Married for 34 years, Elizabeth has two children and now one very new grandchild. She is based in Toronto and has a small business consulting firm called Small Office Mentors. Here is her very honest account of her solo travel survival strategy for long term marriage.
After 34 years of marriage, my husband and I have developed a keen sense of where the hot buttons are in each other and, when stressed, we can find them blindfolded.
I decided that I needed a break. A couple of breaks would be best, actually. My husband is semi-retired and has summers off, so he’s home all day, everyday. I wanted to go off for an adventure on my own and also asked if he could go for one at a separate time – to give me alone time in our home.
My guy took the news well and we negotiated dates around our schedules. He chose to go to Montreal for 2 weeks and stay in our son and his finances’ apartment, while they were away on their own holiday.
I choose to visit Vancouver and found a place on Craig’s List. It was a sweet bachelor apartment for only $250 per week. I made a long list of the things I planned to do, and did only a few of them. Reading in the yard took up more time than I’d ever imagined, so I didn’t get through my list. And, that was OK. I returned home feeling relaxed and quite peaceful.
A highlight of the trip was an Extended Panorama Tour I took on a Seaplane around Vancouver with Harbor Air. We took off from the water in Vancouver Harbor and after we’d seen all there was to see of the city and surrounding islands, we went just above the clouds to see some magnificent mountain peaks with rivers of snow. I loved seeing the shadow of the plane on the soft clouds below.
Another special day was spent at VanDusen Botanical Gardens while Zimsculpt was on. Sculptures from Zimbabwe were displayed in spots throughout the gardens and both were stunning. The carvers were working on new sculptures and had some for sale. It was interesting to chat with them about their work.
Time at home.
My time alone in my own home had a different rhythm to it. I was determined not to get engaged in “catching up” on things. I spent time doing things I don’t routinely do when my husband is around.
I called up a circle of women friends to drop by one Sunday afternoon for a potluck. It was delightful to spend hours with these wise women in my home, uninterrupted.
I piled my books high on his side of our bed. It felt wonderful to get into bed with popcorn and red wine and read for hours. I ate when I wanted to and went to a movie, alone. It was a treat to see Eat, Pray, Love – all by myself.
Before he left, my guy bought a hammock and hung it in the garden. What a wonderful gift for a woman with time on her hands. It’s been a refreshing break, and I look forward to spending time with him when he returns from his trip.
If you relate to this post, you might also like The Right to Travel Solo.