About 6 months ago, I made the decision to travel for 6 weeks without my husband. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in my life, more so because in our ten-year relationship, the longest we had been apart was a couple of weeks. Saying goodbye to him at the airport was heart-breaking. Tears streaming down my face and gulping like a child, I said goodbye to the love of my life and boarded a plane to the other side of the world…
In the build up to my travels, I experienced a lot of puzzled looks to outright disgust at the thought that I was ‘abandoning’ my husband for so long. To be fair, I can understand that this is not normally what married couples do willingly and in all honesty I wish this situation had worked out differently. I wish I had gone before I was married. On the other hand, being with J (my hubs), from my late teens, meant there was never going to be a time where I was free from the hardship of us spending time apart. I considered travelling abroad to do my research project at University for three months, but when discussing it, J was really unhappy with the prospect of us being apart for that long, understandably so. Straight after University, I had an offer for a pre-registration position that I would have felt foolish for turning down, especially as many of my University colleagues were struggling to get placements in a hospital, which I was blessed to have. Then at the end of my pre-registration year I was married!
Which brings me to why I am sunning myself in Byron Bay Australia whilst my other half is on the other side of the planet. It was now or never. I made a mistake by not going away earlier in our relationship, but that does not mean my dreams of travelling were impossible to achieve. When I brought up my travelling plans again with my husband, he was of course devastated and hurt and I felt extremely selfish and like the worst life partner ever for even uttering those words, but J understood that this was a major dream of mine and did not want me to ever regret not going. In an ideal world, he would have come with me, however with his profession, coupled with prior commitments, it would have been impossible for him to come as well. One day, we will by God’s grace extend our family and these dreams would really have had to be put on the backburner for decades. So he gave me his blessing and that was one of the sweetest and most selfless things he could ever have done for me.
Communication is key in any relationship. There is no one healthy formula to a happy and loving marriage but I really believe that good communication is vital. Travelling solo for so long would probably be a major red in most marriages, and that is okay. In ours, we came to an understanding with each other and that is all that matters. Remember, the only people that matter in your relationship is you and your significant other. As long as the two of you are in sync and on the same page, family and friends will eventually catch up.
It’s been two of the most amazing weeks of my life, but also two of the hardest, and I believe the longer I am away, the harder it will be for the both of us. However, there are things couples can do to make situations like this easier. Ensuring that my husband is okay is still my priority, even whilst I am away. I spent time crafting heartfelt love letters before I left that he can open weekly while I am away so that he can feel appreciated and valued. They contain beautiful scriptures from the Bible, as well as the reassurance that because I am doing this, does not mean I love him any less. In fact, I have never loved him more. Since opening a few of them, he told me that they do make the separation easier and the time fly quicker because he has a weekly treat to look forward to.
Another reason why we are coping with this separation, is that we inherently trust each other which is so important. It really isn’t the easiest thing to do! But it was a trait we forced ourselves to learn if we were going to stand the test of time, not just with this, but with anything life throws at us. Communication as I said earlier makes things easier. As soon as I touched down in Oz, I purchased a sim card that gave me unlimited international calls, so even with the 11-hour time difference, we still speak/FaceTime each other four times a day! Another important thing to try not to do, which I think is really difficult when you’re separated for long periods of time, is not to argue! Focus on the fact that your time speaking to each other is limited, therefore spend it being as mushy as possible because you may not speak again for a long time. Having these thoughts has made our conversations that much sweeter.
If anyone has a dream, no matter what stage in life, no matter what the dream is, I really believe most are possible to achieve. Never just give up on it because you may resent the reason for not following your dreams. Take control of your life!
Has anyone ever been in a similar situation to mine? This is a one-off for me, but does anyone do this regularly, whether for business or pleasure? How does your partner feel? Does anyone have any further advice on how to travel solo without detriment to your relationship? Would love to hear from you guys.
Lots of love
- HELLO WORLD!
- MY FIRST EXPERIENCE ‘BACKPACKING’ IN AUSTRALIA