The Secrets of a Happy Marriage? Holiday Separately

NOTHING LIKE A WALK WITH GIRLFRIENDS to get you thinking (and talking)…In this instance about holidaying – without your partner. You see The Husband is away golfing with friends this weekend, nothing unusual for us as we have taken trips (separately) for many years.  Naturally when love was young (and so were we) we were rarely apart; it was loads of fun to discover we travel well together (a big tick).

Yet I have many friends who would fly to the moon before leaving home without their other half…

happy marriage

Travelling – together

We had children and continued travelling – as a family. However, when the boys started a school where flexibility around taking leave is well; inflexible – then side trips and other adventures ground to a halt unless they fall in school holidays (it also gets expensive to try and move a whole family around in peak season). Our separate journeys are more about timing – however a side benefit we discovered – being apart is great for our relationship…

It began with my London based sister sending out wedding invitations – location: a Villa in the middle of Italy – not somewhere you can pop off to for a weekend.  I was always going; that was never in question – it was just who I was going with. Long story short – my Mum came, The Husband stayed home with the kids.  I wept buckets as the plane took off (in five years I hadn’t left the boys for longer than a few hours at a time), Mum handed me tissues all the way to Rome.

In the end I stopped crying and had a fantastic time, the wedding was stunning and we took a side-trip to Mum’s childhood home in The Netherlands. I also discovered myself again; the ‘me’ that was hidden in the blur that was six years of happy marriage; and having two babies in quick succession. The family joke is; on landing – I cried again – this time because I had enjoyed myself so much, I wanted the holiday to keep going.

Sisters out on the town in Paris...

Sisters out on the town in Paris…

Not long after I arrived home The Husband had a significant birthday – so I gifted him a ticket to ski in the wilds of Canada with his mates. Then a trip to London for me to see new nieces; and a ‘Sisters side-trip’ to Paris – my Dad moved back to Holland; thus began a trend.

So happy to see my Dad...

So happy to see my Dad…

It’s no secret The Husband loves; lives for; (insert your own version of obsession here) Golf. We do try and have family golf breaks; but the boys and I don’t enjoy it as much as he does – so other times he goes with his friends.

The Husband's natural habitat...Barnbougle Dunes Tasmania

The Husband’s natural habitat…Barnbougle Dunes Tasmania

The Husband has no desire to travel to India; I have been obsessed with going since my teens. Earlier this year I went with three girlfriends; we are now planning a Moroccan sojourn.

Friends in India

Friends in India

Many of our friends can’t understand how we wing this. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t take hard work before I get off the ground. Military style planning for school lunches; and dinners; and activity drop off; and sporting timetables; and uniforms; and YES a supportive fall back person/people; to take care of ‘things’ in your absence is essential (I don’t ask what happens while I am away…probably pizza every night and dirty clothes…).

The family survived without me...

The family survived without me…

By the time I hit my airline seat I am shattered – but it’s a happy tired and in my book well worth it.

Trips needn’t be far afield (or break the bank); plenty of girlfriends have get-togethers at a treat hotel in the city; or hire a beach-house for a relaxing weekend. The options are endless.

If you can swing it, I highly recommend it. I arrive home happy to be back, but grateful for the time out to just be me for a while…and The Husband? Let’s just say absence can make the heart grow fonder and after 15 years of marriage that must only be a good thing…

Do you travel without your partner?

Which destination do you dream of visiting, that your other half doesn’t want to?



  • Oh wow, what a great advice! I usually travel with a partner but I think your style could work to get some space and time to enjoy yourself alone or without the partner. Great that it works for you 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

    xx Gourmet Getaways

    • Given the choice (i.e when the kids are older) I would go with The Husband more often – needs must at the moment and I am too greedy to forego travel opportunities… Meanwhile it is lovely to have a sense of freedom. Have a great week! xx

  • This is an absolutely fantastic post. Alone time strengthens relationships rather than making them grow apart. It’s so hard to be the best version of yourself and appreciate the person you’re with when the hum-drum of every day life–work, kids, meetings, etc is dragging you down.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


    • A wonderful weekend indeed – but exhausting – with The Husband off golfing I was well and truly reminded how arduous it is for the partner left behind…I need another one of my breaks – soon! Enjoy the week ahead. x

  • I’m now at the other end of the parenting scale where my boys are young adults so they can stay home by themselves allowing hubby and I to flit off to Europe every year but I did have one occasion where it was just me on a plane to Switzerland for two weeks – scary but wonderful at the same time. (And yes, they survived without me!).

    It’s fantastic that you and your husband can both enjoy holidays or short breaks with your friends without spoiling your relationship. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder ….

    • Two weeks in Switzerland, how divine, I have only transited through Geneva on the way to the Alps, I have put this country on my Bucket List….
      I do find the 1st plane leg the trickiest…still a bit of ‘should I be going, will they be okay?’ The second champagne tends to cheer me up – then it is plain sailing from there…enjoy your next solo sojourn…

  • Barbe says:

    Funny you should say that: I will be on a plane to Holland to visit my sister who is turning 50! Cant wait to see my family, and I haven’t been back for 18 years. It just so happens that my family loves to come out here, so I have been putting off going back for a very long time.

    Yes, and I am going on my own! x

    • How wonderful – I am A LOT jealous…where are you off too (Amsterdam) – I think you will notice the changes, in a very good way…Will you post when you get home? I hope so – look forward to reading. Goede Reis!

  • Suzanne says:

    Great read. My husband and I have both travelled separately too but always come home to each other.

    • Part of the fabulousness of travelling alone IS having someone to come home to; to share stories and photos – nothing like arriving at the airport and having a familiar face in the Arrivals Hall…

  • Rosemarie says:

    Oh i so understand this. This year we have had a few trips apart. While I did miss Joseph incredibly, I felt a sense of freedom. I didn’t have to worry about another person for a short while. It was a breath of fresh air. But at the same time I was happy to come home. I did have to make a solo trip again…. but I think once a year is enough for me… on my second solo trip, I really did wish he was there to share the adventure with me.

    • That is the problem isn’t it, all very well to jet off alone – but what of the stunning sunsets, or the super groovy bar, or…there are loads of experiences that just need to be shared. I do get those twinges as well….

  • We travel together, but we also just take the kids out of school and don’t worry too much about the teachers. Weekends we might do on our own as the Mister likes golf, and the snow. I prefer the heat and spa weekends.

  • Liane says:

    I am always up for a place to sit around a pool and relax and eat. He wants to see everything so we run around to everything and don’t relax.

    A girls trip aways sounds great!

    • I cannot recommend getting away from the family enough – I love them all, but there is something to be said for being away with the ‘girls’- so relaxing to be on the same wavelength…VERY, VERY relaxing. xx

  • Thanks for writing about the topic, I enjoyed reading this because I , too believe in this! 🙂 We’ve been married almost 10 years and yes, maybe the first 3 years we were in the ‘we must travel together’ mindset but work and different interests proved that it’s more practical to Sometimes travel or do things separately. I now travel both ways – sometimes alone, sometimes together and it’s a great balance. I do enjoy travelling with the other half but also equally enjoy travelling alone.

    • Thank you for visiting Jean; I must say I am due another ‘alone’ holiday – 3 weeks into the school holidays and solitude is calling! So good for you…happy festivities..x

  • Susan says:

    Funny…I was just thinking tonight about taking a “retreat” by myself to Melbourne for the weekend…must be a sign!

    • Sweet Girlfriend. Go. Nothing better for a Mama, make sure you take some spending money, very fancy shops down there. Ps have you been watching Real Housewives of Melbourne. X

  • Jenny says:

    Hi Monique

    I discovered your blog via Katrina Chambers and have just subscribed. Great images and content. Just wondering if you have enjoyed a holiday to the Greek Islands? Its my 50th next year and (even with their current economic climate) I was considering Greece or New York and The Hamptons or a friend recently suggested Croatia. Thoughts? I plan to go with My Husband and 15 year old daughter and meet a few families over there. Cheers Jen

    • Hello Jen, Lovely to hear from you and apologies for delay in my response. Landed from Vietnam with a nasty virus…the joys of flying and air con… I have ‘that’ birthday fast approaching too – planning to get away for a special trip so I love your ideas. What time of the year have you thought you might travel? Because that will have some bearing on your decisions.

      I haven’t been to Greece, however it is on my Bucket List and all reports are that it is fabulous. My only hesitation is that while it might be cheap at the moment I wonder if the ‘laid-back and jovial’ Greeks will still be found, could it be doom and gloom. That is not based on any evidence, just my thoughts. Let me ask around and see if anyone has actually travelled there recently.
      I love New York, my last trip was several years ago however I know plenty of readers go there often – would you do a hotel or apartment? Would you include Boston, not far on the train and it is stunning and fun (The Hamptons look lovely, however if you wanted a resort style of beach holiday you could consider flying with an airline that gives you a stop off on a Pacific Island or Hawaii instead – just a thought).
      My father travels to Croatia every year (he lives in Holland). He raves about the fresh food and coastline – if you would like more details I can get some suggestions from him (although he stays in the countryside in a caravan park which I wouldn’t suggest for your special event – however he is a good shopper and cuisine guide)?
      I also love Italy for a group style holiday (a villa or boutique hotel), it gives so many options to cater for all tastes. We stayed in a villa near Orvieto (I can’t seem to find the link for the property, will let you know if it pops up), here is what Lonely Planet says about the town
      Do you have a good travel agent to help you with this trip. Def. recommend that…
      Hope some of the above assists. Thank you for stopping by.
      Cheers Monique x

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