Five months after my husband and I went on our honeymoon, I flew across the Atlantic for a sojourn in the South of France — without him. 
I didn’t need to go on another vacation so soon. After all, we’d recently spent a post-wedding week in New Orleans. But the idea popped into my head when I saw a cheap flight alert in my inbox. 
Tickets from my local airport to Nice, France, had dropped below $500. Just one thing held me back from clicking confirm then and there: my partner, who has limited time off at his job. 
I forwarded him the email to get his thoughts, and he wrote back, “Babe, you should go!”
Saying yes to a week away was the best thing I’ve done for our marriage so far. 
From my college gap year in Chad to my month-long journey around the UK, France, and Spain, solo travel has always been a big part of my life. Over the years, I’ve explored the globe for leisure and my career, especially when I worked for an international nonprofit in my early 20s. 
My jet-setting lifestyle slowed down after 2019. I met my now-husband, changed jobs, weathered the pandemic, and got married by the time 2021 came to a close. Between all of these moments, opportunities to pick up and go became rarer and more precious than ever. 
Marrying my husband has been the wisest decision I’ve ever made. But even the most harmonious unions require an identity shift from “me” to “we” that few of us are entirely prepared to make. 
It wasn’t until I received the flight alert that I realized how much I needed to preserve the “me” and reconnect with myself through travel. So, I booked the trip.
When my plane touched down in Nice, I set out to do all the things that I love most. I leisurely explored the city, stopping to eat at spectacular Niçoise restaurants and soaking in French culture.
I wandered through Vieux Ville’s cobblestone streets, popping into a gelateria for a pistachio cone and enjoying it in the bustling public square outside the Palais du Justice. After a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, a famous beach-side pedestrian street, I watched the sun go down. 
I also caught a bus to the nearby hilltop village of Èze, which has hiking trails that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. 
And on a day-long food and wine tour, I tasted the local cuisine and befriended lovely Irish tourists, who joined me for dinner and drinks a few days later.  
My adventure in France reminded me that my love for solo travel and adventure doesn’t have to change, even though my marital status did. 
Exploring a new city by myself and sitting with my thoughts allowed me to check in with the parts of myself that tend to get lost in the noise of everyday life.
By the time my trip winded down, I realized that I can be so many things — devoted wife and fearless adventure-seeker included — all at once. Doing so made me a better partner. 
After taking a long flight home, my husband greeted me at the airport with open arms. I was eager to fill him in on the details of my journey, and I felt more like myself than ever.
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