When I first heard about an Australian woman who went on a three-month honeymoon without her husband, all I could think about was Along Came Polly — that Ben Stiller movie where he ends up honeymooning alone after his wife shacks up with their sexy snorkeling instructor.
But Stephanie Allison, a 31-year-old from Sydney, Australia, assures us that was not the case for her. Instead, Allison and her husband Douglas, 36, decided together that she would travel alone after their wedding — for three months in Europe — and the couple believes it’s actually helping to improve their relationship.
After being together for 13 years, Allison and Douglas tied the knot on September 27 in Croatia. According to Allison, because they have been together since she was 18 and he was 24, they kind of skipped over that whole self-discovery phase that many other twenty-somethings go through.
Happy together but wanting to “conquer her fears” and get out of her comfort zone, Allison says her husband suggested that she travel alone — and she agreed. “I thought it would be a good opportunity for personal growth,” she explains to Babble. “It would make me stronger as a person and stronger in the relationship.”
The couple initially traveled together a bit before the wedding and afterwards, but Allison (having quit her job) continued on solo while Douglas went back to work.
Currently in London, Allison told Babble that she has enjoyed every minute of her time alone, traveling to nine countries in total, including: Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Iceland, Czech Republic, France, Austria, Belgium, and the UK. While technically unemployed, she has managed to do contract work while running an online business and using some savings to stay afloat.
Although she says that her friends and family have been very supportive — many even having a good laugh at Allison’s adventures — her decision to spend her honeymoon alone has been met with some criticism online. She has been chronicling her adventures on both Instagram and YouTube, posting videos and pictures from her travels. But despite the haters who have called her “selfish” for leaving her husband to travel the world, Allison sees her solo honeymoon as a testament to the strength of their marriage.
“The fact that we can spend two months apart right after our wedding is testament to the level of trust we have towards each other in our relationship,” she says. “It’s something that we are very proud of.”
While his wife has been away, Douglas has kept himself busy with work, playing golf, and hanging out with his friends.
For her part, Allison says that she is not nervous at all to return to her husband after being apart for months.
“Things will be back to how they were but we will have more to talk about, more interesting ideas to plan and we will both continue to enjoy each others company,” she explains. “If anything, this time apart has made us realize even more how much we love each other and how we love spending time with each other and now we miss each other terribly and can’t wait for cuddles (and some X- rated stuff.”
Although, to be clear, she may be just a tad nervous about the new look she’s going to debut back home, since she’s living up the fact that she is on her honeymoon alone by not shaving — at all. “It’s turned into an interesting self-experiment where I just want to see how hairy I’m capable of getting and I have a good laugh about it when I look in the mirror,” she laughs. “Plus, I want to freak my husband out when I get home!”
For this adventurous couple, the freedom to travel goes both ways and Allison says that if her husband ever gets bitten by the bug to travel without her, she would encourage him to go.
In the end, Allison says that the perks of a solo honeymoon, like sleeping in until 1 PM if she feels like it, along with the many incredible memories she has made — horseback riding in Iceland, a ferret show in the Czech Republic, and a rather surprising incident involving a cat giving birth on her bed — have made it all worthwhile.
And while a solo honeymoon may not be right for every couple, Allison and her husband believe it was the right choice for them.
“Different things work for different people,” she says. “We are at a stage where we trust each other enough to spend a significant time apart and know that we can lovingly embrace each other and continue on with our relationship at the end of the time apart, with new goals, new ideas and even more love.”
Love that apparently and rather literally, knows no boundaries.