Wish You Were Here: Married and Traveling Solo

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I remember my first solo trip fondly: I joined a 10-day cruise to Alaska and tacked on a few extra days in Seattle and Vancouver for a tremendous getaway.  Before I went, I was incredibly nervous.  Would I be safe?  Would I be lonely?  Would I be able to have fun?

Everything worked out perfectly, and ever since then, I don’t hesitate to travel solo.

A long way from home in Juneau, Alaska.
A long way from home in Juneau, Alaska.

Today, some of my solo travel memories were my favorite adventures.  I’ve taken great weekend getaways, marked Nicaragua as one of my favorite destinations ever, and made my way through western Europe.

Solo travel is tremendously indulgent: you can eat when and where you wish, participate in only activities you care to, be entirely lazy when desired, spend your money any way you want, and socialize whenever you’d like.  In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the few downsides.

Being married doesn't mean you can't strike it out on your own!  Learn why short-term solo travel is great but long-term trips face challenges.  Full article at https://sightdoing.net/married-traveling-solo/

That’s doesn’t mean I travel solo because I’m unhappy in my marriage or that I prefer traveling by myself to traveling with my husband.  In fact, quite the opposite is true and there’s nothing I’d like more than to have my husband in Guatemala with me right now.  But the reality is that travel is my passion and learning Spanish is my goal — so I travel solo because there’s no point in dragging someone along who doesn’t want to be there.  To be fair, my husband did join me for my first weekend in Guatemala to have a little fun!

Having fun at Antigua's Chocolate-Making Workshop
Having fun at Antigua’s Chocolate-Making Workshop

In the meantime, extended solo travel when you’re in a relationship pretty much sucks.  On a short trip, me-time is great and I’ve always met cool people.

But on a longer trip?  It turns into a long-distance relationship.  Perhaps it’s the expensive phone calls, the inconsistent Skype connections, or being on different schedules.  Really, though, I think the biggest difference is knowing that it’ll take me two days to get home — at best — if there’s any need.

las penitas bus nicaragua the girl and globe
Travel is slow in Central America

Of all the challenges of traveling through Guatemala, the separation is the hardest part for me.  I can deal with cold showers, spurts of no electricity, crowded chicken buses, and grimy hostels, but I miss having an in-person relationship.  The lack of hugs, spontaneous conversations, and forfeiture of favorite routines together matters more than I thought, even in only a month of traveling by myself.

It’s not impossible, but it is a personal challenge.

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While I normally love to offer advice on my blog, this time I have none to offer.  Instead, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have you traveled solo  for longer than a week or two?  What did you find were the biggest challenges?  Did you find any solutions?

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4 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here: Married and Traveling Solo”

  1. I travel solo a lot and I am married. My husband isy favorite travel partner but I get two more weeks of vacation them he does. In nov I am going to Denmark and Norway solo since he will have no time left to use and I couldn’t pass up a 415 rt flight. We too were in a long distance relationship for years till we got married and miss each other when we travel as he travels for work and i do as well , but it makes our time together so much better as u miss the person a lot. I have traveled all over the world alone and just bc I am married won’t make me stop as I live the independence and romance of solo travel.

  2. My husband and I spent more time apart than together the first 5 years of our marriage: I studied abroad twice then went into consulting, he had two extended overseas assignments with his job. It got weird, but rituals helped. For instance, we always watched Survivor live together on the phone(when we were both in the States).

    Over 20 years later, I firmly believe having that pre kid time to work out our own stuff, individually and together, is the best gift we could given our future selves.

    1. @Dia, Thanks for weighing in! I wish we would have figured out some rituals ahead of time, but we figured it out as we went along. I agree that alone time only strengthens relationships (to an extent, of course).

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