Notes on (still) solo traveling

May 13, 2015 in Life,Philosophy,Travel

I started traveling by myself almost on accident: it certainly wasn’t any sort of conscious feminist statement, or because I wanted to one day become a “solo female traveler.” After I graduated from college, I wanted to backpack around Europe and couldn’t convince any of my friends to come with me: so I booked the ticket, and had five glorious weeks gallivanting around Europe. I was a little nervous about the logistics, but I was mostly excited for the adventure.

Christine Amorose in Europe in 2009

When I moved to France, and then to Australia, and finally to New York City, it was much of the same–I didn’t wait for someone to go with me: I went because I wanted to go. Since moving to New York City, I’ve tried to leverage my vacation time as an opportunity to travel with the people I love. I’m a little more flexible with my dates and times and places if it means that I get to have a weekend escape with my boyfriend, or catch up with a good friend who doesn’t live in the USA (like Puerto Rico with my Australian friend Renee and Turkey with my British friend Nevin). And I’ve learned that traveling with friends–the right friends who also appreciate early mornings and road trip vista points and meandering walks–can make a trip exponentially more fun and more memorable.

Let me preface all of this by stating just how wonderful my boyfriend is: he is always up for an adventure together, whether it’s a magic show in New York City or a disastrous road trip in the Dominican Republic, and he’s also incredibly supportive of my blog, my career growth, my intensely scheduled social life and my love of travel.

And although we spend a lot of time together, I’m conscious of not wanting to fall into a codependent relationship. I want him to run marathons, drink whiskey with his friends and stay late at the office without worrying about me–because I want to go to yoga class, sip wine at book club and hole up with my laptop to write a blog post without feeling guilty about not being with him. Essentially, I want us both to have fulfilling and interesting lives–so that our life together is a sum of all its great parts.

Christine Amorose in Paris 2015

And to that end: sometimes it means that I’m traveling solo. Even though traveling with him can make a trip much more fun, being in a relationship does not render me incapable of enjoying my own company in a new country (or even in my own neighborhood). We put a lot of pressure on relationships in our culture, and we certainly celebrate them and their milestones more than we praise independence.

I’m celebrating my 27th birthday in Curacao this year: by myself. Curacao is an idyllic island nation and former Dutch colony off the coast of South America, complete with sweeping beaches and colorful architecture and year-round perfect weather. It’s certainly a place that would be romantic with my boyfriend, or fun with a group of girlfriends. But it’s also a place that I know I’ll be able to fully savor by myself: reading on the beach, long walks through town to take photos and soaking up as much sunshine and relaxation as humanly possible.

And celebrating every birthday in my 20s in a different country was a promise that I made to myself, and it’s one that I want to keep. So even though I won’t have anyone to clink glasses with, I’ll still be raising a tropical cocktail this year.

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  • I share your sentiments, and am lucky to have a husband that supports my career + passions. Traveling solo is liberating – doing it again next week, in fact! How exciting to be headed to Curacao, that will be amazing. xo

  • I struggle with this sometimes! It can be hard to balance your personal goals and time with spending time with your partner and making them a priority. Sometimes expressing the desire to go somewhere alone can be feel like rejecting your SO. I also agree that there’s a societal push to celebrate couples and not independence. But it’s so important to maintain your independent lives, and makes being a couple that much richer. Curacao for your birthday sounds like heaven!

  • Love this post; it really resonates with me! I’ve traveled both with people and alone and each can be great, but I think people by default often assume solo travel is sad and lonely! Cheers to your birthday in Curacao :)

  • I love this! I celebrated my 30th birthday by myself in Mexico (https://www.yahoo.com/travel/i-spent-my-30th-birthday-in-mexico-alone-115063929937.html) for the same reasons: to savor a place fully and to do whatever I wanted. It was great! And I don’t think solo travel has to be restricted to women who are not in relationships, so I think it’s wonderful that you are in a committed relationship but still doing your own thing (and okay with him doing the same).

  • jeanine

    OMG…you are SO a younger version of me! You hit every bullet point on being independent & enjoying solo travel…and at the same time enjoying a great relationship and the support and love of girlfriends. Thanks for this great post!

  • The older I get the more I am interested in solo travel. I think celebrating your birthday in a new country with yourself sounds amazing!

  • Julia

    I have so much respect for you after this post! I think it’s so important to feel comfortable with being on your own, and that you are keeping this independence even if the other parts of your life are full. I wish you a very happy birthday in advance, it’s going to be a great one :)

    Julia

    ExploresMore.com

  • Ya! This is the kind of post I like reading. It’s important to do the things you want, even if you have to do them alone. Koodos to you and your boyfriend for keeping up your own interests and still making things work, it’s a solid message to share with other couples.

  • Amani @ The9to5Wanderer

    I could not agree with this more- thanks for a great post! I wish more people and couples had this mentality. I’m a new reader and LOVE your blog!

    -Amani

  • This is truly AWESOME. wise words on relationships and wise words on travelling. Glad to have found your blog. x

    http://www.frauleinlouise.com

  • lovelovelovelovelovelove this. happy early birthday and yay for another new country!

  • Ah, same philosophy I have and I’ve seen in successful relationships. I know a couple that’s been together 30 years and one of the biggest advice they gave me was let the other person be free to live their dreams. The wife is often traveling and going on yoga retreats, and the husband is more of a homebody and sports enthusiast. It’s awesome how it can work out. How exciting for your birthday :)

  • camorose

    Yay! You’re such a great example of being able to travel and be a mother and still explore your individual passions. Love it!

  • camorose

    Thank you! You’re definitely echo-ing everything I feel–but I think just being aware of that fact can be HUGE in maintaining independence while celebrating being in a couple.

  • camorose

    Thanks Laura! And yes–I think that solo travel is something to be celebrated when it’s done right! :)

  • camorose

    Yes! I just want to help start the conversation that solo travel isn’t necessarily “single girl” travel :)

  • camorose

    Thanks Jeanine! Can’t wait to chat about all the travel things in June :)

  • camorose

    yes! It’s been a fun tradition so far!

  • camorose

    Thanks Julia! Appreciate the kind words and well wishes :)

  • camorose

    Thanks Ashley! Appreciate the support :)

  • camorose

    Thanks Amani! So glad you found me!

  • camorose

    Thanks Lulu! So glad you’re here!

  • camorose

    Thanks Jodi! I’m looking forward to it!

  • camorose

    Yes! I love hearing that so much!

  • Pingback: The Best Advices On Traveling Solo By 17 Female Travel Pros | WORLD Warotter()

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