Some say it’s a desert scattered with thorn trees, and cutting through it is a road that leads to Heartbreak Hotel. Others say it’s a translucent lake in which traveling fish bump into like-minded drifters and stick.
It’s on this road where travelers meet breathing manifestations of their own ideals, fall in love, and drift on, with or without.
“I’ll be damned, do you see how beautiful that is?” I said. Crickets sang and the wind carried my voice over the African Savanna, but did not bring it back. The hairs on the back of the elephant stood up and so did mine.
She didn’t hear me, so I amplified my voice.
“Do you see that?” I shouted, lifting my hands in the air like madman.
There was no response. Well, she did whisper something about how we should get matching clothes, and how awkward not being real feels, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to share the moment badly with someone I haven’t met yet.
I feed on movement. Sure, the sound of commitment does leave a foul taste in my mouth, but as pathetic and flawed as we all are, I want to find true love. I want someone that’ll jump off cliffs with me, someone to scream at when I can’t describe the beauty in front of me. Someone to share the stars with, and on a perfect moment say “Is this real?” as our voices clash in mid-air with the exact same words.
Is long-term travel an exchange of one love for another, or is it a journey that truly makes sense once the fine balance of both worlds is perfectly mastered? Does this road lead to love, or is it a road that’s built for the solo traveler?
I’ve interviewed 100 long-term travelers to see what they say about finding love on the road. Before I spill the statistics, and give you your odds of finding love on the road, let’s look at what some of these digital nomads had to say.
Finding Love on the Road – Quotes by Digital Nomads
“I live a life where I am in constant motion with no home; I am a geographic dilemma on a global scale. I’ve set up my life to not really be in relationships. My constant motion is perfect for avoiding my fear of relationships and love. And everyone knows that wanderers are bad bets.”
- Sherry Ott from Otts World
“I never would have met someone who shared my dreams if I hadn’t gone after my dreams in the first place. Once you end up in the weird and wacky world of long-term travel, entrepreneurship, and digital nomadry, you meet a lot of creative, innovative types who inspire you to think differently. I’m not surprised that I ended up with one of them!”
– Kate McCulley from Adventurous Kate’s Solo Female Travel Blog
“Dealing with love on the road is tough. For sure there’s an opportunity cost involved. I see my girlfriend for 4-6 months per year, the rest of the time I’m exploring the open road. I see the most amazing vistas, watch some seriously beautiful sunsets yet it’s often tainted with my wishes to share them with her. I wouldn’t dare to complain about it though, this is the lifestyle I’ve created for myself”
– Johnny Ward from One Step 4Ward
“I’ve heard a lot of stories about people finding, and losing, love on the road. Travel isn’t about finding someone else, it’s about finding yourself.”
– Andy Hayes from Plum Deluxe
“As a solo backpacker I’ve always felt that finding love on the road was nearly an impossible scenario. It’s easy for sparks to fly and a quick romance to brew; however, the realities of life and commitments after travel usually tear travel relationships apart. I was fortunate enough to meet someone who shared my same vision and goals for the future.”
– Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel
“Love on the road can lead to good things, most often it is fleeting and fun. You don’t have the constraints that you would have with a conventional relationship – your time is short and you are both in the moment of now without all the stresses and weights of the world that a permanent location and career can bring. More serious long distance relationship that develop – only do so through mutual interest and a strong degree of trust and communication. It is certainly not easy.”
– Dave from Dave’s Travel Corner
“John Lennon once sung – ‘All you need is love’. This truism does sound as perfect as it does romantic. And as a blogger, or guy who smacks keyboards and is a hopelessly unemployable git, repeat etc. – love for me is in fact all I need. Love being a fast secure wi-fi connection. So yeah, John, all I do need is love.”
– Turner Barr from Around the World in 80 Jobs
“Being on the road brings down the masks we usually put up in the early stages of getting to know someone, which allows for a much freer, truer flow of emotions, positive and negative, than under ordinary circumstances. Unfortunately, when you or the person you loved goes back to “real” life, it is easy to rationalize away the love you felt for them as a side effect of having been lost, which is ironic – love, and maybe leaving everything behind to travel, is the surest way to find yourself.”
– Robert Schrader from Leave Your Daily Hell
“I didn’t set out looking for love, but once I was doing something I loved, that internal glow seemed to attract him anyways.
– Stephanie Yoder from Twenty-Something Travel
“Many women have told me they dream of being a nomad, but the ones I meet in the middle of nowhere are doing it instead of just talking about it. Perhaps one day one of these nomadic women will actually like me. In other words, I’m not running away from marriage, but instead running to where it’s most likely that I’ll find a lifelong partner—in some strange foreign land. One day, I hope to commit to a special lady.”
- Francis Tapon from WanderLearn with Francis Tapon
Like me, these quotes might have confused you even more. Love is a complicated thing.
We perceive life, love and falling in love differently. Some people love chameleons, others claim to have never felt such an emotion towards anything ever before.
As promised, here’s a pie chart of 100 digital nomads’ current relationship statuses:
Finding Love on the Road – The Statistics
As mentioned before, these statistics should be taken lightly. Does this mean that if your single, you have a 68% chance of finding love on/off the road? Of course not. It also doesn’t mean that you have a 32% chance of never finding love on the road. But it does prove one thing, it is in fact possible to meet someone and fall in love with him/her while you are out there searching for whatever it is you seek.
If it’s love you seek, you’ll find it out there. If it’s self-discovery you’re after, you might find it while out there, but within yourself. I don’t think the question is whether it’s possible to find true love on the road, because it is, but rather whether love wanders, stays put, or originates from a place without any coördinates, distance or direction.
“And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” – Pico Iyer
Have you ever fell under the spell of a vacation romance? If so, where has it led to? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.
Peace and love,
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