Traveling solo is one of the most terrifying & rewarding things you can ever accomplish.
It's like love; there are exhilarating moments & moments you just need to be alone.
You will meet interesting souls from all over the globe & take back memories you'll hold on to for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, travelling solo also means you might be chronically single.
Romance on the road isn’t hard to find; however, lasting relationships seem to be some mythical lifestyle that we travelers only aspire to have.
The two components that make up the base of a successful relationship?
Chemistry and Timing
Often the chemistry is right, and just as often, the timing is wrong.
I’ve been moving around and now traveling the world for the last 5 years, and the above statements are a pretty good example of my love life.
Nevertheless, there are still many positives to this lifestyle:
You Are Single & Free To Meet Whoever You Want On The Road
As a single solo traveler you have the freedom to do whatever you want without someone waiting at home wondering what you are up to.
The pressure of checking in or having someone expect a copy of your itinerary can really put a damper on the outcome of your journey.
By traveling single, you’re giving your free-spirit at chance to tap into its outgoing side, submersing in every opportunity without anyone holding you back.
Traveling Solo Makes You More Approachable
Being alone means you will be more open to meeting people.
You won’t be consumed with the person you’re traveling with.
Some of the best friendships you will ever have in your life are with people you meet while traveling; you’ll make lasting relationships with like-minded people and your free-spirits can come together long enough to improve your journeys.
You teach, learn & share your stories, then continue down your own road.
We Fall Fast & Hard - And Move On Just As Fast
When you meet people on the road, your relationship has a clear deadline.
It really takes the pressure off of the ever weighing question: ‘Where is this going?’
You give yourself the opportunity to love someone in a certain unguarded way that you tend to resist when you are in a place you call home.
You think less about the consequences and the ‘what-if’s’ because you’re so consumed with the adrenaline rush you’re receiving from your new found infatuation, and adventures you experience together in your parallel universe.
There’s much less animosity when you ‘break up’ because you knew it was inevitable.
There's no hard feelings.
What’s Better Than Finding Love On The Road?
The whole reason you went on a solo journey in the first place was to find yourself, right?
One of my favorite psychological theorists was Erik Erikson; a Neo-Freudian from the mid 1900’s who created the Stage Theory.
He theorized that in your 20’s and 30’s you will go through a stage called Isolation vs Intimacy, the result ultimately depicting the consequences on your identity formation.
You will be presented with two major life challenges:
The identification of self through an intimate relationship and through loneliness.
In his theory, when presented with loneliness you have two options:
1.) To perceive loneliness as ultimately detrimental, doing everything in your power to avoid the feeling of being totally alone and being faced with your inner-demons, leading to feeling isolated and with an insecure sense of self, or
2.) To perceive loneliness as an opportunity to be creative, look within yourself and ultimately come out with a stronger sense of individuation.
How you come out of this can have quite an impact on your future, and whether you will be faced later in life with despair vs ego integrity.
Identity formation through relationships is the other life challenge you will be faced with.
Erikson describes that there are certain parts of yourself that can be tapped into by the perspective of someone else.
By avoiding relationships altogether at this age, you can further your depth of isolation consequently causing potential depression.
Here’s my take on Erikson’s Stage Theory:
When I’m feeling lonely, I ask myself why. Am I looking for someone to entertain me because I’m bored? Am I insecure and needing a validation from an outside source? Am I simply missing the company of someone who cares or am I genuinely missing someone in particular?
I tend to see loneliness as an opportunity to explore myself deeper.
I look for things about myself that I want express creatively or improve.
I seek out new hobbies, interests and actively met new people.
In relationships, as ephemeral as they may be in my life, I seek lessons.
I look for insight.
I admire those who can bring out different sides of myself that I didn’t know existed.
Sometimes they’re good.
Sometimes they’re bad.
But ultimately, I never lose.
I either win, or I learn.
But I never lose.
And in the end, I’ve found myself.
Through love, through loneliness, through creativity.
I found myself.
World Travelers Notoriously Fear Commitment
Though we may be committed to world travel, we struggle to commit to one destination.
This may seem obvious, but often what inspires people to take the journey in the first place is their lust to wander and continuous need to experience something new.
We tend to be thrill seekers, absorbing everything we can out of an experience; once we are done, we easily let go and move on.
Applying this to relationships, we tend to have great-short term romances, with the ability to walk away unscathed.
This can be a great defense mechanism, or a dangerous coping method ultimately resulting in loneliness.
Ephemeral Relationships Can Get Old
Short-term romances can be invigorating, but can also drive you a bit insane.
Your heart and your mind are on a never ending roller coaster, one minute at an ultimate high and the next a heart plunging low.
Your logical side screams this can never work because you both live on different continents, but your heart screams just one more day.
You tend to start craving the intimacy that is only gained in long term relationships.
You miss having someone that cares about more than just your next adventure for the day; You want someone that cares about your whole life.
Your team consists of one.
And at times you miss having someone you feel you can really fall back on.
You Are Always Saying Goodbye
Though you are always meeting many, many great people, you are also always saying goodbye.
I’ve gotten rather good at goodbyes – I can detach rather quickly.
But sometimes you meet that once in a lifetime person you aren’t ready to detach from yet.
And if you ever gave up your goals to travel for someone... that can put way too much pressure on a relationship.
And I can’t imagine that feeling of What if I would have kept traveling?
Abstinence Makes The Heart….Forget
This is an unfortunate truth.
You can try your long-distance relationship, sure.
Sometimes they work.
But unfortunately, in a world built on constant stimulation, maintaining that relationship is borderline impossible.
When you’re traveling, you’re constantly presented with new experiences.
You’re constantly meeting new people.
Your mind is constantly stimulated.
Your brain fills with so much passion and excitement for your future day-to-day it tends to forget about that person who as each day passes, becomes a further part of the past.
It’s a harsh reality.
But it’s life.
Then again, there’s a saying that says: Those who travel together, stay together.
So, consider the ultimatum.
And trust your gut.
You’ll know what to do.
Thanks for Reading!
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