How To Love A World Traveler

How to love somebody who refuses to stay in one place for too long?

UNSPLASH Jakob Owens

This past week I read this trending article, along with many others around the world, called “Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels”. It’s a very sentimental and empowering piece that my friends and I were happy to resonate with. But this piece struck another emotional chord in me, one that is a bit more melancholy and something that I have been pondering ever since I made the decision to pack my bags and leave home. This is most likely a matter which other wandering travelers also encounter, and that is the question of, how to love somebody who refuses to stay in one place for too long?

The article mentioned above answers this question by simply saying you can’t. The title itself commands “don’t date a girl who travels,” because she will never need you, she isn’t interested in living your life with you and she’ll forget about you once she gets to her next destination. Such free-spirited nomads described above sound adventurous and liberated and all but it also makes it sound like they don’t care about love and that you shouldn’t ever expect them to love you back.

Despite my burning desire to see as much of the world as possible, there is always that fear in the back of my mind that my wanderlust comes at the expense of being forever alone. Even before I left I felt the onset of the impending, indefinite loneliness ahead. Everyone knew I was leaving and many potential involvements were left unexplored due to the inevitable conclusion that it would end shortly. And I totally understood because who wants to be with someone who is surely leaving anyway? Love grows with time and effort, and for those who are constantly shifting places it’s hard to truly integrate ourselves into relationships and communities.

But obviously jetsetters want and need lots of love too, and it’s our love for people and the world that propels us to journey in the first place. It’s not that travelers are impossible to love, it’s just that their ways of pursuing love is different from others. I read a great quote that said “Find someone who loves the same way that you do.” Keeping this in mind, it’s safe to assume that for most globe-trotters the monogamous couple prototype is probably not ideal nor romantic. They probably won’t stick around to go on enough dates and you truly never know when you will see them again.

But the time you do spend with them is lively, adventurous and valuable. You won’t know what hit you and this person who is guided by idealism, liberation and spontaneity will push you to do the same. Open your heart and throw yourself into your desires and emotions even though you do not know what is going on or what is going to happen. Because how often does a person from the unknown drop into your life and rock your world? Perpetual travelers teach us how to truly be in the present, so live the moment with them and give yourself to someone without thinking of the consequences.

So what does happen after they are gone? You go on with your respective lives with fond memories and the burning hope that one day you will see each other again. This is the way travelers love. They come to experience everything at a single time and place to the fullest extent and then they move on to the next. But just because they continue to fall in love with different people and places does not mean your time together has any less meaning to them. On the contrary, it’s the unforeseen connections that drive adventurers to keep going. The most beautiful memories from my travels are with those whom I met by chance, such as the three nights I spent in an apartment getting to know the Spanish boy who gave me directions, an impromptu rendezvous on a beach in Hawaii under the full moon and even the charming old man I started a conversation with at the Grand Central Market in L.A. Thankfully I still talk to all of them and I fully intend to see each one again because the fact that we share these connections enriches all our lives.

Do keep in touch and reach out to your fleeting traveler. We all crave some sort of consistency. It might seem counterintuitive, but given their irregular lifestyles wanderers may appreciate what is constant in their lives a lot more than others. I spent a week with someone whom I met during my trip to Hawaii before my move to Spain. Even though we’re not dating or exclusive, he still talks to me on a daily basis and his presence and support is incredibly comforting as I struggle to settle into my surroundings. It reminds me that I am relevant and connected to others even as I continue to see the world by myself. And just like any other connection, putting in the effort to keep it alive will strengthen your relationship even while the person is far away.

Even though they don’t necessarily crave the stability of a normative relationship, people who travel are incredibly romantic and passionate. They dream of falling in love with as many people, things, sensations and places and of sharing their lives with others whenever they can. Despite what the articles tell you, you should always date a girl (or anyone) who travels because she will teach you about love for yourself and for the world that you never would have known. Loving a world traveler is instantaneous, unpredictable and romantic, and that’s just how we free-spirited adventurers like it.

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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