It is 2016, women are transforming slowly into a better variant of themselves. They are getting more and more confident, independent, strong and smart. However, apparently a lot of women are still holding themselves back because their significant others don’t share the same dreams. That doesn’t seem to fit into the picture of feminism today.
I’m not going to make it a secret that my boyfriend doesn’t like to travel. Or, well, ‘doesn’t like to’ seems big in this context. He just has very other priorities to spend his money. Should I break up? Uhm, no. Considering that we’ve been in a relationship for almost five years, live together, bought a dog together – and simply love each other, I don’t see that as an option. Should I not travel? Ehm, definitely not an option. That would just make me miserable. Should I just go? Is that even a question? Of course I should go!
For me this question was easy answered. In fact, it has never been a question that popped up into my mind. However, the more I travel and the more I meet people on the road (and the more readers I get with questions about solo traveling) I noticed how traveling without your partner apparently isn’t the most mainstream thing to do. In fact a lot of other travelers ask me ‘if my boyfriend allows me to travel without him.’. Ehm, yes? I don’t need his permission thank you very much. They ask him the same question: ‘why do you let your girlfriend travel alone? You’re crazy.’
We both get so many questions but also remarks about our hectic relationship that I decided to dedicate an article about it. I wanted to share my story about traveling without my partner – who doesn’t like to travel and how to cope with that. ‘Cause believe me: I know a thing or two about it.
I’ve always had restless feet. I wanted to see the world and I would make a priority out of it. I save a big dose of my income for travels and I miss out on a lot of experiences at home because I much rather spend my money on travels rather than alcohol, a designer bag or a concert ticket. It even got to the point that I start doubting whether or not I should buy that €15,00 top because to me €15,00 equals a single ticket (Ryan Air style) to Dublin. Just saying. I know, I overdo it.. slightly. My boyfriend on the other hand, has his own hobby. His hobby is probably more expensive than traveling (motocross) and considering his current position in the National and the European Championships he is giving it his all – money, time and energy wise. He saves his money just as much as I. He only saves it up for entire different reasons. Next to that my boyfriend probably has one of the most busiest and heaviest jobs in the world, which means that he has very few days a year to travel. Shortly said: he doesn’t have the money and the time to travel.
I guess you can say that we have one thing in common: we both have dreams we chase. Next to that? Not much. Opposites attract, I guess.
Traveling without your partner
As I said before, for me it was never really a question whether or not I should travel if he didn’t want to go with me. I basically book my flights and travels before letting him know. I want to fly away and so I will. I don’t need anyone’s permission and so I don’t ask for permission. I really don’t know why people ask me ‘if I am allowed to travel without my boyfriend’. We never signed a contract.
I don’t know why I shouldn’t travel without him and I don’t see how he couldn’t be all in to motocross – which believe me takes in a lot more time than traveling on a regular base. We both have our dreams and we both don’t have to give them up. Otherwise, what would our relationship be like? It would probably be over in a week or two because we would both be so miserable – not being able to do what we like.
That my boyfriend doesn’t like to travel doesn’t mean we aren’t right for each other. I like coming home to him telling him my stories and listening to his. We learn from each other because of our completely different lives. Just take it from me: you don’t have to have everything in common. How boring would that be?
Missing your partner
Of course I miss him, when I travel. And it is never easy to say goodbye when you are standing in front of the airport. I am not a big fan of leaving, and not a big fan of saying goodbye. However, once I walk through the airport and take my seat in the plane all is forgotten: from that moment on I’m in my element. I’m right where I belong. I’m doing what I love. I am happy. Heck, I don’t even want to return home anymore.
My boyfriend isn’t a big fan of seeing me leave – thinking about the risks of a young woman alone in a strange country. It gets better though. He doesn’t mind me traveling through Europe alone anymore because he saw me leave AND come home so many times now.
Traveling alone to Vietnam was a completely different scenery though. He hated me for booking a ticket but respected my decision, as he knew that it would make me happy. He was scared for me. I would be alone for three weeks on the other side of the world. But at the same time he trusted me – and I trusted myself enough to not end up dead in an alley.
I got used to missing him a long time ago. I got used to being apart a lot. Missing him for me doesn’t qualify as a good reason anymore to NOT travel. If there is one thing I learned from that time apart it is that it only makes your relationship stronger. Every time you spot each other in the airport after spending some time apart you’ll fall in love all over again.
If everything goes well, you and your partner will be stuck with each other for the rest of your lives. So, plenty of time to get cozy on the couch. Traveling though is something you can do best when you are younger. And you are only young once.
Doesn’t it get frustrating?
Of course, there are plenty of days I try to persuade my boyfriend into booking travels with me. There are plenty of days during traveling I wished I had my boyfriend standing next to me. However, I love to travel solo and I love the adventure of being alone in a strange country. Most of all: I love sleeping in hostels – chatting all night with folks from all over the world. And be honest: that is not how your travels would look like when you are traveling with your partner. So does it get frustrating? Sometimes. But my travels are still the best moments of my life and I mean it when I say that I wouldn’t want to change one minute of the trips I took.
There are a couple of trips I am saving for me and my boyfriend. I want to do a hiking trip (which I know my boyfriend would love), a tour through Morocco and a road trip with my boyfriend’s motor. We’re only so young, so I know that we’ll make these trips eventually. Until then: I am happy to travel the world alone and so should you.