It wasn’t supposed to be this way. But a few months before I was set to leave, he broke the bad news. I can’t come with you, I’ve got to stay and work. I understood. And he understood that I was going to on the trip regardless.
Typically, there are two types of travelers: those that are single and those who travel as a couple. What about the odd ones out, the ones in a relationship who decide to go on an extensive trip abroad?
We made it work. As with all long-distance relationships, it takes time, trust, and communication. I wholly believe that traveling solo and spending time apart can make the relationship stronger, not weaker. Here are guidelines to help you through your relationship if you or your significant other travels separately.
If he wasn’t accepting of me leaving or I wasn’t accepting of him staying, it would never have worked out in the first place. We both enjoy traveling, but to differing degrees and comfort levels. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
It’s a hard conversation to have, but talk about your guidelines for what happens if either one of you meets someone while away. Are flings allowed? For us, the answer was no, but couples can absolutely have a long-distance open relationship and it be successful.
Before I left on my trip, we were living in a house together. Should I pay for half the rent while I’m gone? Where should my stuff go? How about my mail? These are all important issues to discuss and take care of before leaving. When I left, he downsized to a shared apartment. I put all my belongings in storage and directed my mail to my PO Box.
My boyfriend and I have done this before. He went to Europe for his birthday for a week. I went to China for three weeks to visit my mom. And so on. Taking short trips away from each other will help you both get practice for longer spans of time.
No matter where I was and how much fun I was having, I tried to always send at least one message daily. It’s vital to keep in regular contact with one another. I used various methods such as email, social media, but primarily Skype. With Skype I instant messaged, called, and video chatted. Being able to see his face and hear his voice made our time apart easier.
I believe that when a couple spends time apart they grow individually and come back together with more to share with one another. We went about our lives, had new experiences, and then had plenty of stories to tell each other when we talked. Since we’ve been dating for a few years, we’ve gotten accustomed to spending most of our time together. It’s good for a little break now and then.
But when you can, you should travel together! After three months of solo traveling, we met up back in the United States and then headed to Japan for a wonderful adventure.