The dilemma is that you want to go traveling the world (perhaps for a longer than normal time, or to a specific place in mind)… but your partner doesn’t.
Can you go traveling solo without your partner? Yes, of course you can!
Traveling Solo Without Your Partner
You are considering traveling solo, but you unsure if this is ‘normal’ or ‘possible’, because only single people travel solo. Read on to find out why you should seriously consider traveling solo, even though you are in a committed relationship.
The Three Options (Supposedly)
So what are you going to do? Well there are (generally) three options to choose from:
OPTION 1: Don’t Go Traveling
…and have regrets about not seeing the world when you wanted to or for how long you wanted.
OPTION 2: Break Up With Your Partner
…and possibly regret ending a great relationship because “you didn’t think you could do long-distance” or “nobody goes traveling by themselves when they are in a relationship”.
OPTION 3: Roll Solo
…be independent, go by yourself, do what you want and have no regrets – all while being “taken” and remain with your partner while traveling the world despite them not being there with you.
…be independent, go by yourself, do what you want and have no regrets!
Seems crazy right?! Most people unfortunately choose option one or two and feel that option three is “not even an option”.
So, Why is there a stigma that two individuals who love each other and are in a committed relationship, can’t experience different things, achieve separate goals and dream different dreams, all while being together and not physically by each others side? Especially when traveling?
From Our Experience…
For the last eight months I’ve been traveling around the world. I’ve seen waterfalls and forests, mountains and lakes, hired a car and taken a road trip, gone from place to place by train, bus, plane and ferry. I’ve watched whales and spotted bears, had camp fires, danced in clubs and had a few big nights out.
I’ve traveled solo, while in a long distance relationship with my partner back in Australia. In fact, we are planning our wedding for next year and I left to travel a couple months after we became engaged.
What Our Friends & Family Thought At First…
Our parents and friends were a little shocked at first, when we told them that I was going traveling for eight months…alone. They thought that something had gone wrong and that maybe the engagement was off.
No, we explained. It was simply something I had always wanted to do. My partner didn’t feel like it was the right time for him to join me, due to his current work situation and the long term travel life didn’t appeal to him, like it did to me.
Our friends and family were nothing but supportive once they understood why and knew that we were strong enough to pull through the long-distance period.
So we had to choose one of these options if we wanted to stay together… (see further below)
The Alternative Option – Option 4
Your Partner Quits Their Job To Go Traveling With You
… but they secretly hate it and regret leaving their job because they loved their work and now they are resenting you for forcing them to come.
Your Partner Quits Their Job To Go Traveling With You, But The Itinerary Changes
…to be a short trip and the itinerary is not the one you originally wanted to travel, causing you to regret not doing the things you wanted to or seeing some places you wish you had. Your partner might hate it and resent you for forcing them to come.
Your Partner Quits Their Job To Go Traveling With You, But The Timing Changes
…to like way shorter, so that your partner can easily go back to their job and take annual leave. But, this is not your dream trip, this is just a regular holiday and you regret not doing what you wanted to do.
You Go On Your Solo Dream Trip, While In A Committed Relationship
…You live out your dream and your partner uses their leave to join you at some point in the itinerary. (They may regret not coming with you once they see how much fun you’re having! But, as the moral goes – each to their own. ‘You Do You’ and ‘They will do Them’.)
All options, except option 4, have regrets for both parties. Option 4, allows both parties to be happy and do what they want to do, all while still being in a relationship together. The tricky part is the long-distance…but remember, it’s only temporary! (This could be another whole topic! But a bit more on long-distance in another post).
Two quotes I often think about are:
“You only regret the things you DIDN’T do”
“It’s better to say Whoopsy, than What If.”
Why You Should Choose Option 4
(to Travel Solo, But Remain In A Relationship):
1. You Will Meet More People Traveling Solo
Generally if you are by yourself, you are more likely to approach people to talk to and they will also see you are alone and approach you. Couples tend to stick together in group situations, making it harder for others to become involved and break the ice. When you are solo, you are also more open to following on with other people’s plans and going with the flow.
2. You Can Create Your Own Itinerary
Want to see that art gallery? Go to that high tea place? See that football game? Try that restaurant?… well you can do it all! When traveling solo you can create your own adventure with no one else to tell you to amend it.
3. You Will Experience The World Differently
Walking around a city solo is a different experience than you might be used to with a partner or friend. You’ll notice different details about a place because you are fully immersed in your surroundings. You’ll treat eating differently (probably more grab and go meals, sample famous foods and avoid too many restaurants), You’ll have low-key nights and you may even feel more confident to do activities you wouldn’t have, if your partner wasn’t interested (like sky diving or white water rafting).
4. You Will Learn More About Yourself
You will learn what you are capable of doing, that you are better at some things (like eating endless gelato), than others (like booking bus rides on the right day) and that if you want something, you can do it and make it happen.
5. You Will Learn More About Your Relationship And Your Partner
It is interesting what you learn about your relationship when you enter into long distance. You will see your partner’s true character and the strength of loyalty, commitment and love will be tested. Being in a long distance relationship also means that you have more time to “talk” to each other, as it’s all you can do, so you find out more about each other.
6. There’s No Arguments About Directions
You won’t have any awkward fights about navigation! (Which is when I always fight with my Partner!) You’ll only have yourself to blame for going the wrong way.
7. You Won’t Feel Obliged To Party Every Night
Unlike all the single travelers, you won’t feel the pressure to go party every night if it’s not your thing. You can also openly say you are in a relationship to avoid unwanted attention and just enjoy dancing the night away until you decide to leave.
8. Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder
It’s true what they say, that being away from each other will make you appreciate your relationship more. You will miss them and they will miss you. You’ll probably receive more romantic compliments than every before!
9. Your Relationship Will Become Stronger
If you can make it through long distance, your relationship will grow stronger and be able to withstand many more challenges. The partnership will be better off for doing it, not only because of the challenges overcome, but because you will be more confident after traveling too.
10. You’ll Both Have No Regrets
Coming back to the point of “Option 4”, you’ll both be able to do what you want to and achieve those goals. When you support each other’s choices it makes for a stronger relationship.
11. You May Find Each Other Even More Attractive
The new found confidence you gain from traveling and your partner’s tested commitment, as well as their own solo achievements will surely be very attractive!
12. You’ll Appreciate Each Other More
Like the small home comforts you will miss, you’ll also appreciate all that your partner is and does for you when you return to normal life. It’s also likely they will feel the same and realize all the joy you brought to their life too. It’s going to be one big love bubble!
I hope this post has assisted you and your partner in taking the leap to feel confident in long distance and achieve your solo travel dreams. There is no need to be scared, just work through each obstacle step by step! People may look at what you are doing and think it is strange, but it’s up to and your partner to decide the circumstances of your relationship and how you want to live it!
Need Help Planning Your Travel?
Wishing you Creativity + Adventure Everyday!