Travelling with your partner is a fantastic experience. However just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give solo travel a try.
I’ve wanted to travel since I was a teenager. While I was at University, I was lucky enough to go on groups trips with friends, and when I met my partner (now husband), I was excited to go on adventures with him. However, when I entered my mid 20’s, I still hadn’t been on a solo trip.
While I love travelling with other people, solo travel was something I always wanted to do. In late 2018, I was having a rough time at work and just needed a break. I spoke to my partner, and he was supportive of me heading off to Fiji on a solo adventure.
It was a wonderful experience. Since that first trip, I have travelled solo to Singapore and several places around New Zealand. There’s more planned for 2021
Here is why I think it’s important to travel solo, even if you’re in a relationship.
Solo travel teaches you independence.
When you get into a long term relationship it can be easy to become dependent on each other. While having someone you can rely on is great, it’s still important to be ok with doing things by yourself. You should be with your partner because you like being with them not because you’re reliant on them.
Travelling by yourself teaches you how to move through the world solo. You are responsible for your own time and enjoyment. No one is there to pick you up when things go wrong. Learning to pick yourself up is an excellent skill to have.
Solo travel teaches you things about yourself.
How often do you let what other people think or feel influence what you do? Most of us do this every day. Whether it’s deciding which restaurant to go to or what TV show to watch, we let what other people want influence what we do.
When you travel solo, there’s no one else around to influence your choices. You have to think about what you really want and what your willing to do to get it. If you don’t make these choices, you risk spending the whole day in your hotel room, wasting the opportunity to get out there and explore.
Solo travel makes you step outside your comfort zone.
Being alone is not something we do often, humans are a social creature, and we like having people we know and trust around. Of course, your relationships don’t just disappear the minute you get on a plane, but they become less central to how you go about your day.
If you want to eat you have to go to a restaurant by yourself, something most people would never dream of doing in their home town. Want to go sky diving but are on the fence there’s no one around to convince you that it will be awesome. Just finished snorkelling and want to talk about how awesome it was? You’re going to have to strike up a conversation with the random Australian girl that’s also on the boat, but you’ve never met.
To get the most out of solo travel, you’re going to have to do things you wouldn’t normally do. It can be scary and uncomfortable, but if you push through, it can be awesome.
Solo travel makes the heart grow fonder.
When people find out I have a partner while travelling solo, the following questions get asked.
“Where is he?”
“Is he ok with you travelling solo?”
“Don’t you miss him?”
The first one is easy to answer, the second is annoying, and the answer to the third is,” Yes, of course, I do.”
When I travel by myself, I frequently come across things that remind me of him. It could be an experience I know he would have loved, a place that reminds me of somewhere we’ve been together or a dish that he would have declared as his new favourite.
Whenever I finish a trip, I can’t wait to see him again and tell him all about my experience. I don’t leave places thinking “I’m glad he didn’t join.” I leave thinking, “I hope I can bring him here one day and show him all this cool stuff.”
Already a pro at solo travel? Check out my tips for travelling as a couple