I recently embarked on my first solo backpacking stint around Europe, while my boyfriend stayed at home. It was the best decision that I ever made for myself and, inadvertently, for our relationship.
While staying at hostels, I met a lot of travelers from all walks of life. I could always rely on the same reaction whenever I casually slipped the topic of my boyfriend into the conversation.
“Oh, your boyfriend isn’t here with you? Why not?”
I would then mutter some reason about him not having enough annual leave.
“And he’s OK with you traveling solo?”
I always felt a little indignant when this question was posed because it implied that I was expected to submit to my partner and his demands, and that a woman in a relationship shouldn’t be traveling alone. There are scores of single solo females traversing across the globe who — rightly so — are applauded for their independence and adventurous spirit.
But as a solo traveler in a relationship, I felt that people were suspicious of my intentions. People thought there had to be an underlying reason for me to leave my significant other behind, or that our relationship was just a casual affair.
The fact is that the decision to travel solo had nothing to do with my boyfriend and everything to do with me; it was the clichéd journey of self-rediscovery. I soon found that I loved traveling solo, and I didn’t think that my being in a relationship should prevent me from doing so.
Here are reasons why every woman in a relationship should bite the bullet and consider traveling solo: