“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Visiting new places, trying unfamiliar food, indulging in unique cultures, and seeing exotic sites are great ways to experience life to its fullest. However, traveling without your partner can be tough. When you travel for business, it can be hard to focus on work when you know your partner is not physically with you.
As a member of the PREPARE/ENRICH team, I travel a few times a year and it typically doesn’t bother me to be out of town for a few days. Earlier this week, I traveled from Minnesota to California to attend the Exponential West conference. Before I left, I was already feeling anxious about missing my husband. As I was packing my suitcase the night before my flight, I began to prepare for my time away from him more intentionally.
In attempt to help you be more intentional next time you travel without your partner, I’ve created a list of tips, complete with examples, to ease the stress of travel on your relationship.
Before You Leave
- Pack Something Sentimental and Practical
- I packed one of my husband’s undershirts to wear as part of my pajamas. There is something comforting about reaching for a little piece of home away from home.
- Ask Your Partner to Write You a Note
- Despite growing up in the digital age, I value handwritten notes. Knowing my love for notes, my husband started writing me notes in a small journal every time I leave for a trip. This little journal only holds his notes to me and I keep it in my bag each time I’m gone. My favorite note is from when I went to Colorado this summer with a friend. It reads: “If my love for you were measured in feet, it would be higher than Denver’s elevation. Have fun. I’ll miss you.”
While You’re Gone
- Check-in Routinely
- My husband and I put in effort to connect on the phone at least once a day when I am gone. Since we’re typical millennials, we choose to call each other using the Snapchat app. What I love is this platform allows us to see and hear each other in real time. On this most recent trip, I only had a few minutes to connect each night and after apologizing for the brevity in our conversations, my husband reassured me, “It could have been only 1 minute and it would have still been worth it.”
- Talk About Your Partner
- We’ve all heard the cliché “out of sight, out of mind.” When I’m out of town, the last place I want my marriage to be is out of mind. I keep focus on my husband by referencing him in conversations. On this particular trip, I often had business dinners and I made intentional choices in conversation to bring up my husband. (Though, I have to admit, bringing up marriage at a P/E business dinner isn’t all that hard.)
- Give a Gift
- If your partner’s love language is receiving gifts – then this tip is for you! My husband’s love language isn’t receiving gifts, but he does appreciate a small souvenir. When I travel for work, I try to find him something free and special that reminds me of him. This time, I picked up a pack of promotional mints from an exhibitor booth at the conference and brought it home for him – he consumes more mints than anyone I know.
- Be Present When You Get Home
- When I get home, the first thing I try to do is share a hug and kiss with my husband, but this can be a challenge due to the many interruptions that happen in our everyday life. I’ll want to run to the restroom, hug the kids, pet the dog, grab a snack, check my voicemails, etc. At the conference this week, a Pastor shared advice about just this situation. He suggested stopping somewhere on your way home to take care of some of those things so you can be present when you arrive at home. He even suggested bypassing the energetic kids and barking dog that want your attention and going straight for your partner. I tried it this time and it made a huge difference.
Whether you have a career that requires travel or not, I hope you find these tips to be helpful when you are away from your partner. It’s important to remember is that every trip has an end. Eventually, you’ll make it home and into your partner’s arms.
What helps to ease your travel stress about being away from your partner? Do you agree with our list? If so, share your favorite tip below!