Dear Savvy Traveller: I want to see beautiful and romantic places but I’m still single and I’m afraid it will be depressing. And when I do get married, I’ll probably wish I waited until we could have seen them together, right? -Brooke Jones
Wow, that’s a lot of hypotheticals and assumptions! The only certainty you mentioned from your current reality is that you want to see beautiful and romantic places, so it seems pretty clear to me you should do that, because that’s a firm feeling and the rest is all “maybes” and “what ifs.”
But let’s tackle your specific concerns, and see if I can turn those frowns upside down so you get out there and see these places you speak of because I think the truth is actually the opposite of what you’re supposing.
Assumption 1: You will be depressed by beautiful, romantic places if you are single when you visit. OK, I can’t guarantee you won’t find yourself a little sad to be in a tropical paradise without a partner, but you shouldn’t be. At least, not any more sad than you find yourself when going to the movies or going out to eat without one. Are you refraining from seeing any new films or trying new restaurants until you are happily coupled?
Of course not! If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “yeah, but I don’t like to eat alone or go to the movies alone either,” and to that, I encourage you to consider your solution in those situations and apply it to travel. You don’t forgo those activities, but you probably go with a friend, so travel with a friend, too!
Fundamentally, you deserve to experience the romance of the world for you. It’s not something to be depressed about, and it’s not something that has to be shared in order to be fully felt.
In my own experience, I’ve learned that experiencing something alone, including beauty and the splendor of a romantic environment, generally results in a much deeper connection to those emotions and a more intimate connection with that place. Sharing a moment with someone significant is tremendous, too, but it’s simply a different experience, not a better or worse one than absorbing it yourself, and this leads us right into your second point.
Assumption 2: You will wish you had waited to visit romantic places with your spouse.
I used to believe this one myself, so I understand where you’re coming from. But it’s a myth. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense, because it implies you can’t ever go back to a place you already visited.
This is sheer nonsense—of course you can go back! And isn’t one of the greatest aspects of a new relationship the discovery period where you share everything you love with your new companion? That can, and should, include the amazing places you’ve visited and loved.
Having gone to places alone and entered a committed relationship after, I can assure you it has been so much more fun to be able to take someone back to a beloved spot and share it with someone important to me.
And guess what: Your future significant other is going to appreciate that you’re already familiar with this place because it’ll make your trip less stressful to plan and it will bring you closer as he/she gets a chance to connect with your past. Some of my absolute favorite and most rewarding trips were the ones in which I brought someone to a place I’d already been.
So, really, the more enchanting places you go see now, as a single woman, the more of those rewarding trips you’ll be able to take once you choose a special someone.
If you’re not convinced by now, I’m not sure I can save you from this one—but my Hail Mary effort would be the cynical approach (a.k.a the hard truth), and that is to consider it may be a year, five years or 20 years before you settle down with anyone, so please don’t waste your life waiting on someone else.
The more you can bring to the table when you do meet, the better that relationship is going to be anyway. Get out there and make some memories, build your character, and add to your own life experiences. If and when you do pair up, you’ll be grateful for all you have to share.