Travelchick

My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Love for Travel, or Travel for Love?

I’m excited about my entire Christmas holiday.  At first, I was a bit aprehensive.  My ex-boyfriend is coming to my parents’ house with me for five days and I was worried that people wouldn’t understand what was going on and that it would be awkward for me, him, or those unknowing somebodies.  Now I’m just sad he’s not staying longer.  I haven’t brought a friend home for years.  It’s exciting!  Anyway, I’m toying with the idea of giving you some background information here.  I usually never include material regarding my love life in this blog, but sometimes I wonder if that’s a mistake.  It is, after all, the most noteworthy aspect of my life in some respects.

I shared some of my thoughts on heartbreak recently with my friend Midori, and she put it her dating advice blog. I think love and travel will always go together in a way. Whether it’s the brief encounter with an exotic stranger or the poignant correspondence with a love you pine for at home, even those who travel to escape love cannot really do so.

For those of you who read my Poland blog, what you didn’t know was that I left out a long and dramatic love affair- so long, in fact, that it far outlasted the span of my year in Poland. I think it has lasted for longer than either of us had originally imagined. While I was there in the land of cold sea breezes and cauliflower soup, I resumed conversations with the boyfriend I had left behind when I graduated from college and fled North America. The lengthy late-night/early-morning international phone calls rekindled a romance (had it ever really died?) and by February I knew that I was really in love. I dreamed of the day when we’d be face to face and I could tell him how I felt. Two months before I was set to return home and after one of the most romantic gestures I had ever received, we were once again a couple and I knew that he was in love too. Happily. …Or so I thought.. until two weeks later when I got that “we need to talk” phone call and it was suddenly and agonizingly over. He was simply driven by inexperience and fear at that point, but I couldn’t understand and it made the last few weeks in Poland extremely difficult. Having a broken heart and in the comfort and familiarity of home is nothing to having it ripped out in a foreign and largely unfamiliar land. A part of me wanted to stay, though, as I wasn’t returning home to the happily-ever-after that I had envisioned, but instead to a cold and uncertain reality. It’s impossible to describe the many ways in which this situation affected my year abroad. Or the ways in which it has shaped my life since then. Love has such an impact on every aspect our lives, not the least of which are our decisions to travel. I have friends whose travel is actually directly propelled by the need to escape love (or the loss of it, rather).

Through all of the drama of getting together and breaking up, dating other people, and living on different continents, this college boyfriend and I have a friendship that has triumphed and come out stronger than ever before. About a year ago we broke up for the last time and I finally decided that it was time for me to go on with my life, to stop opening myself to the pain that our relationship kept inevitably causing me. After three years, he just couldn’t seem to figure out what he really wanted and I thought it cruel to allow myself to wait any longer. It was no big surprise, however, that he remained one of my closest friends. We have a friendship that defies all the norms, all the expectations. That is probably why when he told me this fall that he not only was still in love with me, but was ready to offer me his heart without fear, I had to carefully consider him once again.

This Christmas is partly an attempt to redo a bit of the past, to do some of the things we wish we’d done then. And it’s partly a chance to reconsider the decisions I thought I’d set in concrete. They say that you learn so much about a person when you travel with them. if you knew just how strong a bond he and I share, you’d understand my hesitance to throw it all away- especially when he’s doing everything right, every single little thing…

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December 14, 2008 - Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

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    Comment by Mathew Surrett | June 1, 2010 | Reply


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