Can you have a relationship while travelling?

I’ve been travelling, I’ve been with boys, but I’ve never really been with any boys I could see it lasting with. As I start preparing for my next trip I’ve been thinking about relationships and whether they go together with travelling, or not. A lot of my friends have started to get engaged, married even babies and although I do have my eye on all that, I also just want to be free. 

Let me just start by saying romance is dead. I am not one to let whimsy and imagination whisk me away with thoughts about what nights in watching 30 Rock with “The One” would be like. I care surprisingly little for accepting another half into my life, in allowing someone to impede on my decision making, or take up precious thinking time with concern for their feelings.

For the most part, I am an emotionless robot.

Despite this preface, on the very occasional occasion there has been a suitor which has taken my fancy, you can hear the clicking, you can see that spark that bounce from us like electric, oh what’s that you feel is it the burning of overwhelming CHEMISTRY?  

“Hello, yes what you like me? Oh well I like you too, do you mind sticking around while I travel to Asia and possibly never return? Oh not really? Shame.”

I have been in this situation many times, only the places change.

Picture this: you are in Reading or similar shitty English town/city, clicking with an attractive guy you met in the pub, he’s handsome, he’s cultured, he doesn’t mind that your accent makes you sound like you wear hoodies, hang round with your mates in parks drinking cans of Carling and rob corner shops for a living, in fact he finds it rather attractive, and then the travel bomb gets dropped.

“I’m flying to Oz in a few weeks”

And as if you literally told him that you will self combust in 2 days, he turns away from you and carries on with his life, safe in the knowledge that your paths with never cross again.

Counting down to a month to go before the big trip round South East Asia, I actually started hiding the fact I was going. Falsely luring men into my sensual travel trap by pretending I would live in Reading forever. It is an absolute myth that boys are looking for a short term fling. You’d think they’d be ecstatic at the thought of you leaving soon, the perfect excuse for some short term fun, but alas, things aren’t all they seem to be. Guys these days, disappointingly, always seem to be looking at the long run.

Though I did find out that “I’m going travelling” became my go to get out of jail free card when sleazy guys came on to me in bars. Nothing gets a guy running quicker than mentioning another hemisphere. It’s even better than not so subtly hinting that you have a raging case of Chlamydia.

But what about those guys that you’ve known for a long time, that have always stood by you, that you secretly found devilishly attractive? What about converting them onto the boyfriend wagon? Well alas, that doesn’t seem to work either. The fact is that most people, even guys you’ve always got along with, who have no travel ambitions of their own, have no intention on starting things when the one party is moving far, far away. And the fact is that when you’re a traveller, you are always moving far, far away.

But for me it’s a no question, no compromise. I would never stick around in a country I had ambitions of leaving just to spend more time with a boy. And frankly, if I wouldn’t wait around for them, why should they wait around for me?

Whether you’re a newbie traveller looking for help or a backpacking veteran with words of wisdom to share, our community is waiting for you.

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