Ideally, I’d like to go on all my adventures with The Ginger Hunk. Actually, that’s kind a lie. (But I would like him geographically closer than he is now.) In my thirty something years I realised how much I relish time alone and have realised the benefits of travelling solo when you’re in a relationship. I need it to re-charge my soul. And the fact is that The Ginger Hunk and I like very different things. He likes to be high in the sky and I prefer more ground based or water based activities. Usually when we go on holidays together, we negotiate locations which have a bit of everything, paragliding, water and yoga. But when I said I wanted to go to Bali for six weeks to do my freediving Master course The Ginger Hunk wasn’t up for it. He had bigger fish to fry than dreaming about freediving. Recovering from surgery, thinking about re-starting his business and getting his physical and mental health back to 100 per cent.
A six week holiday was not on the cards.
But for me? I needed it. What was meant to be a career break in 2015 ended with a long drawn out DVA process (if you’re not from Australia this means fighting with Department of Veteran’s Affairs to pay for things because The Ginger Hunk is an injured veteran), and a 12 month wait for surgery. I ended up going back to full time work, and all the creative things were put on hold. This is not to be resentful, it is just life. It was my time to carry my Ginger Hunk, and he will carry me one day.
That is love. But it was stressful. And I craved escape.
So when I said to The Ginger Hunk I would go without him, he was all for it, telling me to go, that it was the best thing for my mental health, my confidence and that I should go after my dreams. I have realised that this is not normal to the Balinese for thirty something woman to be travelling alone without the husband. “This is the second time in Ubud without husband”, my driver said, when he picked me up. And my moped driver last night was trying to work it all out. “You have husband?” , “Yes”, I reply. “You have children?”, “Not yet”, I reply. (Easier than explaining.) And then it is a sigh of relief from Mr Moped when I explain that my husband is coming in a few weeks and that I will not be left alone to my devices to cavort around Bali.
Even some of my girlfriends were a little astounded at my plans when I shared them “Is the Ginger Hunk going with you?”, they asked, with concern and possibly a hint of wonderment that I could spend such time alone. But for me and The Ginger Hunk, love and trust isn’t doing everything together all the time. It is allowing each other to grow separately as people as well as together in our partnership. And sometimes that means spending time apart even though it is hard. I miss his eyes and his cuddles and his smile in the mornings. I miss netflix and his pancakes. And him texting me from the shops to see if I need anything. And when I catch him talking to the cats when I think he isn’t listening.
But I know this time will make me stronger, and us stronger. Sometimes love is letting the other one go.