LOVE – is a beautiful thing to share and to have in life.
Personally I’ve been in a couple of (very) long term relationship and a smattering of shorter ones. I have traveled while in relationships and while single – though recently mostly the later, hence the name of my blog.
Traveling solo as a single woman may leave me vulnerable at times, however, it also help create opportunities I would not have if I was attached. I have noticed, in general, when people travel alone, they become a bit bolder and braver – willing to do things they would never dream of doing when in a familiar place or with familiar faces.
Well I can speak from personal experience – despite all my crazy travels, I am quite the introvert and wallflower. Though, I am known to strike up random conversations with total strangers; locals or fellow travelers.
For most of the past 10 years – after the break-up from a 5-year relationship, I’ve been mostly single, by choice. Funny enough, each time I travel, my work-husband will ask me who did I meet and “fall-in-love” with this time, upon my return. I do not know why it is so much easier for me to meet men with whom I get along with while traveling but it is becoming a trend. I have a feeling I WILL meet my husband-to-be while traveling. Just saying.
Perhaps, it is because I become my true, innate self when I travel. I am more at ease – less worried about societal labels and judgements. There is no reference point, no basis for assumptions. My day-to-day stresses and worries are left behind and I live in the moment – not regretting my mistakes from the past nor being anxious of future events.
If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
~ Lao Tzu
When I first started traveling alone and meeting men I “clicked” with, my head would literally swell up with dreams. “Oh my god, I’ve finally found the one! and he even loves to travel, just like me!!” “Regardless of the fact that we live on different continent, we will stay together, we will make it work and be happy together!” Sorry, if I sounded like a teenager but my heart and mind sure acted like one.
A few times, including the most recent, I went in with a clear mindset. Whatever happens, (pardon the crudeness) it’s just sex, a physical thing – a travel fling. I did not share that decision with the man involved but I just chose to enjoy the moment and stay emotionally detached. There were butterflies and authentic excitement. However, there was no deep rooted emotional investment, I cared for him like I would with an acquaintance or a friend. Friends with Benefit situation. I did not want to get hurt or worse yet, hurt myself because my imagination got out of hand. I wanted to stay realistic. Let go. Enjoy the moment.
In truth, my decision to create a preconceived mindset at the beginning of the trip or upon meeting men provided me with a Win-Win situation…
If we never contact each other when we part ways, no feelings hurt. At least we enjoyed each others company, had fun and shared experiences together – happily.
If we decided to pursue the connection upon our return home – that is great, that is awesome.
In the end, like all things in life – Love is what you make it out to be. A different perspective shifts the experience, outcome and memory. Be it a Fling or the Real thing.
5 Main ideas to keep in mind
Set Boundaries. This is just like creating a safety net. Once set, stick to your guns, do not waiver. No compromises. This is the only way to honour your authenticity and create self-respect and self-love.
Be safe. This applies in many aspects. First and foremost, use condoms. Toss a few condoms into your purse, wallet, toiletry kit and backpack – Better safe, than sorry. Condoms are easily accessible in most countries but not all. First sign your safety is at risk, LEAVE. If anything makes you uncomfortable, LEAVE.
Speak up, Be frank. Honesty is the best policy. There is no need to create and hide behind any facades when traveling – be yourself. Sometimes, lies hurt ourselves more than others.
NO mean No. It is the same in all countries around the world. We have the right to change our mind.
Have fun. Life is short – give life a chance to happen.
Mottos I live by:
Always better to laugh than to cry – even if it’s a nervous, awkward laugh.
Live. Love. Laugh.