As a full-time traveler, I’m often asked ‘How do you date when you travel a lot?’ And for every person that asks, I know there are at least two more who want to but are too polite. (Thank you to the polite ones, by the way.) It’s kind of an awkward and personal subject, so I haven’t wanted to write a post about it before. But I’ve finally decided to share my experience and thoughts on the subject, in hopes that it may comfort or help others who are facing the problem of how to date when you travel a lot. Don’t expect a definitive guide, as that would be impossible. But hopefully this helps you in some way!
I should start by explaining where I’m at. Before I started traveling full-time, I was in a six-year relationship with my boyfriend from high school. I ended it because I knew we had grown apart and I wanted so badly to discover who I was outside of that or any other relationship. I’ve since spent my time at home and abroad in search of a deeper understanding of who I am, how I relate to others, and what’s my place in the world. I haven’t for one single second regretted ending that relationship, because it allowed me to begin a relationship with myself. And it has been so eye-opening and wonderful. Sure, I’ve had romances and flings and short relationships since that long one, but ultimately I’m enjoying being single. The way I see it, I have the rest of my life to be in a relationship, so what’s the hurry?
How To Date When You Travel a Lot
It’s Not My Top Priority
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, priorities matter and I know that mine are different from most other people’s. My top priority is travel, along with adventure and discovery and pursuit of an alternative path to greatness. But I have friends whose sole mission it is to find their husband and get started on creating a family together. These girls go on multiple dates a week. And I can’t remember the last time I went on a date. There’s nothing wrong with either approach. But I think that if starting a family is the most important thing for you, then you’ll have a hard time traveling a lot. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by being somewhat removed from the dating scene, because I’m having the time of my life traveling the world. I think it’s important to know your personal priorities so that you can allocate your time, energy, and resources accordingly.
Take Romance As it Comes
I’ve met some of the most exciting and wonderful men on my travels, and we’ve shared days or weeks or months together. I’ve also gone for months at a time without meeting anyone remotely attractive. I don’t think this is a pattern that’s altogether different from what people experience at home. But the key is realizing that being out on the road, traveling and learning, is my main goal. I have to resist that temptation to believe that I’d be in some fantastic relationship if only I would settle down and stay in one place. Finding someone you connect with isn’t easy no matter where you are.
Long-Distance is Hard
I did the long-distance relationship thing for four years with that guy I dated since high school. At the time I didn’t see any alternative, because I thought he was the love of my life. And even still it was so hard and taxing. And now again I find myself engaging in many small long-distance relationships. I meet a guy somewhere in my travels and we hit it off, but then go separate ways as our travels demand. We keep in touch in hopes that we’ll meet up again sometime in our travels. Sometimes we do, and it’s very exciting and worth the wait. And sometimes the connection fizzles before we can meet again. I think these long-distance attempts are unavoidable for those who travel a lot. They’re complicated because on the one hand you want to protect yourself from being hurt by not putting too much faith in it. But on the other hand, it can never work unless you give it a whole-hearted try. That’s the reality of trying to date when you travel a lot.
I Like Being By Myself
I’m so happy to say that I’m finally in a place where I know who I am, I like who I am, and I like spending time by myself. I’m sure I have more growing to do but for now I’m in a good place. And I cringe to see younger girls feel like they have to be in a relationship to feel complete. If you never give yourself a chance to be by yourself, then you’ll never really know who you are. And then who you are will always be at least partially a reflection of who you’re dating. It was shocking to realize how much of my personality was a reflection of that high school boyfriend. When I finally ended it with him, I was nearly embarrassed to realize how much I was holding onto simply because it was important to him. I really believe that everyone should take a good long time to be alone. It’s an investment in yourself, which then translates into better self-awareness, self-respect, relationships, career, and life. Learn to love yourself before you ever try to love someone else.
Be Open to Serendipity
This is the fun part of trying to date when you travel a lot…you never know where or when you might meet the love of your life! And by traveling, you’re opening up a whole world of possibilities that would have never been if you stayed at home. Don’t go traveling just to meet a guy. But don’t reject the idea that you could meet him while you’re out there!
Date a Traveler
Probably the only type of guy who could understand girls like us, is another traveler. So if you date a traveler, at least he will understand your impulse to constantly be on the road. And he may even join you! There are some awesome powerhouse couples I know that travel together and are so much stronger and tighter because of it. But even they know the importance of taking solo adventures, that not every trip should be done together. It’s all about balance.
That’s All…For Now
Part of the trouble of writing this post is that now it’s written and out there for the world to see, and it seems so permanent. But with each passing day, month, and year, I learn more about myself and my relationships. What I want and need changes constantly as I re-evaluate my experiences and emotions. So I reserve the right to update this post or write a follow-up, if and when I change my mind! But that’s my advice for now on how to date when you travel a lot. It’s not the top priority, but it’s lovely when it happens, and I’m open to meeting somebody wonderful on any given day. I’m traveling for myself, but I know that when I find the right man, it will be because of this journey that I’ll be ready to engage in that relationship fully and happily.
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