefits that married couples receive, though. Several of these would make traveling together easier, including the ability to file taxes jointly, not to mention give us peace of mind if anything should happen to land one of us in the hospital (or worse). Besides the legal rights and privileges, the status we would receive as an officially married couple would probably ease our travels through more conservative areas of the world where unmarried couples could face social barriers or outright discrimination. Admittedly, that’s easy enough to work around: buying some cheap rings to wear, or even going so far as to bring a fake marriage license to produce if anyone demanded it of us.
But then there’s the actual ceremony to consider. According to TheKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding ceremony is around $30,000, and that’s not even including the honeymoon. That’s $10,000 more than our budget for one year of world travel! I don’t know whether or not we would want to have a ceremony if we did decide to get married, but it’s something we still factored in to our discussion.
Ultimately we decided that we didn’t want to hurry up and get married just to make traveling together a little easier, or for the legal benefits. I just turned 25 a few days ago, and Jeff is still a few years shy of 30, so we have plenty of time to get married later if we want. For now, we’re happy being the sinful interlopers we are.What are your experiences traveling as a couple, married or otherwise?