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Can you start a relationship that “goes the distance”?
“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” -Henry D. Thoreau
Let me just start by saying romance is dead. I am not one to let whimsy and imagination whisk me away with thoughts about what nights in watching 30 Rock with “The One” would be like. I care surprisingly little for accepting another half into my life, in allowing someone to impede on my decision making, or take up precious thinking time with concern for their feelings.
For the most part, I am an emotionless robot.
Despite this preface, on the very occasional occasion there has been a suitor which has taken my fancy, you can hear the clicking, you can see that spark that bounce from us like electric, oh what’s that you feel is it the burning of overwhelming CHEMISTRY? these sparks are extinguished quicker than you can say “Kuala Lumpur” by the ever blowing winds of Hurricane Voyage, the one and only true love of my life.
“Hello, yes what you like me? Oh well I like you too, do you mind sticking around while I travel to Asia and possibly never return? Oh not really? Shame.”
I have been in this situation many times, only the places change.
Picture this: you are in Tasmania, clicking with an attractive man you met at a play, he’s handsome, he’s cultured, he doesn’t mind that your accent makes you sound like you wear hoodies, hang round with your mates in parks drinking cans of Carling and rob corner shops for a living, in fact he finds it rather attractive, and then the travel bomb gets dropped.
“I’m flying to Queensland in 2 days”
And faster than Queenslanders are mental, as if you literally told him that you will self combust in 2 days, he turns away from you and carries on with his life, safe in the knowledge that your paths with never cross again.
Counting down to 2 months to go before the big move to Japan, I actually started hiding the fact. Falsely luring men into my sensual travel trap by pretending I would live in Cardiff forever. It is an absolute myth that boys are looking for a short term fling. You’d think they’d be ecstatic at the thought of you leaving soon, the perfect excuse for some short term fun, but alas, things aren’t all they seem to be. Guys these days, disappointingly, always seem to be looking at the long run.
Though I did find out that “I’m moving to Japan” became my go to get out of jail free card when sleazy guys came on to me in bars. Nothing gets a guy running quicker than mentioning another hemisphere. It’s even better than not so subtly hinting that you have a raging case of Chlamydia.
But what about those guys that you’ve known for a long time, that have always stood by you, that you secretly found devilishly attractive? What about converting them onto the boyfriend wagon? Well alas, that doesn’t seem to work either. The fact is that most people, even guys you’ve always got along with, who have no travel ambitions of their own, have no intention on starting things when the one party is moving far, far away. And the fact is that when you’re a traveller, you are always moving far, far away.
But for me it’s a no question, no compromise. I would never stick around in a country I had ambitions of leaving just to spend more time with a boy. And frankly, if I wouldn’t wait around for them, why should they wait around for me?
George is a 20-something hitchhiker, solo female traveller and cunning linguist, currently teaching in Kyushu, Japan. She circumnavigates the globe and teaches languages to all those in her wake. She has travelled Europe and Oz extensively, and has taught languages in 6 different countries and counting. Her blog is a mix of language learning, TEFL tips and general travel tales. Follow her journey at George on the Go or on Facebook or Twitter.