Remember a few weeks ago when I sent you a weekly email asking if you had any travel questions you’d like answered on the blog?
One of the first questions we received was from Nadia, who asked how she can maintain a traveling lifestyle when her long-term boyfriend wants to ‘settle down’?
Nadia was keen to point out that although her boyfriend has been incredibly supportive of her travels, she doesn’t want to be a part of all her adventures and would like to find a way to continue traveling without him.
A few years ago, I had the exact same dilemma, as Sam wasn’t as keen on dropping everything and traveling the world as I was. Sam loves to travel, but his job has nothing to do with travel, so it’s not easy for him to pack up and leave. Moreover, he enjoys his job and loves home life, so why would he abandon everything for the unknown?
There are a lot of travel bloggers out there telling people to quit your soul-destroying job, sell everything you own, and travel the world! But if you enjoy work and home life, it’s not that simple.
To answer Nadia’s question, does it depend on whether you want to travel long term (6 months or more) or if you want to go on a vacation or short trip?
If you are going on a short trip or vacation, I don’t think you need to worry. There are many couples who don’t see each other for weeks. All you need to do is be flexible, communicate, and make the most of your time together.
If you’re planning on traveling long term, I think it’s very difficult to maintain a relationship when you’re apart for more than 6 months. It’s not impossible, but I know plenty of couples who have done it.
But in my opinion, traveling changes you and you will come back feeling different about the world. Perhaps it will be the best time of your life. You’ll want to share it with the man you love, especially since you’ll be talking about it for the rest of your life.
Sam and I did a big trip together over two years, and it turned out to be the best trip we’ve ever done. Sam wouldn’t admit it now, but he wasn’t keen on the idea of traveling. I wanted to do that, but he got to the point where he had to say:
“I really want you to come with me, but if you don’t come with me, I’ll go alone.”
He knew I was serious and after this discussion we booked a flight.
After we returned from our big trip, we continued traveling, but Sam was often missing. I travel a lot for work, as well as blogging and press trips for this blog. Many of the trips I took were mid-week, so I was home for the weekend, and Sam and I spent the weekend together like any other couple. He pretended to moan, but in reality he liked to have the house to himself, play computer games with his friends, and eat junk food all week. And it worked out really well because if I was gone for a week, we would try harder to do something nice together on the weekend.
Here are my top tips for maintaining relationships when traveling alone.
Don’t assume you aren’t right for each other
This doesn’t mean that our personalities don’t match each other. It just means you’re different, there’s nothing wrong with that. Opposites attract, so you’re lucky to have a man who supports you on your journey.
If you’re traveling with your partner, try to talk to each other every day. Most hotels and cafes have good Wi-Fi connections, so there’s no reason not to chat. With FaceTime and Skype, you never feel far away.
Find out what their dream is
Your dream is to travel the world, but what are their dreams? Be sure to listen to them, as they may have dreams that you don’t want to talk about either. Maybe it’s their dream to go skiing in Canada or learn how to make an authentic Moroccan tagine. If so, this is the trip!
Find out why they don’t want to travel
Some people have legitimate reasons for not wanting to travel. If he is, don’t try to change him.
But if he’s making excuses, or if his reasons are due to fear or money worries, you can help. Help him or convince him that there is nothing to be afraid of. Maybe he had a bad experience while traveling, or maybe he just hasn’t had that great, life-changing trip that sparked his desire to see the world.
Take lots of little trips
A long weekend or short vacation is often enough to stimulate his wanderlust or satisfy your wanderlust.
Be the organiser
Save yourself the hassle of travel by taking charge of your organization. Who would say no to an amazing, personalized itinerary created just for them? Plan the trip of his dreams and he’ll definitely want to go even more!
Have local microadventures
Don’t have time to take a vacation? Enjoy micro-adventures close to home. You’ll be amazed at all the great things you can do right on your doorstep.
Book your trips when your partner would have something planned anyway
If I have a choice, I always travel mid-week when Sam is at work. We don’t miss each other in the same way, and we don’t feel guilty when we’re both busy.
Don’t be afraid to travel solo
There’s nothing stopping you from traveling solo, so book your solo trip. He might get jealous and decide to join you!
Don’t let them stop you from travelling
No matter what happens, don’t let your other half stop you from traveling. You will only resent and antagonize them. You may even be holding a grudge without even knowing it.
Have you ever had a boyfriend/girlfriend not want to go on a trip? If so, what did you do?