Travelling

Why Solo Travel Can Be Good For A Relationship

I’ve booked a spontaneous trip to Bali next week. I had a few Virgin Velocity points left over from the haul I won at Problogger and I suddenly felt the urge to use them up on a solo trip to Bali. I have no doubt this has something to do with the fact that I’m getting married in less than 8 weeks.

This is what I do.

I’m a travel blogger who needs to travel as and when the urge takes over. (Or when work requires it!) My other half gets that. He actively encourages it. We wouldn’t work otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE travelling with him. I did a quick tally and counted that we’ve done approx. 25 trips together since becoming a couple 5 years ago. We’re very privileged to have shared some incredible travels together, which we’ll forever be able to talk about and share happy memories of. We have very compatible travel personalities. He’s my perfect travel partner. That’s why I’m marrying him.

But I also love travelling alone, or with friends, or with other bloggers or journalists. I take travel whichever way it comes and whenever I feasibly can and I happen to believe it makes me a better girlfriend/soon-to-be-wife for it.

Bags packed for another solo trip. This is my new American Tourister by Luggage Direct

Bags packed for another solo trip. This is my new American Tourister by Luggage Direct

Here’s why:

I’m Less Boring

I’m the first to admit that without travel I’m pretty boring. When I’m not travelling I stick to a pretty humdrum routine. I work from home, on my own and when the OH gets in at the end of the day I pour my daily quota of words into his poor, tired ears. I whinge about inconsequential things like why he didn’t replace the loo roll and turn what is a pretty sweet working arrangement into the most stressful job in the world – scrutinising emails from clients, worrying about doing a good job/paying bills/cash flow for the month, you name it I fret about it. Basically I overthink everything and then narrate a lot of these irrational fears to my unsuspecting partner.

But when I travel we touch base everyday and I have something interesting to relate. We’re both passionate about travel and will compare notes about airline experiences, food and cultures. I tell him stories instead of worries and he keeps me updated with what I’m missing back home. It’s the same when he’s travelling without me. I get excited for the moment he’s going to be back online and wait for his messages with the same excitement you get during the first few weeks of dating.

I’m Less Needy

When you’re travelling with someone else (especially your smart capable man) it can be tempting to get into a habit of relying on them. I’m a fiercely independent, often opinionated woman but when there is someone else to do the navigating or decision-making I get lazy and settle into the back seat. Travelling on my own can be challenging but it reminds me that I can do this on my own, just as well as I can with someone else.

I’m Less Naggy

Let’s take a specific example.

I have this horrible habit of being highly observant. When I spend a lot of time with someone I will notice tiny things about themselves that they may not have noticed their whole life. And then I will tell them about it. I know this is incredibly annoying for the person being observed but I just can’t help it. Without thinking I’ll find myself blurting out:

Did you know that (*insert random comment about how someone breathes, answers questions, eats, grows hair etc.*)?

Annoying much?

In our relationship, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. My travelling gives the OH a breather from some of my more annoying habits. It gives him the chance to miss me (I do have some positive traits, apparently) and in turn I really miss him. We treasure the weekends we have together so much more and make sure we plan dates, events, activities etc. to capitalise on being together. We appreciate each other for all our good points and have less time to reflect upon/unleash our bad bits.

I genuinely believe that travelling without my other half not only makes me a more interesting and independent partner but a kinder, more forgiving one too!

I know I’m incredibly lucky to have someone so awesome to come home to. But for the sake of our relationship I think I’ll keep planning solo travels alongside the special trips we get to make together.

What about you? Does solo travel make you a better partner?

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Kate
    February 15, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Really great post! As someone who works from home I can relate to this so much!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 17, 2016 at 2:18 am

      Haha do all the words come spilling out as soon as your partner gets home? I try to arrange coffee catch ups with bloggers and PR throughout the week to prevent this but some days poor Justin is the only person I get to speak to, and I speak a lot!

  • Reply
    Emily Ray
    February 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    “When I spend a lot of time with someone I will notice tiny things about themselves that they may not have noticed their whole life.”

    Hahhaah this made me laugh so much as it’s basically my life summed up in one sentence. I go away with anyone and I suddenly notice their breathing patterns, snoring habits, the lot!

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      The struggle is bad isn’t it! More poor partner gets scrutinised!

  • Reply
    Cristin @ Between Roots and Wings
    February 17, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Oh yes, so much! And, now that I have a child even more. Last year, I managed a week in Greece with just a couple of girlfriends – no husband or kid. The biggest thing for me was the “less needy” part. My husband is a huge extrovert, so he really takes the lead in situations. It was SO good to remember that independent, confident, individual side of myself.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 17, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      I love this!

  • Reply
    Abbie
    February 19, 2016 at 6:38 am

    This is so funny Jayne. I do think blogging is a double edged sword of being therepeutic whilst also cultivating mild psychosis! Lol! If it’s any consolation I am exactly the same with my husband. Enjoy your solo trip to Bali. Jealous:)

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      February 19, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Hahaha I think my other half would agree with this description so much!

  • Reply
    Stef
    February 24, 2016 at 3:43 am

    I’m the complete cliche. I was traveling for about 3 months when I met my boyfriend. He is Mexican, first I ignored my feelings as I was supposed to travel, right? Well, I came back about 2 months later as a short stop before going to Cuba. In Cuba I decided to stay for a month and then continue to travel. Well, that was a year ago ;). Since then I’m based in Mexico but have done several solo trips within this year. I like to travel with him but it’s just possible for a very short period of time as he obviously isn’t location independent and people in Mexico don’t have a lot of days off. At first it was a bit hard for him but we figured it out, he trusts me and knows that I just need to travel to be happy. He completely supports me and if I couldn’t travel, it wouldn’t be me.
    I’m actually more happy than I’ve ever been before. I have a base in Latin America, a continent I really fell in love with, I have a boyfriend I love and can still decide myself when I want to travel. For me it’s the best like this. I knew I couldn’t travel without a base forever, so this is pretty convenient 😉
    Of course there was some jealousy in the beginning but when you start to really know each other, your other half knows that he/she can trust you and there is no way being in a relationship would stop me from traveling. It wouldn’t be right. And I agree I’m definitely more boring when at home 😉 But I kind of need the balance between adventures and boring routine. The help of this balance makes me/us travelers a better partner I guess.

  • Reply
    Jayne Gorman
    February 26, 2016 at 6:00 am

    “He completely supports me and if I couldn’t travel, it wouldn’t be me.” Yes! Hurrah for men like this. Guess we’re lucky for finding ourselves a couple of good ones. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Six inspirational solo female travel bloggers | Trips100
    June 11, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    […] out Jayne’s Highs and Lows of a Holiday for One for an honest account of solo travel and Why Solo Travel Can be Good for a Relationship which explains why Jayne continues to occasionally travel solo even though she is in a long term […]

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