Relationship

Why My Husband and I Take Solo Vacations—Without the Other—Every Year

Vacationing alone gives each person time to indulge interests that bore the other, plus you realize how much you miss each other. Reunions are sweet!

husband and wife split screen on solo vacationsCourtesy Nadine Jolie CourtneyAfter my husband Erik and I had our daughter, I took a transformational nine-day-trip alone that helped me gain clarity, perspective, and (most importantly, as a new mom) rest. I exchanged a life of diaper-changing and early-morning wake-ups for seven days at a spa in Austria, followed by a weekend in London visiting one of my best friends who I rarely get to see.

It was life-changing for me, gave my husband time alone to further bond with our daughter, and strengthened our marriage. A few months after my trip, my husband embarked on his own solo vacation: to Florida (his home state) to visit his best friend from childhood. After a few days in Miami, he rented a car and drove to Tampa, where his grandparents had lived, and spent a few days in a library doing extensive genealogy research. There, unencumbered by an infant and a wife asking how much longer, he unearthed newspaper articles about his family, including a precious tidbit about the father he never got to know, who had died when he was young. If my daughter and I had been along on that trip, there’s no way Erik would have gotten so much accomplished.

Even though we have a wonderful relationship, because we both work from home and co-parent 50/50, we spend an extraordinary amount of time together. And while a lot of our interests converge, we each also have activities we love that bore the other to tears. After the success of our first solo trips in that first year of our daughter’s life—the perfect antidote to being so busy putting her needs first that we’d forgotten about our own—we decided together that we should make solo vacations an annual tradition.

In the years since, my husband has indulged his passion for ancient ruins in Athens, Rome, and Ephesus, Turkey and attended comic conventions in London, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Meanwhile, indulging my love of royalty and spas, I’ve stepped aboard Queen Elizabeth’s decommissioned royal yacht in Edinburgh, Scotland, marveled at the crown jewels at the Tower of London, and drooled my way through spa treatments in Zurich, Switzerland and Scottsdale, Arizona. Inspired to set off on your own? Find out the 10 best places to travel to as a woman alone.

The one constant throughout our trips is the way we miss one another while we’re way. We can’t wait to FaceTime at the end of each day and catch each other up on everything we’ve experienced. And now that our daughter is a tad older, she eagerly participates in the FaceTime sessions, too. There’s nothing like that moment when we pick the other up from the airport as a family, waiting at baggage claim with a little sign.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in our case, it’s absolutely true: I love my solo trips (and the uninterrupted sleep I get!) but I’m always dying to get back at trip’s end for kisses, cuddles, and together time with the two people I love best.

Read on to find our more surprising marriage advice from happily married couples.

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