The subject of this post is in response to an inquiry from one of my readers. Though it’s something that I’ve been on the fence with actually writing, as what I’m going to be talking about is deeply personal. However, a new friend that I’ve made recently reminded me of the importance of transparency. So I’m going to give it a try. And I’d imagine other world travelers have experienced this at some point. Therefore, they may be able to relate to some extent. And if you haven’t traveled all that much yet yourself, but know someone who does, then you may get an idea as to what s/he might be going through. So this post is about world travel and relationships.
Now to talk about relationships, I do want to cover both friendships as well as significant others and how world travel can affect both. However, for the sake of word count (and to keep you in anticipation for a follow-up!) this post will focus on the latter for now.
People have often characterized me, as well as other world travelers, as being curious, adventurous, ambitious, and open-minded. Now I’m not a psychologist or anything like that, but I’d like to think that these are qualities that many people would find attractive in another person. However, possessing such qualities has led me to set goals and build a lifestyle that is much different from those of many other people. Or I would dare say, something entirely different from what most people would view as “normal”. And this lifestyle has contributed in some ways to keeping my relationship status as ‘single’.
This lifestyle in some ways had an adverse effect on my most recent relationship. My girlfriend at the time was living in the UK, and I in the US. So there was already a great amount of distance between us. And it didn’t take too long for her to realize that her and I had different outlooks on life. She knew that I was an adventurer who wanted to explore the world and perhaps live abroad again somewhere. And she was looking more towards the idea of settling close to where she grew up and starting a family. This realization ultimately led her to end things with me. At first it was tough for me to deal with. But her and I are on good terms now, and if she’s reading this, I always hope you’re doing well!
Now if you know me personally, then you probably already know this one rather critical fact about me. And that is that I don’t want to have any children. In fact, I really don’t care to do the whole “settling down” thing. And to be honest (again, transparency!) the thought of living that kind of life kind of makes me gag. Now this is not to criticize those who have chosen to start families. Some of my closest friends have done so, and they are outstanding parents and I love their kids. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that lifestyle, it’s just simply not the kind of lifestyle that I want to live.
We’re all going to die someday, that’s just the way it is. From the moment we draw our first breath, the countdown starts. Therefore, I make it a point to fill my life with adventures. This way when I’m on my death-bed looking back on my life I can smile and say, “It’s been one hell of a ride”! However, finding a significant other who shares the same mindset and interests has been difficult. Funny side story, not too long ago I had a friend ask me what kind of girl I was interested in. And I jokingly responded with, “Well let’s see, I’m an archaeologist, who shoots guns, works out, and likes to travel the world. So basically… I just want to marry Lara Croft!” This made for a bit of a laugh!
Now if you’re a world traveler who’s facing this right now, or have before. Then I’d like to share with you a piece of advice that someone once told me and that I’ve found valuable. And that is to stay true to who you are and stick to your element. Continue to travel the world and seek out epic adventures. Because it’s out there where you may find that special someone who shares the same values as you. Often times you may hear different things from other people. People may tell you that you must abandon your life of adventure or else be doomed to be single forever. Who really knows for sure, we can’t see into the future. All I know is that I’m happier in the present if I’m true to myself and stick with my values.
I mentioned before that I don’t want to have any children. However, I’d love to get married someday. Because I think my idea of “settling down” would be when I’m no longer a solo traveler. And that I’ve found someone to share all of the amazing travel experiences with. I can only imagine what her and I can accomplish! Now some people may say that I’m crazy for thinking and living this way. But what if I’m not crazy? What if I’m just normal and it’s everyone else who needs to step up their game? Food for thought!