Somewhere along the way society seems to have decided that married people should do everything together. It's (kind of) a nice sentiment, but not necessarily practical, or even desirable. The cause might be personal, or business, but chances are that at some point you will find yourself traveling to some new part of the world without your life partner. When that happens, look at it not as a problem, but as an opportunity.
Here is how you can not only survive, but embrace, solo travel without your significant other.
Whatever the circumstances that led to you vacationing alone, it's time to embrace the situation. Sure you can mope around your destination, wishing your partner were there, sighing heavily and feeling terrible - but what a waste of a good trip! So let go of your guilt - embrace the situation for what it is, and make the most of your time alone. That's what you would want them to do, right?
Are you married? Where is your wife? Your husband lets you travel alone? People shouldn't ask, but they definitely do. Prepare yourself for these questions now so that you won't find yourself caught off guard when they inevitably come up. The key is to project an air of confidence and satisfaction with your situation.
Communication is important in any relationship, but it becomes absolutely paramount when you are far apart. To eliminate missed connections, make a plan for how you will keep in touch with your spouse while you're away. Consider both of your communication styles to find a strategy that will work best for you. Are you a nightly phone call kind of person? Or would short email updates or texts throughout the day work better? Make sure you take any time change and scheduling issues into account.
Of course you love traveling with your spouse, but now is the time to really let your own personal style shine. Think about what you like best about travel and cater to your own preferences. Does your husband insist on packing every moment of your trip with activities? Maybe take it slow and sleep in instead. Does your wife insist on hitting up every art museum in town? Relish your chance to skip them.
Chances are you may be feeling a little lonely, so reach out and make some new friends to keep you company. Staying in hostels is a nearly foolproof way to meet other travelers, but even if you're not staying in a hostel, take advantage of websites like CouchSurfing, attend local meet-ups, or reach out to friends of friends.
Last, but certainly not least, take this opportunity to treat yourself! You're navigating the world all alone and that takes extra effort, so don't you deserve something special? Take yourself out to a nice dinner, splurge on a long massage or get a ticket to a cultural event. Since there is only one of you to pay for, you can afford to spend a little extra on yourself.
Have you traveled without your significant other? How did it go?
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Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can't sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She's lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Why Wait To See The World? (formerly Twenty-Something Travel). Follow Stephanie on Twitter or visit her on Facebook.
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