For the past 5 years I’ve been travelling and working throughout the world. In that time I’ve been single with the last long-term relationship was when I was in my mid twenties before I hit the road. I don’t wish to change what I’m doing, because travel is a better substitute at the moment. Yet, I’m nearly approaching 30 years old, and I can’t help but begin looking back and realising that the affect travelling has had on my love life. During my travels I’ve had some nearly relationships, promises and goodbyes that have never really been fulfilled.
If you’re wanting to keep building your dreams and the travel life of a relentless nomad, hellbent on taking on the road forever on end on your own, ultimately there has to be sacrifices. I’m doing it, some of you are doing it but it’s certainly not easy. Sacrificing a normal life on the road can range from having hardly any personal belongings, no fixed home and that’s right, no long term love life. Some people are more motivated when doing things their way, and I’m one of them people.
Many people travel nowadays, but few still hit the road relentlessly year after year however easy and tough it maybe. You might think travel is a trend now, but to meet someone who is constantly in love with travel and doing things their way is quite rare. I had an invigorating conversation late last year with a like-minded and single, mid 20s female traveller from Europe. I say invigorating because she echoed everything you’d expect from a passionate travel enthusiast. That being persistently staying on the road, avoiding commitment and ultimately agreeing that ‘settling down’ can wait. Yet, probably a couple months later she was ultimately swayed into a relationship. It goes to show the temptations that can be too much for some and can potentially halt that travel continuity.
If you aim to go solo and if you’re someone like me who has to keep going and do things your own way, you might find some ‘problems’ that you’ll face. Here’s a little insight to outsiders who wonder and question what it must be like as a long-term solo and single traveller.
You Can’t Commit
Being a single solo traveller is unique. You get yourself into situations, random meet ups and have the freedom to do what you like when you like. It’s difficult to change that, you want to keep exploring solo and don’t see settling down a worthy swap just yet.
A Relationship Would Just Get In The Way
The thought of having someone is amazing, especially after a while of travelling on the road. You see other couples with a little envy but then you’re actually a little relieved. Couples have to look out for each other, where as all you have to do is look after your single self.
Lost Travel Time
Imagine settling down now, and you enter a relationship of a couple years. Then it turns sour, you break up and you’re single again. Two years older, a little out of touch and have lost time to travel. I mean, there’s no age limit when to travel but long term travel in particular isn’t something most keep up forever. Do it whilst you have the energy and the time.
It’s The Idea Not The Reality
When meeting someone on the road, the majority of the time, the idea always makes it more appealing than the reality of the situation. We singletons love the idea. The endless possibilities of the unknown are attractive but ideas can fizzle out when there is no real substance or realism to the situation. We hold onto the idea rather than be real with ourselves if something could work. Keeping in contact with someone you met in Asia adds to the idea, but in reality it would be a long commute if you were to keep things going, especially if you’re from different countries.
You Get Used To Quick Flings
Quick romances seem to be all that’s available. No ties and fast goodbyes tend to be the stop gap at fulfilling your romantic and sexual desires. It’s fun to be single and gives you a little refuel but essentially it’s a nanosecond of what you could have.
Going Home Alone Isn’t Always The Case, But It’s Still Lonely Waking Up
If you’re travelling solo and single you will have opportunities to hook up, it’s part of the culture of travelling at times especially in the backpacking routes in Southeast Asia and gringo trails in South America. Head to a party hostel and you’ll know what I mean. After a while of having some brief encounters, you do start to think which ones mean anything other than an in-the-moment want for lust.
The Idea Of A Normal Relationship Is Boring
The thought of waiting for a new sofa to be delivered at your new home or going shopping actually fills you with dread. Your heart stops a little as it’s a normal relationship is so safe, mundane and well, vanilla.
You’re Probably Over Materialistic Kind Of Folk
Finding out more about what and who you like is to do with getting older. However, travelling solo long term, you’ll probably be more patient and focused on who you like. Materials and wealth isn’t happiness and ultimately you may discover you’re not into people who want a life of glamour or riches, but someone who has love for adventures.
You Look At People For People
Travelling long term single and solo will allow you to interact different nationalities and types of people all over the world. In doing this you’ll more than likely be into people for people. You forget what you think your type is, what the past is and concentrate on who people are as you meet them.
You Don’t Play Games
One thing I can certainly say is that you have no time for games or for time wasters. If someone is stalling at meeting you, or is flirting aimlessly or getting you to chase, you’ll soon move on. You don’t need the hassle and by this stage you’re probably confident to who you are and what you need. Next!
Hooking Up On The Road Is No Big Deal
Especially indulging yourself in the the social scene whilst travelling, such as staying in backpacker hostels or mingling with large groups on tours, it can be very easy to mingle with one another. When you do hook up, it’s fun, but really it’s not big deal no more as it may be back home.
There Is Love In The Absence
Once one is so far away, and with the distant contact via social media, your mind can trick itself to like or love the person more. The mind becomes more fond of that someone who is away and through the lack of face to face contact creates reminiscence and sentiment.
You’re Too Independent
Solo travelling creates independent people. You are doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and you’re putting yourself in situations you alone have to deal with. This can become the norm which is totally fine, but having such a routine way of living your everyday travel life can hinder your chances and it can be difficult to let any love into your world.
You’ve Thought Of Travelling With Someone
Although you’ve thought that travelling with someone would be neat, you ultimately believe that it’s not likely another person would share the same agenda as you. Your travel plans are so vast that unless you find the carbon copy of yourself, you’re always going to be hitting the road long-term solo.