Raise your hand if you’re single. Now raise your other hand if you also travel a lot. Now raise another body part of your choosing if you have a sneaky suspicion that the two things might be linked. If you’re currently doing an intense version of the Hokey Pokey, you’re who I’m talking to when I say travel is probably the love of your life.
I get asked by concerned friends, family and the occasional stranger why I’m single (rude.) and I always feel the judgement. I’m ready with my excuse: ‘Oh, but I love to travel.’ And then I think, why do I need an excuse here?! Also, if I’m being real, travelling can sometimes make it hard to hold down a steady relationship. You’re always the one who is ‘gone’ or ‘going’ and people don’t always vibe that.
Now a disclaimer here: I’m not saying by ANY means that we should all aspire to have a partner. I don’t 80% of the time and some people don’t 100% of the time, but I do think most of us dream of falling in love and meeting our ‘soul mate’. But this is what I’ve realised: my soul mate just so happens to be travel! The older I get, the more I refuse to be ashamed or feel selfish about pursuing a life of adventure over meeting ‘the one’. Travel is meeting new people, watching sunsets that take your breath away and experiencing love at first bite (hello, freshly baked pastel de nata). And I think that’s truly special.
Having travel as your true love is a blessing and one of the most rewarding relationships you’ll ever have. It literally gives you the world! Travel won’t leave you for someone with better hair, travel won’t ghost you and the fond memories of your travels will keep you warm at night. While a boyfriend or girlfriend can bring you flowers, travel can bring you an entire lavender field in the South of France. I’ve dated people and I feel qualified to say that I’ve gotten more back from my travels. Harsh? Maybe that’s why I’m single!
Embracing travel as your life partner is the chance to run your own race and do things your way. You get to decide where you go, what you eat and what you experience every time you set sail (or jet set or drive off). Travel can help shape who you are, and even make you a better person. I think that experiencing other cultures and gaining fresh perspectives is such a fulfilling way to spend your life.
Before my mum reads this and yells at me for having my head in the clouds, I do realise all things need to be in moderation. Travelling regularly is a privilege that many of us don’t have access to, so really it’s all about balance. Just like a relationship, there will be give and take and that will probably show up in the form of working long hours to save for your next trip, waiting in line at the airport and having to miss out on some of your friend’s birthday parties. Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that you can’t let it take over every part of your life, so while you might want to grow old with travel, my advice would be to try and leave a little bit of room for other things (like family, health and your career).
Now, if you feel what I’m saying but are sort of still like, “argh sorry Danielle, but I would still like to meet someone cool one day,” then I have some good news. Your ideal partner is probably out there travelling too! If travel is your deepest passion, it only makes sense that you’ll connect with someone who has similar values. And the only reason you haven’t met them yet is because they’re on a flight to Japan while you’re sipping margaritas in Mexico! So I say keep exploring, keep experiencing everything you can and let yourself fall in love with as many places, cultures and maybe even people as you like along the way…