I always believed that in order to grow, we have to experience things on our own. Having our own space means we can decide, execute and reflect about our own actions. And by that, it can lead to a better version of ourselves.
I already shared with you some girls all over the world who travel solo for while being in a relationship. I learned a lot from them, but I also wondered if there are women who travel solo while married. And I am glad to find some of those strong independent women.
Here are some of their experiences and advices why traveling solo is good for their married life.
Megan from Wandertoes
I’m all for compromise and adjustments being part of marriage or a serious relationship, that is just reality. BUT. I also believe a good relationship gives you a supportive environment to be who you are and pursue the things you are passionate about. While my husband and daughters are completely supportive, seeing the joy it brings me (ok, and that they don’t have to spend 4 hours in an art museum!) others are – not so much. I’ve had reactions that range from the subtle implication that I must not be as necessary to my family as the person I’m talking to – to flat out accusations that I’m having an affair by one woman who then ‘showed me the hand’ and walked away from me. What has helped me when these situations arise is to realize that the person judging or accusing is speaking from their own place in life, and that usually says something much more sad about them than me. Travel on!
Rosie from Trip with Rosie
I feel that travelling solo while being married is such a huge taboo, and I’ve never been able to understand why! I do love travelling with my husband, but he is not always able to take time off from work. I’ve had people ask me completely astounded: “Are you REALLY going away WITHOUT your husband?! Wow!”. Yes, yes I am. And no, this is not selfish!
My husband and I work at the same company (in different departments), but our schedules don’t always align. There was this instance where he was on a business trip, so I took advantage and went travelling alone. I went away to Milan for a few days and I really did enjoy it!
Yes, of course it’s hard being away from him, but, being married or not, we all need some time to ourselves every now and then, even for an hour. In my opinion a few days away can be refreshing not just for your marriage, but for yourself as an individual. My husband always helps around when we are travelling together – whether driving, taking photos, keeping me warm at night (<3), but travelling solo while being married is an eye-opener – I need to rely only on myself and trust myself. Developing a healthy relationship with yourself and loving yourself is just as important for your marriage as loving your husband!
Talia from Hul with Kids
My husband and I have 3 small children – a 6-year-old daughter and 3.5-year-old boy/girl twins. We travel with them all over the world, but sometimes we need a break. We can’t travel together alone, since we don’t have someone to stay with them, so we split up each year. My husband is actually currently skiing in Japan!
Last year, I traveled to Santorini, Greece with my best friend to celebrate our 40th birthdays. The year before – I traveled with a friend to Berlin. My husband flew to Paris (he’s French). Solo travel isn’t a strain on our relationship – just the opposite. Every time one of us comes back, we are that much closer than before.
The kids have gotten used to it – they know we are always coming back. We have daily video calls (usually through Whatsapp) so we get to see each other and the kids and they tell us about their day. No one has ever reacted negatively to us traveling solo, at least not in our close circle of friends and family. If anything – they do the same or would like to.
I absolutely recommend traveling solo a bit – though I must say that my longest time was 11 days and that was close to the limit for me. For me, personally, being away for longer than 2 weeks feels too long since I really enjoy spending time with my husband (and kids!).
Emily from Two Dusty Travelers
When my husband married me, he knew there would be times when we would be on separate adventures. As a Registered Nurse, I have the opportunity to travel all over the world for humanitarian medical missions – most of the time, these are trips that my husband just can’t join me on. I have treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, helped with search and rescue after the earthquake in Nepal, and delivered babies in Haiti, all while my husband patiently waited at home.
Even though I’ve been doing this for years, people still can’t believe he’s willing to “let me go” (as though he’s in charge of all my decisions). “But what will your husband do?” is the reaction I get most often when I say I’m traveling solo. I suppose the only answer to that is that he just continues on with daily life while I’m gone. We have a phone plan that allows us to talk from almost anywhere (yay T-mobile!), and although we absolutely miss each other, we strongly believe that independence and freedom only makes our marriage stronger.
My best advice for married women who want to travel solo? Make sure you married someone who trusts you enough to let you go, and who supports you enough to be excited for you. Having to argue and negotiate my right to my deepest passion would have been a deal breaker for my marriage. And if your spouse is also a travel addict (like mine), make sure to plan plenty of trips together, too!
Addie from Traveling Mrs
Some people call me crazy for traveling without my husband, but we think it’s the secret ingredient to our marriage. We started in this world as two distinct people, and although we are now bonded by marriage, we are still two distinct individuals with our own passions.
My number one passion is travel. My husband also loves to travel, and we absolutely love traveling together, but his number one passion is playing soccer. We are truly of the mindset that if we are going to have a strong and happy marriage that we must do what truly makes us happy. So, he plays soccer, and I travel, and sometimes that means doing those things separately. We truly believe that giving each other the opportunity to follow our passions makes us a stronger couple.
That doesn’t mean it is always easy. I miss him like crazy when I’m away (or when he is away). I remember taking my first solo trip after we got married, a week-long trip through New England, and as soon as I realized I was on my own, a huge sense of panic set in. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Well, I eventually got out of the car and started to explore and suddenly felt so empowered and confident. I didn’t realize that I had become quite dependent on my husband since we got married, but apparently I had, and it felt so good to stand on my own two feet.
I also think that solo travel has reminded me not to take our relationship for granted. You’ve heard the phrase “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, and I think it’s pretty true. When at home in a routine I start to forget those little things that my husband does that made me giddy when we first started dating. When you’re apart, and can’t immediately turn to them you start to remember and miss those little things, and even long to have them back. Going away for a short time makes the homecoming that much sweeter. Yes, we are married, but I will also continue to travel solo.
Stephanie from Road Unraveled
Although I love to travel with my husband Adam, there have been many occasions where it just hasn’t been possible for him to join me on a trip. As a business traveler I have had the chance to visit dozens of countries, and I regularly extend trips by a few days or even a week or two so I can explore after my work is done. I have wandered through a lot of Asia, Europe, and South America on my own, and although I miss him a lot we both agree that if either of us has a chance to see the world, we should take it!
About six months after we got married, I had a business trip scheduled in Beijing followed by another one three weeks later in Paris. Instead of returning home in between, I spent two weeks exploring Southeast Asia even though Adam was back home. I knew it would be a great chance to enjoy some time off, and Adam was very supportive and encouraged me to make the most of the experience. It wasn’t always easy; because of the time difference between Asia and the USA it was hard to connect on the phone, and my access to wifi was often limited. I promised to check in with him every day so he would know how I was doing, but we never set a scheduled time to talk on the phone or online in case he was busy with work or I was delayed or in an area without internet access since missing a call could lead to us unnecessarily worrying about each other. We both kept track of the important things we wanted to share with each other, and although I wished he were with me I was able to have a great time knowing I would be able to share it all with him over the phone and in detail when I got home.
It is important to prioritize your goals before you travel and communication when you are away, but just because you get married your independent adventures don’t have to stop—especially if you want to experience places that don’t excite your spouse. The hardest part about traveling without your spouse is how much you miss them, but I really appreciate how solo travel helped me develop my independence. That trip, and others like it, have made me more decisive, more adaptable, and better at compromise, which have helped make our marriage as strong as it is.
Zara from Passport for Living
Since getting married six years ago, I’ve travelled frequently without my husband – four days in Paris, a weekend in Barcelona, a week in The Gambia, to name just a few. Sometimes I travel with girlfriends, sometimes alone.
I’m fiercely independent and not averse to leaving him behind for a few days or even a week. But when a friend suggested I spend three months in Australia with her, I knew I’d struggle to be without him for so long. At the same time though, I definitely didn’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity.
After mulling it over for a while, I decided a month would be more manageable, and would still allow me enough time to explore Australia. My husband was fully on board from day one. He’s never held me back from pursuing my dreams and has always supported me, as I do him. We have a mutual agreement when it comes to our individual hobbies and goals. And he knew how much I wanted to make this trip happen.
But that didn’t mean I wasn’t anxious about being without him for a whole month. Right up until the day I left, I questioned whether I was doing the right thing. This was by far the longest time I’d ever spent without him. What if I landed in Sydney and instantly regretted my decision? What if I was miserable for the entire month? I knew I was going to miss him like hell but I also knew I’d kick myself forever if I didn’t get on that plane.
Since the day I got married, I promised myself that I wouldn’t lose my identity. Being in a long-term relationship doesn’t mean you have to give up everything that is unique about you. You don’t have to be joined at the hip to make a marriage work. And I felt like I had something to prove to myself. I needed to know that I could still look after myself even after six years of marriage. So, I went.
From the moment I landed in Sydney, to road-tripping the East Coast and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, it was one non-stop whirlwind adventure. I did some incredible things, met scores of new and interesting people, jumped out of a plane (literally) and practically leaped out of my comfort zone.
I won’t say I didn’t miss him. There were days when I’d have given anything for him to be there. But I did it. I spent 31 days without my husband and I was fine. In fact, I was more than fine; I had the best month of my life!
I could’ve let fear of the unknown stop me from taking that once-in- a-lifetime trip. But I’d have regretted it for the rest of my life. It’s not always easy to get out of your comfort zone, but when you do, you realise what you are truly capable of.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Don’t let fear hold you back. Be an individual. Support each other in your dreams. And most of all do what makes you happy. Because that’s what truly makes a marriage work!
Kylie from Between England and Iowa
When it comes to solo travel while married, me and my husband get it easier than some couples. We were actually in a long distance relationship for 3 years (across continents) so being apart is something we’ve been used to! We met while travelling (I was travelling solo!) and closed the gap after I went through the USA visa process after we got married.
“Where is your husband?” is a question I get asked a lot when travelling solo. I simply explain that I work in a school and get a lot of time off to travel and he can’t always get the time off work. I can guarantee the follow up will always be “Does he mind?” to which I explain the long distance thing before we were married! They end up thinking it’s cool that we have that trust and flexibility in our relationship!
Technology makes distance feel a lot smaller. You can video chat, send ‘real time’ snap chat photos, send messages for ‘free’ if you hook up to WiFi. I remember some of my early travels (10+ years ago), the only option was sending an expensive text message or buying a pay phone ‘phone card’!
Travelling solo works well in our relationship, my husband isn’t a big traveller and I know if I dragged him along he wouldn’t really enjoy it which would then rub off onto me knowing I was then having to ‘entertain’ someone that would rather not be there. Travel has always been a huge part of my life and in all honesty he knew what he was getting into when he married me! It took him a while to understand my blog though but now he thinks that’s kinda cool too!
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