True Love and Travel

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‘Teacake…You’re 30, childless, your boyfriend is nowhere to be seen. Don’t you want to get married? Aren’t you worried about not being able to have mini Teacakes? What the hell are you doing travelling by yourself?  That’s dangerous right? Aren’t you going to die lonely?’  Oh please! Keep your hair on!

Before I travelled

I used to be a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I met so many interesting people, learnt so much from them and collected some seriously powerful stories that I’ll never forget. One lady who came to have a session with me had just reached her 50th birthday. She had had many men in her life. She had travelled all over enjoying life’s most delectable pleasures, singing, dancing, eating, smooching. Yeah, she was rock and roll, confident and a free spirit.

At this point in her life though, the men had all gone back to their wives or found a younger, slimmer, shinier one. She was a lonely and lost lady and she terrified me. Terrified. Even before I seriously quit my job and left England, I saw her need for freedom within myself and did not want the same fate.

Can such a strong, adventurous traveller find true love and travel?

Cat lady
I can see it now. I’m going to be one of those cat ladies.

Making men angry even before I left England

Before I even left England I had a new address every year or so. I just liked change and after University I worked all over England: West London, Lingfield, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Brighton. When you’re hopping about and as independent and stubborn as me, men don’t exactly stick around.

I lost some great boyfriends during that time. The bottom line is that travel was, and is, my number one priority. It’s debatable that even if I had been dating Johnny Depp I would have stuck around. Shame we couldn’t have tested that out.

Anyhoo, I had it in my mind that if a boyfriend was meant to be, we’d both pack our bags and ride off into the sunset. Life truly isn’t that easy though. People have their own goals and priorities and during that time and space, my jigsaw puzzle was always a bit crooked and they had their mind on jobs, houses and most likely in the future, children (gasp).

Skateboard into the sunset
Gotta keep on moving!

True love and Travel in the real World

Finding a partner

Go to any travel blog and you’re highly likely to find one post on how that person may be finding the love quest a little bit harder than they thought. At its most extreme, I have had some friends go back to their hometown and country looking for a partner.

I get it.

People can come and go jack flash when you’re working and travelling somewhere at the same time. It’s not like you’re constant.

You may be leaving in 6 months. They’re leaving in a week.

The hurdles are up before you’ve even drank a pint of beer together. I’ve noticed within myself that I can act pretty detached: ‘Why get close when they’re going north and I’m planning to go south?’ Some guys even think I’m a lesbian. Sure, I got a strong short haircut and I’m a feminist but I’d still like to date you.

Yes you, dude, with a lovely penis.

Finding True Love on the Road
Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?


Travel will give you the purest love you can find. When you meet someone, you may only have a couple of seconds with them, a day, maybe a week. What their job is, what car they have, how old they are: that goes out the window. Time is short and you’re gonna make the goddamn most of it.

When you travel you want to learn from people, enjoy discovering new things together and quite frankly, what is happiness if it’s not shared?

Hostels are just so kick ass for this. The first country I travelled and worked in was South Korea and hand on heart, those friends I met there are friends for life. The cafe owner who let me couchsurf for one night between his sandwiches is a friend for life.

The Filipino granddad who I met on the bus in El Nido and sends me motivational Catholic messages everyday even though I’m totally not Christian? Friend for life.

You will find absolute love through your friends but right at the core of true love and travel, you have to love yourself. Can’t love if you don’t love yourself. Cheesy 100% correct fact.

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Soon Su, Dan, Cody and me (with black hair!) Just a handful of all of the amazing friends that have a whole lot of love!

What’s the secret to meeting Mr. Right?

My best friend Michaela often says that we have many soul mates in our lifetime but it is the hardest cake recipe you’re ever going to come across. You could be completely perfect for each other BUT wrong time? Wrong place? You’re screwed.

I do know some couples who have met each other whilst travelling, beaten all odds, got married and are so happy it’s a really lovely and beautiful thing to see. Power to you guys! I’m still totally baffled by how you did that though. If you know the secret ingredient, let me know!

Want an update on Teacake’s Love Life?

Well, there was that one time where I met the perfect guy and lost him in 48 hours. But looking back on it…he really wasn’t the perfect guy for me.

Most importantly, I’ve been learning to love myself more and more lately (I’m growing up!). Stay tuned for a new love update very soon.

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True Love and Travel: struggling to find 'the one' on the road

15 thoughts on “True Love and Travel”

  1. Good read as always. I have thought or expressed some of the same thoughts over the years as an expat beholden to the whims of wanderlust.

  2. Beautifully written Alice. I’m not sure travelling is your obstacle in the search for love. I’ve stayed in the same place for 6 years, working as a forensic social worker, in a fairly large and busy secure mental health hospital. If where you worked as a therapist in a similar environment then I don’t need to tell you these places are a hot bed of hook ups, infidelity and on the odd occasion true love (strictly between staff obviously). What I mean is, there was no shortage of single (and not single) potential candidates.

    I was single for 5 years, and in that time I realised who I really was, became confident in my career, realised my strengths and weaknesses and did what I wanted to do. I have been happy and I have had experiences that I am not sure I would have if I had not been single. There are moments though when you look at your friends, family as they get married around you and then later complete their family unit with tiny bundles of joy and I wondered if I would miss out on this experience. None of which would have mattered if I was not about to hit 30 .

    Anyway the point of my ramblings is to give you hope. True love does not need time, it doesn’t need you to stay in one place. You know when people say ‘you know when you meet the one’ and love at first sight. The films are full of chance meetings that lead to love. All utter rubbish! So I thought.

    Actually im not sure love at first sight is a thing but maybe a few looks and a realisation that the person you are looking at is exactly what you have been looking for. It just happens. Keep on your journey Alice and don’t doubt that you will find what you are looking for because it really can just take a moment.

    • Awesome response Lucie! Thanking for sharing. You’re absolutely right: I feel I know who I am, what I am, what I like and love. I have no doubt true romance will come. For now I’m truly enjoying friendship. It’s a very powerful thing :)

  3. Miss Teacake, the secret ingredient is you. I hate to sound unromatic but I agree with Michaela, we will cross paths with several potential Prince/Princess Charmings in our lifetime. If you’re ready to accept him into your life, your eyes and heart will be open for him. He has passed you by, and you have passed him by. You just weren’t quite ready for that chapter yet.

  4. Every single thing you wrote there has hit a chord with me. I left to start my travels two years ago and I was supposed to go with the love of my life. Or so I thought. He broke up with me a month in and since then I’d been wandering the Earth in many different places, wondering if I’d end up old and lonely. It has been from going to an array of meditation retreats, extensive travelling, meditation and yoga, a couple of horrible relationships and a lot of self-reflection that I’m beginning to feel fine about being single. It’s hard to realise but it’s only after loving yourself can you let someone else in to love you as well <3

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head. You need to love yourself first before you can love another. Breaking up with someone is so difficult but to have that happen whilst your travelling; that REALLY is a challenge. I’m happy to hear you’re doing good and found awesomeness at the other end. Keep rocking it Crystal! <3

    • Crystal, you can do what I’ve been doing the past 2 years. I’ve been dating myself and I’m finding that I’m one damn awesome person! I hope you’ve fallen in love with yourself all over again and maybe you’ll find someone as awesome as yourself. For the time being… fuck it… keep moving through the world!


  5. Late comment for the article date, but it made me think!

    I’ve been a solo traveler for a long time, and lived a few romantic, movie-like short experiences with different guys in different places.

    The shortness of it only makes it better when it’s just a fling: for me at least, I found that when you give it your all through those 2, 5 or 10 days (if you’re lucky sometimes a few weeks!) and never lose sight of the fleetingness of it; then you can live it fully without guilt. And even the pain of missing them is sweet afterwards (bittersweet maybe, but I do love to romanticize it by listening to loads of Damien Rice).

    Then, at some point, you might meet someone you feel like you can’t let go of, and if they can’t let you go either and you’re lucky, then you’re up for an adventure buddy. Having an awesome like minded travel mate has been just as great as solo traveling for me (and that’s saying a lot).

    Enjoy those beautiful short romances! They’re pure real-life poetry and make awesome blog posts (what wouldn’t I give to go back to the past and have a blog for my solo travels too).

    great writing btw!


  6. Just read this. It is so true. I know so many people who finds it sad that I am still single at 26. I am just enjoying myself and travel as much as I can. I am in no hurry to find a boyfriend, it could be nice, but it will come one day (I hope ;) ). I know the feeling of multiple soulmates. Five years ago I met a guy who swept me off my feet like never before and I quickly fell in love (I have a really hard time falling in love), but it didn’t work out. We were too far from each other in our lives.

    Every once in a while I can’t help of thinking that maybe he was it and that I will never find anyone like that again. But I know it is just in my head and it is from the pressure from others that I have to find one soon and I soon realise that I am just crazy for thinking that :) and for now I will just enjoy the small romances ;)

    • Keep on travelling and enjoying yourself missy! I believe there are plenty of soulmates out there. It’s just about when you meet them that is the deciding factor I think. If you’re both open to something, then the magic will happen :)


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