SOLOTRAVELVANCOUVERBlow the travel budget on a luxury eco-resort in Costa Rica, while she goes camping in your local state park.

Vacation time. It’s midsummer in North America, school is out, and everyone who can get time off work goes away. It’s midwinter Down Under, but Australia is the land of the long weekend all year round.

At my age, after four decades of adult travel, I’ve found that the best trips are the ones I make solo. Here’s why I think all long-lived lesbians in relationships should consider separate vacations.

  1. You gain freedom from compromise (and compromising situations)

Vacations with a partner can be magical, delightful times for relaxing and getting closer — or they can be just the opposite. The older I’ve gotten, the less I’ve enjoyed camping and the more I’ve appreciated the benefits of a good night’s sleep on a real mattress. That’s posed problems in the past when I was with someone who wanted a less cushy holiday than I did. Just because she loved camping, and I loved her, didn’t mean it was a good idea for me to go out with a tent and backpack again.

Also, solo travel means never having to say you’re sorry. You can visit your old college roommate and yuck it up without having to censor the stories or shop for art supplies all damn afternoon if you want to. On her own trip, she can enjoy an airshow/drag race/drag king contest without having to hear your complaints. Each to her own!

  1. Autonomy increases intimacy

As all of us know in theory, more autonomy for each person in a relationship leads to greater intimacy for the couple. When my partner took a five-day solo hiking trip in Maine last summer, it increased my admiration for her. And next time we’re in that area where she hiked, I’ll be glad to go on a little walk to see some trail highlights. Similarly, on my last trip to Switzerland, I toured a lot of the country, and I found the one canton where I know she’d most like to go in future when we get there together.

After the autonomy comes to the intimacy: reunion communion, reunion sharing, and reunion sex make up for a little loneliness.

  1. You don’t have to split the bill

I can hear a legion of lesbians griping, “We can’t afford to take separate vacations! We can barely afford one.” But creative financing can apply here: instead of two, two-week trips, you could each take one away and have one “staycation.” Or, you could blow the travel budget on a luxury eco-resort in Costa Rica, while she goes camping in your local state park. See how easy?

  1. She can take care of your cat

If you plan your vacations at separate times, then each of you gets to spend time as master and commander of your own home. You control not only the remote but the refrigerator, not to mention those dust-bunny sex toys that the two of you never get around to using together. While she’s having her adventures, she can feel comfortable knowing that you’re feeding her orchids and turning over the compost. And when it’s your turn to travel, she can get to know Muffy a little better (unless, of course, she’s allergic).