What do you do when your partner doesn’t want to travel? This article will show you four straight-forward things you can do if your partner doesn’t like traveling.
It can be difficult for us, travel addicts and adventure lovers, to understand why not everyone sees our lifestyle’s appeal. Who wouldn’t love to see new sights every day, to see a different country each week, or to meet new people from all over the world? As hard as it may be for us to relate, many people just don’t enjoy traveling.
If you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like traveling, this can cause a few issues. However, there are still ways to make things work for both of you! In this guide, we have explored what to do when your partner hasn’t caught the travel bug!
1. Test the water with a short getaway together
If your partner has never traveled before or traveled very little, he might have preconceived notions of what it is like. He may have the idea that travel is not much fun, tiring, or boring. While this may simply be a matter of opinion, he might have simply never had the chance to try it!
There are plenty of things that I assumed I wouldn’t like until I was persuaded to try them. I’m sure you can think of examples where this has happened to you. For instance, until I was twenty-one, I thought I hated electronic music. Since reluctantly agreeing to tag along with a friend to see a techno set at a festival in Spain, I’ve been a regular raver and end up dancing on a podium with glow sticks at least once a month!
If your partner has low expectations of traveling, you might be able to prove otherwise. You probably shouldn’t dive straight into a months-long expedition with them. Still, you can probably persuade them to test the waters a little. Why not start with a short day trip with a romantic picnic surrounded by nature? Or a week away somewhere a little more adventurous than they are used to can give your partner a taste of the travel life without asking him (*see note on gender) to make a big commitment.
This exact thing happened to me with my current partner: when we met, he had never traveled abroad, and the idea had never appealed to him. However, when we went for our first weekend trip together, it was a real eye-opener for him. I made sure that we chose a destination with things that he liked (such as good BBQ restaurants and craft beer breweries) and we took it very easy—mainly chilling and having short walks while enjoying the small provincial town.
On the second day of our trip, my partner was already showing initiative himself and making suggestions of things to see and do. After that trip, our weekend getaways became frequent, and we went on a week-long trip together that we both enjoyed. In fact, we’re currently planning a month-long tour around Europe next year!
2. Talk to him about his traveling worries
There may be personal reasons that your partner is reluctant to go traveling. Working out what these reasons are can help you to find solutions.
He may have the idea that traveling is tiring, and think that all he wants is a beach holiday. This is not a huge obstacle! If this is the case, why not plan a trip somewhere where there is the option of either relaxing on a beach or taking part in more adventurous activities? That way, he can decide what he wants to do at the time.
Don’t panic if you don’t always want to do the same thing. You can compromise by taking it in turns to choose the activity, or even take a few hours apart every now and then to pursue your own interests. If you prefer more active time, you can always have short day trips yourself while he is chilling under the palm trees with a book and a cold beer!
He may have a misconception about traveling. He may believe that it is more dangerous than it actually is or is always very expensive. He may have heard horror stories from friends, family, or in the news, and believe that this represents the danger of traveling in general. If this is the case, you can debunk some of the myths and explain how to avoid these potential pitfalls. Share your own experiences with him, tell him your travel stories, and show him photos and videos, and he might change his mind.
In rare cases, he may have been traveling before and had a bad travel experience. Depending on the severity of this experience, it may be inconsiderate to be too pushy when trying to convince him to go on a trip together.
He may also suffer from anxiety problems and find it difficult to leave his comfort zone and experience unfamiliar places and situations. Again, this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily give up on the idea of him ever traveling with you, but it definitely means you need to show understanding and empathy to help overcome travel anxiety. Showing understanding, encouragement, and support at the same time is the best way to strengthen your bond and trust in you.
Ask what aspects of traveling do not appeal to him and see if you can find a compromise. Don’t be pushy, and try to convert him into a nomad in a day. Respect his views and needs and try to see if you find any common grounds for traveling.
3. Ask yourself if it is a deal-breaker for you
If you are in a long-term relationship, you have probably discussed your future goals and expectations in life. However, it is best to touch upon them every now and then to see if anything has changed for either of you. This relates to traveling as much as any other aspect of life.
If all you want is to live a nomad life cruising in a van across South America, and your partner sees himself in his current job and apartment for the rest of his life, finding a compromise could be tricky. However, this is an extreme example, and most couples will be able to compromise through healthy discussion.
Although my current partner has come to love traveling sometimes, he is still a lot more of a “homebody” than I am. While I would quite happily live the nomad life all year round, he needs plenty of time to recuperate and recharge with home comforts before heading out traveling again. We managed to come to an understanding that suited both of us. We go on a few short trips a year, one larger trip once every year or two, and I have been on a few short solo trips without him when I really felt the wanderlust kick in.
4. Enjoy your solo time while apart
If you decide to head out on solo trips while your partner stays at home, this does not need to lead to a conflict. Healthy relationships include both trust and personal space, and spending a little time apart every once in a while is no bad thing.
Traveling solo can give you and your partner some much-needed personal space. Make the best out of your solo trips: meet people, make new friends, and have fun. Traveling solo has a notable advantage—you don’t have to compromise with anyone on where to go or what to do. If you feel like an impromptu mountain hike, you don’t have to convince anyone. If, on the other hand, you decide at the last minute you would rather have a day on the beach than do any planned activities, the choice is yours and only yours. Traveling solo offers a sense of freedom that no other pastime can match.
There is some truth in the common saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” While your partner might relish the chance to relax on his own for a while, it probably won’t be long before he starts to look forward to having you around again. During your time away, you will miss each other, and it can even improve your relationship in the long run! When you come back home after your trip, you will have stories to tell, photos to show, and some presents for your partner will surely melt his heart.
When I returned from a two-week trip to Chile last year, coming home to my partner was one of the highlights of the trip! While spending time alone was great, missing him made me eager to share stories with him and made me appreciate having him in my life even more. He told me that a week of playing video games and eating pizza on the couch was more than enough (I choose to believe him!), and he was thrilled to see me when I came in through the door!
While different traveling views can cause obstacles in a relationship, these obstacles are usually by no means impossible to overcome. Even if you spend some time apart, you can still have fun in each other’s company while not traveling.
If you have always dreamed of having a partner who shares your love of traveling and accompanies you every step of the way, you should assess the relationship and determine if not being able to travel together is going to work. For most people, this is not likely to be a deal-breaker. If you want to persuade your partner to join you on your adventures, it is important to be open to compromise and to listen to his suggestions as much as you hope he listens to yours.
Emma Jones enjoys observing and exploring the world around her and writing about her discoveries. Human relationships are her favorite topic, and she likes to analyze them from a psychological perspective. She is a contributing author at Thought Catalog, GoDates, and several other media outlets.
* Note: In this article, she referred to a partner as “him” since she wrote from her own perspective. Nonetheless, her tips apply to everyone and anyone that has a partner, regardless of gender. Click here to go back up and keep reading.