I haven’t travelled solo, truly solo since I was 22. Off I went, backpacking around Asia, not a smart phone in sight. Back in the day you sat in a cafe with your journal, or a book, (or god-forbid you actually sat down and talked to other people.) Since then, I have been in relationships so I have always travelled with someone else. When travelling as a couple, you feel much safer. You have your dependable other half, to share experiences with, laugh with, and navigate together through tricky situations.
But at the ripe old age of 34, I have found myself travelling solo and am seeing the benefits of solo travel when you’re in a relationship.
You will learn to trust yourself
I am a frequent checker of things with my other half when travelling. “where are my keys?” or “have you got your passport?” or “where are my shoes?” and the list goes on. Sometimes I am like a talkback radio. (It drives The Ginger Hunk crazy.) Flying solo, I am responsible for myself, my belongings, and my whereabouts. Sure, there have been a few mishaps, I got lost, I needed to navigate myself to the clinic for an injury and freaked myself out when I forgot my torch. These are probably previous tasks that I would have delegated to my ‘other half ‘ to organise for me or wanted to rely on heavily for support.
You will meet new people
When you’re in a couple, people assume that you are happy in your bubble, and that you do not need to meet other humans. This is simply not true. The Ginger Hunk and I always ‘pick up people’ when we are travelling, and usually come away from each adventure with a new friend. Having said that, I’ve noticed when you’re travelling solo, people are more likely to strike up a conversation. I’ve chatted to a couple at dinner, been invited to coffee after yoga an a women’s circle. All experiences that I would have missed with my other half in tow. You’re more likely to give a ‘talk to me’ vibe, when you’re alone (unless you have resting bitch face.)
You will gain confidence
I would never go and sit in the middle of a restaurant in Sydney solo. I would order take out. Not here. I want to go to that cocktail bar with a cool pool. I want to have a sunset dinner overlooking the rice fields. And so I go. Alone. Without waiting for a friend or partner, you’re forced to go out and do the things you want to do. Otherwise it is quite simple, you will miss out on these once in a lifetime experiences (and no one wants that!).
You can do whatever you want, whenever you want
The Ginger Hunk is more of a chiller while travelling (unless it involves paragliding). I like to fill my days up. I’ve started my routine here with yoga before breakfast, before spending the morning writing, then some kind of activity in the afternoon, another yoga and dinner somewhere else. I have been in and out of my room all day long. I love my Ginger Hunk but I am not going to lie, I pack more into my days without him. I’ve also been eating vegetarian again which I am loving, and had a three-hour shopping excursion with no restriction.
You will appreciate your partner more
When you get that ‘wow this is awesome’ feeling you also get that little pang in your chest of missing your other half and wanting them to share the moment too! They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it does. Being apart from someone you loves makes you think of all the reasons you love and miss them as well as what you appreciate about them. Having independent experiences and adventures gives you loads to share over that next bottle of bubbles. (Which for me, will be on Sunday!)