‘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! I’ll tell you what’s up in the land of true love and travel.
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?
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).
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 bought them a shot of whatnot. 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 would like to date you still.
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 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.
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!
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