Every time I check my news feed I am bombarded with couples madly in love with each other. There are engagement announcements, girls showing off the new diamonds on their ring finger, wedding dates, pregnancy announcements and baby photos. I realize that the age I am now is a perfectly acceptable age to get married and have kids… but that is the farthest thing from my mind.
I can’t commit to a relationship without my brain piping in and asking “what’s the point?” Having my brain dictate this part of my life is unusual for me. I’m an overly emotional person; I react and make choices based on my feelings about things and what my heart tells me, not my brain. I guess I am following my heart in this area of my life as well, it’s just that my heart always takes me away from possible relationships and further into the parts of the world I have yet to experience.
My poor parents are desperate for me to fall in love, settle down, and find someone to share my life with. Sure, that sounds nice but it also sounds terrifying to be trapped in a life with one single person, to have to consider that they might miss you if you want to get up and go to another country for months at a time, that your love for the world might trump your love for them. People constantly ask “why are you still single?” “Haven’t you met someone yet?” “Aren’t you lonely?” or suggest that my standards are too high. It’s not that I haven’t had the chance for love to happen, it’s not that I haven’t had the opportunity to get into a relationship with someone, it’s that there is always a reason not to and that reason, almost every time, is travel. And no, I’m not lonely thank-you-very-much.
People are capable of being single for infinite amounts of time and not feel depressed and lonely all the time. As an introverted person to begin with, I rarely get lonely. I can spend days by myself and enjoy every second of it and I’m thankful for that. It makes these decisions a lot easier than it might be for someone else.
I have met men that make me stop and re-evaluate things. I think that maybe I should give it a chance, maybe they would make the perfect boyfriend, maybe something great could come out of this. But then I remember I’m leaving –again- in a few months’ time and that I’ll be leaving over and over until one day I’m gone for years on my quest to see the world.
The pull to travel is what fuels me in every aspect of my life and I don’t think that they fully grasp what that means. I am constantly coming and going and that is simply not fair to any man that loves me. Until I feel so strongly that I need to be with someone, I will always put travel first. Some may call that selfish but that’s just the way it is and how it will continue to be until one day, I’ve felt that I’ve seen and done all that I wanted to see and do.
There will come a time for settling, for committing to a relationship that’s longer than a couple of months, for nesting and children, a steady job and a spot in your city that is “your place”. But for now, I like being independent and free to go wherever I please, whenever I please. I enjoy being able to watch my friend’s kids and then -hallelujah- give them back! I like the possibility of living in another city six months down the road. I like waking up to the different sounds that make up a beach town, or a village, an elephant sanctuary or a bustling city. I like falling in love over and over again with sunsets in different parts of the world. I like the connections, freedom, and spontaneous moments that traveling brings. That is the life for me right now and that is the life that I love.
I am certain that there are more young women who feel the same way and that is okay. We shouldn’t have to apologize for it or explain it to those who don’t understand. I refuse to apologize for where my heart is taking me when it feels so right.