On Traveling Alone: A Love Letter To My Other Half

Today I got an email from Hostel World, the website that I have found the majority of my hostels through, with a listicle titled “8 things I learnt as a solo female traveller in South America.” First of all, I hate the word learnt. Second of all, this is not the first article I’ve seen like this. In fact, I read many articles like this before deciding that my journey was the right choice for me. Most of them were quite accurate! But looking back, most of them also read like a monthly horoscope. “You will feel very independent. Although it is lonely at times, your longing for adventure will overcome any lingering doubts. Explore on, fierce Lion! You will get a cute text on the 15th.”

As broad as these articles may be, it is very true that traveling alone causes you to feel heightened emotions. If you hear the sad trombone noise in your head every time you see an old guy out to lunch alone, If you tend to rely on other people to make all of your plans, if you depend on your boyfriend to call the pizza man when your Papa Johns app isn’t working cause you hate talking to strangers…this journey will be shocking at first. That was me. But holy shit you get over that stuff so fast. I felt like every article I read was all about learning to enjoy being by yourself as if these people had never spent an entire Sunday by themselves cleaning, cooking, and watching Netflix. “Be your own best friend!” “Do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it!”

I think I’m at a point in my trip where I am very comfortable being alone. In fact, after a day with my host and other Workawayers, I really enjoy my time in my private room where I can read, exercise, sing, dance (this happens frequently), write, or take a nap. Without WiFi or service in my bedroom, it truly is 100% ME time.

But I’m going to go against the majority of the bloggers and tell the world that while solo travel has it’s many perks, I miss my travel partner. Any and all of the upsides that I have seen highlighted in these posts apply completely to me and Spencer as a travel team as much as they do to me independently.

Granted, I am so glad I started this journey by myself. Both of us have learned invaluable information about ourselves and our relationship. I could not have gained the confidence to talk to strangers, ask questions, and truly explore with him here holding my hand. But otherwise, everything is always better with him by my side. And I miss holding his hand.

We learned early on that we travel well together, when just a few months into dating we decided to drive all the way to the Black Hills to camp at a place without showers. I was used to hating everyone I traveled with by the end of trips, so I was shocked that after 5 days straight of hanging out non-stop (and cleaning ourselves with baby wipes) I still enjoyed every minute of the 10-hour drive home and didn’t want to say goodbye at the end, either. This trip was the start of our flourishing relationship and our shared love for travel.


I can’t wait for my travel partner to get here. Spencer encourages me and challenges me to try new things and explore. At the same time, he never expects me to do anything I’m not in the mood to do. We tend to agree on the perfect balance of being crazy, information-hungry tourists and lazy vacationers. We both love being alone, but alone with each other. We don’t need to be talking or doing everything together all of the time. I just like knowing that he’s there. Not because I need him or I can’t be without him (this past month proves I can get by just fine), but because I don’t want to be.

I have a few more weeks of solo travel ahead of me and the fact that it is truly solo travel still has me very excited. I am still loving the freedom that comes with traveling alone, but I do not see that freedom being hindered by Spencer. I’ve been pushed outside of my comfort zone, I’ve met people, I’ve learned about myself, and I’ve been spontaneous. Now I’m ready to do all of those things with him.

If you’re curious, here are some of the articles that highlight some of the topics I mentioned in this post:




See ya soon, Spence :)


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