Photo Credit: Stephanie O'Conner of connervarin.com
I'm exhausted of the conversation. All the renditions of 'Why To Date A Traveling Girl', 'Why Not To Date A Traveling Girl', why we're awesome, why we suck. Ok, enough. Everyone is entitled to their spin (as I'm about to take mine) but what I would appreciate is everyone to stop talking about me (and my kind) as if we aren't in the room.
I have been an avid traveler the better part of the last decade. Lived in France, Thailand, and Japan. Bopped around nearly twenty countries while still in my twenties, and even created the popular urban travel group, the Nomadness Travel Tribe, around it. Many would say it's my life.
You know who would say that the most? Guys I have dated, and ex-boyfriends.
Thus goes the perils of being a traveling girl, dating. The woman who refuses to give up on love and works adamantly on a vision board that includes photos like the Follow Me To Project sweeping our men (or women) off their feet and wisking them away to far off lands. We dream of becoming our partner's oasis of adventure and life force. Travel is our drug, and while we are daring enough to climb the mountains of Machu Pichu, Lara Croft it out in Siem Reap, and sky dive over the waters of Dubai there is a very real part to us that seeks something deeper than even travel...wait for it...love.
Do we want it in the generic sense? Hell no. Nothing about us is generic. We want a road dog too, that will not look at us crazy when we get the doctor to approve travel for the future child within six months, and the passport is already acquired (I mean, that's what birth certificates are used for anyway, right? To get passports).
We are this exotic, outlandish, other wordly human being to many of you. An anomaly, yes...and very much, no. We want the same things many women and men do, we just may not want it in the same order. We are tricky, but we are far from impossible.
I mean, I know sometimes we are difficult to understand because:
1. We Leave
Sometimes at the drop of a dime. We can't help it. It's like a disease. It doesn't help when we have long withstanding friendships with pilots, flight attendants, and ticket counter attendants. Immediately we start actively acquiring flight benefits that make your mouth drop.
Benefits that we tend to share with the ones we love if they play nice. (ahem) You will enjoy the chase.
2. We Are Competitive
It's all about the stamps. Where have you been? Men, think of the way you are about your favorite sport. That's us with travel. Backpackers adorn their arms with wrist bracelets to showcase how many countries they have been too. The travel bug is real.
She will open your mind up to THE world. Like, the entire world, literally.
3. We Get Bored Easily
Travel breeds stimulation. The shock of the new. We live for excitement, even on the border line of danger.
You will never be able to sit back and say, "This relationship is dull."
4. We Mouth Off
Many times in different languages. Fluency is a great bonus, but even just knowing a few salutations can be the difference between a great trip and a horrible one.
She's a Jane of All Trades that knows a little about a lot, and you'll love her for it, especially on the road.
5. We Are Treated Like Zoo Animals
People who don't get the lifestyle, simply don't get it, but they are in awe of it. Sometimes we feel like zoo animals. Everyone gathers around wanting to see what we do next, where we are going next, and we become this mini celebrity among our peers. This is flattering, until it becomes weird, particularly in dating. You start to get the feeling that people date you because they are attracted to the 'concept' of you, not the real you.
6. We Don't Need You, We Want You
We want you to be that rock to hold us down. Not in a literal sense, but in enough of a sense that the desire to plant roots somewhere (anywhere) seems like it could actually be attained. For those of us who want families and believe in marriage, this is all the more true. We aren't used to answering to someone before moving. Inside, we secretly yearn to be missed and wanted back. This, through time, turns into a need with the right partner.
7. We Are Your Mirror
You will have no choice but to question every fear you have ever had, as you look into the eyes of a woman (everyday) that has taken life by the balls. The only thing left for you to do is wonder, 'why haven't I?' And THAT, my friends, is intimidating for anyone.
8. We Value Experiences Over Money...and Money Can Come From Anywhere
Not so much vacationers, but expats and backpackers are natural born hustlers on finding ways to make money on the road. What may seem 'unstable' to others, is in many ways the only way we know how to survive out in the world. Diversifying income is a state of mind, not just a practice. Many freelancers, location independents, artists, and entrepreneurs are born this way.
9. We Live/Play/Think/Breathe Outside The Box
Our timing is non-linear. We live in no society set order, nor do we play by society set rules. We are who we are, and that's enough for us. Our sandbox is full of some of the coolest people you would ever meet on the planet, and we encourage you to come in, and get dirty. Don't forget your passport.
So, if you are considering dating a woman who travels, and the influx of articles have left you looking a lot like my photo above, I say give it a try. We are kind of amazing.