Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Vacations: Yours, Mine, and Ours

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Vacations: Yours, Mine, and Ours

Article excerpt

Every vacation begins as an idea filled with hope and anticipation. That idea involves a destination, a calendar, maps, and guidebooks. It also includes decisions about traveling companions.

For married couples, that decision is usually obvious: "We'll go together." But increasingly, married travelers are going it alone.

Call them "solo-marrieds" and think of them as taking a "yours, mine, and ours" approach to leisure travel. While these couples still take vacations together, they also take trips that indulge individual interests and preferences. It's a way of acknowledging that saying "I do" doesn't necessarily mean saying "we do" everything in lock step.

For most couples in earlier generations, the idea of separate vacation destinations probably never crossed their minds. Of course, husbands took business trips, and wives packed suitcases and headed off to help grown children whenever a new grandchild was born. But travel separately on vacation? Unthinkable. Couples who did so might have been subjected to the raised eyebrows of onlookers who wondered, "What's wrong with their marriage?" (In most cases, probably nothing.)

Until the early 1970s, couples could even carry a joint passport, a sure sign that they always traveled Noah's Ark style, two by two.

By contrast, today's solo-marrieds are finding that occasional independence on the road can forge new bonds of togetherness when they reconnect.

It's a freedom built on trust.

It's also a way for globetrotters and homebodies to coexist peacefully. A way for two-career couples to accommodate out-of-sync vacation schedules or retirement patterns. A way to maintain family responsibilities if both can't be away at the same time. And a way to accommodate different travel styles. For example, when one spouse likes the structure of tours and cruises while the other craves flexibility and independence.

One of my favorite vacation activities involves long-distance walking. My husband prefers tennis. …

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