Solo Travel Can Have Its Benefits, Even When You’re In A Relationship


Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash


Jan. 30 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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When I first got serious with my now-husband, the idea of traveling solo was a bit unappetizing. I wanted to spend every second of the day with him (still do!) and couldn’t conceive of being out in the world away fron him. I couldn’t imagine the benefits of solo travel back then, that’s for sure.

But in 2023, when I finally took a sabbatical and got in some solo travel, I discovered some amazing benefits to traveling without my beloved partner. You’ll find these are true for almost anyone else traveling alone, too, especially when you have a long and happy relationship.

Here are a few benefits I discovered in my solitude and self-reflection:

1. You regain your sense of autonomy.

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Source: Unsplash

No matter how healthy your relationship is, when you’re in a long-term, committed partnership you can lose a bit of autonomy. You make decisions together – and that’s a good thing! – but you also tend to make a lot of compromises. When you travel solo, you get to do, go, see, and watch what you want.

If you want to eat sushi and your partner hates it, you’re not worried about paying double delivery fees or finding a restaurant that makes you both happy. You eat sushi. You’ll have no guilt or concern about the other person’s happiness.

This might not seem that important but this kind of autonomy, even for a few days, can help you find yourself refreshed and truer to who you are. You also will find yourself less burned out from decision fatigue: if it’s just you in the window of consideration, it’s much easier to make fast, enjoyable decisions.

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2. You can prioritize your self-care.

Even if you’re not a parent or caregiver, you likely struggle with doing much-needed self-care. Your time is precious and time to yourself rare. When you travel solo, you get to take care of yourself and no one else. Throughout my sabbatical, I regularly remembered that my only responsibilities were keeping myself alive and getting to the airport on time. It was marvelous! I was able, for the first time in years, to do real work on the self-care front. Since returning, I’ve been much more able to deal in self-care and create healthy boundaries around my care for others, as well.

3. You can rediscover your own beauty and self-worth.

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Source: Unsplash

You are beautiful, both inside and out. Sometimes, though, you’ve got to hear this from yourself instead of the rest of the world. When you travel solo, you get to explore this aspect of yourself without looking for assurances from your partner, family or friends.

This past year, when I took off for those six weeks, my view of self had dramatically depleted, thanks to burn out. As I dressed each day to head out to museums and parks and adventurous outings, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my own value. Why? Because I had the freedom, autonomy and space to do so. I wasn’t reliant on anyone else to explore my value – I had to do it for myself. In the process, I was reminded of my resilience, my determination, my sense of humor, and my creative being.

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3. You can step back and look at your relationship without stress or judgment.

Don’t get me wrong on this one. My relationship is healthy and solid. My husband is awesome! But that doesn’t mean everything in our relationship was good and healthy before I went away for a while. Our time apart allowed us evaluate our relationship and see all the awesome things we have and the not to-so-awesome things that needed to change. I discovered how much I really enjoy his company and how much I really miss him when we’re not together.

4. Time apart can help re-ignite intimacy.

While intimacy can definitely mean sexual passion and connection, I’m talking about that personal intimacy that your relationship is really built on. Spending time apart can help you remember why you’re together in the first place and supply you with new ways of communicating with each other.

You’ll also have more stories to tell each other and, if you’re anything like me, find even more reasons to text or pull out that WhatsApp every day.

Solo Travel For Personal Growth

Seriously. I highly recommend doing some solo travel for your own sake and the sake of your relationship. Take a weekend away where you’ll enjoy a spa or hiking or time alone on a beach. Take a week or two to explore someplace new where you can safely re-acquaint with yourself again. It could free you from burn out or relationship stress or help you grow exponentially as an individual.

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By: Rita Pike

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of Jerrie Mock, the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theater, podcasting, and novel writing. She now writes about travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves a very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.

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