10 Awkward Questions a Married Female Solo Traveler Needs to Answer – Part 1
August 3, 2018
How often have you come across a female solo traveler? Maybe a few times. How often have you come across a married female solo traveler? Most likely not even once. And I am not talking about business travel for couple of days; I am talking about actual long-term travel, just for the love of traveling.
While traveling, the moment people come to know that I am a MARRIED female solo traveler, their curiosity gets better of them. In their excitement, they always bombard me with questions, some of them being flinchingly personal; but, at the same time, I also understand their curiosity.
So, here I am sharing the 10 most asked questions which I end up answering, almost always, as a married female solo traveler. This is a two-part blog post, where each part consists of 5 questions.
Question 1: Why are you traveling alone when you are married?
Well, because I LOVE traveling alone. And when I say this, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy traveling with my husband. One simply needs to understand that your experiences are very different when you travel in a group or as a couple, and when you travel solo.
Who would not want to travel with his/her love! But, it is practically not possible always to be able to match our schedules for a holiday. So, does that mean I can’t go alone? I don’t think so.
Besides, marriage is not supposed to be a cage, wherein you are tied together with each other all the time. We got married because we wanted to share our lives with each other without sacrificing our own individuality; before being partners, we are two persons with our own individual choices and preferences, and we respect that!
Question 2: How can your husband give you permission to travel alone for so long?
I always take offense to this question. Does a husband take permission of his wife before planning and going for a solo trip, be it official or otherwise? NO! Husband tells his wife, doesn’t ask for permission. So, why is wife required to take permission? She needs to decide on her own.
This does not mean I simply leave my husband and go whenever I want. We talk about my travel plans and try to find a schedule which suits both of us. My husband knows my love for traveling and, in fact, he is the one who fueled that desire in me and encouraged me to not wait for him to accompany me and be as married female solo traveler.
Question 3: How can your husband stay away from you for so long?
He really can! And that doesn’t mean he loves me any less; it only means that he can manage all the practical aspects of it on his own. He is a responsible adult.
Thankfully he is not the type of husband who would say, “how can I stay away from you; I can’t let you go alone; I would die without you.” Most of the time when someone says something like this, the main concern for is not really the “love” or “missing” part, but the practical aspect of living alone and managing home, food, grocery, and other home related daily chores.
Husbands get so used to the comfort of not having to worry about the household chores, that they just can’t imagine doing it all alone without their wives.
I have been lucky enough to have a husband who truly meant it when he said, “I support you.” Those were not just empty words.
Being raised in a family where all female members were working women, he knew the importance of real support without emotional blackmailing, and never obsessed about daily household chores. His simple answer was – “I didn’t marry you and brought you home to cook food for me and do household chores; I could have always hired a helper to do that. So, go and do whatever you really want to do. Explore. Be free.”
Question 4: Are you not scared your husband might cheat on you while you are away?
Shouldn’t he be more scared with me sharing dorms with handsome men from all over the world? 😛 😛
Well on a serious note, Not really. One, because we trust each other; and two, if we really want to cheat, we can always do that even when we stay together. People who want to cheat, they cheat anyhow. Especially in this technology driven society, where everyone can stay connected all the time, it has become a lot easier.
When you enter into a committed relationship, trust is the most important aspect. Trust is not dependent upon the physical proximity with your partner. Mostly when you worry about your partner cheating on you, more than the fact, it is your own fear which takes over your rational thinking.
And as it is said, distance makes the heart grow fonder!! And also, I prefer quality over quantity. So, whenever we are together, we spend quality time, instead of fussing about the amount of time.
Question 5: Why did you get married if you wanted to travel solo?
Actually, it was surprising to me that this question was asked by travelers from developed countries. The thing is, even though female solo travelers are quite common in developed countries, married female solo traveler is still a rare sight.
This might be because in developed countries, lot of freedom is given with respect to travel as well as marriage; so, mostly people who love to travel, take a gap year, travel around the world, go back, pursue their career, find/meet someone they love, and get married. Which means, marriage is something you do when you want to settle down, and not roam around the world.
When I got married, which was almost six years ago, I personally felt ready for it – I had finished my studies, got professionally settled in my career, found my partner in crime, and both of us were ready for the long-term commitment of marriage. Although I always enjoyed traveling, I was not bitten by the travel bug; may be because I simply wasn’t aware of any married female solo traveler; in fact, I never even thought solo travel as an option, as married women don’t travel solo in India!!
It is only after I got married and after my husband encouraged me, that I could gather courage to travel and explore the world on my own. Had I not married my amazing hubby, I probably would not have taken the path of solo travel.