I'm not a man-hater , but I am fiercely independent. So when I get regular emails from aspiring female travelers feeling like they have to put their desire to travel on hold because their significant other isn't comfortable with it, I cringe inside.
If you've ever felt like traveling the world and maintaining a relationship back home were mutually exclusive concepts, I've been sent here by the good Lord himself to deliver some breaking news -- 'tis simply not the case.
Women, I will never pretend I know what it's like to share the special bond and connection you and your significant other have. Every relationship is so different and complex, and there are layers to the trust your love was founded on.
However, , the idea that a woman is attached to the hip (read: approval) of a man just doesn't sit well with me.
I have so many high school and college friends who put their careers on hold to support and move to a place that better suited their boyfriend's lifestyle or future.
I admire that kind of loyalty, but know that support is a two-way street. Maybe this is why I'm single, but I think every young adult needs to block off a good 3 to 5 years to chase and hustle after your OWN heart's desires.
Doesn't mean you need to do it alone, but you definitely need to be with someone who won't make you feel guilty for it.
The price of living the dream (yes, click and read that article after), is that other aspects of your life will likely suffer. But at what cost does a life full of regrets become justified?
There are times I look at my singleness (hey, sexy!) at the "ripe" age of 26, as one of the biggest blessings in my life. Because being in a relationship is easy. It's maintaining one of trust, mutual growth, and respect that takes work.
Let me repeat those three components --
If your significant other doesn't trust you to behave while you're off chasing a dream for a couple months, then what does that say about him, or rather, the relationship?
If your significant other doesn't allow room for mutual growth, and you both are always making decisions that best cater to his career, then who's really getting the better deal here?
If your significant other doesn't respect you enough to allow you to spread your wings and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, then why are you depriving yourself of that freedom?
Men, you need to bring a side of compromise with your appetite to the table if you're trying to get this potluck of a meal (heyyy-ohhh)! Sorry, getting a little off track here.
But not only is solo traveling as a female one of the most empowering things you will ever do in your life, but it's also recommended you maintain solo travel as a self-care regimen especially when in a relationship or marriage.
Take it from the travel guru herself, Oneika The Traveller, why as a happily married woman, she finds the time and necessity to still travel by herself. She wrote a very compelling piece about that here.
What makes my dating life so easy sometimes, is that in the early stages of a relationship, a man will let his insecurities be known about whether or not he's comfortable with his love interest jet-setting around the world constantly.
In a perfect world, you'd be on that plane with me, but I know not everyone has or can maintain a remote working lifestyle.
After all, the goal isn't to be on a plane every waking second of my life, but I will keep making the most of this lifestyle, crossing through uncharted territories, debunking stereotypes, and educating myself in the most pure and raw form of knowledge we can get -- and that's through travel.
So women, tell me this. What means more? Your relationship or your desire to travel?
Trick question, you shouldn't have to choose because the perfect boyfriend or husband will allow you to spread those wings so wide, you'll forget you ever had feet to begin with ;)
Know a friend struggling with this? Share it with them! And I'd love to hear in the comments below whether your significant other made you choose or if you've got a unicorn of a man who supports your traveling ways :)
About the Author:
Gloria Atanmo is the author of "From Excuses to Excursions" and a travel blogger at TheBlogAbroad.com where she chronicles her adventures, mishaps, and Serena Williams look-a-like perks around the world. You can best keep up with her on Instagram where she photo documents everything from her 45+ countries of travel and her YouTube channel.