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.
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.*)?
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?