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Wish You Were Here

I was in a relationship for the full 9 months of my first real travel experience.

I spent nearly a year learning foreign languages, galavanting through South American and European countries, and missing a guy at home. My friends abroad called me crazy. How could I possibly have a full experience when romantic ties where holding me back? I wasn’t sure, but I believed I was having one anyway.

Whether or not there had been a special someone, I would’ve continued to take classes, spend time with my host families, travel on the weekends with friends, and stay out late dancing and drinking beverages before it was legal in my home country to do so. I was having the time of my life, or so I thought.

A couple in Mexico (Photo: Tapato)

My last two extended trips have been taken as a single woman. And boy have they been liberating! I didn’t have to worry about not being able to Skype for a week’s time. I didn’t feel the need to send anyone a daily email; I knew for as much as my best buds also cared, they were busy enough as it was.

I met new people, made new friends, and even kissed a boy or two that I’ll probably never see again. It’s been amazing, and yet, I still can’t say that I ever made a mistake the first time around.

Having no one to miss sure is easier, yes, but on that same token, a girl/boyfriend, in the truest form of the title, can enhance a travel experience with support, encouragement, and comfort when you need it.

The real challenge is finding someone that is willing to let you be free. When it comes down to it, it’s the person at home that has it the hardest. Globetrotting is a fabulous distraction from the pains of a long-distance relationship. With that said, however, deciding to have one is a decision that should be made with much thought and consideration for it’s always a challenge.

Short visits make it easier for both parties, as do scheduled return dates. Then, of course, there's the traveling together option too. I haven't done it myself, but I've heard many success stories.

Perhaps it’s just me, but for as much as I love to be in love, I forever remain an independent person. I do not believe that our worldly dreams should be restricted or put on hold for someone else. And on that same token, I understand that sometimes relationships are worth keeping, no matter where in the world you’re headed.

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Amelie S.

Monday 21st of February 2011

Great post.


Monday 21st of February 2011

I'm with you Amelie....been traveling single so far, but would prefer a partner in crime at this point!


Friday 18th of February 2011

Hi there! Truly a great post! I've been travelling in a relationship and as a single. 2 years ago i did a 6 month internship in India and travelled the country. During that time my girlfriend broke up with me ... I think its a true thing to say that its harder for the one that stays at home.

Now 8 months into a new relationship my girlfriend went travelling to NZ for 3,5 months... maybe more. She saved for this trip for a couple of years and I did what the author suggested and encouraged her to go travelling. Having been travelling myself I know how good it is and that it can help you to sort out your head and discover what you really want. Being the one that stays at home I now fully have the impact of a long-distance relationship. Its aweful!!! I wish I could quit my job right now and follow her ... Guys .. give me hope!


Thursday 17th of February 2011

Good post Danielle! I've done both things, but I never missed the person back home while travelling, guess wasn't meant to be! Anyway, the best thing of travelling as a solo woman is that there's no restrains... If I like a place I can stay there for as long as I want, noone is missing me madly back at home... Actually, I haven't been back home since I went on my own adventures... "Each traveler their way..."

Danielle E. Alvarez

Wednesday 20th of April 2011

Love that quote.

Chelsea Rae Schmidt

Tuesday 15th of February 2011

I have tried a bit of everything when it comes to love and travel. Met a boy abroad and did the long distance thing when I went back home (worked pretty well since he was in the US as well) -- also tried traveling as a couple (the best option if you are serious about the person) -- then I tried traveling while leaving the boy back home... lesson learned, it didn't work out. I think a lot of the people out backpacking the world alone just aren't ready to settle down into a relationship yet.

Danielle E. Alvarez

Wednesday 20th of April 2011

That's a good point. When I was traveling with a boyfriend at home I was studying abroad, so there was an end date.


Monday 14th of February 2011

Great post! I have backpacked both single and as a "boyfriend", and it can actually be fun to get in touch from abroad and to know that you have someone so far away that is thinking of you. But, not going to lie, I do think the backpacking world is a bit more geared to the single person, if you are traveling alone especially, flirting and romance are always in the air, and it's pretty darn cool feeling to be able to just go with it!

Danielle E. Alvarez

Wednesday 20th of April 2011

I would have to agree!

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