This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.
From the 23rd of June this year I will be leaving Sydney and travelling for a year.
I have been looking forward to this trip for months but there is one thing I am not looking forward to: having to say goodbye to my fiancé Trav.
In the past eight years we have traveled together for 13 months through North, Central and South America, for four and a half months on a round the world ticket, as well as taking numerous shorter trips while we have been working.
We have lived in four countries together and have traveled to 35. He is my favorite travel partner.
But this time around he will be staying behind in Sydney to work on his career.
I can’t blame him although I wish he was coming with me. I am lucky that he traveled with me for so long when I know that getting ahead with his career and buying a house is so important to him. It just shows how much he loves me.
I know that I am the one that isn’t ‘normal’. Most people want to carve out a life, have a rewarding career, buy a house and start a family when they are our age. But I don’t really want that, well not in the normal sense, and not yet.
We plan on having one child in the future and building a tiny home, preferably a treehouse, on a piece of land in New Zealand or Canada.
I would also love a career in Eco-tourism, something I am passionate about, but have been putting it off as it is so easy to work a contract for a while, make good money then travel again.
I love having a base that inspires me and Sydney has been amazing. I love having my stuff around me and my bed to come home to. I love having a group of friends to hang out with and familiar places to visit. But I’m not done with long term travel yet.
I caught the travel bug bad when I moved to the UK back in 2006 and it has only got worse over time. The more I experience, the more I want to experience. I don’t think I ever will be done but I do see myself settling down to some extent in the next couple of years.
But first, I need to do this trip. I feel the need deep within me and I can’t ignore it.
Trav knows this, he knows how important it is to me and he is fully supportive. I couldn’t go a whole year without seeing him at all, that would be torture, so during my seven and a half months in Asia he is flying out to meet me twice, for two-three weeks at a time.
I will also be back in Sydney for three weeks between the North American and Asian legs of my journey. The longest stretch of time during the year that we won’t see each other for is 3 ½ months.
It’s a long time but we have been apart longer before on a couple of occasions due to visa renewals.
In a lot of ways I am excited. The longest stretch of time I have travelled solo was for two and a half weeks backpacking Italy back in 2011. I was terrified before I left but I had such a great time. I enjoy my own company and relished the alone time but I also met so many great people to hang out with. It was a great balance of social and loner time.
I am still scared but I think that’s a good thing.
If I am scared it means that I am challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. I haven’t done that in a while. I am not the bravest person.
During this year of travel I will be travelling solo for the first three and a half months, through Hawaii, Alaska and British Columbia. That’s a lot longer than two and half weeks. It is also the longest I would have spent away from Trav for over five years.
I know I will miss him but I need to do this for myself.
I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m exhilarated.
But that’s normal right?
Have an awesome trip! I admire you for taking the trip. Friends don’t always understand, and social pressures sometimes influence
Thanks Todd! I’ve been surprised that most of my friends have been really understanding about it, I though there would be a lot more disbelief than there has been!
That sounds exciting! You won’t regret it, you’ll learn and discover so much in a year. True love waits 🙂
Thanks Anita, I have found in the past that time away from Trav has made us appreciate each other more and has made us stronger so I think it will be a good thing 🙂
It’s okay and pretty normal to be scared.
Of course you’ll miss him a lot but the adventure you’re about to have will be incredible.
Have a wonderful journey, I’m looking forward to following it 🙂
Thanks Zascha, I’m sure you are right 🙂
This will be such a great experience for you! It’s wonderful you have such a supportive fiancé who understands you so well. I looking forward to reading all about your adventures! -g
Thanks guys! I am very lucky that he is so supportive and I think it will be great for my personal development
THANK YOU! I feel the exact. same. way. I live with my boyfriend and he loves his career and business and needs/wants to stay home to make it grow. However, I’ve been saving for over a year now to take a long-term trip happen starting this fall.
This post makes me so happy that I’m not the only one who feels like like it’s something they NEED to do, regardless of whether or not my significant other can come. While sometimes it feels a little selfish, I know I won’t be happy unless I do it. And I want to do it alone (at least part of the time!). Also, it sounds like we’ll be heading to Asia around the same time if you ever want to meet up!
It does sound like we are in the exact same position Rachel – don’t worry you are not alone! I am also looking forward to travelling solo for a while as I think it will be good for me. I would love to meet up in Asia, do you know when you will be arriving? I will be flying into Thailand first around the 10th November 🙂
I’m heading to South America in the fall, but I think I’ll be flying into Thailand in January and bouncing around. I’ll be sure to follow you and keep in touch!
Wow – congratulations on following your heart while leaving part of your heart in Sydney! What an incredible journey this year will be for you and what a supportive fiance you’ve got! I’d love to try travelling by myself one day – we’ve learned so much about ourselves travelling as a couple so I can only imagine the incredible things you will learn on this trip! We are in Canada and if you happen to make it to Calgary or Newfoundland, make sure to let us know! Happy Travels!
Thanks so much for your comment, all the support I have received from this post has made me feel even better about my decision even though it was a hard one to make. I would love to come to Newfoundland but unfortunately I only have the time and money for the West Coast on this trip 🙂
So great that you’re doing this. I have very few regrets in life as I feel they are a waste of time but one thing I do wish is that I’d done this when I was younger. I postponed my dreams of travel over and over again for relationships that are all long gone now. Maybe it was all as it was meant to be but if I had it all to do over I would have done what I’m doing now much sooner! I’ll be following your travels and hope to maybe even see you in Vancouver!
I feel the same way about regrets Sarah, if I lived my life differently in the past I wouldn’t be the same person and living the life I am living now. It would be great to see you in Vancouver! Let me know when you are going to be back there once you know 🙂
You have an amazingly supportive fiancé- does he have any brothers?
I think travelling by yourself before marriage is such a good idea. Of course it will be nice to spend time together when he visits, but travelling solo really has a way of focusing your mind on your own wants and motivations and how you’ll achieve them. You’re (both) brave to do this, I can imagine you’ll both get a fair amount of flack from people you know but I think it’s a great idea!
And yes, it’s normal to be scared! Scared is good- it means you have common sense and probably won’t do anything too silly 😉
Haha he has two brothers but one is married. I am looking forward to the challenge of travelling by myself and hopefully personal growth. You’re right, scared is good and it serves its purpose
This sounds like an amazing time. I think it’s awesome that you’re doing this alone. Every once in a while, I look for short term teaching jobs abroad so I can get in some traveling alone while my fiance stays home. I’ve been in the same place for almost two years and I’m restless.
I know the feeling of being restless. I love having a base but only if I am able to travel a lot and do long term trips every couple of years
Hav a fabulous time – I’m sure you will. And I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Safe travels.
Thanks Kathryn 🙂
Wow! That’s an incredibly bold and brave move to take, but I think it’s a testament to how rock solid your relationship must be. I think it’s great that you are both so supportive of each other, yet also sufficiently independent, that you can encourage each other to pursue your dreams, even when they’re taking you in different directions for the time being. I’m glad you’ll be able to reunite periodically throughout the year too, though!
Thanks Steph, we have been together for 8 years and we are rock solid so it definitely helped in making the decision. Meeting up throughout the year will definitely help too!
I knew about your big trip but for some reason, I didn’t realize you were doing this alone without your fiance, Katie! Wow, I’m so impressed with your decision to go ahead and do this for yourself. You’ve gotta follow your heart! Kudos to you. 🙂 It’s so awesome that he supports you and that he’s flying to Asia to meet up with you twice! I wish you all the best on your trip!!
Thanks Anna! It will definitely make it easier having Trav visit me a couple of times along the way and I will be home for 3 weeks between my North American and Asian Adventures too 🙂
This is awesome! Good on you for doing this. It’s so important to have travel time on your own. And I think you’re managing the separation well by seeing each other often. In my experience long-term relationships are very hard but with your longest time apart being only 3 and a half months you’ll be fine!
Thanks Karyn. It will be hard but we have spent a couple of 3-41/2 month periods apart in the past because of visa issues so at least we know what to expect 🙂
Though you won’t be visiting Washington State you will be in the Pacific Northwest, so let me welcome you.Have a wonderful trip.
I actually will be visiting Seattle for 2 nights as I fly in there before taking the bus to Vancouver. It will be my third visit – I love Washington State 🙂
Im leaving my fiance as well but only for 4 months. So from today til october i will only see him for two weeks. He is leaving Tuesday to europe with a mate, for 4-5 weeks. Once he returns i leave mid june and maybe coming home mid october. Both trips were unplanned. I did mine to volunteer in bosnia, get my travel blog stuff happening and his was so spontaneous he only booked his ticket 2 days ago and leaves in 2 days. He quit his job, and has 4 weeks before his new one. Both of us wish we could have known so we could have planned to go together. But i think its good to also travel alone. I did one trip with my mum, then another with him and my last with mum, brother and his fiance. I need some time on my own to learn to be independent met my fiance 10 years ago when i was 17. got engaged at 23, and moved in with him. Never had that alone time to do what i wanted on my own time and terms. And same goes for him. He worked so hard in his last job which lead to a bigger and better opportunity and possibly a chance for us to move to europe with the new job in a few years. He needed a holiday with his best mate, and being both army guys (my fiance went army training but got injured and never continued), they will be attending the anzac dawn service in france. So many people tell us we are crazy. why we dont travel together. i would love to, if money wasnt an issue, if the timing was right, and if the circumstances were different. Hopefully in a few years we will be living in europe, and travelling every weekend. I defiantly want to have a family there, i want my kids to see as much of the world from a young age.
That’s awesome Ariana! Travelling apart will definitely be hard but I think it will make you stronger and as you have been together for so long, it will help you develop yourself as an individual as well. I also want my kid in the future to see the world at a young age, I think it is the best way to learn. Have an amazing trip 🙂
Thanks 🙂 you too!
You are awesome!!! Following your heart is very important, and it’s very nice that Trav is supporting you!!! Have fun Katie!! Anna
Thanks Anna!! I was so happy to see you guys got your PR, wish I could pop over and see you again but will have to be next time 🙂
I think this will be such an adventure and you will learn so much. And kudos to you and Trav. It will make the meeting up so fantastic!
Thanks Sarah, I will definitely be looking forward to seeing him when he meets up with me along the way 🙂
I did the same thing many years ago and was gone a little under a year. It was tough but just like you, we met up in India and that made it easier. All in all I had a blast.
I love hearing that you did it too and that it all worked out!
I think it’s awesome that you’re doing this and putting off settling down a little while longer (shocking that I think that, right? Ha!). It’s got to be hard to leave your fiance for that long, but at least you’ll get to meet up every now and then along the way. And it’s great that he’s so supportive of your decision to do this. He seems like a great guy 🙂
I hope we get to meet up at some point in your journey!
Thanks Amy, settling down freaks me out a bit so I am happy to put it off longer! You should come trekking in Nepal with me 🙂
Congratulations! I’m excited for you and hope you have a wonderful time. It sounds like we won’t be in the States at the same time, but I hope our paths do cross again. Safe travels!
Thanks Lisa! I’m sure one day they will cross again 🙂
Follow your dream and you will never regret it .You will miss your fiance but before you know it you both will be together again .If it is true love ,he will wait for you .He is truly a wonderful man .Best of luck .It will be Australia’s loss when you leave for your adventure.
Thanks so much Louisa! He is a wonderful man and I am very lucky to have him. I will be back to Australia for about 8 months after my trip before moving back to NZ
You deserve all the happiness in the whole wide world and when you do move back to New Zealand ,your presence will surely be missed.I hope you will get to see Kanangra boyd national park near the Blue Mountain’s region before you return to New Zealand,for a beautiful life in a most beautiful country.
We were in the Blue Mountains this weekend and visited Mount Tomah Botanical Gardens, Mount Wilson to collect chestnuts and check out the Autumn colours then hiked the Grand Canyon in Blackheath today. Will definitely be keen to check out Kanangra Boyd NP next time I am in the area – I put it on my Australia bucket list 🙂
I’m so happy and excited for you that you’re doing this! I’m also glad that your fiance is so supportive of you. I think this is something that you’ve just gotta do, and you have to live without regret. Do what’s right for you, and all of those things back home will be waiting for you when you return!
Thanks so much for your support Lauren! He would obviously rather I didn’t leave him for practically the whole year but he is supportive and I am very lucky for that.
You are my absolute hero for doing this… CONGRATULATIONS!! So much of what you’ve said (typed?!) resonates with me.. My husband and I have been together for almost 11 years, and while he enjoys travelling, I’m the one who’s got the addiction. He’s followed me around the world over the last decade, as well as leaving me to travel with other companions on trips he’s not been as interested in. Everyone wants to know why, after 11 years, we’re not “settling down to start a family” – like you, I feel that same intense pull to keep travelling right now. I wish I could up and leave for a year like you’re doing, but in the mean time, I’m gonna keep taking smaller and more frequent trips, and I’ll be eagerly following your adventures… It takes so much courage to ACTUALLY follow your dream like this, truly, I can’t tell you how inspiring it is 🙂 it’s one thing to hear about single women who up and go, but to hear about women in long term relationships still nurturing their own dreams is truly a thing of beauty and motivation for the rest of us. Thank you for showing women that being engaged/married doesn’t mean “settling down” 🙂 you’re amazing!!
Thank you so much for your kind words Jess, I am so glad that I have inspired you! I worry sometimes that I am being selfish, and I guess I am in a lot of ways but I think it’s really important to have your own identity and to know who you are and what makes you happy: It is not something I am willing to lose for any reason or person. I am so happy to hear that you get it and get out there and follow your own travel dreams, with and without your husband 🙂
I completely agree – “I think it’s really important to have your own identity and to know who you are and what makes you happy”