It’s difficult for some people to get on a plane and jet set across the globe. There’s a lot of understandable reasons—work gets in the way, money gets in the way, logistics hold you back. But something that comes up time and time again is that one significant other doesn’t like to travel while their partner does.
One thing is clear in this dilemma: You cannot force your partner to come, and you cannot force your partner to stay. Basically, it boils down to two options.
You have to travel on your own
Lots of people around the love travel on their own, and are strongly supported by their other half. To do this, you need to be clear with your partner what the boundaries are.
One of the main topics of discussion is how long will a trip will last. Your partner may not be able to stick around for a year while you travel the world, but they might be completely understanding of you taking six weeks a year to tick some countries off your bucket list.
The best advice is to communicate with each other. Be open and honest about what you both think your relationship can handle. If it’s a mutual decision that one should go and the other should stay, put measures in place to support this.
There should be no room for guilt in this process. If travel is part of your dreams and not your partner’s, there should be both understanding and encouragement by both parties. You need to think about what makes the two of you compatable in the first place, to think about the reasons why you ended up together. This will always set you straight when you’re feeling down.
Use technology to your advantage. Don’t make it a negative. Set aside time in the afternoon to phone your other half and see how things are going. Share your experiences at home and abroad and discuss both your personal interests. Speak about places that you think your partner will like.
They may not be ready to do a six-week trip but they might be more open to the idea of a two-week vacation at some point knowing that you have already been there and that they will have their own personal tour guide. If you do not feel comfortable travelling on your own, hook up with some friends or family who are keen to hit the road.
Help your partner understand your dreams
First off, your partner needs to understand why you want to travel. You may feel that your other half is averse to your dreams, but that might just be your own fear projections. It might not be what they think at all and you just haven’t communicated how much it means to you.
Explain your reasoning around wanting to travel and what you hope to experience. Give your partner an insight into how you feel. It will make you a better person and will positively impact your life.
It’s also important to share stories with your partner.
Often, people don’t have interest in such travel experiences because they do not see the possibility of them every experiencing it the same way. They are either terrified of the prospect or too comfortable in their own lives. Even just watching a movie can spark interest in seeing a certain destination. Be careful about your hints however, there is a fine line between being supportive and being deceitful and manipulative.
It might be a case that your partner just thinks he/she does not want to travel because they have never tried it. If this is the case, support your partner to travel short distances initially. It might just be a weekend away. Weekend trips are a lot less hassle and are often a lot cheaper than long haul flights.
After a couple of weekends away, turn the getaway into somewhere a bit further away. A good option for initial steps here is to try a relaxing vacation somewhere luxurious first to get a taste. You can try an island resort before you suggest backpacking through South America. They might enjoy the experience and be open to more things down the line. Hopefully at this point, your partner has no idea as to why they did not want to travel in the first place.
Strong relationships involve giving and taking. Either way, travelling involves compromise from both sides. It may not be possible for you to go the yearlong trip solo while leaving your friends and family behind, however that six-week solo trip should be more than achievable.
You never know, after a couple of wonderful experiences your partner might just be ready to throw that bag pack on after all and take off on new adventures.