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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.