Why It Is Okay to Travel Without Your Spouse

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I’m sure you’ve all seen it; the meme going around the internet. It depicts two scenarios.

The top photo shows a bride walking down the aisle, and reads “My Friends Walking Down the Aisle.” The bottom photo depicts a traveler boarding a plane and reads “Me Walking Down the Aisle.” There is so much wrong with this image and the message it sends to ladies around the world. It seems to scream “Hey! You’re married! Your life and dreams can no longer exist because you have to cook dinner, clean the house, and raise children. Forget about ever boarding a plane again or doing something just for you.” This may stir some controversy, but I have to say, it is still your life. You don’t have to do those things unless you want to. You can have a totally kick-butt marriage and a full passport at the same time!

Why it is okay to travel without your spouse

 

Work Life

It seems to me that married men traveling for work is more widely acceptable than married women traveling for work, and I simply don’t understand this stigma. Travel blogging is my job, and to be able to blog about travel, one has to travel. I know there are loads of women who travel for work as well and probably feel the same way I do about this subject, such as Rory.

via GIPHY

 

Oh, Bless.

I read so often about women who “haven’t spent more than one night away from their husband is 20 years”, etc. That’s fine and dandy if that is what you want. Your spouse married you because they loved what they saw in you. They loved your hobbies, they loved your drive, they loved your eagerness. Why should those traits which your spouse fell head over heels with dissolve when you get married?

When those women who spend one day away from their husbands their entire life hear that I spend around a month away from my husband each year, they typically (or at least I feel like they do) stare at me with judging eyes. I can hear their brains churning. “Oh, bless your heart,” their brains scream, “your marriage is doomed.”
I smile reassuringly at their little brains.

Nope!

My marriage is actually very strong. We are constantly told that we are disgustingly adorable together, and with nicknames like “Nessie and Arnie”, I have no doubts that we are. We have been through so much together in our ten years of marriage, and have turned into adults together, we generally do see eye-to-eye, and we committed ourselves before God to each other. Both of us have great, loving role models to up to and are each others true best friends. We make our plans for the future together, we know what we want our lives together to be. Adam and I encourage each other to be the best person we can be, and are always completely honest with each other.

Enjoying a very frigid snow day together.

Enjoying a very frigid snow day together. Photography by RoseRae Photography.

 

Going Solo

As I sat in the nail salon, the manicurist asked me if I had any travels booked soon. “Yes,” I responded, “my friend and I are heading off in December!” Though she tried to hide it, I could tell she was a little confused. “Oh, you’re husband isn’t going?” She questioned curiously.

I informed her that he has to work and that he does travel with me when he can. I love having Adam come with me, but he is very important at work whereas I am self-employed, so our availability for travel doesn’t always coincide. However, he encourages me to travel and see the world because he knows that it is my greatest passion.

The First Time Apart

Only two months after we were engaged, I headed off to Europe for an entire summer to study. At the time, I thought that I should cancel my trip and stay home. I thought I should be there, planning our upcoming wedding, but he encouraged me to go because he knew how much this chance meant to me. And guess what! We survived three months apart! They were an extremely difficult and sometimes upsetting three months, but we did it! We called each other over the internet every few days and sent embarrassingly gushy emails to each other until finally, I arrived back at the Dallas airport.

At my senior prom with Adam

Adam and I had our first date the night of my Senior Prom. It was the night we officially became a couple!

Lobsters Mate for Life

Adam has his own hobbies as well which I don’t participate in. Being married, to us, means that we can share everything, however, we can also still be individuals and have our own interests. When I’m not abroad, he and I spend basically every single available moment together. We complete each other sentences, we share thoughts, we share friends.

Yes, traveling without him in hard. He is my lobster, my soul mate, my entire world. Some nights, in my hostel, I will cry myself to sleep missing him so much and feeling like the trip will never end. You know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?” It really does! I’ve been with this guy since I was 18! And being away from him makes my heart ache for him so badly, that I can’t wait to be back in his warm embrace.

via GIPHY

 

Wait. Rewind. What?!

To reiterate that last paragraph – I have been with him SINCE I WAS 18! I was practically a child then. We married at the young age of 21, still practically children, unaware of the world, without jobs, still in college. As I said my “I do’s”, standing at the altar with the man of my dreams, never did he once expect me to change who I am, my desires, my goals, my dreams, simply because we were becoming married. Those were the things which drove him mad about me! When I ask him why he loves me, his answers include “because you’re driven, because you’re brave, because you know what you want, because you give me an entire month once a year to play video games without nagging, etc”.

On Our Wedding Day

On Our Wedding Day

Being a married woman traveling alone doesn’t make me a bad person.

This doesn’t make you a bad person either.

It doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t love you, it doesn’t mean that your marriage is doomed. It means that you are finding joy in the things which you like doing, embracing the characteristics which your spouse fell in love with you for. While I’m away exploring Prague, my husband will also be exploring some distant land.

His will be a made-up land, possibly on Minecraft. He will explore it in his pajamas while having a LAN party with his best friends, but it’s what he enjoys doing! When I get home, he will meet me at the airport, and I will cause a huge scene at the airport as I sink into his amazingly beautiful and familiar embrace.

Find out more about Adam and I HERE.

 

My life has been a collage of airlines and exhaustion, and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm a budget traveler, and I adore exploring the world one plane or train ticket at a time!

10 Comments

  • Christina S

    November 4, 2017 at 7:43 am

    *Applause* I have also been married ten years and travel probably equally with and without my husband. I travel a decent amount for my “real” job and also travel for my blog. In the past year, we went to Europe together and then I continued on by myself because I wanted to see more and had the vacation days to do it. I’ve also been on a solo trip to Europe for a long weekend. And lots of solo trips around the US for work. He has traveled for work too. Yet people are horrified when I do (“A good wife should stay home with her husband” is the favorite one I hear). But I’m lucky that B knew what he was getting into and is totally supportive. You do you!

    • Janelle

      November 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

      I love hearing about husbands who support their wives ambitions! That good wife quote you mentioned used to make my blood boil- I’ve been told that one several times before as well! Hahaha Thanks for sharing and happy travels!

  • Eva

    November 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    I am so annoyed by that meme you refer to at the beginning. Also by the one of the girl in front of a map reading “people are having babies and I wonder what country to go next”. Who makes and shares such stuff is only showing a remarkable narrow-mindedness. Sadly, it’s also people who travel, and you’d expect a better mentality there. Someone is getting married, so what. Having a baby, so what. My life doesn’t end there. I understand in certain cultures it may. But most Western women can actually have a family and travel. With or without them. Some don’t feel like leaving their children behind and will either choose to stop to travel (and it’s fine! It’s their decision!) or will take the babies along. I honestly don’t see the point of these memes, really, unless they are pointed at people from other cultures whose lives really change after marriage, and then I just find them plain insensitive.
    So… I agree with you. A lot. I am getting married next summer and there is no way I see my travel plans disappearing from my life – even my solo travel plans!

  • Sarah P

    November 4, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Your relationship sounds amazing! As does your passion for traveling. I guess it’s silly to still wonder why so many people care about others’ relationships and choices and lives given how judgmental our society is… but people still do. So thank you for speaking on behalf of those of us who have made “different” choices.

    • Janelle

      November 4, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Thanks for commenting! It is so silly how people bother worrying over other peoples lives. Times are changing, and with that, people’s attitutudes towards other people and their personal choices needs to shift. I just try to take it all with a grain of salt now, but sometimes (obviously from my post) it still get a under my skin and I just can’t keep my mouth shut 🙂

  • Brianna

    November 4, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Awesome post! My husband and I have been together since we were 16 (though we only have 2 years of marriage behind us at this point.) But I completely agree. I was very honest with him about wanting to travel while married and he has been so incredibly supportive. Plus that time away from each other is so restorative of our love. It’s good to miss each other every now and then.

    • Janelle

      November 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Exactly! And wow! Nice to meet another high school sweetheart couple! Travel is so great for making you really miss someone! Being away from him is so hard, but coming back makes my heart feel like I’m 17 again and taking him to prom!

  • Raluca

    November 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I could not agree more with your opinion!
    The more you are able to be your own person in a marriage, the stronger the bond. it’s not just about the things you do together, it’s also about the things you experience alone, and then share with your partner.
    Thanks for writing this article, and if it sparks debate it’s because it matters;)

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