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The Love Life of a Nomad

As I sit here on the eve of Valentine’s Day, another
Valentine’s Day spent alone, save for some Prosecco and a Martin marathon, I
figure it was as good a time as any to write this post. A few weeks ago I came
across two articles, One titled “Don’t date a girl who travels” and the other
titled “Date a girl who travels”. Obviously we have some conflicted messages
here.
Before we jump into the articles, let’s talk about the love
life of a nomad, this nomad. Let me start by saying, while it would be great to
have a companion to enjoy life with and some cute little babies, this is not my
end goal, nor the purpose of my existence. Basically, I will not feel like a
failure if I do not get married. Why you ask?? The older I get and watch people
around me, coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds, I really have begun
to question a lot of the things that drive many of us in life, i.e. careers,
money, notoriety, marriage, you get the point. I have had to really think about
the things that I want in life to understand if I really want them or if I
simply have been socialized to believe I want them. I know this sounds very
campfire-Birkenstock-wearing-hippie-ish, but really think about it.
I realized long ago that my career is not important to me.
Many people from the outside think that I am driven by a career simply because
I have been successful in the jobs that I have had. Do not mistake my work
ethic, with caring about my career. I do not. I am quite happy to live on an island
and sell fruits on the side of the road, bartering goods from my garden for
things I need. Yes, I would actually do this! Money is very important,
especially to someone that enjoys plane rides. Having a lot more money would
allow me to stay in fancier hotels and fly first class all of the time, but as
long as I have enough money to cover a few trips per year and allow me to go
out to eat and live in a decent apartment, I think I’ve got things covered. I
have never really been one for relationships, I might have a slight issue with
commitment, or I rarely find people worth committing to. In the six years that I have been twirling around this here planet
of ours, I have had lots of flings, trysts, dates, crushes and only one, well
maybe two, boyfriends. I was madly in love with an Italian, you have likely
read about him on this blog (2009-2011) and in the end, a mixture of factors
broke us up, in my opinion (all things are two-sided) distance played a significant
role. I was living in Rome, he was living in rural Kenya and after a very tough
time in Benin I vehemently refused to do rural Africa again. There is more to
the story but I will spare you.
Dating is easy depending on the country. In cities such as
London, Paris, New York, Detroit, it is very easy to meet interesting people to
go out with. Unfortunately, Japan and Rome did/do not offer the same
opportunities. I will not expand on the difficulties that I am having in Rome,
you can read an earlier post on that. So much of my decision on where to live
in the future will hinge on my social life. The fact is while I am not out here
searching for a husband, I do enjoy the company of interesting, good looking
men. People often tell me I will not find someone until I sit still, tell that
to my single girlfriends that have been sitting still in Detroit, London, and
New York. I recently met someone in an airport lounge and while it didn’t work
out in the end we had a great three-month run!
All of that to say dating is already hard enough, not having the
same permanent address for more than nine months in the last five years makes
it even harder. Plus I think people (men) are uncomfortable with my lifestyle
and often question what they can bring to the table. And this takes us to the article…
When I first read the article, “Don’t date a girl who travels” I immediately posted it on my facebook because I knew that everyone assumed that the
article was a manifesto on my life. I have put a few excerpts below.
“Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The
usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul
craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your
new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of
an airplane than hear you brag about it.”
“Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably
daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for
someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a
freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something
that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining
about your boring job.”
“Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her
mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect,
but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.”
“She will never need you… She cooks well and doesn’t need
you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you
travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives
at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers.
She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who
share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.”
I had to laugh at parts of the article, that are clearly a
reflection of my life, “she’s probably daydreaming about quitting…She has her
own [dream] and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money
from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and
imagination.” This is true, but is this really a bad thing? The part about not
needing “you” is slightly true, but not the reasons that they list here. I like being taken out to dinner and I love traveling with a partner and having a
warm body in the bed next to me isn’t bad. However, the
fact is I am quite satisfied with my life as it is. When I think about a man in
my life he is an addition to my awesome life. I don’t NEED the addition but I do WANT it and I will welcome him with open arms. Plus do guys really want needy girls?
So as a rebuttal to the above article, “Date a girl who travels” puts a positive spin on a lot that the other article turns into
negatives. I have included a few excerpts below.
“Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save
up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes.”
“You’ll also recognize a girl who travels by the fact that
she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home
town or in a place that’s totally new. She sees beauty all around her, not just
the ones featured in travel guides or shown in postcards. A girl who travels
has developed a deeper appreciation for life. She won’t judge you, or pressure
you to do things you don’t want to do. She knows too much about the importance
of identity and self-efficacy, and she will appreciate all the more if you won’t
pretend to be who you’re not.”
“Date a girl who travels, because when you’re with her, you’ll
realize that even though she’s napped at a temple in Angkor Wat, went boating
down the Mekong Delta, ran by the streets of Saigon, or went skinny dipping in
the caves in the Phillipines, she still retains that humility that is the mark
of a real traveler. She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled
by the fact that the world is still a big place and she’s only seen a small
part of it. Seeing this in her can make you feel all right with yourself too;
there’s no need for you to do more, to be more. What you are is enough.”
I obviously loved the second article because it is a
beautiful telling of why dating a girl that travels is awesome. I would love to
hear from other women that travel a lot and/or live abroad. What has dating
been like for you? And to the men, would you date a girl that travels? 

If we travel together we can live life like this!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Everytime I date out of the country of USA, I end up falling in love only to realize that 1 month after I leave it's like nothing ever happened. Our everyday adventures and snuggles turn into phone conversations with poor language usage and no future plans to ever step foot into our respective countries to visit one another.

    Also, I must say that traveling abroad and dating someone is tricky because everyone looks and seems more attractive and suitable when you are not permanently (>1 year) in that country or state for that matter. The men look better, they are more romantic and you seem to yearn for this adventure of meeting someone in a new culture or new side of your country.

    I onced lived in the Domincan Republic for several months and met my dream guy. Long story short we went 4 years without seeing each other, he was married 2 years of the 4 years and I had long time relationsips as well. He moved to America, New York and was divorced in 2013. I drove from Michigan to New York (10hours) to visit him and attempt to rekindle our fling. We are good friends and I realized there were things about his personality that I did not fancy. And he also found the fact that I had a new car and a great job that I was silly for liking him because I was better (I never believed this).

    I also dated someone when I lived in Jamaica for 3 months and we didn't last 1 month after I left Jamaica. So it is a hit and miss; Sometimes they could be long lasting friends, other times it could fizzle by the time you step a foot into your home country.

    Thanks for this post. You are awesome! I want to travel more and more and get those great deals like you do. Also, note that you should always use protection and understand gender norms in every country before you get into a relationship abroad. I had to learn the hard way that my independent, righteous and head honcho personality was not suitable for most men abroad. I can definately be a sweet, charming and submissive woman in a romantic relationship, but men expect this to happen automatically and for you to not have respectable positions in social situations. just a heads up.

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