I feel like the title of this post needs a little bit of explaining. Of course, I’m not saying that once you get married, the traveling stops. In fact, if you love travel as much as me, being able to travel with or without your partner after you get hitched should be a requisite to even say yes in the first place. Then again, maybe you’re not the type who wants to get married at all, and you wonder why I’m making such a strong connection between traveling and the life happily-ever-after.
So, to cut a long story short, I believe there are certain trips in life that I would like to take without having to think about my other half. Getting married, to me, is the most accessible concept of a kind of life where there is also someone else to consider – or having children – hence the title.
But whether you’re in a relationship with a chance of a diamond ring or not, I think these 10 travel ideas should find their way onto your bucket list too!
1) The Confidence Boost: A Long Distance Hike
Walking to me is the most relaxing activity in the world – no sunset by the beach, foot massage in Thailand or quiet day by the pool can do what walking does to me. I did two long-distance hikes this year, and am already planning my next adventure for next year.
From both hikes I have gained more confidence than any other trip could ever give me. I have learnt to trust my body and how far I can push it. I have gained strength and gratitude for the little things in life, like rainbows and coffees with soy milk. The skills I learned have made me a more confident person in my normal life – and who doesn’t love a confident person?
Related read: 10 Things to consider when planning a Long-Distance Hike
2) The Girly One: A Pampering Girlfriend Getaway
OK, forget what I said about foot massages – I want all the foot massages in the world. Traveling with your partner is always nice, but getting all your best friends on a plane (or in a car) to head to the next spa hotel for a weekend of pampering? Nothing beats that!
When you’re in a relationship, working as many jobs as you need to finance your next trip AND trying to uphold a social life, you will quickly notice that one of them will suffer a little. I’m the worst at staying in touch regularly and girlfriend getaways are my way to make up for that!
If you have more time to spare than a weekend, grab your friends for an epic road trip, an island-hopping sailing trip or any other adventure that rocks your boat!
Related read: Why I love to travel with the Girls
3) The Bonding Experience: A Trip with your Parents (or siblings)
Traveling with my parents (to Zambia & Tanzania with my dad, and Scotland with my mum) has allowed me to bond with each of them in a way that no visit home would have ever enabled. I always had a good relationship with both of my parents, and we’ve traveled together many times when I was younger, but somehow taking them on adventures individually made it even more special!
I hope that we will all travel together one day in the future (me, my partner, my parents, my siblings and their partners), but it won’t be the same!
Related read: What traveling with my Dad taught me about life
4) The Dream Vacation: The Trip you ALWAYS dreamed of
Is there a destination that you have always envisioned visiting one day, and that you don’t want to share with anyone else?
I dream of one day crossing the Atlantic by boat and then driving from Newfoundland to Alaska by myself. I have never imagined anyone sitting on the passenger seat of that adventure, so why would I change that dream?
5) The Educational One: A Trip to Learn a New Skill
When you learn something new, you grow as a person. A language can be the key to another culture (or several), a new hobby can help you appreciate spending time with yourself, skills like cooking or fixing things can open up doors into people’s homes and lives.
Why not study Spanish for a few months at a university in South or Central America? Or visit Venice and learn to row a gondola from a female gondolier? Or maybe a blog retreat with lots of workshops on how to run a successful travel blog! Personally, I’d like to return to the Faroe Islands and do a photography course to create even more inspiring images of my future travels. Immersing yourself into learning something new is easier when it’s just yourself you have to think about.
6) The Impossible Job: Go where you thought you couldn’t go on your own
There are many people out there who will tell you you can’t go to this or that country, because it’s way too dangerous for women to travel there on their own. But listen, it’s not! Women travel solo to places like Iran, Honduras or South Africa all the time, and not only do they come out alive, they actually return home with a suitcase full of stories and a contact book full of new friends.
Other places might be not on your radar, because they’re typically honeymoon destinations, like a resort holiday on the Maldives or a safari in Kenya – but they don’t have to be. Go somewhere on your own, where you thought (or others keep telling you) that you can’t go on your own. You’ll find that they were wrong!
7) The Spiritual Journey: a retreat to a spiritual place to find yourself
I’m not saying you have to go full on Eat, Pray, Love-style and travel the world to find yourself, but a spiritual journey can get you closer to yourself, your core values and your physical abilities.
Go on a yoga retreat or combine it with surfing if you’re not the most spiritual person. For a more full on experience, try a meditation retreat or take a pledge of silence. You could travel to a religious site or simply surround yourself with the wonders of the world and go hiking. Spirituality means something different for everybody,
8) A Digital Detox
Nowadays, we’re always online. Especially when we travel, it is almost expected that we share our every step with our loved ones back home and let them be a part of our adventures.
Do yourself a favour and go on a digital detox trip! Go back to the days of travel before smartphones and free WiFi, immerse yourself entirely in a new culture and keep the sharing until the end of your trip!
Related read: Should you switch off your phone when traveling?
9) Explore Your Roots
On a recent trip with my mum (see no. 3) we got talking about her family tree and the village where she is from. While I had spent many summers roaming the forests surrounding the village on foot and horseback, I actually haven’t spent any time there since I was a teenager.
An idea was born – and maybe you’ll like it too!
Like me, you could explore the village your family came from – and if that’s not exotic enough yet, you could start your adventure with one of those DNA journeys to find out where your ancestors came from. Alternatively, take a wander down memory lane and re-visit the places you went on family holidays when you were a kid.
10) The “No Compromises” Solo Trip
To be honest, a lot of the ideas mentioned above lead to this: a “no compromises” solo trip; an adventure where you make every single decision based on what you want, and you alone.
How often in life do you get to spend an extended period of time just doing what you want? Particularly when you travel you often have to compromise and consider the wishes of your travel buddy or other people on your tour. It’s time to take a break from compromise and plan a holiday filled with activities that you really want to do!
Related read: 10 Things I wish I’d known before my first Solo Trip
Which one would you choose first?