So, you’re taking a trip without your significant other.
People will say things.
“What does your husband think about you going there all by yourself?”
“Isn’t your boyfriend worried about you?”
“Isn’t it a little weird that you aren’t taking this trip together?”
A few months after my husband and I were married we took separate vacations on our week-long holiday from work. It wasn’t really planned that way, I had a free trip through my company that we could pay for him to join, but he also had a chance to catch up with old friends back in Korea, where we used to live. I was all about a free trip to Malaysia with some of my favorite coworkers and I certainly didn’t begrudge his desire to spend his extra cash on time with friends instead.
There were comments. Suspicious looks. Maybe our new marriage was showing its first signs of impending doom!
But really it was no biggie. We both had a great time and it set a precedence for us; we are independent people and we don’t have to do everything together to have a happy relationship.
Since then (we just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary) there have been plenty of adventures together but neither of us is afraid to plan a trip that meets our particular interests and goals and invite the other along for the ride, with the option for them to choose to save their vacation days and cash for the next adventure.
When I take the occasional archaeology voluntourism trip, he always opts out, having little desire for staying planted in one place for a week, roughing it, and getting deeply nerdy about the history of an area. On those trips, I am free to connect with others who share my interest and don’t have to spend any time trying to entertain someone who’s not into the theme of the trip, or even worse, missing out on any part of what brought me there in the first place.
It’s ok to plan travel that feeds your soul and then invite the other in- or not. And if they don’t want to go? Then you are free to connect to the place without filtering it through another through constant attention to how they are feeling and what they are experiencing. You will meet more people and observe more. And, if you spend the whole trip thinking that your significant other would love it and wishing they were there? There’s always the next adventure to plan together.
Photo by Vinh Pham