3 years ago, I never would have considered putting my life on hold for someone else. In fact, I swore I would be single until I was 30 and travel the world alone. I had a fear of commitment and another fear of feeling tied down. I just didn’t feel the need to be committed at 22.
2 years later, I met Asha, and everything changed. She was different, and I didn’t need to put my life on hold; she was not threatened by my need for freedom. But despite this, my travel perspective changed. No longer was I just considering myself before travel, I was considering my partner and our relationship together. It was now about both of us, not just me.
Relationships can make travel complicated. Is there a limit to how long one partner should travel without the other? What is a reasonable amount of time to be gone without causing strain (if any)? How long until your heart begins to ache for your partner? Is time apart a good thing or a bad thing?
I ask myself these questions every time I start planning a solo trip. Since I’m a teacher, I have a significant amount of vacation time compared to the average person. Asha gets hardly any vacation time compared to me, and even though I’d rather travel together, my need to travel yell louder and louder until I go.
I miss the fearlessness, adventure, and transcendence when I’m not traveling. I miss the new experiences, new smells, new colors, new people, and new sites. I miss overcoming my fears on a daily basis and facing myself in a mirror.
We dealt fine with 3 weeks apart this past summer with daily communication and lots of FaceTiming. While I was exploring the west coast alone, Asha was holding down the fort at home. Not that it was easy at all – it got tough especially towards the end – but it was manageable with a little effort.
This summer, I’m planning a trip with a best friend to Bulgaria. While I’m there, Asha will be reconnecting with a friend in Romania. Then, we’ll be meeting up in Greece to celebrate our birthdays and travel just the two of us.
For me personally, I think I would regret not traveling in my 20s and 30s and 40s and beyond. So even though I’m committed to a fantastic gal that doesn’t mean my travels get to stop. It just means I might take shorter trips and spend a significant amount of time on the road communicating with my girl. And travel with her as often as possible.
I’m really curious to hear your thoughts below. Tell me: what is the longest you and your bae have been apart? Did it bring you closer? How long is acceptable in your relationship to be apart?