You have probably seen them floating around Facebook and Twitter. Date a Girl Who Travels. Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels. Date a Boy Who Travels. There are probably a dozen different versions and rebuttals out there too.
As a much-maligned or much-praised “girl who travels,” I found each of the posts resonating with me to a certain extent. So I was surprised to see some backlash, especially from women who travel. Sure, they generalize and stereotype, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t bits of truth to be found in them as well. And I don’t read any of the posts as referring solely to men or women who travel full-time but also to those who enjoy and appreciate travel and consider it a large part of who they are.
For me, they represent how I have changed. Ten years ago, I was not the girl who travels and I had no interest in dating the boy who travels. I was on my way to becoming a successful lawyer and I was drawn to guys who were equally ambitious and career-driven. I wanted to date a guy who worked 60 hours a week so he would understand when I had to cancel dinner plans to stay late at the office. I was perfectly content with a couple weeks of vacation each year and my idea of “budget” was a hotel for $100 a night or less. I spent my money on clothes and shoes and purses. I saved up for Coach and Kate Spade and Burberry, not for travel.
But now, after quitting my job to travel for a year and then starting all over again, everything is different – especially when it comes to my priorities and the kind of guy I want to be with.
Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes.
Yep, that’s me now. I’m still wearing pants I bought three years ago and my last pair of new shoes were running shoes to replace ones that completely wore out.
You’ll also recognize a girl who travels by the fact that she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home town or in a place that’s totally new. She sees beauty all around her, not just the ones featured in travel guides or show on postcards. A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life.
And that’s me too. I appreciate the little things now. I notice things I never noticed before.
She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled by the fact that the world is still a big place and she’s only seen a small part of it.
Again, I can totally relate. Sure, I’ve been to x number of countries, but there is so much more out there I haven’t seen. And I want to see it all.
When it comes to the post about not dating a girl who travels, I read it from the perspective that a guy shouldn’t date a girl who travels unless he can see some of those allegedly negative characteristics as positives and unless he possesses some of those characteristics as well. And some of those were soooo me.
The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of a plane than hear you brag about it.
Dinner and a movie are not my idea of a fun date. I’d rather do something active. And give me the guy who takes public transportation over the guy with the fancy new car any day.
She won’t party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.
I’ve never heard of these clubs, but yep. Totally me now. Can’t imagine spending $100 on a night out when that could get me a few days of travel somewhere else.
She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals.
I don’t cook well, but I am independent and any guy I date should appreciate that. I’ve traveled around the world solo. I don’t want to be with a guy because I need him, but because I want to be with him – there’s a difference. And I especially don’t want to be with a guy for his money.
She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams.
If a guy is intimidated or put off by this, he’s not the guy for me. I’d want a guy who does the same. I’d want us to travel the world together, chatting up new people everywhere we go.
And this is why I want to date a guy travels – or more specifically, a guy who has traveled and wants to travel more. I want to date a guy who thinks it’s awesome that I spent a year traveling around the former Soviet Union. I want to date a guy who doesn’t give me a weird look when I say I spent 3 months in Russia but instead asks me if I went to Kamchatka while I was there. I want to date a guy who doesn’t just know where Uzbekistan is, but who would want to go there with me. I have loved traveling solo but I would love to date a guy who wants to join me on my travels.
Date a boy who treasures experiences over toys, a hand-woven bracelet over a Rolex. Date the boy who scoffs when he hears the worlds “vacation,” “all-inclusive” or “resort.” Date a boy who travels because he’s not blinded by a single goal but enlivened by many.
Date a boy who’s lived out of a backpack because he lives happily with less. He’s seen how a life without luxury can mean a life fueled by relationships and family, rather than a life that fuels fancy cars and egos. He’s experienced different ways of being, respects alternative religions and looks at the world with the eyes of a five-year-old, curious and hungry.
I want to date a guy who is open-minded. Who has seen how things are done differently in other parts of the world and who recognizes that the way we do things in the US isn’t necessarily the best way. A guy who has seen how people struggle in developing countries and appreciates everything we have here. A guy who cares about what is happening in Egypt and Syria and Ukraine.
And yes, I’d eventually like to marry a boy who travels and when I do, this is how it will go:
You’ll get married somewhere unassumed, surrounded by a select few. Your honeymoon will not be forgotten to a buffet dinner and all-you-can-drink beach bars, but will be remembered in the triumphant photographs at the top of Kilimanjaro and memorialized in the rewarding ache of muscles at the end of a long days hike.