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Why I travel without my husband

Shocking that in 2016 I still have to explain myself, but here we go.

I love my husband so much.  Amongst other things, he is extremely kind, he is fun, and he is wildly intelligent– really, I could espouse his virtues all day long if given the time and space.

But the clincher for me, at least in the very beginning of our relationship, was a shared passion: he loves to travel.

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In Bolivia, last year

And I love to travel with him.  We do it a lot: we have seen 50 countries together, if not more, and he is the best travel partner I’ve ever had.

But I also like to travel without him, and I do it often.  I just completed a month-long trip through 8 countries on 4 continents, solo; at this exact time last year I travelled to Brazil and Colombia with 5 of my closest friends; I’ve done a fair amount of travel with family.

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In Lalibela, Ethiopia on my solo trip around the world, 2 weeks ago

Yes, all without him.

However, for some outsiders-looking-in, the fact that I would venture afield without my man, especially one I am married to, is surprising, dismaying, or simply doesn’t compute.  Especially when they discover that he could have come with me on my travels, but I/he/we didn’t choose for that to happen.

They say: “You mean, your husband had the time off, but didn’t go with you?”

They think: “Wow, he let her/she wanted to go off without him? Hmm, must be something wrong with that relationship.”

And I somehow feel myself getting annoyed at their incredulity, consternation, or confusion. Defensive, too, because my life choices vis à vis my relationship feel like they’re being dissected under a microscope. I feel as though I’m an anomaly, or that I’m doing something wrong.

Look, I don’t owe anybody an explanation, but I think it’s important to discuss why I travel without my man, why I feel it’s important to do so, and why I feel other women should do it, too.

Having experiences independent from one another is healthy 

A strong relationship is one where partners don’t need each other but want to be together. No (wo)man is an island, but self-sufficiency, I feel, is important to one’s self-esteem and overall happiness. When both members of a relationship have experiences and interests outside of one another, that is, when they are “whole” people before uniting, there is less insecurity and there are more things to talk about.  Your partnership can only be enriched by the hobbies and activities (like travel) you engage in external to the union.

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Travelling solo in Chile in 2011

I was an individual before I met him

I was a fully formed being long before I met my husband at the age of 27.  I had already lived in 4 different countries, had a few real jobs, and had experienced love and heartbreak– all before falling for this wonderful man. I also had dreams and opinions and fears and character traits that were shaped by prior experiences; namely, I’ve always been a strong-willed adventurer who is a bit of a loner. So why would these unique aspects of who I am change simply because I found myself in a long-term relationship?  My individuality doesn’t dissolve because I found a life partner. Three decades single doesn’t just disappear like that.

It allows us to miss each other– distance makes the heart grow fonder

I just finished 25 days of solo travel.  While I enjoyed myself immensely, there wasn’t one waking hour that went by without me thinking, “Wow, Liebling would have really enjoyed this” or “It would have been nice if Liebling were here to share in this moment”.  I uttered his name constantly to the people I met and detailed our history. Does that mean I regretted travelling alone or without him?  Absolutely not!  But I did miss him, and by far the best thing about walking in the door after 25 days abroad was seeing him. Call it a fault of human nature, but I treasure him more when I’m away.  Which means the homecomings are particularly sweet.

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How could you not miss this face?

Nurturing other relationships is important… even when you’re married

Marriage is probably one of the most significant convenants you’ll ever make, but we must take care to not neglect other relationships that provide just as much stability in our lives.  I’ve lost friends because they’ve allowed their marriages/long-term love relationships to swallow them whole– so consumed they’ve been by their “boo” that they no longer had time for friends and family.  I hate that.

This is why I make it a point to schedule quality time with friends and family that doesn’t include my husband: I can’t tell you how reaffirming it was to traipse through South America for two weeks with my best girls last year, shopping, gossiping, and bonding.  A boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse shouldn’t be the nexus of one’s existence; building and sustaining other relationships is just as important (especially considering the divorce rate these days).

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A night out on the town In Bogota, Colombia on my girls’ trip last year

I’m not restricted by his schedule, likes or dislikes

I am a middle and high school teacher by trade. I’m not going to lie, one of the reasons I got into the profession was for the paid 13 weeks of vacation us educators get (and so desperately need).  I value my free time and use it to travel the world, so this career path was a very conscious decision. My husband, though blessed with a good number of vacation days, works in finance and thus has a schedule that is not as flexible as my own.  If I only travelled when he could, I wouldn’t travel as much as I do.  Likewise, there are places that I am interested in seeing that he simply is not.  Again, rather than be restricted by these factors, I do my own thing, because I can and I want to.

We need to rethink how we view women and relationships

The underlying premise is basically that women are weak(er than men), and that a woman’s “duty” as a wife or girlfriend precludes her from living life on her own terms, being independent, and exercising her agency. It’s as though this “status change” also changes who you are fundamentally as a person, reducing you simply to a man’s arm candy or a baby receptacle (oh yes, because motherhood supposedly has a similar effect).

[An aside: do you see how much we laud women’s marriages and births vis à vis academic or professional achievements? That’s a whole ‘nother post.]

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At Qatar’s Inland Sea a couple of weeks ago during my solo round the world trip

We’ve all heard the rhetoric that women shouldn’t travel alone– I am hugely against this view, so write blog posts like 9 Tips for Solo Travel if You’re a Girl to encourage my sistren to get out there. But even sadder is the premise that our independent lives should end once we’ve “snagged a man”.

To belabour my point: romantic relationships are beautiful and require compromise, but they shouldn’t, by definition, be limiting or all-encompassing. Again, a boyfriend/husband (or child) shouldn’t be the nexus of woman’s existence, or mean that she shouldn’t exercise her right to do the things she enjoys without them.  

So wonder no more. This is why I travel without my husband, why I feel it’s important to do so, and why I think other women should do it, too.

And please, let’s banish the idea that individuality and independence end when marriage begins, and that a woman is not “whole” or complete without a man in the picture.  

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Pin it if you’re feeling it.

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81 Comments

  • Reply
    Steve Henry
    August 23, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    All valid points. If you and your husband are ok with your decisions and it makes the relationship stronger, then by all means, no external opinions should matter.

    Kudos. And keep living it up.

  • Reply
    Natisha
    August 23, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Praise ye the LORD!!! I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination – but this post right here? Got me bout ready to SHOUT!

    I’m in full agreement with you and am uber thankful that you wrote this article. At near 35, I still look for examples of women living the life the way I imagine.

    With this article, you’ve solidified your role in that department – thank you!

    Marriage is one of those things that MIGHT be on my bucket list, but only if I can have one where I can still live an awesome and amazing life that includes solo travel. Alone time is good for the soul…you’re the first married woman I’ve “known” who agrees and practices it. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    August 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    *stands up to give this whole entire post a round of applause*

  • Reply
    Jemila
    August 23, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I love love love this post. Individuality and independence priceless virtues I want to take into my marriage. Awesome post. Thanks for the reminder Oneika.

  • Reply
    Victoria@ The British Berliner
    August 23, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    What a lovely post Oneika!

    And yes, I’m right there with you as a strong independent married woman. With a child. Who travels without her husband!

    Luckily for me, nobody who knows me ever asks, and perhaps, living in Germany, makes it easier for people not to judge.

    My German hubby actually has more vacation time than I do, but chooses to use his vacation time on his music production business, making and producing albums. In fact, he’s not that big on exotic travel or Poland lol, and that’s perfectly alright!

    I, on the other hand, am a teacher, and I also like the exoticness of strange in-the-middle-of-nowhere-they-have-never-seen-a-person-of-colour destinations!

    I have a great loving husband and a wonderful tween child. Sometimes we all travel together, sometimes I travel just with son, sometimes I travel just with my husband, sometimes, I travel alone. In fact, I’m going to TBEX in the Philippines in October and I’ll be spending almost 3 weeks in Asia solo! Of course, as a responsible mother, I either travel at the weekend, on school holidays, when son is out hiking, rafting, and generally mountain climbing elsewhere, or simply doesn’t want to come!

    Quite frankly, I love what you have said, “I do my own thing, because I can and I want to.”

  • Reply
    Kyle
    August 23, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    As a male I understand your sentiment and value you and your husband’s approach. As you stated, marriage is a union designed to become one, but we still remain individuals with our unique interests, talents and dreams. It takes a strong mate to allow the other the freedom to (fill in the blank) travel, enroll in a educational program, or do anything that might give them experiences outside of their union. I commend you both for giving each other the freedom to live, explore and dream.

    • Reply
      Lioness
      August 27, 2016 at 3:13 am

      Kyle, “allow?” Such an inappropriate & politically incorrect word for a marriage between two independent adults. I applaud your sentiment overall, but that one word (which I hear quite often) – Your man “let” you go on vacation alone? Your man “allows” that? It sends the message that woman need to “get permission.” Discuss with her partner? Yes. Get permission? Not by a long shot!

      • Reply
        Lisa
        August 27, 2016 at 6:25 pm

        While the word may give you pause, the thought behind it is valid. When you commit to spend your life with another person, you will need to come to an agreement on many things. If your partner is not in agreement, you really have to decide what your long term goal is. Choosing to join your life with another means that you can’t always get what you want. Or that you can choose to have it anyway to the detriment of the relationship. This goes both ways.

  • Reply
    Stacy
    August 23, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Love this post!!! I got married fairly young, so I didn’t have a chance to travel when I was single. Although I do love traveling with my husband, I also relish the solo travel experiences I’ve had due to work, scheduling conflicts, and preference.
    I will be bookmarking this to email to relatives who think our marriage is in trouble because we take the occasional solo trip…as you so eloquently point out, our solo travel has improved us as individuals and as a couple.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Perfect post. Perfectly stated. I simply would miss my sweet baboo too much! LOL but I do think there will come a time when we’re both absolutely OK with me traveling on my own. Like you said, there are places he doesn’t care to go to and I have more vacation time than he does. I also agree 100% that you have to foster other relationships. Just the idea of only having one person to depend on, lean on, talk to, can be suffocating and only do harm. I appreciate you!
    Cheers

  • Reply
    Mary B
    August 23, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    100% agree! I don’t have a partner, but almost of my friends do. I was just at dinner the other night listening to some of them complain about how they’d love to travel more, but their husband is a picky eater, or has a different travel style than them, or just doesn’t enjoy travel. I finally said – so, why don’t you go without him? By yourself, or with some friends, or with a tour? You can travel how and where you like, and if he wants, he can do the same (or he can stay at home and eat grilled chicken and potatoes)! They were honestly shocked by this suggestion, and it made me sad. Live your life!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Totally agree! While I can’t leave home for quite as long as you get to, I’m headed to Japan with a friend for 10 days in October and I think it’s completely healthy for my marriage. Sometimes it’s really nice to have a chance to miss your spouse and forget the little annoyances.

  • Reply
    Felicia W
    August 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Great post Oneika! I to am married (17 years), to my wonderful, caring husband. I getaway whenever I can, whether its with friends, family or solo. Like you, my husband is also in finance and is very smart and works crazy long hours. He loves to travel but cant get away as much as he would like too. When a glitchfare popped up for Bali, I didn’t hesitate to book my ticket. Yes I went by myself amd had a wonderful time. Thank you. Now I know I’m not the only one who gets asked!!

  • Reply
    Cherie
    August 23, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Great post!!….sorry you felt the need to explain yourself because some people are stuck in the dark ages or have trust issues!
    I find you inspiring, brave and I love reading about your travels!! #blackgirlmagic #staydoingyourthang

  • Reply
    Ren Andres
    August 23, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Love this article! Thanks for articulating this 🙂

    I myself have been bitten by the travel bug and am taking a 2 month trip to South Korea this fall. I’ll be without my boyfriend for an entire month before he meets me in Seoul for a little bit.

    I absolutely agree that while good relationships take their helping of work and compromise, we must not forget to maintain – even fight for if we have to – our own independent lives and interests. The man I’m with is like a dream come true, but I’m also looking forward to making my own dream come true of seeing the motherland for the first time, alone!

    So thanks again Oneika, all this is so well said. I love reading your posts!!

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 24, 2016 at 12:10 am

    I really appreciate this article, so thank you for writing it. I’ve had similar traveling/living abroad experiences, and traveling is a huge part of who I am. My long-term boyfriend, however, does not have the same bug, though he likes to travel and we just spent a month abroad together. Sometimes I question if he’s the right person for me because he doesn’t always want to travel with me, so I go by myself or with girlfriends, and just like you, I miss him. But you’ve just validated my thoughts that I just need to be okay with the majority of my travel being without him, and that it IS okay. Thanks again for sharing your experience!

  • Reply
    Tay Cakley
    August 24, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I just read the blog and I must say that you kept it all the way 100! I totally get asked a lot why I’m travelling without my hubby or why is it just me
    And the kids etc. I haven’t even began to put a dent in solo travel but I’m getting there. I’m usually with my mom, or kids, or whole family. We are self employed so my husband holds it down for us. But he does enjoy getting away every now and then just not for long and not too far. It is what it is. Thank you for writing this wonderful blog.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 24, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Loved every word of this. Thank you for writing what so many of us need to hear. You are such an inspiration.

  • Reply
    Leah
    August 24, 2016 at 2:28 am

    YES!!! As someone who has done a lot of travel away from dude for extended periods of time and who has certainly gotten all of those accompanying questions and judgements, I give you a virtual round of applause. I like traveling with my partner but I also value solo travel; they’re both very different. I love the time with him, but I also love the time on my own when I’m better able to challenge myself and thereby grow and learn about myself. Thanks for articulating all of this so well.

  • Reply
    Krystal
    August 24, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Yes! Thank you. You put words to what I’ve always thought about a strong relationship; we need independent aspects of our lives so that we have something to talk about. Any man who I get with us going to have to love me for my mind because I’ll be sharing my thoughts regularly. He’d be sorely disappointed if I stopped having interesting things to say to him just as I’d be upset if he didn’t have interesting things to say to me. Plus, refuse to not see a country or visit a location just because he’s not interested.

  • Reply
    Dk
    August 24, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Love the article!! Everything is so true. You should do an article on how to budget such travels because this is a life long dream of mine but money never seems right

  • Reply
    Linda
    August 24, 2016 at 3:57 am

    LOVE THIS POST!

    Have traveled to India for months at a time SOLO for 11 years. Married for 27 years.

  • Reply
    Aliya
    August 24, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Beautiful sentiments!! I soundly agree and applaud you for providing such a clear explanation for why women should continue with their lives even when men and/or children make an appearance on the scene. Kudos!! Keep up the inspirational work!!

  • Reply
    Caverne Donnette Mochache
    August 24, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Awesome post. I love it. I thought I was alone on wanting to be alone sometimes even though I’m happily married.

  • Reply
    Nadeen
    August 24, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Great post and I can totally relate as a newlywed! I have been traveling for years before my husband with friends, family and solo. I now enjoy traveling with him but still enjoy the others as well. My schedule is more flexible and I have a wider range of interest in places. Most importantly to me is what you mentioned in nurturing and keeping relationships. I won’t let all those people who stood by me all those single years and that are important to me slip away now that I’m married. Traveling with them is a great way to stay connected!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 24, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I think this might be my favourite of all the articles you’ve written! I do a lot of things by myself – travel, cinema, theatre… – and it makes me really sad when people say they could never do anything by themselves, because they’re always going to miss out. Last year on a food tour in Stockholm a woman told me I was “brave” for going on holiday alone. Wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that…

    I have to admit that I stopped travelling when I lived with my ex, because he moaned all the time about expensive travel is. Since we split up I’ve been to the US, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Japan and the UAE and am planning a trip to Iceland now 🙂 Anyone who tries to stop you doing something so integral to your personality and happiness is clearly not the right person for you!

  • Reply
    mairo
    August 24, 2016 at 8:13 am

    I just read that post as i am for a two month and half travel, without my boyfriend.
    Just glad to realise other women feel the same as me and can explain it in a post like you did.
    Thank you !!

  • Reply
    Noelle
    August 24, 2016 at 9:01 am

    LOVE this. I can relate on this in two levels. I grew up where my mom had summers off (working in a school) and my dad didn’t have as much time off, so I traveled a lot more with my mom. I don’t think my mom or I ever thought twice about the fact that my dad sometimes couldn’t join.

    Now, as an adult, I’m the same with my boyfriend. I do like traveling with him, but coordinating and planning (and taking off work!) for two people – and we live in different towns – means that we don’t always travel together. I also really enjoy solo traveling… I enjoy doing what I want to do on trips and the enjoyment of meeting new people.

  • Reply
    Wadzanai
    August 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Oneika thank you for this brilliant post. This is one of the best posts you have ever written. Everything about this article is on point.

  • Reply
    Erika
    August 24, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more! I’m in a long term relationship and went to Europe this summer for 7 weeks — 2 of which were without my boyfriend. I’ve always enjoyed traveling more than he has and we both accept it. I also love traveling with him, but it’s a different experience. I also have different places I want to go with him vs. on my own.

    Thanks for writing this. It feels like it shouldn’t need to be said, but it does! 🙂

  • Reply
    Luvtotravel
    August 24, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I love this article!!! Very well written!!

  • Reply
    Sarah B Danks
    August 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Yes.

    YES YES YES.

    Okay, so I’ve not traveled the world solo — but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t if I could afford it!!!

    So many people — my parents included — think it’s weird that I go on weekend get-aways without my husband. Because I’m MARRIED. Which, of course, means EVERYTHING has to be done as a couple, right?!

    Wrong.

    I applaud your adventures (with just the SLIGHTEST tinge of jealousy 🙂 ) and, while I don’t feel that we women should have to justify our individuality, I’m sure glad you wrote this beautiful post saying WHY it’s okay to do things without “the man”!!!

  • Reply
    Erin
    August 24, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I love everything about this. It’s shameful that a reminder is required. Simply put, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Why should I be expected to compromise any exiting thing whatever that thing may be, that I liked prior to taking a husband, boyfriend, etc.? If there is an issue, it stems from insecurity more than anything. Thanks for being so transparent.

  • Reply
    Cylia Lowe
    August 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Great post! I hear it all the time and I’m sure others just know better than to ask me but I’m always surprised by the question and the tone. These people didn’t just meet me I been traveling internationally since I was six months old! Great post! Thank youuuuu!!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 24, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Yes, yes, and hell yes! Well said.
    There’s a reason absence makes the heart grow fonder. You’ve a great relationship that works, you love and care for each other deeply and as you’ve mentioned, you were a fully formed adult when you met your hubby. Why do people think this changes when you get married?

    I’m joined at the hip to my husband, we do everything together, and we get similar things said but in reverse.

    I can’t imagine why people would feel that they’re qualified to comment on your marriage and how you live your life. It works for you both, and you’re both doing great, you have great conversations about your shared and individual travels. Why should you have to explain? (but for the record, I’m glad you have as I’ve got to see some really cool pics)

    As you’ve mentioned if it was a guy doing this no one would bat an eyelid. It’s 2016, and you can and should travel wherever your feet and your heart take you.

  • Reply
    Peter
    August 24, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Its no ones business how a couple wants to travel or live out their personal lives. The points made here a truly valid. Valid to them and others but not to every one. And that’s okay. I love my wife and she loves me. We are not at all intimidated when the other is out doing their thing on their own. Yet we believe in our sanctuary of marriage to each other. We would prefer to always do things together as two good friends like doing things together. We also believe in individual time for our selves. Yet all that we do is for the sanctity of our marriage. All I know is a wise person avoids all extremes.

  • Reply
    Abigail
    August 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Oneika, thanks so much for this article. It almost encapsulates everything I feel about being married as a woman and why as a woman you shouldn’t have to explain why you still need to be you the individual when you take on the role of wife (or even mother). Love love love this article.

  • Reply
    CINDY
    August 24, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Oneika you have no idea how much I love you right now. Thank you so very much for writing this article. You are spot on and I must share this article with EVERYONE I know. Seriously, I am going to post it on every social media site I have. This is an absolute MUST share. It also happens to be one of the best, not to mention, well written articles I’ve ever encounter in all of my magazine, blogs, and book readings. Some folks are very narrowed minded and I’m pretty sure with all my solo travelling that there has been lots of talk behind my back. Nonetheless, you make my sentiments crystal clear in your blog and I could have not said it better. Thanks for being my ghostwriter……..LOL………Kudos for you living your life as well as sharing with all of us. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    This is a great post! I appreciate your opening line: “socking that in 2016 I still have to explain myself…” I love how you depict a thriving and loving relationship, that’s not the cultural “norm” for a marriage. You guys do you!

  • Reply
    Christy
    August 24, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Love this!!
    super empowering 🙂

  • Reply
    Marie
    August 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    25 days!??!? All the nopes in Nopeville. That’s a really long time to be away from my husband. I simply don’t want to be away that long. Too long to without sex. Haha.

  • Reply
    Emmie
    August 24, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    LOVE. This is so spot on. I’ve not yet had the courage to travel alone but I often go away without my husband, with friends, and get comments about it. It is good to spend time elsewhere with different people and coming home to him is always amazing.

  • Reply
    A.T.
    August 24, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Omg I love you. You are a huge inspiration, real woman, unique individual and I agree with your every word. Thanks a lot for the article.

  • Reply
    mandi
    August 24, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I can not even tell you how much I love this! Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

  • Reply
    Flo
    August 25, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Yes, my parents were happily married for 50 years. My mother always said, “I’m sure the periods of time when we not together made of long for each other more and made the marriage stronger.” My parents were people ahead of their times—both independent and full of confidence. Fortunately, I that was passed on to me and I’m sure makes my marriage a success, too.

  • Reply
    Why I travel without my husband – dream chasing desert dweller
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  • Reply
    Raven
    August 25, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Agree wholeheartedly with this post. But I wonder if people were asking who have followed you a long time and know of you and your husband being long distance for some time. Do you think that factors in to this intrusive line of questioning? Still none of their business. That occured to me but I definitely dont feel you owe me or anyone else an explanation.

  • Reply
    Agatha
    August 25, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I’m a new follower of your blog and I woke up this morning and read this post. I’m currently living in NC while my husband is in NY, partly for work but also because I have been a traveler long before I met my husband. I was losing a part of my soul when I realized traveling for him wasn’t as big of a deal as it was for me. We’ve only been together for 5 years and this recent temporary adjustment has been the best thing for us. When he visits it is now exciting for him to decide whether to come by plane, train or automobile. Now working on getting him to appreciate travel around the world, with me or solo…

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    August 25, 2016 at 12:21 pm

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  • Reply
    Ali
    August 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Great post! My husband and I met through our travel blogs, so we definitely share a love of travel. But my passion for travel is stronger than his, and I need it more than he does. So I do sometimes travel without him. I even left on a 5 month round the world trip just a few months after we got married. It was mostly a solo trip, though a friend did travel with me for a few weeks, and my husband met me for 2 weeks in New Zealand in the middle. Earlier this year I was sick of the cold, dreary winter (we live in Berlin) so I planned a week in Cyprus by myself to get some sun and warmth. Every year he goes to a board game convention, which I have no interest in, so last year I went to Amsterdam with a friend, and this year I’m going somewhere (not sure where yet!) by myself. Like you said, I miss him like crazy when we’re apart, but it’s good for us. It’s especially good for me to have those solo travel experiences because they remind me I’m a lot stronger than I realize. There’s no reason you should stop traveling solo just because you’re married.

  • Reply
    Jen
    August 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I was one of those women who became consumed by her relationship and ceased to be an individual separate from my husband. I think thats easier to do when you’re young and have less life experience. I’ve since divorced, “found myself” and am in the beginning stages of a new relationship. I’m going try a lot harder to hold on to my separate relationships and hobbies and the things that make me attractive to him in the first place.

  • Reply
    AKIISHA
    August 25, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I’m not married, let alone “Boo’d Up”, however I support your words/insight 100%.

  • Reply
    Mara
    August 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Awesome! Seriously. I travel, it’s what I do. My other half is a homebody and there are a few places he’d like to visit, but world exploration is totally not his thing. I take the kids and we go wherever, not as much as we’d like to since we’ve been a one income family for quite awhile (working on changing that), but even day trips on the weekend are usually going to be just the children and me.

    He likes his down time, he likes his quiet time, I am the opposite, so us going and him having a day off work where he can actually relax is what works for us. We just came back from 3 weeks with family. We missed each other dearly, but the time away is also good. Thank you factime/ skype/ messenger/ whatever video-chat app we currently use, he talks to the little people daily and they get to tell him all about their adventures.

    People look at me like I’m crazy for traveling solo with 3 kids. People look at him like he’s crazy for “allowing” it. Seriously?!? No one allows me to do anything! He knew I had the travel bug since before we were even going out. Allow it? Go on somewhere with that! It’s part of having a loving trusting relationship where we support each other. I guess I “allow” him to ride his quad when he wants to. Totally not my thing, but I am happy whenever he gets to go riding because he loves it and he’s got our kids loving it too. That’s his thing. Travel is mine. The kids truly enjoy both.

  • Reply
    Allison
    August 25, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I love this post so much. I love your last point the most – it’s a total double standard we face. Keep on rocking on with your awesome marriage and life!

  • Reply
    Ivy
    August 26, 2016 at 2:28 am

    AMEN! I recently returned from a 2.5 week European adventure (on the day you posted this, actually!) with a close friend of mine, and I was uncomfortable and got annoyed whenever I had to explain why I was travelling without my S.O. We all need “me time”, and I also wanted to travel with my good friend, someone that moved away to Europe over three years ago. He and I had already been to Europe together, but it was a completely different trip from one you’d do with your closest girlfriend(s). I really appreciate this post as it so poignantly makes the case for independence and individuality perfectly coexisting within a partnership, while still maintaining a committed and loving relationship.

  • Reply
    Sonja
    August 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Well said and I agree with every single point. Perhaps I have not felt the pull to solo travel anymore now that I have my “man” because I am by any measure a late bloomer. I am 43 and he is 54. We met 9 years ago. So I have had a LOT of solo travel. We are both crazy independent in our day to day lives as well with widely diverse interests that for the most part don’t include the other and so … travel for us is focused couple time. I am just at a point now where I just really do not want to travel without him… or my dog.

  • Reply
    Trudy
    August 27, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I get both sides of this to an extent but I don’t know you as much as I love your blog. And I think this culture of voyeurism makes us think we know you intimately , which of course isn’t true. I don’t know the dynamic of your marriage and it’s not my business. I believe if more people kept that in mind the consternation that you speak of wouldn’t occur. The amount of time and energy that we invest in other people’s lives as opposed to our own makes us believe we have the right to tell you how it should be and we are wrong. Oneika and Liebling will do what’s right for Oneika and Liebling. And kept travelling and being a whole person. Love the blog !

  • Reply
    Ray
    August 27, 2016 at 3:28 am

    My significant other is okay whenever I feel the need to travel solo or with friends as she understands my thirst for life experiences. She has gone on a couple of trips herself without me. For all the reasons you listed above, I want her to travel more or partake in more experiences solo or with others. This certainly helps to build one’s self-confidence, as well as teaching them how to be independent when need by so that there isn’t the dreaded co-dependency that some relationships devolve into over time.

  • Reply
    Kelley
    August 27, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Wow. I never even thought about people questioning your decision to travel without your husband. Maybe it’s because I’m a single 30 yo expat who doesn’t blink at people’s decisions to travel with or without family…but yea! It’s healthy to have some solo time, to explore a new place without a partner, and to just have some breathing space. Good for you! Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Reply
    CHERYL
    August 28, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Bravo Oneika!..I had to read it TWICE because it’s that damn GOOD!! Thank you for speaking the truth. As a long time solo traveler to Jamaica, I often get comments in reference to the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”. But I decided early on, I don’t care what people think and it’s none of their business.

  • Reply
    Bronte
    August 29, 2016 at 4:17 am

    I love this post and 100% agree! I just recently got married, but my husband and I both value our individuality and we encourage each other in both our travels as well as our careers (we’re both filmmakers). Thank you for such a refreshing post!

  • Reply
    Art Travel Eat Repeat
    August 29, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I love this! I mostly travel with my husband because he also loves to travel and gets more vacation time off than I do (much to my dismay), but I’ve been working on making career transitions lately which will allow me to travel more down the road, and I certainly won’t hesitate to go somewhere without him when that time comes.

  • Reply
    Madison
    September 1, 2016 at 4:56 am

    While I respect your opinion, I could never imagine traveling solo. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world of judgement by people who most likely have no reason to even care. To me, though, it seems like it would be so lonely. Since my husband and I started dating almost 7 years ago we have taken many trips separately with our friends and families. We started dating at a young age so my parents would never allow us to go on each other’s family vacations. We also went on different trips with the school and different clubs. I enjoy trips with friends.. But traveling solo.. Choosing to experience the world separately from one another.. I can’t imagine that. We hate being apart when he travels just a few days for work. Since we’ve started traveling together, the best part of traveling is experiencing everything with him. The places we’ve traveled alone are on our list of places to go together so we can both experience it together. That doesn’t make me weak, it doesn’t mean we aren’t individuals.. That’s just who we are. We love being around each other. That’s something we don’t get tired of. Maybe I’ll change my mind in another 10 years.. But probably not..

  • Reply
    Katy
    September 1, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Love this post! I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now and we’re so happy together, but I’m planning a solo trip to India and Myanmar, and he can’t get the time off so I’m going it alone. I really enjoy travelling by myself (for limited periods of time), I like a bit of independence and it’s easier to meet people too.

  • Reply
    Philly Girl
    September 2, 2016 at 5:55 am

    LOVE this article!!!!….I get questioned often as to why I travel solo? The answer, because waiting for my S.O or even girlfriends to get their schedules OR finances right is unacceptable. Life is too short. My S.O. certainly doesn’t like me traveling alone but I think he realizes that this is ME. I recently went to Aruba by myself. Yes, I wished my S.O could have gone but he had to work. I found a deal, and it was on my bucket list…enough said. It was amazing!!! Thanks for this article, it reminded me that I need to travel more and start planning my next solo trip!!

  • Reply
    Caneisha Coburn
    September 5, 2016 at 12:10 am

    I love everything about this post.

  • Reply
    JJ Johnson
    September 5, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Keep on doing what works for you both. Outsiders sharing their unsolicited opinions and small-minded small-mindedness need not apply. I truly loved this piece.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Rosendorf
    September 5, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    What a great article! My wife is awesome but not addicted to travel the way I am and I really value that I can still take off and travel to places she may not want to see. Plus it’s fun to be temporarily totally selfish on a solo/friend trip. I miss her but I’m thankful marriage doesn’t mean the end of my travel adventures. Friends and family are 100% as important as our romantic relationships. We put way too much emphasis on romantic relationships in our world. A lot of people do find it unusual that I take off on my own at times though. Great article! Thanks for posting. 😀

  • Reply
    Brooklyn
    September 9, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I absolutely love this post.
    I travel without my boyfriend. Not because I don’t want him to come, but because he is just too busy. If I waited for him to be free, I would never travel. Ever.
    And as someone who values having the opportunity to see the world, I won’t deny myself those experiences.

  • Reply
    Janice
    September 15, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I LOVE this! I am told all the time to wait until I have someone to travel with – ideally a man. I want my own experiences.

  • Reply
    Lena
    September 21, 2016 at 7:31 am

    I’m with you! Finally, somebody understands my point of view! I love traveling, too, and so does my husband, and we travel together and individually, and it feels healthy and fun and right, and I enjoy every day of my marriage and my travels. Thank you for this wonderful post! Happy travels! Much love from Ethiopia. Would love to hear from you! Take care, Lena

  • Reply
    Larita Heath
    October 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    I love your blog. What a wonderful blessing to have an understanding with your husband like that. I’m not married, that is my ideal type of marriage. One word of caution…just know that he is probably being pursued by some desperadoes while you’re gone for weeks and weeks (he’s cute) make sure he’s taken care of before you leave and when ya get back. Lol. They (men) seem to need/want it more often than we do. 😉

  • Reply
    Dana
    October 22, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Very well-written post full of some much truth. I hate justifying in 2016 why I sometimes choose to travel without my husband and why I’m perfectly happy when he travels without me. Independent interests definitely make for a stronger relationship!

  • Reply
    James Rodney
    October 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I feel so touched with this post. The headline got me to read the post and I was like “how can that be possible.” I felt it could break down the relationship. But I strongly agree with your points. You’re right. We need to nurture other relationships outside of marriage. So, you don’t have to start life from ground zero when things fall apart. Thanks for writing this wonderful post.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Melanie Rana
    April 16, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    This post has inspired me to travel solo, something I have secretly yearned for since being a teenager. I met my husband when I was 17 and we have been together for 16 years (married 6). I always feel guilt when imagining travelling without him, because we love each other very much and I guess I wouldn’t want him to miss out on any new experiences but as a 33 year old woman I realise now that I need to explore the world solo, to feel independence, freedom and to build some of my own memories in this world! I’m a free spirit at heart and love being by myself lost in my own thoughts. I love being away from my husband as I enjoy missing him and his embrace after absence is the best feeling in the world! (I’m talking 2 days in a different city for when I go away for work) – I’m lucky enough to have a trusting husband who will support me, although I know he will worry as he can be protective when it comes to my safety, I also have an over protective brother and mother who will need convincing but if I can show them I have planned my journey out in advance and I will choose to stay in safe and secure hotels i’m sure I can get them to give me their blessings. I’m going to take the leap! Thanks for your inspiration Oneika – I’m so excited knowing there are married women like you that travel the world solo and I will soon be one of these fearless & independent women! I better take out the atlas! Lots of love from Manchester. England! x

  • Reply
    Caitlyn
    May 30, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Would you say there is any kind of limit to how long would be healthy for a relationship? I’m getting married this year and want to do a 6 month solo trip next year but don’t want our relationship to suffer.

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