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Travel or a Relationship: Why Are Women Having to Choose?

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Interlaken, Switzerland | TheBlogAbroad.com
Interlaken, Switzerland

I’m not a man-hater most days, but I am fiercely independent. So when I get regular emails from aspiring female travelers feeling like they have to put their desire to travel on hold because their significant other isn’t comfortable with it, I cringe inside.

If you’ve ever felt like traveling the world and maintaining a relationship back home were mutually exclusive concepts, I’ve been sent here by the good Lord himself to deliver some breaking news — ’tis simply not the case.

Women, I will never pretend I know what it’s like to share the special bond and connection you and your significant other have. Every relationship is so different and complex, and there are layers to the trust your love was founded on.

However, HOW THEEEE F*CK EVER, the idea that a woman is attached to the hip (read: approval) of a man just doesn’t sit well with me.

Florence Cathedral | TheBlogAbroad.com
Florence, Italy

I have so many high school and college friends who put their careers on hold to support and move to a place that better suited their boyfriend’s lifestyle or future.

I admire that kind of loyalty, but know that support is a two-way street. Maybe this is why I’m single, but I think every young adult needs to block off a good 3 to 5 years to chase and hustle after your OWN heart’s desires.

Doesn’t mean you need to do it alone, but you definitely need to be with someone who won’t make you feel guilty for it.

The price of living the dream (yes, click and read that article after), is that other aspects of your life will likely suffer. But at what cost does a life full of regrets become justified?

Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang, Vietnam

There are times I look at my singleness (hey, sexy!) at the “ripe” age of 26, as one of the biggest blessings in my life. Because being in a relationship is easy. It’s maintaining one of trust, mutual growth, and respect that takes work.

Let me repeat those three components —

TRUST.
MUTUAL GROWTH.
RESPECT.

If your significant other doesn’t trust you to behave while you’re off chasing a dream for a couple months, then what does that say about him, or rather, the relationship?

If your significant other doesn’t allow room for mutual growth, and you both are always making decisions that best cater to his career, then who’s really getting the better deal here?

If your significant other doesn’t respect you enough to allow you to spread your wings and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, then why are you depriving yourself of that freedom?

Men, you need to bring a side of compromise with your appetite to the table if you’re trying to get this potluck of a meal (heyyy-ohhh)! Sorry, getting a little off track here.

But not only is solo traveling as a female one of the most empowering things you will ever do in your life, but it’s also recommended you maintain solo travel as a self-care regimen especially when in a relationship or marriage.

Tock about a striking view! #SunsOutPunsOut #ExceptThereIsNoSun #ButForHashtagsSake #JustStayWithMeHere

A photo posted by Glo | TheBlogAbroad.com (@glographics) on

Take it from the travel guru herself, Oneika The Traveller, why as a happily married woman, she finds the time and necessity to still travel by herself. She wrote a very compelling piece about that HERE.

What makes my dating life so easy sometimes, is that in the early stages of a relationship, a man will let his insecurities be known about whether or not he’s comfortable with his love interest jet-setting around the world constantly.

In a perfect world, you’d be on that plane with me, but I know not everyone has or can maintain a remote working lifestyle.

Paros, Greece | TheBlogAbroad.com
Paros, Greece

After all, the goal isn’t to be on a plane every waking second of my life, but I will keep making the most of this lifestyle, crossing through uncharted territories, debunking stereotypes, and educating myself in the most pure and raw form of knowledge we can get — and that’s through travel.

So women, what means more: your relationship or your desire to travel? Click To Tweet

Trick question, you shouldn’t have to choose because the perfect boyfriend or husband will allow you to spread those wings so wide, you’ll forget you ever had feet to begin with 😉

Know a friend struggling with this? Share it with them! And I’d love to hear in the comments below whether your significant other made you choose or if you’ve got a unicorn of a man who supports your traveling ways 🙂

Travel or a Relationship: Why Are Women Having to Choose? | TheBlogAbroad.com
PINterested in sharing? I thought so 😉

  • It can be so complicated – especially when your significant other may have career plans in place from before you got together. Who gives up their dream to be with the other person in that case? Compromise goes both ways! It’s really difficult! I’m lucky because I met a guy abroad – so even though some say I “followed” him I was also following my dream of travel ☺️ And in the process I’ve learned some things about settling down from him (how to cook..pay bills..construct ikea furniture..) but also changed his attitude towards travel! He’s now (*almost*) as wanderlust-y as me, and has no qualms about me jetting off at every opportunity. Such a good article though, it’s such a difficult one for SO many women and we don’t talk about this issue as much as we should!!

  • I am the one with the unicorn. We both used to really love to travel alone and now equally love traveling together. Still we both take a solo trip every now and then, but now we are hitchhiking long-term since september, so don´t really have a reason to split ways. I wouldn´t be able to live with someone who doesn´t want to travel! There are so many abusive relationships that instead of mutual growth build on fear and emotional blackmailing that it makes me want to scream.

  • Crazy. The double standards are definitely real.

    I traveled solo a lot during my last serious relationship. It was never a matter of me asking permission to go. It was “I’m going [here], you coming or nah?” Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. Either way I was going. I continue to be amazed at how people put their lives on hold for others.

  • “I think every young adult needs to block off a good 3 to 5 years to chase and hustle after your OWN heart’s desires.” A-freaking-MEN!!! Or even 10 or 20 or a lifetime of chasing your heart’s desires 😉 Sometimes I get super freaked out because I’m 27 and single and all of my friends are paired up and settling down. But then I think about all the amazing shit that I am able to accomplish because I have nothing and no one holding me back but myself. If I’m honest, it’s lightyears ahead of those friends who have dedicated their 20’s to another person. So sorrynotsorry, I’m going to be single for as long as possible until I find a man who can REALLY support me and help me achieve my huge dreams! Thanks for writing this amazing, as always, post!

  • Shealyn

    I love the message in this article! Love, love, LOVE it! I think you eloquently hit the nail on the head. Everyone should be in a relationship where they can do whatever the eff they want and not have to justify themselves or check in constantly or whatever. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun. Unfortunately it’s a hard lesson to learn. Thank you for writing this!

  • Traveling as a couple can be complicated. I’m contemplating this from my perspective that if I had a girlfriend she’d have to be able to handle me disappearing all the time. Or she’d have to have a very nonstandard job so she could come along.

  • Ali

    It’s always about compromise when you’re in a relationship, and it’s not always easy to find the right balance. For me, I have to travel. My husband likes travel a lot (we met through Twitter and our travel blogs!) but it’s not as much as an addiction as it is for me. He also hates to fly, and to be honest, flying with him is stressful for me too since it freaks him out so much. So I occasionally travel solo. He is completely supportive of it. There are certain places I won’t go to on my own because I know he wants to go, so those trips will wait until we can go together. And I compromise on how we travel when he comes by working around the flying thing…if it’s at all reasonable to take a train or a bus or even a boat, we’ll do that instead of getting on a plane. Bottom line is we love each other and we have that trust, mutual growth, and respect that you mentioned, and it allows us to work out compromises that work for both of us. So so important!

  • This. It’s so important to be with someone that understands you need to do your own thing. I’ve been with people that haven’t been too happy with me jetting off on my own all the time, I’ve been made to feel guilty and it’s horrible. I think one thing that makes this work though is communication. It’s important to discuss things and talk to your SO about life and the things you want to do. If something comes out of the blue like “hey, I’m moving to the other side of the country. That’s cool yeah?” Well, yeah it’s cool but if you’re in a relationship you’re part of a team and to be supportive of decisions like that, you need to involved with them from the get go. It’s not about getting permission, it’s just talking things through. It’s definitely one thing I think about if I ever get back into a relationship, how will the other person feel if I want to go abroad for a year? Who knows but I’ve learnt lessons from he past that will definitely help me with that in the future!

  • Christina

    Oh that West African “heyyyy-ohhhh” lol I love this post! Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I think I have a “unicorn” in the sense that he has a stable job he loves, is happy to hang out at home/hold down the fort/supervise our doggies while I travel. It’s really inspiring to hear words of encouragement that, with that mutual respect and support, a healthy relationship can keep thriving as I get more serious about traveling and travel blogging.