It was my first time to try solo travel and it was one of the best things ever happened to me. I was really happy because my boyfriend supported me all the way. He wanted me to try Solo Travel, which I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. And though it was a quick getaway to figure out what I really want in life, it was an amazing experience.
While travelling, I met a lot of people who wondered why I’m travelling alone while in a relationship. I think for them it is more fun to travel while single and meet a lot of people. But for me, I think no matter what status we have, we all get different experiences while travelling. Nonetheless, I also met a lot of incredible people during my travel. They inspired me to do better, and they shared their own perspective regarding culture, the way of living and travelling.
I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who traveled solo while in a relationship. And I’m happy to share with you these girls’ experiences and what they learned during their travels.
Deni from The Full-time Tourist
It was my final semester of journalism school in Toronto, Canada, and I was looking for an internship to wrap up my required credits to graduate. So when my internship coordinator sent out an email mentioning that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was looking for a research assistant in their London, UK bureau. My heart leapt. It was a highly sought-after internship spot in my favourite city in the world! But I wasn’t sure if I should apply for it. It was a 6-week internship, and I was living with my boyfriend.
But immediately after I mentioned the internship spot to him, he said: “You’re applying for it, right?”
I did; and in less than a month, I found myself living in Notting Hill in international student housing. Over the course of my internship, I worked 40+ hour weeks followed by virtually sleepless weekends in London, Vienna and the English countryside. I made incredible new friends, and loved every minute of my time there!
The 6-weeks apart was amazing for my relationship with my boyfriend. Not only did he prove his support for my career and aspirations, he also showed how much he trusted me throughout the experience. The only downside was the spotty WiFi and cell service I had at my accommodations. But we were both so busy in Toronto and London, respectively, that we didn’t have time to miss each other too much. And when I landed back home, we were so excited to see each other again and had so much to catch up on!
I have done a couple of other solo trips while we were dating, and so has he. And while we both love traveling together, it’s amazing to know how much we trust and support one another to head out on our own!
Katherine from Tara Let’s Anywhere
I usually travel with friends or my boyfriend Hali, but over the past 2 years I’d also done a lot of solo trips. I backpacked in various provinces in the Philippines and this year I moved to Malaysia alone. As I can imagine is the usual reaction from people in Southeast Asia, most are curious and concerned when they find out I am alone. I usually just laugh it off. Traveling solo is actually a great experience because it pushes you past your comfort zone, it builds up your confidence and it allows you the opportunity to learn to be comfortable by yourself. Not to mention the fact that you make all the decisions on where to eat, where to go, and so on.
My boyfriend and I are pretty much independent, so this isn’t an issue for both of us. Also, with this setup, we don’t get frustrated when the other one is busy or unavailable because we know that either of us can always travel solo. Of course we do miss each other especially when separated for months, but we also get ample space to do our own things and still grow as individuals rather than having a co-dependent relationship.
My advice for those into relationships but still want to go alone: Do it! It’ll help you as a person and benefit your relationship too.
Julianna from The Discoveries Of
My partner Jon and I have been together for seven years and I’ve travelled solo quite a few times while we’ve been together.
People do think it’s a bit weird – I’ve been asked “how we cope” so many times, but in truth, it doesn’t feel like a big deal. Much as I love travelling with Jon, I also really enjoy travelling alone and did it quite a lot before we got together.
The last time I was away for a longer period without Jon was when I spent a few months in South America.
On the one hand, it was great meeting people and hanging out with them (there’s nothing like travelling solo to get you talking to other people). On the other, I did some long hikes and sometimes it would have been nice to have someone around to talk to. I think it’s the small things that can be quite difficult – when you see something funny or weird and you don’t have anyone to point it out to.
I personally think it’s really healthy to spend time apart when you’re in a relationship – not only does it make you appreciate the other person, but also allows you to spend time focusing on yourself. No bad thing in my books.
Maria from 203 Challenges
Having been in a relationship for more than three years now, I still enjoy traveling solo and so does my boyfriend. As we both have travel-related jobs, it’s sometimes hard to synchronize our schedules and hit the road together, so we are kind of ‘forced’ to travel solo rather than choosing it on purpose.
The pros of traveling solo while being in a relationship: We both believe some time separated relights the fire and keeps us in love longer. It strongly depends on the two people how you will handle your long-distance affairs. We speak on the phone once a day or more rarely and try to fully delve into what we are doing instead of thinking “I wonder what she’s doing?”.
The cons: There are rare occasions when something happens and I think “Oh, he would have loved this!”. In this case, I simply take my camera out and shoot a short video to send him later. It’s heartwarming to see that even being without you, your better half still thinks of you and what you love.
Amy from Page Traveller
My boyfriend and I just celebrated nine years together, but I travel solo a lot (I recently returned from a North America trip lasting five months). We’ve also travelled together on a few shorter trips and we lived overseas in Hong Kong together for three years. In total, we’ve spent around two and half years doing long distance (international) and the longest we’ve been apart for is six months.
I’ve had people tell me my boyfriend is obviously cheating on me, or I must want to cheat on him, or if I really loved him then I wouldn’t leave him. You name it, I’ve heard it, from both people back home and travellers I meet on the road.
I just laugh. People who say things like that don’t know us and have maybe never been in a relationship where trust and support is not an issue. I ask my boyfriend if he wants to come with me on a trip, but I’m not going to push him to go somewhere he doesn’t want to, nor will I forgo a trip because he won’t come with me. Similarly, he never asks me to stay.
Yes, long distance is hard, but relationships are hard! There are always issues or arguments to work through, no matter how far apart you are. There’s also no magic formula to make long distance easier, so you need to figure out what works for you as a couple.
For us, that means we message every day, but call only once a week. If we call more than that then we miss each other too much. Plus, I think you need an end goal. If I moved away indefinitely that would be a problem, but if I have a specified length to my trip then we can make a plan.
I think people forget how important independence and individualism is in a relationship. You don’t have to want all the same things or give up the things you want to do for the sake of another person. You’re two separate people with separate likes, dislikes and goals. To me, a healthy relationship is when you support and encourage the other person to achieve those goals, not compromise them.
Viola from The Blessing Bucket
I met my boyfriend in Australia when I went for study exchange in university. My traveling brought us together but is also the reason we are in a long distance relationship now. I decided to become an English teacher and move to Japan a year and a half ago. It has been a long time dream of mine to experience living in this fascinating country. It was so nerve racking to tell my boyfriend my decision in the beginning but he was very supportive. He told me that he believes in us and that he knows that it would be an amazing and eye opening experience for me.
After moving to Japan, we would call and text every day. I would share my daily life with him, from the challenges I struggle with, to new things I’ve learned. It’s definitely hard to not be with my boyfriend as I miss him every day. But it has been an incredibly liberating adventure for me and I have grown so much living by myself in a foreign country. During my time teaching English here, I’ve explored so many places in Japan and have traveled to other Asian countries like Korea, Taiwan, and China. My boyfriend also came to visit me two times and we travelled together. Those were beautiful memories as well.
I think traveling solo is definitely not just for single people. If you want to travel by yourself even though if you are in a relationship, do it! It does take a mature partner to understand that desire and long distance is always hard. But if you can make it work despite the challenges, I believe that the relationship will come out stronger with newly found independence and maturity on both sides.
Ridima from Little Joys and More
Being in a relationship for more than 3 years and having a permanent (although no regrets!) travel partner for life, I realised I was missing that ‘me’ time somewhere that identifies with my persona and personality. Although we used to divide our travel chores right from booking of flights to stay to itinerary planning and even the restaurants to pick, I could sense my dependency on my boyfriend for guiding me with the directions or handling my luggage or sometimes managing my weird travel moods. That’s where I realised it was time for me to get back into action for some solo travelling.
So, I packed my bag (you see when you travel solo, you travel lighter!), with no concrete itinerary in hand but with a determined and a happy soul set out my journey for 7 days and 4 countries across Europe. It included Rome in Italy, Lisbon in Portugal, London in United Kingdom and Vatican City.
Honestly, my first day was difficult as I was still taking my sweet time to adapt just to myself. By the third day, I was more confident in my own shoes and was ready to rock this world on my own terms. Selfie Stick, a song playlist, a backpack- and I was on the go.
I have to admit that my boyfriend took this whole episode very amiably. He was very cooperative and knew that it was equally important for him to respect my space. He would ensure that I was safe all this while, but never intrigued in my itinerary. The best part was I would still wait for the moment to get a wifi connection so that I could call him and share all my travel experiences with him.
As my concluding note, I definitely definitely (see I am emphasizing it twice!) would ask ladies whether single or married or in a relationship to either start or never give up on solo travelling. It’s a great way of exploring your own self with nobody to judge you and nobody to customize you. Bring it on ladies..for we have heels and wheels too!
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