Solo Travel in a Relationship

Solo travel in a relationship
Solo travel in a relationship

Solo Travel in a Relationship: The depiction of the solo female traveler is typically a bad-ass independent single woman that doesn’t need a man, and while of course, this ever-growing demographic is worthy of admiration, you certainly do not have to be young, free and single in order to enjoy travelling solo. Solo travel in a relationship is perfectly acceptable too, though there are not so many articles online that discuss the matter.

When I first started travelling solo back in 2011, it was mostly because I got tired of waiting for other people to come along with me and I decided that I wouldn’t let not having a travel companion deter me from seeing the world. In time, I came to the realization that solo travel is in fact a wonderful experience.

Travelling alone forces you out of your comfort zone and aids you in becoming a more independent, confident person. I have spent the last six years travelling the world solo and have transformed this passion into my full time career. I love the freedom and adventure of waking up alone in a foreign country and wandering wherever I please.

In this time, I never had a serious relationship. A combination of my fussiness, unwillingness to settle for less than a perfect relationship, and the fact that I hadn’t found someone who was comfortable with my travel-filled lifestyle fueled this.

That is, until recently, and I now find myself several months into a relationship with someone who I think the world of, and whom accepts my desire to disappear off to more exotic pastures by myself every once in a while and solo travel in a relationship, even if he doesn’t share my passion for travel.  We seldom travel as a couple, but our relationship works just fine.

Related: How Travel Made Me Undateable 

Solo Travel in a Relationship

With that said, solo travel in a relationship still seems like a big taboo. Any mention of taking a trip without your significant other raises questions and eyebrows. Is there trouble in paradise? Why isn’t he going with you? Wait, he lets you travel by yourself? (Don’t even get me started on that “lets you” comment…)

In my particular situation, my job as a Freelance Writer and Online Entrepreneur means that I can work anywhere as a Digital Nomad provided that I have an internet connection and my laptop. For him, his job ties him to Greece.

I made some adjustments to my travel style since meeting him (i.e. I’m no longer going to wander from place to place with my laptop in tow and no time limit as previously) however travel is my true love and so I cannot give it up completely. During our time together so far, I have been trekking alone in Bhutan, I stuffed my face at Hawker’s centres in Singapore, enjoyed solo female travel in Turkey and spent a week in Crete.

I feel that in any romantic relationship, not only is it important to trust your partner, but it’s also important to maintain your identity and have a life outside of each other. If you spend all of your time living in each other’s pockets, what are you going to have to talk about?

If you become so dependent on another person that you can’t imagine doing a single activity without them, then how are you going to cope if you suddenly find yourself alone for whatever reason?

Solo Travel in a Relationship:
You Can Be Happy Without Someone Else

Having the desire to travel solo when you’re in a relationship is not selfish. In fact, it demonstrates that you are someone who has the confidence and independence to pursue your own passions and happiness. It shows that you are with your partner because you want to be, not because you need to be which is something we could do with remembering in relationships as a general rule.

Many people feel as though they are failing somehow if they find themselves without a relationship for an extended period of time or at a certain age, but you shouldn’t.

The moment that you start referring to someone as being the other half of you, or you depend on that person for your happiness and security, you are telling yourself that you are not enough. You are enough by yourself.

It may not seem that way, because of the way that Hollywood movies and pop culture place emphasis on finding “the one” but if your partner suddenly wasn’t around, you would do just fine by yourself – as you did before they entered your life. Be with them because you enjoy their company and personality, not because you need the security of having someone there to protect you.

If you are too emotionally dependent on another person, it can burden them and place a strain on the relationship.

Solo Travel in a Relationship:
It Teaches You About Trust

There seems to be an element of panic about the idea of your partner travelling alone unaccompanied or leaving them alone while you go off trekking in the Himalayas. If you feel like you need to monitor your partner’s actions like a hawk then that’s a whole other issue in itself.

If you don’t trust the person that you are with, then it doesn’t matter if they are 500 miles away, or 5 miles away. Temptations are everywhere you turn and the biggest compliment is to know that in a world full of options, someone is making the decision to commit to you exclusively. If someone values the relationship that they have with you, then they are not going to do anything to jeopardize that.

Solo Travel in a Relationship:
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

If you see someone every waking moment of every day, you will never have the opportunity to miss them. You become accustomed to their presence but their time doesn’t become a valuable resource because it is in such great supply.

When you spend time apart, you will find yourself thinking of your partner, what he or she is up to, and things you cannot wait to tell them. You don’t take phone conversations and Skype calls for granted because geographical distances, different schedules, and different time zones mean that you actually have to carve out a time in your day to talk, rather than assume you will catch up at breakfast, lunch, etc. 

Being reunited and spending time together is something you look forward to, and though time apart should not be seen as an escape from relationship issues, it really puts things in perspective as compared to getting frustrated and irritated with someone by small things when you are around each other all the time – why doesn’t he put the toilet seat down, etc!

Would you travel solo while in a relationship? Are you still wondering how to make long distance relationships work?

If you have, did you experience any challenges travelling solo while in a relationship? If you wouldn’t do it, why not?

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

Leave a Comment