When I told my friends that I would be traveling to London by myself for vacation, they looked at me with the sideeye. The brave ones inquired as to why my husband wasn’t going with me. I honestly think that they were worried about the state of my marriage. They thought that flying solo (literally) was a red flag that I was on the brink of separation.
There was nothing farther from the truth. In fact, my husband actually booked the hotel and flight for me, because he knew that traveling to London was one of the many things that I wanted to do before I died. London is particularly special to me because it was where my mother lived for five years as a midwife as an immigrant from Antigua.
So the question may remain as to why my husband couldn’t enjoy this piece of history with me. The short answer is: He had already been to London and he would be a major drag. Those were his words, not mine.
In a marriage, I think it’s important that each person’s perspectives is respected and honored. In the case of a trip to London, my husband would not have made the best companion, so I didn’t force him to be someplace that he didn’t want to be.
And I personally did not want to have to focus my attention to making him happy and taking away the experience that I had longed to have for years and that I had prepared for. I gathered my reading books and contacted family members in London to connect with while I was there. I wanted to carefree; I wanted to enjoy all the amenities of the nice hotel; I wanted to relax.
I also think traveling alone introduced a woman to herself in a lot of ways that will help strengthen a marriage. Since I’ve been in London, I have to had to navigate the London Tube, the train system by myself and learn to make quick friends along the way. These skills alone– the ability to survive and adapt– can really strengthen a mariage. Each of you knows that the other can be a problem-solver, a quick thinker, and be resourceful. Each person contributes to the marriage in a way that benefits both members.
Traveling alone is also great for your finances. The cost of transport, food, gifts, and lodging is basically cut in half. This was a major bonus when my husband and I discussed my solo trip across the pond. It literally would have been a waste of money if he begrudingly came. We have earmarked funds for us to travel together later in the year to someplace that we would both enjoy.
And a final reason for the solo flight: It gives you a reason to miss your partner. Last night I met one of my cousins for drinks and I had a chance to tell her about my life in the States. I got a chance to share about my husband and all of those feelings and stories made me appreciate him more. There is some truth in the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
BMWK Family, What do you think? Could traveling alone be good for your marriage?
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