Just a simple, but also difficult question. Since January I plot the plan of a world trip in 2010 , mostly through Russia and the former russian republics, Mongolia, Alaska and Canada, Greenland and Iceland. At least one winter I will spend in Mongolia, cause in the winter it's absolutely impossible to do trips, and I will work as an English teacher or similar.
And.... in July I met by coincidence my actual girlfriend, by chance and not by discussing about trips or looking for a travel mate. A nice mongolian lady with a daughter. I love her home country and I have been there several times so there's always something to talk about. Until now I didn't tell her what I am up to do.
But I think I have to do so, because I can't just say 'darling I need some cigarettes', and come back 2 years later.
It's a big dream, I did some preparations (and cardio training) and also I asked a friend to come with me for some weeks. Unfortunately.... the girl is terribly frightened to lose me, because her former husband quit her two years ago and our relationship seems to work well. There are some reasons why she can't come with me, some financial issues and some other reasons....
I haven't any idea how to tell her about my plany so she can trust me.... and she deserves the truth which I can't hide from her forever.
I too have had a relationship dilemma, I decided in January to go on my travels this Dec (although i've now booked for april 09) I didnt have the guts to tell my boyfriend for the first 3/4 months, I ended up blurting it out in an argument! He totally dismissed it and acted like I had said nothing, I kept quiet for a few more weeks then decided to just go for it. I sat him down and told him straight, and he said "ok babe, thats fine, but you probably wont go!" He was in total denial, he had many many self issues that he needed to tackle and so he couldnt come with me, which I actually didnt want, I just knew it would be too difficult travelling with a boyfriend. Eventually I ended the relationship because it became increasingly difficult, he was telling me one minute he'd wait for me, then in the next breath he couldnt be with me know I was going for a year, then in the next saying we'd go on until I was going away then seperate ... my head was battered so I had to end things. It hasn't been easy but I have my trip to look forward to now!!!
Your situation is totally different, If I was you I would come clean but dont expect it to be plain sailing, which im sure you already know.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
At the weekend we have talked about this subject.... because she knew some of my forum posts (a german language mongolian forum) that I am up to do a long trip in 2010. I don't really know what is in her head now, but we both like a more adventurous life than just sitting here and wait until the pension age.
She felt something.... and asked me if my intentions were real, and I didn't just answer "yes". I told her from my far-sickness, from my adoration for the steppe and countryside, the rough climate, the people on the way who I will see.
She could feel the same, but she can't just take a bicycle and go away. She understands my feelings well, cause most Mongolians who immigrated to the 1st world countries miss the adventurous life, most of them are home sick and even a happy relationship and a family can't cure this home-sickness.
My primary intention to sign my actual contract was the ability to save lot of money for a RTW trip - so I cancelled my contract in public services, signed a new contract which will fill my pockets faster, live in a cheap appartment and I just have to wait.... learn some Kasakh language, improve my Russian and Mongolian, and learn everything about survival and long-distance cycling.
Finally, we didn't break our relationship this weekend, but probably it won't win more depth because both of us know that she couldn't retain me and I can't take her with me.
A day later she asked me "how long does it take to know someone really well." We agreed that one year will be more or less the time. I can understand her when she says she wouldn't wait an entire year, or probably longer. One winter in Mongolia, and another with the Inuit in Canada is a long time.
We both were looking for a partner and we didn't think about the far future. I met her to talk about her country and my last trips to this country. It lowered down my far sickness, and her home sickness. It's not a crime to fall in love, it is not a crime to be honest and tell her the truth.
So the situation is a little bit different, because she accepts this wish and your boyfriend hasn't a fixed opinion. I can live with a girl who is waiting for me, I can also live alone on my trip.....