I recently had a discussion with Kelly, from Go Girl Guides, about the frustrations that can occur if you are a couple who travels separately on occasion. Scott and I like to travel together as much as possible, but sometimes we do go on solo trips.
This poses the question, “How often should you call, Skype or email your significant other when traveling solo?” Scott and I try to contact each other once a day, but sometimes finding a phone or internet can take up a good chunk of our time while traveling.
When I was in Bali, I had an extremely hard time calling Scott. Every time I tried to call, he was either busy at work or at home and didn’t hear his phone. So I would have to schedule another visit later that day to go back in order to try calling him again. It was the same situation when Scott was in Peru trying to call me at home.
I believe it’s up to each couple to find what works for them, but I’m curious how other couples handle keeping in touch while one of them is traveling.
There is a fine line between being respectful to the person who is at home and allowing yourself to enjoy your trip.
I’ve been in both situations. I’ve been the person at home missing Scott and looking forward to his call. I’ve also been the person traveling and losing track of time or having a hard time finding a place with international calling that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Bring an Ipod Touch or Laptop
Scott and I bought an Ipod Touch for our trip to southeast Asia so that we could call our friends and family using Skype for $3 USD per month. Do you want to know how many times we talked to somebody from back home in a six week period of traveling? About 5 times. We called each of those 5 people ONCE. It’s not because we didn’t want to call them. We could rarely ever find internet to connect to that was fast enough.
I still think I will bring the Ipod Touch along for trips, but I can’t count on it working out all that often. I’m going to Nepal for 2 weeks where the internet is extremely unreliable, so I may have to come up with an alternative solution to calling home.
Set Up a Time To Call
I’ve considered this solution in the past, but if I don’t have a laptop then I have to go to an internet cafe to email Scott in order to set up a time to call. So that’s still two trips per day. There is also the possibility of setting up a specific time each day to try calling home that works for both of us. The problem I see with this solution is that it may limit the things the traveler is able to do. Part of the fun of traveling is doing things on a whim and letting things happen organically.
I know that traveling separately can sometimes put strain on a relationship if you are not respectful to each other, so I think this is a topic that many couples struggle with.
Do you have any tips for keeping in touch with your significant other while traveling? We are interested to know what works for couples and what doesn’t work.