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Leaving Partner to Travel Indefinitely?

Travel Forums General Talk Leaving Partner to Travel Indefinitely?

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1. Posted by bonifatu (Budding Member 3 posts) 40w

Hey guys,

I want to share my story, and seek some advice that could possibly help me solve the tricky situation I have on my hands:

I have been with my girlfriend for a year now, and I could say it is a very healthy, balanced relationship. But Here's the catch, I have travelled quite a bit already, and like most people with the bug, I have been wanting to go travel for a year or two around the world for quite some time now. Initially it had just stayed as a project on the back of my mind but recent events have made that a tangible possibility, since I would have the opportunity to work as a freelance travel photographer for a certain magazine which I wont mention.

The thing is that my girlfriend is seriously afraid of following me trhough all this (which is fairly understandable, and I dont judge her for feeling this way), and of course, she doesnt want me to go. I am deeply in love, but the sentiment of not being able to take this opportunity feels suffocating, and I am worried it may turn into resentment towards her.

This is degenerating to the point where we had a serious fight about the issue, and I am starting to question myself on whether or not I should try to convince her anymore to come with me.

Have you guys ever had any issues of the sort before? all advice would be gold for me.
Cheers guys!

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2477 posts) 40w

Your story is not unique... many, many people have been in the identical situation... one person wants to travel, the other does not.

In my experience you have to bite the bullet and leave. There is no way that a person with the travel bug, "gets over it." You will not, "grow out of it." It will always, always gnaw at you. No matter how much time goes by the feeling will never leave and no matter how strong the relationship might be your giving up travel will eventually erode and destroy the connection, and that's really ugly.

It's a lousy situation. Good luck no matter what you decide.


3. Posted by hasbeen (Respected Member 658 posts) 40w

Show your post to your girlfriend. Once she realises you have asked for advice about her relationship from a bunch of random strangers on a TRAVELLERS website, where the advice is going to be 99% in favour of your leaving - she will make your mind up for you.

Have your running shoes handy.

4. Posted by Tabithag (Budding Member 68 posts) 40w

This is a decision that only you can make. You should, of course, discuss it with your girlfriend, and consider what options there are, and whether you can both agree to make any of those options work. But if not, you have to decide whether travel or your girlfriend is more important in your long term future.

What I would say, is if you seriously have a permanent case of the travel bug, you can't look at this as a one off. You might find a way to make this trip work for a year or even two, and then go back to normal, but how long will it be before the bug bites again, and you're back in the same situation, but this time maybe with more commitments (property, kids etc). You need to be realistic with each other about what happens next time. Even if she came with you this time, would she want to put her career (or whatever matters to her - friends, family, children) on hold to do it again later. She may grow to resent your choice if she does.

Of course some people can make this kind of long absence relationship work. She could travel out to meet you in certain places that interest her to visit. You could agree to making shorter trips. But you need to both go into it with an understanding of what you are agreeing to, and consider what you will do if circumstances change and how you will resolve problems when they arise.

Good luck.

5. Posted by bonifatu (Budding Member 3 posts) 40w

Thanks for taking the time to write guys,I appréciate it very much, it's a very hard decision and i wanted to have as many varied opinions as possible, and I'll hopefully work it out, cheers!

6. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 333 posts) 40w

Well my first question would be how old are you. I would ask that because the same question from a 21 year old is not the same thing as from a 41 year old.

Then I would ask why you have a girlfriend and not a fiancé or wife? A one year relationship is not a long term relationship, whether you think it is or not and I find the words people use to describe their relationship are always telling. You have a 'girlfriend'. To me, that's no big deal. I had dozens of girl friends before I committed to a long term relationship.

So what I read is that you are not committed, not that you have to be at all, but if you are not, then there is no problem. You just go.

That then leads me to the question of whether you are really trying to decide whether to commit to this relationship or not? That of course has nothing whatsoever to do with your desire to travel. Asking about travel in that case is just avoiding asking yourself about the real question.

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5844 posts) 39w

There is no way that a person with the travel bug, "gets over it." You will not, "grow out of it." It will always, always gnaw at you

This may be true, but the flip side is just as true which is why this is a hard question. If you dump your girlfriend to go travelling, and she really, really matters to you - you may also never get over that.

Good relationships are all about compromise. There is no way that two people can live happily together for a long time without both sides making thousands of compromises along the way.

It's for you to decide if the relationship is important enough. However, if either you or your girlfriend are unwilling to compromise on issues like this, then to me that's a sure sign of a doomed relationship.

OldPro - I really don't think it matters all that much whether OP is 21 or 41. I moved across the world at the age of 18 to be with someone and here I am 20 years later and still with that someone If, at 18, I had made the decision to go wandering around the world instead, there is no doubt in my mind that I'd be regretting it right now.

8. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2477 posts) 39w

Quoting Peter

[quote]This may be true, but the flip side is just as true which is why this is a hard question. If you dump your girlfriend to go travelling, and she really, really matters to you - you may also never get over that.

This is where you lose me. The OPer is obviously a kid. A one year relationship is nothing in the grand scheme.

(Your exception to the rule aside.)


9. Posted by Peter (Admin 5844 posts) 39w

All relationships have been going for one year at some point .. I fail to see how the length of the relationship so far is relevant at all.

I can't see how you come to the conclusion the OPer is a kid. Previously travelled a lot, travel photography gig - these are not typical attributes of kids.

10. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 333 posts) 39w

Yes, you fail to see it Peter. And so? Does that mean it isn't relevant just because YOU can't see it?

Whenever people post in a travel forum with this exact same question (did you think this was unique), the answer always lies in the relationship. It is not a question of whether to travel or not to travel, it is a question about the relationship and what the travel will mean to that relationship.

It could as easily be a question asking should I buy this new car I've always wanted or should I save the money for a down payment on a house as my 'girlfriend' wants me to do?

It's not about the travel question. Can you see that?