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.
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.