This post is written by Tessa, one of our work and travel experts. Tessa has travelled to over 40 countries – and she doesn’t regret visiting a single one! Her passion for travel and discovering new cultures all began in university when she took a semester off to do a working holiday in New Zealand. Since then, Tessa has also lived in Austria, and South Korea.
As someone who is an advocate for solo travel, she often gets asked about traveling solo while in a relationship. Can you have both? Tessa certainly believes so, and has given us her top 5 reasons why she believes a relationship shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams to explore the world independently.
During university I took a semester off and went to live in New Zealand for a working holiday. This was the best decision I ever made because it pushed me out of my comfort zone, introduced me to life-long friends, and opened up a new world of adventures. While applying for a working holiday, I remember trying to convince my friend that she should do one too. She had never traveled before and I knew that if she did it, she would have an amazing experience.
However, there was one problem. She had a boyfriend and didn’t want to go four months without seeing him. So I went to New Zealand on my own – and came back with enough memories to last a lifetime and an entire new view of the world.
Upon my return to Canada, I learned that my friend and her boyfriend had broken up. She had sacrificed an amazing opportunity for a relationship that ended months later.
My next point follows up on my last example given. If that guy genuinely cared about my friend, he would have supported her desire to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. If someone loves you then they should support you and your adventurous soul.
A few years after living in New Zealand I decided to do a semester abroad – I had caught the travel bug! There was one catch, I was in a relationship. When I broke the news to my partner the first words out of his mouth were, “that is awesome!”
His support made the fear of moving to another country a lot easier to deal with and gave me more confidence in our relationship.
Hear me out on this one. I’m not saying that your partner should let your relationship go – they should let you go…traveling that is.
Think about your first heartbreak and how long it took you to fully get over that person – if ever. You may think that going away for months seems like an eternity, but if you really love each other then that feeling won’t easily fade away. So do what you need to do for yourself – go have the adventure of your life. Your trip will fly by in no time and you will come back with amazing stories to share with your partner.
When you don’t have the luxury of seeing your partner everyday, you find new ways to connect and keep the spark alive. Surprisingly, this can actually make your connection even stronger. When you can’t directly hang out together, you will share stories about your experiences and your communication will greatly improve.
Use this as an opportunity to really get to know one another. Since you can’t show physical affection, you will have to learn to show that you care about each other in different ways. Create Spotify playlists for each other, watch Netflix together over Skype, mail a care package, share photos from your day and chat over Facetime. Long distance doesn’t have to be seen as void in the relationship, it can be used to make it even stronger than it was before.
This may seem straight forward, yet people often forget about it. You are living your life- not anybody else’s. Not your partner’s, not your mom’s, not your dog’s.
Yes, people and relationships are important to our health and well-being (and should be valued), but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you. The longest relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself. The fact that you are considering going traveling while in a relationship means this is probably something that you really want to do. Listen to your gut and take a leap of faith. It’s a decision you will never regret!
Have you travelled solo or done a working holiday while in a relationship? Comment below – we’d love to hear about your experience!
Tessa is the Program Development Manager at Stepabroad and a travel lover at heart. Her passion for travel started during a summer in university when she moved to New Zealand on a Working Holiday. She was immediately hooked and since then has lived in Europe and Asia and backpacked through more than 40 countries.