Don’t expect her to stay put, not because she doesn’t love you, but because staying in the same place for too long starts to feel like coming down with a cold – everything moves a little slower, and getting excited about anything at all feels nearly impossible. She needs to move like she needs to breathe, needs to see new things to learn how beautiful they are, and to remind herself of what is so irreplaceable about home.
If you’re the type who likes the stability and comfort of everything you already know, she’s probably not the one for you. If you don’t like the idea of reading signs through frantic flipping through a translation book, she’s probably not the one for you.
Because those terrifying moments – of being somewhere where she is a child again, where she can barely ask for what she wants, where she has to take a chance on every little decision – are the exact thing she lives for.
For her, being anonymous in a different country, and realizing that her problems are just a tiny little speck on the other side of the world, are part of being calm. It makes her as calm as looking out the same window every morning might make someone else calm. The unfamiliar feels familiar, and safe.
And if you’re afraid that you might need that same view every morning, that you want to find a place to “settle down” when you’re ready, when you see the road sign of 30 rapidly approaching your window, she might not be for you. Because the idea of settling down any one place, of getting tangled in the roots and letting only the flowers grow that flourish in one particular soil, is one of the scariest things she can imagine. How could she know if a place is finally right, and how could one place be so good that she no longer needs to see anything else? Is one sun warm enough, or one mountain snowy enough? Is one beach quiet enough, or one city busy enough? Of course the answer is no, not for her.
She will always need to move, to go, to pick up one day and hop on a plane because a ticket to her is worth far more than any material thing she could have gotten with that same money. A family won’t be an obstacle to that, but rather a tiny tribe to share in the adventure. If you are one of those people who feels that everything must come to a slow, if necessary end, when things like marriage and children come in the picture, run. Run now, because if you fall in love, it will be too late.
You will have gotten to know the surface of someone who doesn’t see borders, only to run back within the comfort of your own. And you’ll know, then, that they are walls – that the limits you want in live, the “settling down” you think you want to do, is something that only exists in your mind. It’s something you only need because you have been told you need it. Don’t let yourself get a taste of the life without those boundaries, only to put them right back in place.
She wants something out of life that cannot be found when staying in only one place, but that doesn’t mean she is disloyal. Her love for travel is not in competition with her love for you, and though some, more weak-willed lovers might get angry at a plane ticket, or force her to choose between a train ride and their love, the right person for her will understand that the love of seeing something new doesn’t mean you don’t love what you have.
A week where she wants to travel alone, because she knows that there are certain things you can only see through solo eyes, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to be with you. She wants to be with the city, and herself, because she loves both, too. And if that makes you jealous, she isn’t for you.
Because if you fall in love with her, and she falls in love with you, you will become home. You will become the one place on the map she always goes back to, no matter where it happens to be. You will be the thing she longs to curl up with at the end of a draining flight, the one she cannot wait to write to if she’s something without you by her side. You will be the thing that wraps her in your arms and reminds her that, no matter where she goes in the world, there will always be something for her here. You will be the one beside her at the airport, shaking with excitement, or frantically scanning for a taxi.
You will be the one to wake up in the city you didn’t even know existed two months ago, the one who goes out with her in the morning to see what people eat for breakfast in this part of the world. You will be the one to share a tiny coffee or a mint tea, the one to hold her hand in the market and let her lie by herself for a nap on the beach.
If you fall in love with her, you will be home. And she will be your passport.