Don’t Date a Boy Who Doesn’t Travel

I recently came across an article about why it is a bad idea to date girls who travel. Ouch! Apparently, it has gone viral and been translated into six languages because it resonates with so many. And as I read it, I find myself simultaneously offended and utterly flattered.

The essay reads as a cautionary tale for young bachelors. It says, “Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures.”

Check out the piece itself – but also read this one I wrote in response, or rather in defense, for girls who travel. When I was a traveling “girl”, I dated a non-traveling boy or two and it was tough.

So, bear with me as I carry on in the spirit of the original post, generalizing and stereotyping all the way. Here goes…

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel. He’s trapped in the safety of his routine habits. He doesn’t like to try new restaurants or order something he doesn’t know he already likes on the menu. He shuts down when you try to mix things up.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel because when your favorite foreign band is in town he won’t want to go. He will listen to the same music his whole life and he will quote the same movies. He will think there is only one clear and sensible path to follow – that there is only one way to pursue a career.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel. He will perceive your commitment to it and experiencing new things as a weakness and telltale sign that you are lost with no direction and no plan. He won’t understand that the plan is to travel, to really find yourself and your passions and then build a life around what brings you joy. What he doesn’t understand is that women are nesters by nature – and that at some point you will settle down to create a flourishing home life.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel. He’ll think that it is his job to impress you  when what you really want is someone who gets you – who will go on long walks through foreign cities, get lost with you only to find yourselves closer together. He will think that it is his responsibility to perform. But what you really want him to do is just let go – to turn off the rest of the world and be fantastically present in beautiful moments shared together.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel. You’ll have to beg him to travel with you – explain to him why it makes sense to spend money on experiences rather than the latest gadgets and gizmos. You’ll have to coax him into getting off the beaten path or avoiding the cruise ships. You’ll have to endure that puzzled stare when he realizes he has no idea how to be as brave as you.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel. He will feel emasculated and confused that he doesn’t know how to control you. He won’t understand your desire to experience the unknown. And thus he will feel like he is irrelevant to your happiness (when you know he is essential to it). And that will pierce a big fat hole in his ego.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel because he has chosen a rigid and controlled life. He thrives on staying nailed in his box. He doesn’t take his vacation days and when he does he plans for a staycation or a trip to the same location as before. He thinks his way of living life is the only right way to do life. He won’t be able to see the infinite possibilities out there. He won’t even realize how sheltered and small his world is.  And while it is not bad to have simplicity and commitment to routine – you know he’s missing out on some real joys. You know that if he could bare to get himself out of his comfort zone for a minute he might find a whole new passion that leads him to a more fulfilling life.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel because you can’t turn him into one who does. Nor can you make him really understand you. You’d be wasting your time – building your life with someone who might one day succeed in cramming you into his limited box.

Don’t date a boy who doesn’t travel because you should not settle.

Disclaimer: I am well aware that this post is totally biased and rather impractical given that not every person has the means or freedom to choose a traveling lifestyle. You can also define a traveler as not just someone who travels but someone who lives like a traveler – with desire to learn and experience new things regularly even at home.

 

  • Vicky

    No disclaimer necessary! Great piece!!

    • travelwithkate

      Thanks Vicky!

  • Ben Van Deventer

    I think you missed the satire in the original article. “Don’t date a girl who travels” is actually a girl’s defensive response to the expectations force upon them to be grounded, be lady-like, etc. The article isn’t sincere in saying *not* to date girls who travel, it’s saying they are too *awesome* for you to date, “you can’t handle / don’t deserve me”. I think that was message was completely lost on you. What you’ve written here is the same article, but directly attacking the guy, vs praising the girl.

    A true mirrored article, “don’t date boys who don’t travel”, would be from the man’s perspective, defending against the expectations of a flaky girl who wants him to drop everything and do what she wants. It would be about how he’s too busy following through on things he promised to do for others, being a man of his word, helping his family, making sacrifices, preparing for his long-term dreams, not thinking only in the moment, or canceling his plans when something better comes along, etc.

    Neither article describes (or would describe) a truly virtuous person that is capable of reliability & spontaneity, connection & uncertainty, etc.

    • travelwithkate

      Hi Ben. I so appreciate your comment! The honest truth is that the satire of the first article was originally completely lost on me. That’s because it did a really good job of pointing out the very stereotypes and critiques a traveling girl can endure. That is, not just by a boyfriend who doesn’t get her but also by her community at large. And just as I presume the author of the post has, I’ve lived it.
      Lines from that post have actually been said out loud to me. She did a great job.

      However, when I sat down to write this article I decided to respond not with satire but rather from the perspective of the traveling girl, once misunderstood, jumping at the opportunity to bring this topic to her own audience and community.

      I see how it appears I did not pick up on the full spirit of the original article because of the way I wrote the introduction to this post. You are inspiring me to revise it. Not sure if I will. However, I do think my perspective is valid as anyone’s – even if I risk being perceived as harsh. I think this translates to any traveler (man or woman) dating someone who doesn’t share their values. I also think this serves a purpose explaining the traveler’s perspective to anyone who might think traveling frequently is a frivolous affair.

      Thanks so much for your comment and giving me an opportunity to provide further background on my perspective.

      • Ben Van Deventer

        I’m glad it was well received. Meant no offense. 🙂

        It’s an interesting talking point, for sure. The formula can be applied to a number of different scenarios, such as a person who loves reading or running or loves any particular topic / activity unapologetically. And there are certainly truths to be known about the ails of trying to be with someone who doesn’t share your passion and outlook on life.

        It’s dangerous though when someone is so passionate about something that they become outwardly defensive of it, unprovoked, which is the tone that the original article seemed to take on, and I think that undermines its effectiveness in actually changing people’s perspective. I came away from it thinking “hmm, I do know girls how are sort of like that, but sheesh, they’re not this pissy about it!”

        But alas, I am over-analyzing it.

  • Carla Thomas

    This is wonderful. I am showing it to every guy I know.
    I hope your response to the other article gets picked up like the opposing view did!

  • Joseph

    Sounds to me like the article you’re referencing was from a girl who has been judged time and again for not being “normal” and FOR being a free spirit.
    Perhaps she should have said – don’t date a boy who judges who??
    If there’s one thing anyone might want to learn in life, it’s that any judgment regarding another person’s behavior(s) or attitude(s) is merely coming from their own emotional issues. We’ll never know why another acts in ways we don’t accept or pass judgment on because we’ve never been emotionally patterned the way they have been.
    The only person one should allow judgment to be passed on is their own self. Then grow from there.

  • Tulip549

    So so true! I once dated a guy that I thought was “the one,” until I tried to travel with him. The one and only time that I did drag him on a trip to Joshua Tree National Park (I didn’t even make him camp!) was the beginning of the end of that relationship! The experience made me swear that I would never marry someone until I had travelled with him.

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this article!

  • Andre

    where can i find a girl who travels?? hehe

  • Ally

    The original article is sarcastic with the ultimate point that you SHOULD date a girls who travels.

  • Tim

    I read that article about not dating a girl who doesn’t travel and agree with your disclaimer for not dating a boy etc, however it’s the desire to travel that is so very important. Without the curiosity to explore the world we live in, the cultures that surround us, and the amazing wonders in places that are not our backyards coupled with euphoria that comes with the freedom of travel…that’s what makes it all so appealing. A partner has to have those qualities if you are a traveling soul. New to the site but loving it already.

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