My Passion For Travel Destroyed My Love Life But I Don’t Regret It

My love of travel has pretty much destroyed my chances of having a conventional dating life. In my eight years on the road, I’ve lost a few great relationships, escaped some bad ones, and learned a ton about myself—and I don’t regret it for a single second.

  1. I meet more and more interesting people with every next trip. I’ve been lucky to have an incredibly diverse love life. From dating a British lord to going out with a Spanish dude twice my age who still lived with his parents, I’ve pretty much seen it all. On one hand, I feel anxious about settling down because I know there are so many unexplored men out there. On the other hand, the thrill in my love life never ends.
  2. I’ve realized that I’ve got a ton of soulmates. To those who say that you’ve got only one soulmate, stop spreading that BS. This is what really destroys people’s chances of happiness. I used to get so fixated on the idea of “The One” that if I met a guy who could make me happy but wasn’t 100 percent perfect, I thought he was a waste of time. So far, I’ve met three guys so far who have been an amazing fit for me. I haven’t married either of them yet, but that’s okay—no need to stress.
  3. I’ve had to leave behind some perfect guys, but travel has given me a joy that dating can’t. I had a boyfriend who I loved very much and I was absolutely heartbroken to leave him. However, I realized that what had a bigger potential to destroy me wasn’t leaving him behind but staying. While I felt a thrill with him, riding on the back of a four-wheeler in the jungle and helping a volunteer clinic fix people’s teeth in the Dominican Republic has been fulfilling in ways that dating a guy never was.
  4. I’m always the “unobtainable” one and it’s given me a ton of swag. It’s true that men want what they can’t have. I’ve destroyed many dreams and broken hearts when I’ve told guys I had to leave. Travel has made me a very interesting person to date, as I know a lot about human nature, have crazy stories and a lot of sexual experience. Guys fall for me fast and know they can’t keep me, so they feel even more passionately about me. To be honest, that swag feels really good.
  5. Travel has made me a better girlfriend. What destroyed a lot of my relationships before travel was the fact that I wasn’t flexible or tolerant. When things didn’t go my way, I’d flip out like a little kid. After being on the road for an extended period of time, however, I learned that things won’t always go my way. When I miss a flight and find myself stranded on an island, I go with it instead of throwing a fit. I’ve learned patience and tolerance from travel, which has made me a much better girlfriend.
  6. I’ve become a strong woman who is capable of commitment. It’s hard to be a world traveler if you can’t commit to things. I don’t really have a way of fully knowing what I’m getting myself into when I sign up for three-month long trips in the Asian jungle, but I go in and adjust to my circumstances. I’ve learned to live with my choices and firmly stand my ground. If I can commit to living in Bali and do my best to make it work, I can commit to a boyfriend and do my best for the relationship.
  7. I left someone who I thought I was going to marry and it was the best decision ever. Travel totally saved my ass on that one. I was deep into a relationship with a guy who I really adored at first. We lasted about a year before I chose to leave him and travel through Europe for a long period of time. In retrospect, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. We were a completely wrong match and our relationship would have ended up in shambles if we’d stuck together.
  8. I know myself better than I ever have. What destroyed many great things I had going with men was the fact that I didn’t know myself. I changed according to the guy I was with. You should never change for a guy, and while it took me a long time to learn that, I definitely know it now. Because of that, I can now go into a relationship fully knowing myself and be genuine.
  9. Thanks to travel, I’ve lost love but I’ve found my true calling. It’s true that finding one great partner is incredibly hard. What’s harder, though, is finding your purpose. While there are many guys I could date out there, if I don’t have meaning in my life, I’ll never be happy. Yes, travel has cost me relationships, but it has made me better. I’d rather live on the go, finding out more about the world every day, than cozy up to a good guy.
  10. Travel has opened me up to dating guys of all races and religions. Before travel, I was exposed to pretty much the same guy—white, Catholic, wearing Brooks Brothers. Ever since I began globetrotting, my interest in that type of guy has been completely destroyed. Travel made me much more open-minded and curious about things that are different. I’ve dated Muslim, Jewish and atheist guys. I’ve been with white, black, and Latino guys. Because of this, I’ve been able to understand many cultures and see the world through a different lens.
Dayana is a passionate traveler who's been navigating foreign lands and confusing relationships since she was 16. You can read more of her work on Matador Network and her blog, Dee Across The Sea.