Last year — for the first time — I traveled solo throughout Eastern Europe while I had my then-fiancé/now-husband waiting for me back home in Australia. To solo travel voluntarily while in a relationship isn’t something that seems to be on many people’s agenda. The assumption is that once you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s expected you’ll travel together but what if you simply want, or need, to go traveling on your own without your partner in tow?
In preparation for my solo travels, I attempted to read up on the topic of solo travel while in a relationship but there was a noticeable lack of articles addressing this subject. There are countless articles extolling the virtues of singles solo traveling but hardly anything on solo travel while in a relationship. It’s widely accepted for someone unattached to be traveling on their own but it’s not as common to come across someone in a relationship who is traveling alone. Yet, the reasons behind the decision for a single person to solo travel are equally applicable to why a person in a relationship would choose to solo travel. After my brief brush with solo travel, I now realize how beneficial solo travel can be not only for yourself but also for your relationship. Here’s why.
1. Solo traveling sans your partner will let you reconnect with yourself.
It happens to the best of us. In a long-term relationship, you can unwittingly find you and your partner turning into an entity rather than two separate beings. It’s a natural progression when you spend a lot of time with someone. However, in the midst of all of this, you can sometimes forget yourself, your goals and those dreams that you harbored before you met your partner.
Solo travel allows you to reconnect with yourself, to reflect and evaluate on personal endeavors and ambitions. What is it that you really want in life? What do you want to do with your time? Are you happy plodding along the path you’re currently on? Solo travelers often speak about going on a journey of self-discovery and this is especially important for those in a relationship in order to remind yourself about what matters to you.
2. You’ll have permission to be selfish (for a little while).
Relationships are based on the fundamental principle of compromise and every relationship would fail miserably if it were completely one-sided. Solo travel allows you to be selfish and to think only of yourself – if only for a little while. There’s no needing to meet halfway, there’s no needing to come to an agreement – it’s entirely up to you how you want to while away your days, whether that be indulging in retail therapy, trying out all of the gelato places in town or spending your afternoons reading in a bookshop cafe. It’s fine to be occasionally selfish: in fact, it’s healthy! There are times when we simply need to put ourselves first for our own self-preservation and there’s nothing wrong with that!
3. You’ll refresh your daily conversations with new stories to tell.
In long-term relationships, conversations about everyday occurrences such as grocery shopping and crabby co-workers become the norm, which isn’t to say that this is a bad thing – it’s just a reality of life! By solo traveling, you will return armed with stories about your adventures to share with your partner and ultimately refresh those daily chats. Solo travel can help inject spice back into long relationships as you swap stories from the road.
4. Solo travel can strengthen your relationship.
It’s important to be in a strong and committed relationship in order to solo travel, as you’ll be dealing with issues of loneliness, trust, jealousy and attraction to other people that you’ll meet on the road. When you solo travel without your partner, you’ll realize that your relationship can overcome the most challenging of situations and that you don’t necessarily need to be with each other in order to appreciate each other. Understandably, trust is a huge concern but if you’re in a solid relationship then you should trust your partner, trust yourself and go. It takes a strong person to go off and solo travel and takes an equally strong person to let their partner go.
5. You’ll realize just how strong you are.
Once you’ve solo traveled while in a relationship, you will soon remember that you are not defined by who you’re with. It is truly empowering to know that you hold your destiny in your own hands and that you are capable of standing on your own two feet, figuring out directions, carrying your own bags and dealing with any issues that may crop up in life and travel. People in relationships should be encouraged to solo travel and to take time out for themselves – the benefits of doing so are abundant! If you’re in a solid, strong relationship, there’s nothing to fear: you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
For more on solo travel check out our SOLO TRAVEL section! Have you solo traveled before? What do you think about solo traveling while in a relationship? Share your thoughts and comments below!
Meet the Author
Camha Pham is a freelance editor and writer based in Perth, Australia. She has a degree in marketing and a master’s in publishing and editing. She does freelance work for publishing houses and writes travel and lifestyle articles for a range of publications. When not traveling, Camha is planning her next adventure and loves nothing more than the thrill of exploring new destinations and learning about other cultures. Travel highlights to date include: chasing waterfalls in captivating Iceland, hot-air ballooning over the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia and accepting a surprise marriage proposal from her now-husband at the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto! Camha also blogs at Curated by Cammi. Follow her on Instagram at @curatedbycammi or on Twitter.