Don’t date a girl who travels. This is the claim made by a blog post that has gone viral and been translated into more than 20 languages. Its depiction of a girl so in love with the freedom of exploring the world that she is no longer satisfied with ‘normal’ life has clearly resonated with a hell of a lot of people.
Many of my female friends who are travelling have shared and commented on this blog post, so I was interested to know how much they felt it was true. Are we really all like the girl this blog post describes?
“Don’t date a girl who travels… Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures… she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address.”
Once you start travelling you’ll find that you are reluctant to stop; they don’t call it a travel bug for nothing. “I always need some sort of adventure to look forward to”, says Jayme, who has recently returned home after a round the world trip. “Even it is just a holiday to a nearby country or a weekend away, I like the excitement of going somewhere I haven’t been before”. You will want to stay spontaneous: “I’m happy not to have a plan,” says Kate, who is currently on a last minute holiday to Iceland. “I just like to see how things go. Having a plan and sticking to it means missing out on things.”
Tiffany caught the travel bug to the extent that she experienced a “disconnect from home – almost a fear of returning”. She is now happily back in the fold, though considering when she can next go travelling. While we all need somewhere to call home, Kate is happier with the idea of not having a permanent address. “The thought of living in Scotland again terrifies me more than going somewhere I didn’t even know existed!”
“Don’t date a girl who travels… Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream.”
The freedom and independence of travel can lead to dissatisfaction with the daily grind. “I can’t imagine ever wanting an office job again,” says Kate, who is planning to start work as an international tour guide. Indeed, there are plentiful opportunities to work abroad, and it is important to appreciate having a job to return to after your career break: “Since I have been back at work I’m a little bit miserable with the whole get up, go to work, come home, have dinner and then bed”, admits Jayme. “But on the other hand, I have a steady job with good career prospects so that’s my life.”
“She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her… She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch.”
One of the many positive things about travelling is that it gives you a new perspective on money and material goods. “I appreciate what I have – I will never take everyday life at home for granted again. We are so privileged and don’t even realise it,” says Katie, who is on the South American leg of her travels. “It’s made me less materialistic….you can survive with the bare minimum of clothes (just about).” Kate agrees. She now has a “greater appreciation for how many people in the world have very little and actually are pretty satisfied with their lives. That ties in with me having no desire for material possessions (other than my iPhone which I couldn’t live without) and not being impressed by guys who thrown their money around in bars or drive fancy cars. It just does nothing for me.”
“She is too independent… She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.”
The unpredictable nature of travelling is highly likely to increase your sense of independence and confidence. “I like doing things I want to do and am now happy to do them on my own if no one wants to do them with me,” says Jayme. “Each day I could wake up and decide my next move and that was empowering,” shares Tiffany. “Travelling made being alone one of the best experiences and I felt that I had control of every aspect of my life.” Katie adds that, as well as becoming “more open-minded to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds,” travelling has made her “tougher – I can now handle difficult situations, whether in a first world or third world country.”
It is said that you should live as if you are the star of your own movie, and Mary, who returned home from her extended travels last year, related to this in terms of the transient friendships formed while travelling. “I started to think of it as being OK for relationships (romantic or otherwise) to still be meaningful and complete even if they were finite. Because when you’re in this travel landscape, forming friendships, a lot of times they sort of have a timestamp on them from the beginning. It’s as though every individual (including myself, as the traveller) is sort of a character in this ever-changing series of short plays and scenes… you’re just happy for the moments in time that your plays overlapped and you were in the same scene together… And if you’re lucky, then you might get to keep in touch and actually see them again, and the whole spectrum of it is all so wonderful.”
Despite all the new friendships made, my travelling friends who left long term partners at home were certainly not left bored by them. “Whilst travelling I really, really missed my boyfriend, which made me realise how much I really love him,” says Jayme, sweetly. “I’d get excited to chat with him and tell him my stories.”
“She will never need you… won’t care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination… Never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her.”
If you leave a loved one behind, it may be because you want different things. Travelling certainly gives you time and space to consider the commitments you made in your ‘normal’ life back home. But you may just wish the person was there with you. “I wanted my boyfriend there because I wanted him to experience everything I was experiencing; because I know how much he would have loved the places I went to” says Jayme. She is lucky that her partner shares her passion. “I now know when I go travelling again I will go with him, as we share the same interest to travel and see the world.”
For non-globetrotting guys whose girlfriends have flown off to follow their dream and see the world, perhaps it truly is love. To “let her go” – as the last line of the blog post asserts – while heartbreaking, could be the very thing that keeps you together, as you come home with a new vigour, a fresh perspective and a wide smile, ready to take on ‘normal’ life again.
That said, he may want to book a weekend break for you both pretty quickly.