Don’t let excuses hold back your travel dreams. Though many Kaleidoscopic Wandering readers are familiar with the travel industry, many others are not. As part of the Why People Don’t Travel series, I’m taking a hard look at five different things that keep people from traveling. In this series, I hope to provide solutions and additional resources for people who would like to travel more.
Today’s travel concern: “I want to travel but my partner doesn’t want to.”
Every once in awhile, the perfect match is made in heaven, but there’s one small problem: One half of the couple can’t live without traveling, and the other one hates to leave home. Some people would walk away from this relationship, but others stick it out, knowing that somehow, travel may have to go on the back burner for the sake of a relationship.
Just so there’s no confusion, you should all know that I’m one of the lucky ones who is in an awesome relationship with a guy who adores traveling as much as I do, but I also know many people who yearn to hit the road even though their significant other doesn’t want to.
If you have wanderlust, do you have to just stuff it in a closet and let it get dusty?
NO! There are lots of ways that you can still feed your travel bug while not alienating your other half. Here are three things to consider:
- An increasing number of couples are taking time to travel (or stay home) on their own, so it is completely acceptable to travel without your significant other. If he or she is working, your other half will hardly realize you’re even gone.
- It may be possible that your partner just thinks he or she doesn’t want to travel. If travel wasn’t part of how he or she grew up, and it was never something ingrained in the fabric of life, then the lack of interest may just be a hibernated interested.
- That said, it is important to realize that some people do not like to travel, and it’s important to respect that.
But the problem still remains: You want to travel, and he/she does not. How to remedy this?
- Travel on your own. Solo travel is a completely legitimate way to hit the road. Hopefully your partner can appreciate your need to explore the world, and if that’s the case, there is no reason why you can’t pack your bags and head out for a bit of alone time.
- Travel with friends or other family members. If you don’t feel comfortable traveling on your own and your partner won’t travel with you, tap other resources. Take a girls’ weekend with some friends from college, ask your brother if he wants to go on that epic hiking trip or take the kids with you. If you can’t find anyone to go with you, consider signing up for a tour group.
- Find out why your partner doesn’t like to travel. Is it because he or she is afraid of learning a new language? Is new food freakish? Does your other half find it frustrating and expensive? Or is it possible that your partner just doesn’t have any travel experience so he or she doesn’t know what to think about traveling? Talk about why travel isn’t a part of your partner’s life, and that will help you figure out if (and how) it can become part of the life you live together.
- Travel in your own backyard. The truth is that many of us don’t take advantage of the awesome opportunities that our own cities and local surroundings offer. When was the last time you took a “staycation” to explore what your neighborhood or nearby towns had to offer? You may be able to convince your partner to take a trip not far from your own home. Plan to spend a night or two in comfortable accommodations and eat food you enjoy. The unknown is scary for a lot of people, so ease into a travel situation that is similar to the familiar.
- Make a deal. Just as your partner shouldn’t have to be part of your plans to pick up and bike through Vietnam at the last minute, you shouldn’t be stuck at home either. Agree to meet each other halfway by spending vacation time at home half the time and traveling the other half of the time.
- Don’t force travel, and keep it simple. If you find yourself arguing and fighting to travel, then it’s not worth it. Travel loses its zest when it becomes a fight, so if you can convince your partner to take a trip, keep it as stress-free as possible. Choose destinations similar to what your living conditions are. These are likely places where people speak English, clean beds and warm showers are available, transportation is abundant and food is familiar. All-inclusive resorts and cruise ships might be good options because someone else is taking care of all the details for you. Road trips will keep you a bit closer to home.
The bottom line is this: If you want to travel, you should. Ideally, you can find a middle ground with your partner and together the two of you can come to an agreement about how travel fits into the life you lead together. If, however, your partner has firmly planted his or her foot down and said no, then you can and should find a way to meet your need of exploring the world. After all, if you don’t travel now, when will you go at all?