Have you ever felt burned out from travel? Sometimes personal time is the right solution. This is a guest post by Elise, one half of Positive World Travel.
I’m going to be selfish for this post. I’m going to write about me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with the details of my favorite food, hobbies, or shoe size. Instead, I’m going to talk about why taking some time out from being a couple can be a good thing when you travel. Yes, I’m talking about that popular catchphrase, “me time.”
Last month, when Anthony wrote about traveling as a couple, he spoke from the heart and really hit the nail on the head as to what couples travel is all about. It’s about the experiences and memories that you create together, and it’s about being a unit and sharing your adventures.
While all that is true, I thought it was important to mention that while having a successful relationship on the road does stem from compromise, communication, and understanding, another important factor is taking the time to do things that are just for you.
Without trying to sound too much like a TV talk show host and shouting, “Go on, girl! You deserve it! Let it be all about YOU! Do it for yourself!” I do believe it’s true that doing things for yourself can lead to twice as many benefits for a couple. Being selfish every once in a while can be a good thing.
Why is “me time” important for my relationship?
Life on the road is different from life back home. Regular routines or structure are things of the past. You have to work, communicate, and solve problems together while navigating new surroundings frequently. While Ant and I do most things together, we have days when we need our own space. Sometimes we just need to do our own thing, whether sitting on the beach with our iPod or off doing a hike alone.
Ant got the chance to go spear fishing the other day, which left me alone all day to do as I pleased. Was I bored? Did I get lonely? No, I spent the day pampering myself! I washed my hair, gave myself a nice mani and pedi, and then lost myself in a good novel. I even went out to a local store and stocked up on chocolate.
Taking time away from your partner and doing what you want for yourself gives you time to relax and recharge, which only helps your relationship. You’ve done your own thing, so now you can be ready to listen, compromise, and be a loving partner with even more confidence.
I think some arguments that Ant and I have had simply happened because we didn’t have enough separate space. Everyone needs their own personal space. Taking some time to go off exploring on your own, reading a book, or doing an activity can really solve some problems before they even begin to bubble to the surface.
Furthermore, “me time” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “alone time.” It can quite often mean hanging out with fellow travelers, and it can be a great chance to let you and your partner interact in different environments.
While Ant and I really do love each other’s company, we also enjoy meeting other people from all over the world. Quite often we will have a few drinks with other travelers and barely speak to each other the whole night. We get lost in other people’s stories.
Taking time for yourself is such a good thing, but what makes “me time” even more enjoyable is being able to recount your day. The day after Ant returned from spear fishing, it felt like we hadn’t seen each other in ages! We were so excited to chat about what we had done! We chatted and laughed about our adventures that night over a bottle of wine and some freshly grilled fish that Ant had caught. It was just as exciting as when we go out and do something together, and it helped keep the energy and excitement in our relationship going.
Don’t be afraid to ask your partner if you can do your own thing for a while. Chances are they will want to too!
By Nomadic Matt