Relationships tend to come and go at the most inconvenient of times. We can never control when we fall in and out of love. For some people, that may be a whimsical, beautiful part of life. However, for us trip planners, it’s an inconvenient variable.
What are you supposed to do with a significant other when you are traveling the world?
You basically have three options: Bring them with you, play it long distance, or break up.
Of course, bringing them with you is always the most ideal option. We all follow a few travel blogging couples that we adore (Christy and Scott, Andi and Lucas, etc) and it’s great to see two people making it work and living their dream together.
However, you have to take a minute to consider this: what if traveling isn’t your significant other’s dream?
Or what if they don’t have a flexible work schedule that allows them to go gallivanting around the world with you? That leaves you with the other two options.
Play the long distance game
If you are crazy in love but can’t always be together, that’s okay. You just have to be confident that your relationship can handle the stress and also be ready for the possible realization that it cannot.
Traveling solo while your beau is at home is not the same as just living in different places.
You are going to be experiencing new things every day, making new friends and, like it or not, changing.
Meanwhile, your other half is at home, living their daily life. Yes, they might meet other people too, but not in the same situations or quantities as you. You are exposed to so many potentially life changing experiences every day and it can get really hard for your significant other to watch that from the other end of a video chat. You need to be sensitive to that.
Keep in mind that this person must really love you to understand your need to travel even if it means being away from each other.
You need to keep up on your emails, video chats and any interaction you can. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the awesomeness of your present moment and forget that someone is waiting for you at home.
What you might perceive as needy is just them missing you. So chill out and give them a break! Try to avoid having an argument via Skype.
When I was traveling in South America and my boyfriend was at home, I kept a journal for him. I knew we wouldn’t be able to talk every day, so this journal let me jot down little things that I would normally tell him in person. It’s not as if every entry was a declaration of my undying love for him, sometimes it would be something like “I saw a girl on the plane wearing leggings as pants. I thought of you while I laughed at how stupid and uncomfortable she looked.”
I gave him the journal when I got home and it really helped ease the gap we felt had been created in our time together.
I know no one wants to think about this, but sometimes you just have to. Maybe you have tried the long distance thing and it’s not working. Sometimes when you are away, your personal growth just takes you too far away from that person or the stress of keeping the relationship together is just too much. If this is the case, I beg you to let them down easy.
Explain that you can’t take being away from them, but that you can’t stay at home either. Don’t you dare plaster your Facebook with photos of you drinking with a bunch of hotties on the beach. That’s just cruel.
Traveling as much as you can for the rest of your life might be your dream, but that doesn’t mean your significant other shares that dream. If you plan to be going on a long term trip pretty much whenever you can and they are not up for it, you have to re-evaluate the relationship.
The whole idea of a serious relationship is that you are moving towards a future together. If your future takes you all over the world and theirs is just hanging out in one place, your future as a couple is going to be a pretty rocky one.
You can love this person with all your heart, but if you know their attitude about traveling isn’t going to change and neither is yours, it’s time to say goodbye. Do it now, before you end up crying on Skype trying to figure out how you guys got so distant from each other.
Traveling is often about sacrifice. It means being away from home and not always being able to be with the people you love. Your friends and family will always be there for you, but when it comes to a romantic relationship, you need to be careful.
Don’t break any hearts and keep yours as safe as you can.
Take it from me, a girl who has been in all 3 of these situations and wished she would’ve thought it through just a little better so getting through the saying goodbye part wouldn’t have been so painful.
What about you? Have you dealt with long distance love?