March 10, 2018 Catherine Mendoza 42Comment

“Have fun, you two!” said one of my friends on a post on our couple page on Instagram. I shared a photo taken from inside the airplane with the caption, “Hello, South Africa, I’ll be spending a month with you!“

Most of my friends thought that we were traveling together. On December 2, 2017, Chris and his friend, Andreas, went to their first destination: Johansberg, South Africa.

“I’m sorry, honey,” he said. “I hope you’re okay and I hope you understand.”

Of course. It’s your trip and I want you to enjoy it even without me. Honey, it’s South Africa!” I said, genuinely enthusiastic. Like I was more adrenalized than he was.

As the saying goes, distance makes the heart grow fonder. We’ve been in a long distance for months but ever since we met, we always travel together. But this time, it’s sort of different. 

 

My 29th birthday and post birthday celebration

He was at work in Munchen and left early to celebrate with me on Skype while I was still in Bangkok, working as a guesthouse manager. A week later, I celebrated my birthday at Hua Hin. He, on the other hand, was exploring the extraordinary places of South Africa.

 

His 34th birthday

On his birthday on December 7, he was at a safari camp. It’s one of the items on our bucket list, but since he was scheduled to experience it, I wished him to have a blast and celebrate the way he never did before. He went to see the wild, eat some great African cuisine, and ride an awesome Range Rover.

He documented each moment and sent me amazing photos of the wild including those of five big lions, tall lovely giraffes, and more animals in their natural habitat. His days were filled with hopping from one place to another. He told me stories of their journey.

 

Many people dream of seeing the safari, I am one of them. It’s no surprise since having a close encounter with beautiful creatures is such a magical feeling that you could never ever forget of. 

 

I must admit, though, that not being with him while he ventures into seeing the world make me feel a bit jealous. I wish I were with him. Although, traveling solo is one of the best experiences. 

It sounds bizarre, but feeling this way about his trips make me love and appreciate him more. 

One of the good things about being apart is he has become more concerned and caring. Distance doesn’t stop him from looking after my needs like when I was looking for the beach resort I would stay at on my post birthday trip. He was always willing to give me a hand.

 

From that day onward, they were consistently on the move, changing accommodations, venturing into road trips, going to world-class beaches, tall amazing jaw-dropping mountains, and sceneries, and trying out local food and wine choices.

 

 

Christmas

I spent Christmas day on my own at Suvarnabhumi Hotel Resort in Bangkok. It was a Christmas present from him.  I had a romantic solo Christmas dinner at Favola Italian Restaurant while he was in Stellenbosch, South Africa, tasting wines. 

 

New Year

My friends and I watched the countdown in Bangkok while he was cruising and welcoming the new year with music and drinks in the common area in his hotel in Cape Town. And lastly, he sent me photos of phenomenal Cape Town, his last destination before flying home.

 

You see? Our travels don’t allow us to celebrate special occasions together. But it’s not the end of the world! We were happy for each other and we made it! 

 

The biggest yet challenge is the time difference. But you can give each other peace of mind by keeping in touch and letting each other know what you’re up to.

 

If you experience the same, enjoy your life on those days. Just don’t stop communicating with each other. Continue to send updates and special greetings.

 

The upside

He decided to take a detour in Bangkok on his way back to Munchen. It melted my heart! The feeling was surreal. He ditched his flight and bought another ticket.  That was such a great deal of bliss to start the new year.

Another good thing about traveling separately is that we have tons of stories to tell when we see each other again. He told me about his close encounter with the big 5 in Africa and other fun adventures that left me in awe me the most!

 

We vowed that his trip to South Africa would be the last time he would travel without me, except of course when it’s a business trip.( But I also want to join him in business trips if there will be a chance.)

So, why did we travel separately? Why wasn’t I part of his South African trip? 

Well, most of my friends asked and wondered why. Here’s the real truth. Chris had booked the trip with his friend Andreas 3 months before we even met! And that was the major reason why I didn’t want to stop him on that amazing journey. 

 

Despite being a thousand miles away from each other on special occasions and holidays, we never forget to appreciate and make each other feel loved. Both of us are passionate about traveling. And being apart gives us something to look forward to.

 

We don’t and can’t always spend special events with our loved ones, but that’s okay. As we always say, distance is not a hindrance to communication.

 

If you’re in a long distance relationship, too, it pays to trust and support each other during one’s travels.

42 thoughts on “Separated on special occasions and holidays because of travel

  1. You’re so right, it can be difficult sometimes. Had my portion of the experience once, so I can relate to those holidays spending separately, the time difference etc.
    But then again, it’s true that those are not the obstacles when people love and trust each other. And it all falls into place when things like that detour to Bangkok happen, right! <3
    Sounds a lovely relationship, wishing you both all the best! 🙂

  2. @ Danijela – Oh yes, time difference could be sometimes a struggle! Couldn’t deny! That’s right, totally melted my heart when he decided to see me in Bangkok and ditched the flight back home ( yet) Thanks, Danijela! You too! x

  3. It is incredibly hard travelling separately, but worse to miss out on an opportunity, so you both did the right thing. I’ve always wantedt to go South Africa, I’ve been tempted by the shark diving…Not a clue why?!

  4. @ Tom – yes hard but it went all right so there was no stress on that. Indeed! Thanks! Same here, been really wanting to go there and hopefully next year, we’ll finally get to see the beauty of this country! Well, you should! It’s a beautiful experience! xx

  5. I also travel solo sometimes, mostly for work, but I must admit that I still prefer to travel with my husband. We have a lot more fun when we’re together because we love to share our experiences. So whenever I go somewhere on my own, I add it to our bucket list, as I want to go back with him in tow. Of course, if it’s work, it’s work, so we can’t travel together but otherwise, we’re inseparable 🙂

  6. Whenever you are together – Celebrate! Celebrate all the birthdays gone by, all the special days you were not together. Like you say, you know the value of your partner when they are not around.

  7. Fantastic read on your experiences here. A lot of folk in the UK get really upset if you cant meet up with families on special occassions but I really cant be assed. One of my best travels was spenidn two weeks in the Maldives over Christmas. Best descision I ever made 😀

  8. Oh, that must have been hard – but you are right, if you have to be apart, it is good to be supportive of one another. It is a shame he already had the trip booked before he met you, as that would have been an amazing experience to have together. But I admire you from being so supportive of it all – after all, independence is important too!

  9. @ Hannah – thanks! Being supportive in all aspects means a lot! And even though he traveled without me in a beautiful place like South Africa, that wasn’t a very very big deal for us! Independence is important too! Thank you! X

  10. Touching story. I think the best thing about being apart is having stories to tell each other when you are reunited. Jenn is blogging full time now and I am still working my corporate job to pump money into the system. We usually travel together, but have already booked three trips apart this year. She is staying over at WITS Quebec, TBEX Fingerlake, and heading to Austin without me. I know this is exactly what we are planning but I still miss having those experiences with her. In the end, you can never be together if you can’t live through being apart.

  11. @ Jenn and Ed Coleman – Ah, so Jenn is blogging full time! We’re kind of similar situation, I am very flexible in terms of schedule while Chris has a strict one! Tho it’s not a hindrance for us to travel. Have fun to Jenn, I also want to attend TBEX but couldn’t get the chance. Hopefully, next year when I move to a place that’s accessible to any TBEX destination! oh yes couldn’t agree more, can never be together when you can’t live through being apart! Great! We need distance sometimes!

  12. Long distance relationships can be super tough and they survive only when there’s immense understanding and patience, in both the people. As I can see, you guys are kicking ass at it (touch wood) and that’s really inspirational. Very sweet of him to come and surprise you in Bangkok and very understanding of you to not let it bother you that he went to South Africa without you, because he had booked the trip before you guys met. I do hope that you both get to travel together more often, in the future. Solo travel is amazing but travelling with someone you love, even better!

  13. Mrs W gets to go away more but only for 3 or 4 days at a time. She did mention she missed me when travelling as there was no one to carry her bags. Seriously, we are lucky enough to be able to travel most places together.

  14. @ Medha – Truly hard! Long distance takes so much effort and sacrifices! thanks Medha, he is a true sweetheart and he makes every little thing to make things work for us. Between the two of us , he’s more than willing to do greater efforts which I really appreciate. For example, seeing me in Bangkok even if it means ditching an expensive booked flight back home! and YES! Solo traveling is fun but traveling with a loved one is more than happiness!

  15. I was in a long distance relationship with my now husband when we first met too, and with him being from America, and me being from Australia, in the first year of our relationship, we each already had trips planned which had been in the works from before we knew each other. So I totally get how it’s difficult to see your partner traveling and having fun when you wish you could be there with him, but on the other hand you’re totally right that it gives you exciting things to talk about, and that distance does make the heart grow fonder 🙂 I so love that you highlighted that distance is not a hindrance to communication – you’re absolutely right – especially with the incredible amount of technology we have these days, you can be talking face to face via video chat even though you’re a continent away 🙂

  16. @ Megan Jerrard, thanks Megan! Yea I read about you and your husband’s long distance story too and I was so in love with it! you guys are so cute! Indeed, technology helps a lot , like incredibly useful to keep the distance seem to shorter! Like Skype! Distance makes the heart grow fonder! Absolutely!

  17. Aw! He’s so sweet to make a detour to spend time with you. I know the feeling of having different time zone with your loved ones. Someone has to stay up until morning. haha! I hope you guys travel more often together. Two is better than one! <3

  18. I know what it feels like to spend birthdays and anniversaries apart, not because of travel for leisure but travel for work. However, after more than 20 years together I can honestly say you are quite right that distance makes the heart grow fonder. But as a South African now living in Austria I would be so jealous if hubby now had to experience all those great things that Chris experienced in SA without me! You should definitely try to go back together.

  19. @Linda de Beer – wow, 20 years of being together Linda! Awesome! Indeed! Distance makes the heart grow fonder! Hopefully we will go back together in the future! Thanks, Linda de Beer!

  20. It is difficult to be apart. We have spent important dates thousands of miles and time zones apart but technology bridges us always. Our rule is not to be apart for more than 5 weeks. It’s really the length of time that matters.

  21. @Carol Colborn – oh is that so? Not to be apart for more than 5 weeks? Cool! I think we should also apply that when we’re married, now we’re still not officially a married couple. lol But yes so true, difficult to be apart!

  22. Love your love story! Distance does make the heart grow fonder. I personally have had/having a long distance relationship and currently my husband in in South America and I’m in the U.K., because of his job. But being reunited is the best feeling and how your man surprised you in Bangkok was lovely.

  23. A month in South Africa wow. I was supposed to go a couple of months ago, but didn’t get to. Hopefully soon. It is nice that the two of you get to travel a lot together. Long distance has its advantages, but after awhile you certainly miss the person.

  24. It’s lovely to read about couples who can support each other from afar and still appreciate their own adventures! My wife and I have gone on our own separate adventures before and it’s great to reconnect and share new stories! How can you have new stories if you’re always hanging out together? And you’re right, time differences can be a killer! Thanks for sharing your story!

  25. @ Stevo – cool! Yes! When you separate because of travel and got back together later on, you’ll have stories to share and it’d be more fun! Distance also gives us new and interesting things to talk about once reunited!

  26. Yes long distance is very hard but if you really love each other, I am sure you will both conquer everything together and be back with each others arms again. I really love reading your experience here with you loved one, and how tough the both of you dealt for the opportunities of life. Thanks for sharing this post!

  27. I totally support your choice to be a solo traveler sometimes. It is something needed and an experience really different from traveling as a couple. Of course it is not the end of the world when you cannot travel together! I really admire your attitude and this should be the example for more couples. Traveling together is awesome but it’s not the only option!

  28. It is hard when travelling and love don’t fit together, but it sounds like you have it pretty sussed out to make sure it works! At least you get to share some adventures together, and he managed to come and see you in Bangkok which was so cute!

  29. It must have been difficult to spend Christmas on your own although he did give you a nice present of the resort stay. It must have been a nice surprise for him to have changed his flights and take the detour to Bangkok. Luckily, these days there are so many ways to stay in touch when you are travelling apart.

  30. So touching! We have never been apart for more than a few days, but I can understand the feeling. You feel missed and you miss your partner. I love traveling with my husband, but you are right we need to travel a lone sometimes

  31. I haven’t been on a long distance relationship before, but I know that it’s not easy and needs commitment on both end. It’s so sweet of Chris for taking a detour of his flight to spend some time with you! I also love it that you did not asked him to cancel his trip to South Africa. I think allowing our better half to spend quality time with friends is a great gift that also makes the relationship more healthy.

    Keep the fire burning! <3

  32. It must be so hard to live a long distance relationship, and I totally understand that having been together only 4 months that you will have travel plans that you made before even meeting. Of course, going forward, I hope you can enjoy more travels together than you plan, book and take together!

  33. @ Kavita – yes really hard but despite, travels shouldn’t be stopped. Right? Thanks! We’re actually looking forward to having more trips this year especially that our first year anniversary is approaching! Can’t wait !

  34. His safari sounds like so much fun, it would be hard being apart though. I haven’t traveled solo in over ten years, so it would be weird for me at this point. The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve looks so amazing. I can understand the time difference being a big challenge. My sister-in-law lived in Japan and the 16 hour time difference made making a call tricky for my wife. He is such a great guy to reroute to Bangkok to see you!

  35. That’s pretty romantic! I completely agree to the fact that though it’s great to travel with your partner, it often helps to travel alone or with friends – there is so much conversation afterwards! I l too love sharing those with my girl friend after a solo trip…even if she is sometimes jealous 🙂

    Oh btw, I also hope to make it to South Africa someday soon 🙂

  36. This is such a sweet post. I too usually travel with my husband, but due to work schedules we have started branching out alone. This is good in so many ways, but I do miss him and it can be hard not feel resentful of his trips without me!

  37. Long distance is a challenge, but I think you did the right thing by not crashing the boys trip. I met my now-husband 3 months before I took off on a 3.5 month trip with my BFF and even though Matt wanted to come for part, it was hard to tell him no, but it was something my bestie and I had been planning for 6 months. It was the best move he could’ve ever made. It strengthened our relationship even more.

  38. Aww…this is so heart warming. No doubt long distance relationships are hard to maintain but if you get past that sweet point, they are there to stay. I loved the surprise he sprung on you when he took the detour. It definitely is special. Cheers to you guys .

  39. Your post strikes a chord. We are a couple travel blogger and yet circumstances dictate that we have to travel alone to some places. One of travelled to Rwanda in East Africa and enjoyed the Gorilla safari while the other went to Sharjah to enjoy the desert safari. The schedules make it imperative that many a special occasion we are at separate places. But then we do try to travel together as much as possible.

  40. Glad to see a post like this. You are doing the right thing. Sometimes we just don’t the the obvious due to social norms and conventions. But if you feel that is right that there is no reason to worry. And especially for people like us who make a living out of travelling, it is better that we understand this.

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