The Year of Traveling Singly


My wife Hanna is my favorite traveling companion, not only because she generally goes places I want to go and brings a good attitude, but also because she has her act together. I never have to worry about her being late or forgetting the passports or passing gas on a crowded commuter plane (for the record: she farts rainbows). She’s not afraid to get in a tin can float plane and doesn’t balk at staying in some of the crusty places fishermen frequent, either. I can honestly say that on a day-in, day-out basis, there’s no one I’d rather go somewhere new with (especially because she’s doesn’t take up much room on an airplane and I can usually win the battle for the armrest).

Throughout our 13 years of marriage, we’ve traveled extensively – to Tahiti, Japan, Africa, the Amazon, Mexico (at least 15 times) and all over the US – and mostly together. That’s by design because – as I said above – I like to be with her. There have been fishing trips and Elite Series events I’ve gone to without her, and she occasionally takes a girls trip to a beach resort, but for the most part, wherever I go, she goes…or vice versa.

But that has started to change, not by design but by necessity. Last year she went to India, and the year before that she went to Israel, and my work obligations prevented me from going either time. This year she’s headed to St. Clair with her lady angler friends and later to a beach with her high school friends. Meanwhile, next week I’m going to Mexico without her. In the summer, it’ll be Alaska sans wife and later to a different section of the Amazon without her. All of those times I’ll be with people I know and like, but it will be strange to be there without her. That’s not just because now I’ll have to remember where I put my passport (On the Mexico and Brazil trips, that is. As far as I know, Alaska is still part of the U.S.) and I won’t have her suitcase to carry extra tackle, but because I won’t get to see those places through her eyes.

I have no problem traveling alone – indeed, as a devout introvert in many cases I provide my own preferred companionship. At the same time, it’s valuable to have someone along whose opinions you trust, who looks at the world with wide-eyed excitement, and who helps make the highs go higher while preventing the lows from bottoming out. I’m gonna miss her, and not in the Brad Paisley sense. The good news is that means I’ll have a reason to come back.