What It’s Like To Travel Solo Whilst Single And Pining For A Lover Left Behind

As someone who has embraced independence within and outside of relationships, I feel confident enough to travel solo and not let other people hold me back when it comes to seeing the world. In December 2021, I made the decision to travel whilst having a casual relationship with someone I had reacquainted with not long before. When I decided to travel, it wasn’t long into the reunion and there was little to no security in the situation for me, we were still feeling each other out. 

A few months later, once it was set that I was going to quit my job and see Europe, I started to develop real feelings and I could feel the other half had as well. Getting to this point was not part of the plan, but as two mature adults we discussed my departure and decided to pause with the intention of reuniting on my return and most likely deciding what to do with our situation then. But as I travel, meeting and connecting with new people, I find that my heart is longing for someone across the English Channel.

The decision to travel was an easy one for me and it’s one that I don’t regret. Seeing new places, meeting new people, forming new connections, and going on adventures I could never have imagined has been life changing for me. I feel as if I’m collecting many stories and memories I can pass on for the rest of my life. I feel simultaneously in and out of control, but it’s liberating. And on top of all that, the weather is significantly better in the places I’ve visited.

However, I have found myself logging on my journeys, as to travel is to see the world through the lens of what you desire most. I feel that the couples have caught my attention and eyes most because they have something that I’m longing for and was close to having before I left. I find myself yearning for closeness and intimacy as well as embracing my newfound love language of physical tongue. I see the couples and there’s someone I want beside me who just happens to be a time zone away. 

Although these feelings are strong and have swayed my actions drastically, the agreement was to remain two single people. And as I travel, I realise that I am more perceived in other societies. Being openly called pretty or beautiful in the streets of Italy or having Spanish men directly tell you they want you can create a haze for wants and desires. I have been approached and flirted with; all things I enjoyed, and I’ve struggled with balancing what I feel can do and what I truly want to do. I feel a need to compartmentalise, but at the same time feel that doing so makes me a bad person. It’s tricky and it’s been a true learning curve.

So, what are my hopes? I want to be honest with this person, let them know what I truly want. For me that would be solidifying the relationship and having a clear standing with them. I’d like to share my current adventure with them, and hopefully build something that allows us to travel together and be the couples I’ve seen sharing the experience of these beautiful places together.

As it stands, I have little to no desire to connect physically or romantically with others whilst I travel. I miss the person who was fulfilling my intimate needs before I left and despite being technically single, I’m emotionally taken that all I wish is that they could be on this adventure with me as well. The optimist in me hopes that once I return, we come together and start a new fun filled chapter. 

Once again, I am reminded that the clichés are true, distance does make the heart grow fonder. I’m not saying I wasn’t fond of them anyway, but being apart really makes a difference, that’s word from a solo traveller.


Written by Rudo Christine Gwaze

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