Travel has taught me a lot of universal truths. Amongst those, it has opened a new perspective on love, dating, and relationships.
1. There are more fish in the sea.
At that – – seven seas, 117 million lakes, and 165 major rivers (thank you Google, please don’t quote me).
My point? There’s a lot of men and women out there, so if one doesn’t work, it just means that someone better may be somewhere that you’ve never even heard of.
When we travel, we meet so many people that we come to understand how many people we don’t know. There are so many people outside of our bubble. Just understanding that there are more people out there makes dating so much easier.
2. How to be healthily dependent on others.
If you’ve ever caught yourself in a country where no one speaks the same language, where all hotel accommodations are sold out, or in a similar situation, you’ll realize that we all need people. Travel highlights that, knocking up the dependence level a few degrees; when we learn to take the heat, we become comfortable with vulnerability. Yes, traveling solo, or rather living life solo, is important, but it’s also okay to depend on others at time.
3. Enjoy the moment.
This was a big one for me. When I really started traveling, I felt like I could enjoy someone’s company just to enjoy their company. We can meet people and talk to them without jumping to questions about whether or not we will marry them. We don’t know where in the world (literally) we will be a year from now, and that takes pressure off. Dating should be fun, and while real-life factors may influence choices later, we can’t live in fear wondering if we will get heartbroken or be unable to spend time with the person later. Just have fun. Enjoy the moment.
4. Sometimes the things that excite us most are the things that scare us the most.
The saying that “good things don’t come easy” should really be “adventure doesn’t come without fear.” Too often people show me admiration for the risks that I have taken to travel as if I’m wearing a cape and it’s a superhero power, not a flight that gets me from Point A to B. I can’t say that I am more courageous for taking on adventure. I’m usually terrified. But I’ve found uneasiness is matched by thrill. It’s the excitement that overcomes fear. Relationships are a lot like that, the best ones scare us the most.
5. Everyone communicates differently.
I’m not just talking about Danish language and Aussie accents. We express ourselves differently verbally and physically both across cultures and as individuals. Communication is an ongoing process; it takes work both overseas, and in relationships.
6. Honesty and trust make the difference.
I’ve briefly mentioned the inevitable meeting with “the cheater” during traveling. If you think you haven’t met a cheater when traveling, then you just didn’t know they were cheating because they were that good at hiding it. In my opinion, the #1 thing for every relationship, whether romantically, or as friends, is that you’re on the same page. If you want different things out of the relationship, then it’s not going to work. Trusting each other and being forward and direct is the best way to communicate your expectations and boundaries. So many people cheat while traveling, and those are the people that either 1. You know would cheat at home too, should the situation allow, or 2. Are just plain selfish. Relationships with selfish people just don’t work.
7. Life is meant to be lived with passion.
Everyone defines their purpose in life differently. I can’t tell you that the purpose of life is XYZ, but I can tell you that we may as well live a life of passion filled with love, happiness, ambition, and enthusiasm. If whatever you are doing doesn’t make you happy, change what you’re doing. If whomever you’re dating doesn’t make you happy, date someone else. You deserve a life of passion.