“And he leaves you alone for a few months? So what does he do while you’re on a trip,” my friends ask.
My husband and I have been in a relationship for the full 11 years before getting married, but the world has expressed dissatisfaction with my solo travel only when we got married.
Eleven years is not a negligible period of dating, but since we started dating back in high school, it was natural not to get married right away.
I was 15 when I traveled alone with my uncle, who was living in Argentina at the time. I realized that my travels were affecting the development of self-awareness and I just couldn’t resist that excitement.
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Later, the question was never asked if I would go on a trip since I was in a relationship.
Of course, we were teenagers, and at that age, it is quite normal for you to “disappear” for a couple of weeks when you go on vacation or camping with your family. My boyfriend then accepted that traveling would be an important part of my life.
That attitude cemented when I traveled to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador that first few years of our relationship.
My desire to explore the world on my own has been met with great support from friends, family, and partners.
However, that attitude changed after I got married.
No, my husband didn’t expect me to stop traveling now (he’s the person who knows me best in the world), that’s what my friends expected me to do.
Immediately after the wedding, I began planning a two-month trip to Central America to collect wildlife photos for my new magazine. I was pretty excited when I came from a trip full of impressions, photos, and experiences. However, I was brought down to earth by my friends who had commented on my travel experiences:
“And your husband lets you travel alone for months?”; “What is he doing while you are traveling?” They were throwing suspicion into my head.
If he’s going to cheat on me as soon as I turn my back, then he’s not the kind of person I would grow old with.
“Well, didn’t you just get married?” I have been asked by many thinking that when you are a wife you have to be tied with an umbilical cord to your husband.
I wonder, would you question my husband so much if he was inclined to travel on his own? Probably not! Extended business trips for men are normal, as is the hunt that should provide the family with food for a year. People are not yet used to women having the same roles as men. According to them, a woman should still be sitting at home, especially if she is a married woman!
I would be lying if I said that these questions did not shake me. I even questioned my behavior. Maybe it’s really important for me to stay home now …
But, I’m a freelance writer who writes about travel. What should I do now, change my job? Would that really strengthen my marriage? The answer is NO!
And that’s why I keep traveling without my husband! Do you know why? Because I’m happy when I travel and when I research things myself and when I write about travel … And because I’m happy, I’m a great wife!
I am not subject to stereotypes! I am not a woman waiting for her husband at home, but I am a woman who is faithful to her husband.