Nicole once told me after I asked her what she thought of dating while travelling:
“You must have a stone heart and be able to leave if you don’t want a man to hold you from your wind”.
For the last years, I have always chosen travelling instead of being in a relationship with someone I have the feeling for. Sometimes I think I do have a stone heart because I can easily leave the man to move on and live the life I want. However, every now and then, I sit and think about my loneliness, I doubt myself if I would want to have a man in my life, or if my heart has actually turned stone.
As a female traveller, let me speak for most of us, we do have a certain need which partly involves men. It is not about sex, but I am not saying sex is not part of our needs. However, we are more emotional than most species out there. Once a man comes into our lives, we tend to be irrational and fall into the usual emotional routine. That makes dating while travelling for us not easy. The heart plays a big role in this case.
Despite that fact, women have taken the dating scene in a different way. Nicole met her ex fiancé while travelling and moved to Istanbul for him. Before that, “I never even believed in monogamy and I used dating abroad to have amazing local experiences. The men would always ask me to stay and I always left to find something or someone more interesting. And then staying for someone I struggled very greatly and it snowballed into a big mess because he was not ready to step up as a husband as I was to be a wife” as Nicole shared with me. I believe that most of us might enjoy our journey but get tired of instability every now and then. We are happy to sacrifice but at the same time we are afraid of consequences coming with it. For a woman, dating brings an attached feeling no matters if we look for fun or not because it somewhat makes us struggle more than men do.
Lianne, a girl that I got to know in Bangkok shared her story that she felt frustrated because it was almost impossible to find someone to date while being on the road.
“I just need to find one guy who stays for a longer period than 3 days then leaving after that. But they are all like that.”
Talking about struggles, everything could be the struggle when it comes to dating while travelling. Is it even possible? But I have to admit, we all just need to accept the fact that it will remain a short-term relationship. One or the other will move on so either agree to have fun with each other for that period or just don’t start at all.
Most people decide to travel alone for several reasons. For me, I want to develop myself as a person as well as learning my capability. However, it is not completely true that I want to be alone all the time. I bet others would agree with me on this. Travelling alone is great but so does travelling with a partner. I was not familiar with this until I travelled with one guy who I met via Tinder. I wasn’t looking for a relationship and neither was he. We just needed company. Sometimes people just feel sick of eating alone in restaurants. Or let assume that it might end up somewhere, travelling could be a great way to find out if that relationship would work.
“Building new experiences together is better than being boring and going through the motions of what a relationship is supposed to look like.” – Ariana said. She has one of the most hopeful relationship stories I have heard which brings me to think: maybe dating while travelling could work and I could find my soulmate.
Even though Nicole acknowledges that dating while travelling is a stupid thing to do but it didn’t stop her from meeting people and falling for them. She moved to a country for a man she once fell in love with and it is one of the best relationships she has had.
Ariana met her boyfriend while they were both in a programme abroad and ended up travelling with each other for awhile. Even though they split to go to different places, they have been still in contact and loving each other nonetheless. I asked her about trust which I mentioned on the last article about Dating life as a traveller, and she said I trust him completely. She also shared: “Solo travelling is great, but having a partner in crime makes a lot of things better”.
*The article is written based on answers of interviewees whose names have been changed.