Two words. That is all it takes to lose your individuality. The moment the words “I do” come out of your mouth it is automatically assumed that you and your significant other will be glued at the hip until death do you part. I am not against marriage — I married my husband at 23 years old. I am merely speaking out for the women who are judged for fulfilling their passions while leaving their husbands at home. Because I am one of them.
I dread the wide eyes, blank stares and endless questions when I tell someone that I am traveling without my husband. The questions double when I throw in the fact that I take my toddler on my globe-trotting adventures.
But here’s the reality: Travel is part of who I am. I made the decision that I would not give up my desire to see the world for anything or anyone, and now I am blessed to show my little girl the world by my side.
Here are some of the reactions I frequently face:
“Why doesn’t your husband go with you?”
He doesn’t enjoy traveling. It is as simple as that. Why drag someone along that doesn’t want to be there in the first place? To be completely honest, I’d rather travel without my husband. I am the type of traveler that wants to be fully immersed in a new culture and constantly explore my surroundings. My husband isn’t. Traveling alone gives me the freedom of creating my own itinerary and not having anyone slow me down. Solo travel lets me wake up in a foreign land and do exactly as I please. I only answer to myself. Doesn’t that sound like a breath of fresh air?
“Won’t you be lonely?”
Of course I will miss him, but I won’t be lonely. I’ll blame this on being an only child. I can’t think of one time in all my travels that I have felt lonely. Foreign places completely consume me. I become so engrossed in discovering a new city or country that I forget about everything else. Travel gives me the gift of being present in the moment and disposing of my worries back at home .I also believe that time apart strengthens our marriage and makes us appreciate each other more. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
“Doesn’t he care that you are taking your daughter with you?”
I am almost certain that every parent would care if their partner was whisking away their child to another country. My husband has every right to worry and he most certainly cares. That being said, it doesn’t mean he would stop us from traveling. He misses our little girl dearly while we are on our adventures, but he also realizes how fortunate she is to be seeing the world at such a young age.
“I can’t believe your husband is letting you go.”
This statement really bothers me. It suggests that I need his permission to travel solo. Yes, I am a married woman. I am also my own person. I would not be who I am today without my lifelong history of traveling the world. My husband knew this about me before we said our vows and was aware I would travel with or without him. I am fortunate to be married to a man that accepts my constant wanderlust and supports my endeavors. He doesn’t “let” me travel alone — he accepts me for who I am.
Marriage doesn’t dissolve your individuality and should not halt your passions. Traveling solo as a married woman has given me the opportunity to discover who I am when I am not with my husband. It gives me the chance to completely focus on myself and the location that I am exploring. The amount that you learn about yourself while traveling solo is phenomenal. You will learn how confident, brave and self-reliant you can be and will bring these qualities back to your daily life. Waking up alone in uncharted territory with nothing to do but explore is one of the most invigorating feelings in the world. Unless you venture away from your comfort zone and face the judgement, you will never know how traveling on your own could potentially change your life. Stop waiting around. Stop worrying about what others will think. Just go. Spending your life waiting will only end with unaccomplished dreams and regret.
I travel without my husband because I would not be the same person he married if I gave up my dreams. If your heart is yearning like mine to discover new cultures, meet new people, try different foods and explore foreign lands, then make an effort to make it part of your life.
Break away from the stereotypical married life and join me off the beaten path. I’ve never been happier.
Originally posted on A Traveling Bond.