I am a girl who travels a lot and with that occur certain restrictions when it comes to falling in love and dating. Well, I wouldn’t actually call them restrictions but some may and for a lack of better word, let’s go with that.
My love affairs usually start somewhere in the world and end when I return home. You could see that metaphorically or simply as a side-effect of a traveler’s modern day life: online dating and the fact that I get to know guys digitally first when I travel. I don’t do dinner and a movie for a first date, I get lost in the medina of Marrakech or stroll through Soho for a bite at my favorite restaurant and will take him with me usually one my phone.
I don’t necessarily kiss on the first date but I may take him to bed with me, a four poster bed in a colonial mansion in Sri Lanka that is. At least in my mind. I don’t talk about my life, I write and take pictures – show, don’t tell the saying goes and so I show. I see the most romantic places, private plunge pools, champagne at candlelight and crumble up Egyptian cotton sheets and share it with the world and sometimes with someone somewhat special. Call it private snapchat.
I am still not good at the whole picking up guys at a bar thing or anywhere else for this matter so I like the digital way. But there has been the occasional tour guide or such but even then my sentiment stands: my love affairs start somewhere and end when I get home.
Needless to say, I don’t necessarily want them to end. Just like I don’t want my trip to end, I want to take something with me when I get home. I don’t do it on purpose but I guess the allure of flirting across the globe, of editing life through a filter, of the innuendo, doesn’t transition well into everyday life.
I recently met a guy and I almost fell in love with him. Almost because he broke it off, two months of getting to know each other and two dates into our ‘relationship’. I was upset for six nights and I dare say me drinking a bottle of wine each night added fuel to my sadness. Wine makes me emotional. Then I got take a giraffe selfie and was absolutely fine.
It was more the idea of someone than him specifically that I liked and as he felt the same it was the right decision to call it off before anybody got really hurt. Maybe someone who loves champagne as much as I do shouldn’t be with a teetotaler. And maybe surfers and divers cannot co-exist and live happily ever after. Who knows…
Sad or not, I admittedly I was also quite annoyed with myself. Because over the time we got to know each other – via emails, calls, and Whatsapp because first, he had to sort out his life and then I was traveling non-stop – I had started to plan around him. Not consciously at the beginning and I don’t think he ever realized but still very tangible for me. I held back to say yes to trips, to book flights, and to extend stays. I also realized that I didn’t do it for myself. Sure I liked this guy but I was quite alright liking him from a hotel room at the other end of the world, missing him and making 24-hour guides to staying in bed with him when we saw each other. I did it so he would be fine, so he wouldn’t realize that I was gone a lot and why the heck did he want to be with someone like that? I did it because when I asked him once if me traveling so much was a dealbreaker for him he said he didn’t know.
Now I am mad at myself because I should have realized sooner that this answer is a dealbreaker for me. I am the girl who travels.
I have a twitter friend who calls me the Girl Who Travels. He writes it with capitals and uses it like a title. I like it. I know he means it as a compliment, I know he likes me because I am the Girl Who Travels. I like to think that this is a guy who I only know on twitter, but by calling me that, I think he gets me a whole lot better than most other people do. Knowing that I travel a lot and knowing the implications of it are two very different things. Then again you may also object that it is a lot easier to like someone in theory than when you are in a relationship with someone who is always away. And you might be right. But then again, isn’t it always? Isn’t it a lot easier to like someone when you know nothing but a shiny first impression of them? Before you have to deal with morning breath, teetotalers during a romantic dinner date, unsteamy sex, and uncomfortable silence?
And mind you, I don’t consider my traveling to be anything like unsteamy sex or morning breath! I would like to think that me traveling not only makes me who I am but is also one of my pros not one of my cons, one of my strengths not one of my weaknesses.
I don’t want somebody to be with me despite me being a girl who travels but because I am. Everything else is my kind of dealbreaker.
Read my Valentine’s day post “But what about the girl who travels?” here.