Long distance relationships are incredibly difficult. They happen for all kinds of reasons. You met an off duty flight attendant with kind eyes and a wicked sense of humor on vacation. You fell for a quirky girl with glasses and tattoos, in bar, who deploys for war in three months. Your significant other moves away to study abroad for their masters degree and you’re both trying to make it work for the next couple of years. And what about the hippie girl that lives to her own beat, taking odd jobs as she floats from country to country? Regardless of the reason, these people have the travel bug. They thirst for more than what is in their own backyard. The flight attendant, well, forget about it, they’re never home. The girl in the service will be away fighting for our country for up to twelve months, the student studying abroad for a year may be swept off their feet by an exotic romance, and the hippie is truly wandering around for her next adventure unknown even to her.
Yet, here you are in love. You fell for the charm. The ambiance was warm and cozy and the twilight sparkled in their eyes. Your laughter was in sync and you spoke the same love language. No matter how much time you spent together, it was like you always knew them. Still, the rude daylight of morning loudly interrupted your dreams, as did their alarm to catch the 9am JFK. What do you do? (Skip to the end for tips on dating someone with Wanderlust)
What if the person that is doing the leaving is you? Seeing the sad look on your beloved’s face each time you arrive at the airport’s departure lane damages your hope for companionship. There’s no way you will ever stop exploring the world. You were built to sleep in odd places at odd hours, crash in rented rooms of kinds strangers in foreign countries and glean new insights from your amateur anthropology. Ambition did not force you up a company ladder earning millions of dollars, it pushed you towards the horizon of the unknown. You chose this life…. or it chose you. Either way, travel is apart of you. (Skip to the end for tips if you are dating while in Wanderlust)
Personally, I am entering the dating world again, but in addition to being a single woman, I am a divorcee. Travel has become my new flame, my sexy romance, my other half. Still, my heart knows that discovering a new country every season will not keep me warm at night and if anything it can create just as much loneliness as it creates connections. Beautiful suitors constantly enter in from stage left as I sneak out of stage right. Sometimes I linger just to admire “the what if” for a moment and sometimes I dont exit until much later in the scene. The distance always becomes a strain and the suitor doesn’t value exploration the way that I do. The point is… until I meet the one who’s values and future align with my own, I will always exit in pursuit of my next flight.
Stay tuned as I begin to share a series of “scenes,” both fact and fiction, about Dating with Wanderlust inspired by my travels.
For now, here is a list of tips for dating someone with wanderlust:
- Cut the small talk. Interacting with and befriending strangers for minutes or hours at a time has helped us become experts at conversation. We’d rather talk about social climates than the weather.
- Sleep deprivation and jet lag are daily struggles. Time zones, long flights and plenty of excursions have exhausted even our back-up batteries of energy. All we want to do is sleep for 2 …or 12 hours.
- Always have a bag packed. Traveling may be apart of our job descriptions but we never tire of visiting an exciting destination especially if our significant other can come along for the adventure. A love for travel is a prerequisite for dating someone with wanderlust.
- Trust is a must. There is just as much temptation in every country as there is in every cubicle. If someone is going to be disloyal, it usually has less to do with opportunity and everything to do with self-control.
- Home is where the heart is. Although, we are not home-bodies, we talk about home the most. It keeps us close to our loved ones when we are away. Going to Paris may feel like the epitome of luxury, but a flight back home is worth our last dime.
Tips for the Wanderluster:
- A warm welcome is appreciated. A little extra love to your significant other can go a long way, whether that’d be through souvenirs from your travels, a long hug or by simply hanging on their every word once home. They haven’t seen you in person in forever and want to feel that you missed them just as much as they did you.
- Share the details of your day-to-day. Tell them about the idiot sitting next to you while you were in the middle seat, the new friends you made at the museum or the waiter who completely screwed up your dinner order. Make sure they also know where you are staying and any important emergency contact information.
- Invite them to travel with you. Your beloved back home constantly hears about your exciting stories and, of course, they want to be apart of it. Even if they cant make the trip, always invite them so they know you wanted them there.
- Video chat. When they cant come along for the adventure, video chat and share specific moments in real-time with only them. It’ll be one of their day’s highlights and from many time zones away, you will both smile in sharing your experience.
- Let them know your schedule. Dating someone who’s life seems like a constant vacation can blur the lines of when you are actually working. Make sure they know your on and off days so that it doesn’t feel like they are missing out on precious time with you.
Thanks for joining me!