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Do solo adventures break up relationships?

Outside Magazine has an interesting story on their website entitled Never, Ever Let Her Go (On a trip overseas. Alone. Especially to Africa.) The article begins with author Eric Hansen recounting a tale of a married couple who were friends of his, and seemingly had an idyllic marriage. But when the wife went off to Botswana on a volunteer trip for a month, she returned home and announced that the marriage was over, and she now longer was attracted to her husband.

When telling this story to others, Hansen discovered this wasn't an isolated tale. He uncovered similar stories from a number of people who had their significant others go off on a big, adventurous trip, only to have their relationship end once they came home. Even more confounding was the fact that many of the travelers were women and many of them had been traveling in Africa. The article goes on to get quotes from several guide services and travel companies, who say that this is indeed a common tale that they encounter on a regular basis themselves. A marriage counselor also weighs in on the topic, saying he sees at least one marriage per month break up after an adventurous solo trip.
This of course begs the question as to why this occurs. The story speculates that it is due to the person traveling expanding their horizons and having a life altering experience on their journey, something we can all relate to from our own travels I'm sure. The same counselor mentioned above says that generally the issues were there before the solo adventure, but the travels bring them more the forefront.

Outside's article concludes with the advice that you don't let your significant other travel alone. Go with him or her. Experience the life changing moments together, and share the journey. If you break up when you get home, at least you got a great trip out of it, right?

So, has anyone experienced this phenomenon first hand? Have you been the dumper or the dumpee?

Filed under: Arts and Culture, Learning, Africa, Women's Travel

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