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8 Valuable Lessons We Learnt From Travelling Solo While Married


Maliha Abidi •  Nov 30, 2018


Recently, my husband and I went on separate trips. He went to Hong Kong for 7 days while I went to Austria for 3 days. It was an amazing experience and we are always happy to travel together but there shouldn’t be any stigma around travelling by ourselves when married if we both agree on it. Credit: Giphy We decided to do a photography project in 8 parts. Why 8 parts? 8 parts because here are the 8 things these trips and solo travel after marriage taught us!
1. It's okay to travel solo sometimes
Before getting married, we both travelled solo. He travelled to 8 countries and I travelled to 19 countries solo. So, we already knew the joy of a solo trip and advantages of it as well but once we got married and started travelling together, we loved each other’s company so much that it never occurred to us to travel by ourselves after that (except for work trips or short family visits). In some cultures, it may not be a big deal but in some, it really is.
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram As a married couple, people do expect us to be doing things together all the time. It is not always socially acceptable in many cultures if husband and wife do such things by themselves or even have a life of their own. True story! That was our first motivation for this project to showcase that it is COMPLETELY okay and should be acceptable because it is healthy.
2. We are great together, but we are also strong and independent individuals
Just because we both agreed on these solo trips did not at all mean that we needed space or that we did not miss each other’s company. The first few days, our texts constantly involved phrases like, “You would’ve loved that place.” “wish you were here.” From both ends.
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram The point is, though, that just because a person is travelling without their partner, doesn’t mean that they should feel obligated to explain themselves to anyone else. We are great together, but we are also two strong and independent individuals who constantly encourage each other to follow their desired paths. Again, it should be no one’s business plus, it should be normal.
3. We both have similar interests but separate interests as well
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram It was a chance to reconnect to ourselves and the solo traveller within us. Even though we constantly support and celebrate each other’s individuality while respecting it too, some things such as solo travelling is simply practical. It showed us how we both were able to support each other while on these trips.
4. We always have stories to tell
Hong Kong and Austria are very different in different parts of the world so when we reunited, the travel stories were endless. He kept going on about all the things I would appreciate in terms of culture in Hong Kong and I kept going how he would fall in love with the alps in Innsbruck. Even as travellers, our knowledge of these countries increased which we were able to share with each other.
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram Usually, when you travel together, you still talk about the place but since you two are there together, a lot goes unsaid because you are experiencing it right there with your other half. We saw those as story time conversations. Bonus point, since we have been married, I have repeated some countries because he had never been there so I was his little tour guide as we went around, this is another thing that you find a guide in your partner so when we go to Hong Kong together, he will be my guide because he is already familiar with the city.
5. You meet more people and get to know their stories
Making global friends. When we travel together, yes, we still meet new and interesting people, but we are also focused on each other and just are having a good time with each other but when you are by yourself, you notice other people more and make new friends.
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram I remember making many friends across the globe as I travelled solo in Japan, Turkey, China, etc. I am still in touch with them and it is a wonderful friendship you built in a new country.
6. Personal growth is another advantage that comes out of solo travels
As every place has different rules and you aren’t always familiar with them, these experiences teach you how to deal with different places, people and situations which adds to your confidence and travel value too. When we travel together, we have assigned roles.
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram He takes care of some things and I take care of the other things but when you are alone, you only count on yourself which teaches a ton. You always discover a new part of your personality which may surprise you because we don’t know how we will be in a certain situation until we are there.
7. You do things for you
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram Solo trips are all about you and you plan it just for yourself. When I am planning a trip, me and him, we have a rule that he picks one location, I pick the next country. When we plan on a country, we look at “things to do” according to both of our interests which is super fun and we get to experience way more but on solo trips, you get a chance to do whatever you want which is wonderful as well.
8. Solo travelling makes you appreciate your other half even more
Credit: @heradventureswithhim on Instagram With such solo trips or time apart from your partner, even if you don’t discuss it, you really feel it within you how great of a relationship you two have built because without any trouble, intense discussions or compromises, you are able to take this solo trip with 100% support from a person you are meant to spend your entire life with. It makes you further happy about the kind of healthy relationship you two share. Also, you see how secure you are about everything and can truly be happy for him while he does the same. I shared these images on an all-women travel group on Facebook and it got over 18000 likes with thousands of comments from women who loved the project and also shared their experiences as well on how when they wanted to travel solo, they were questioned by many people around them and they got a sense of “judgement” from them as well. My marriage is between me and husband and not between us and the society, so we decided a long time ago that our life, our decisions are going to be only because we are comfortable with the decision we make. Both of us truly respect each other which is why we are able to discuss everything, talk about anything and that makes us do things which many might not do due to cultural stigmas.