Dear girls of the world,
Being an independent, solo female traveler won’t prevent you from flourishing as a part of a traveling couple in the future. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fiercely independent. I went away to college, landed great jobs, and moved across the country for my career (a couple times) by myself. I even began traveling abroad in Europe and Asia… all on my own.
Some people view independent women negatively, as if you are selfish, or stubborn. But that’s not true. “Independence” is more about being capable, so that your livelihood & happiness doesn’t depend on others. Being a solo female traveler is the perfect example of that. In fact, traveling on my own became one of my proudest accomplishments, because it was something I had always wanted to do. Growing up, I dreamed of exploring every corner of the Earth. As an adult, I figured that just because I happened to be single didn’t mean that I couldn’t fulfil my dream of seeing the world. While my family never quite understood it, I loved every moment of my solo travels! Traveling solo gave me more than photos and memories, it gave me valuable life experiences.
Then one day after returning from a trip to Hong Kong, I was asked to meet a guy over coffee. Not being one to hide my independent nature (even on a first date), I remember vividly telling him about my solo travels. Rather than being intimidated, he was intrigued. Fast forward to the next summer, he and I had been dating for some time and I was planning a trip to Ireland for a friend’s wedding. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see just how compatible we would be on the road together. So, I invited him to come along. After a 13 day trip that included exhausting flights, multiple hostels, driving on the opposite side of the road, navigating foreign maps, attempting to hold our own with the Irish at the pub, and less than ideal digestive situations, I knew he was a keeper. But beyond that, I was impressed at how well we traveled together.
It seemed as though I had found a travel partner, for life.
It’s been years since we took that first trip together to Ireland, and we are still traveling the world. After realizing that our jobs were getting in the way of our travel dreams, last summer we decided to leave our “normal” lives in the States and pursue a nomadic lifestyle on the road, at least for a few years. Being able to experience so many places that I’ve always wanted to see would have been amazing as a solo traveler, but as a traveling couple, we can now share these memories together. It’s pretty cool to think about all the stories we’ll have when we are old and gray.
While traveling as a couple is very different than traveling solo, I’ve found that making the transition wasn’t as difficult as some might think. In reality, you shouldn’t have to give up your independent nature to make it work as a traveling couple. The key to success is to be considerate of each other, and the things that we each want to do. After all, it may be “our” experience together, but it’s still our own individually. When it comes down to it, the factors for determining a successful relationship on the road are the very same as those for any other successful relationship. It’s about love, trust, respect, compromise, etc., etc. The only difference is that the both of you must really enjoy travel… and WANT to travel together.
So to all you girls who are traveling solo, keep it up. When you find the right person to join you on your adventures, your success traveling as a couple will not be inhibited by your former glory days of solo travel. You really can maintain your independent nature, as well as being a part of a traveling couple.!
who is currently being amazed (and shocked) by China