Solo Travel + Committed Relationship - Compatible?

Travel Forums General Talk Solo Travel + Committed Relationship - Compatible?

1. Posted by John_1990 (Budding Member 4 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Going through a really tough time at the moment and really want to hear from people that been in this situation before.

I'm probably going to get a tonne of abuse for this but please keep an open mind.

I (M/31) have been with my GF (F/26) for 3 years now. We have been living together for the past 2 years and we have a good relationship for the most part.

Next month, I'll be going away on a solo backpacking trip around SE Asia and I don't know how long I'll be gone for.

I would have gone much sooner but have had a commitment which has kept me in my home country for the last 4 years. I'm now free of that commitment and ready to travel. I have always been honest with my GF about my desire to travel solo and we have always known this day was coming.

It's now 3 weeks til the trip and it gets harder and harder being together. It's such a hard situation to be in. On one hand, I love her dearly and it kills me seeing how upset it's making her and on the other I want to be excited for finally going on the adventure I've been waiting so long for.

I just don't know how to handle the situation and I'm dreading the day I have to leave because I know how much it's going to hurt her. I feel so bad knowing that I am leaving her to go on this adventure and she's going to stay here, in our ordinary life, except without me in it.

We have discussed her joining me for portions of the trip but she's heavily tied to her job and I've wanted to do this trip solo for a long time.

We both know there's a chance I will want to travel long-term so we know this could be the end.

I don't know what to do or say to make it any better.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6208 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

No abuse, just my opinion.

>I don't know what to do or say to make it any better.

Frankly, there isn't anything you can do or say to 'make it better'.

You say you've always been open about your plans and imo that's fair enough. You don't say what your gf wants you to do but I hope you've made it crystal clear that you don't expect her to spend the rest of her life waiting for you to come back. You may want her to do that but it is not your decision. It's not fair to lay that expectation on her. She must know that she is absolutely free to make her own decisions with no comeback from you...and without feeling guilty. If you haven't made that clear already, do so now.

Many partnerships do survive the very long absence of one person but many do not. Accept that neither of you can know what the future holds.

You will feel guilty for hurting her, of course: you're a 'normal' human being. But you made the decision to travel without her so the bottom line is that you have to accept and deal with the guilt you feel.

If you don't feel as excited about the trip as you think you should, tough. You'll either get excited once you've started or you'll miss her so much you'll cut the trip short.

Whatever happens, treat her well by allowing her the freedom to choose her own path.

[ Edit: Edited on 26 Feb 2024, 20:55 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5490 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

"Next month, I'll be going away on a solo backpacking trip around SE Asia and I don't know how long I'll be gone for."


A psychologist can take care of the "relationship" stuff.


Travel. To wander around in "aimlessly" in SEA requires sufficient income to support yourself. Perhaps even proof or funds just to enter some countries. Assuming you already have your passport. Some countries may not let you leave your home airport without proof of onward travel. (POOT)

For me, "round trip" is usually cheaper than two "one way" flights. Always do the math.

Do not travel with a single debit or credit card.

Have you considered some sort of medical - hospital insurance in case you get hurt or sick overseas? I have read stories on the internet and local newspapers about tourists hurt overseas and can't pay for medical care. (Falling off balconies, motorbike accidents, getting bit by a dog, hit by a car, etc.)

Keep in mind the prevailing weather will depend on where and what month you arrive overseas. (Rain, heat, etc.)

Have fun!

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