Your Significant Other Isn’t Interested in Traveling? Here’s Why You Should Go Anyway

As a woman who has traveled for business for most of my adult life, my husband is accustomed to fending for himself when I’m away for a few days or a week. And I am very happy traveling solo. I love the feeling of having a luxurious hotel room, a comfy bed, high thread count sheets and the TV remote all to myself.

But as hubby and I approached retirement age, I thought things would change.

I envisioned our Third Act would involve buying an RV and setting out to explore North America together, one long, lazy drive at a time.

I even bought him a cute RV Christmas ornament a few years ago so he would share in my anticipated joy.

He Doesn’t Want to Go with Me

But then something happened that I didn’t see coming: He started a new career that he loves.

That means he won’t be free and available whenever a sense of wanderlust hits me. His clients wouldn’t appreciate it, and he gets too much joy from doing the work to want to drop it and take off on a whim.

Certainly, there will be the couples’ travel we have always done – long-planned vacations on a river cruise in Europe or our regular month-long winter sabbatical somewhere warmer than frigid Chicago in February.

But there won’t be that ability to go where our hearts lead because his heart is telling him to stay home.

What Now?

While I am proud of him – really, I am! – I am sad for me. When I realized what his success meant for my travel plans, I put away the cute little RV ornament and slinked off to lick my wounds.

Then I changed gears.

Since I have no intention – ever – of driving an RV (I break out in hives when I have to back our mid-sized SUV into the garage), I realize that my future travel will look very much like my past travel:

I will fly wherever I want to go.

I will check into really nice hotels and relish the luxury and comfort of having the room to myself.

I will be my outgoing self and meet people as I explore.

Finding New Travel Partners

In addition to exploring the world on my own, I also will do something new: I will seek out new travel partners.

Already, I have reached out to two cousins, both single women (one single by choice, the other a widow) to talk about possible future trips.

And I reconnected with my pre-marriage BFF travel buddy. She and I took many fun trips together – from the Caribbean to Romania! – before our lives became focused on building careers, tending marriages and raising kids.

And I am exploring ways to meet other travel-hungry women. I have joined a Facebook group for women travelers. And I am writing travel content for Sixty and Me, where I hope to connect with those of you who love to travel as much as I do.

How to Start a Life of Travel Without a Significant Other

I know that I am lucky. My husband is self-sufficient and rarely complains that I spend too much time away. Plus, he knows that I get antsy and far less pleasant to be around if I go too long between trips.

But what if that is not the case? What if you want to travel but your significant other doesn’t want to go but doesn’t want to stay home alone?

That is the case for my stepmom and dad. He’s getting older and needy, and she doesn’t feel comfortable leaving him even for an overnight.

The answer for her is to work with my brother and me to coordinate schedules so one of us can stay with him or at least check in regularly while she’s gone.

Working Around the Pain Points

The key is to figure out your partner’s pain points.

Is your partner someone who can’t cook? Perhaps you can make and freeze meals that can be easily heated in the microwave while you’re gone.

Is the issue loneliness? Perhaps you can encourage your partner to plan social engagements in your absence – dinner with a family member one night, catching a movie with a pal the next.

I always recommend starting small. Plan an overnight in a nearby town doing something your partner would never want to do. (Weekend quilting bee, anyone?) That will give you a chance to see how your partner handles it when you’re gone – and see how you feel about traveling without your partner.

Whatever the barrier, look for a way around it. If your soul needs to see the world, there are ways to feed that need.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you traveled without your significant other? Where did you go and who did you travel with? What will you do differently on your next trip?

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