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Love, Life, and Everything in between: Travel Romances

Updated on June 17, 2019

Romance on the road

For that single person.

When you are constantly traveling, it can get relatively difficult to find a relationship or even someone to spend time with for a period of time because people are constantly moving around. There have been many situations where I have met someone great, but because we are both backpackers, the relationship just sort of ends.

I have to say that being single in the past has caused me to succumb to those wonderful dating apps that are around the internet. For some reason, I wasn't always the best at approaching someone at a bar because I didn't have the best self-confidence. However, after many years of being on those type of apps, I decided that they were honestly vile when it came to finding someone to actually be with because most people on those type of apps are only looking for one thing. They may not come outright and say it, but at the end of the day that is exactly what they are looking for because as some people have told me, they are here for "a good time, not a long time." So, I decided to go back to the old-fashioned way of meeting people. By actually physically talking to them and it has worked out quite well because I have actually met my boyfriend the old fashioned way.

We met when I was in Langkawi, Malaysia. There have been certain situations where I thought that it might be too difficult to be together, but so far it has been going great. I think one of the main reasons that I was scared that things would not work out is because when I had first met him, I didn't have my passport because my family had kept it hostage for about 3 years and I was never able to get it back and it had been the reason why my past "travel relationships" had never worked out because I couldn't leave the country. However, this time I told myself that I would not let something as small as getting my passport stop me from traveling with him. So, I managed to talk to my family and after days of convincing, they finally agreed that they would send me my passport and from that point, things started looking up. We ended up spending 1 month in Penang, Malaysia after Langkawi and now we are in Lake Toba, Indonesia.

I think that for someone who has always been perpetually single, it is important to understand that meeting someone while traveling can actually happen, it is just whether or not you are going to fight for it.

For the confused person

Now, the next thing that I have been trying to figure out. What happens when you have someone back home but you meet someone along your travels that you have a better connection with? I feel that is the point where things get a bit complicated because as much as you love the person back home, your gut is telling you that you want to see whether things will work out with this other person. I mean there are obviously a few scenarios that can play out.

  1. You stay faithful to your partner back home and you think to yourself that being with this person while you are traveling is not worth losing the person you have back home.
  2. You cheat on the person back home and tell yourself that you are supposed to be having fun and what they don't know won't hurt them.
  3. You break up with the person back home and start seeing the person you've met and it really works out and you end up together forever.
  4. You break up with the person back home and starting dating the other person, but it doesn't end up working out when you get back home and you feel like shit that you ended it with that person back home that you want to get back together, but they have moved on.

I mean obviously there are more scenarios that could be played out. However, everything in life is unknown. It doesn't always go the way that we plan. I personally believe that every person has hard choices that they have to make to be happy. I have met quite a few people along my travels that have either stayed with or broken up with their significant others while traveling.

This story is about a guy that I met when I was in Thailand who thought that his actions while he was traveling would not bit him in the ass. At that point, I was working in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. For those who don't know, Phi Phi is an island in the south of Thailand where people go to get fucked and get fucked up and this guy was no different. He was from England and he was traveling with another friend and they seemed harmless enough, so we all had gone out on a night out and one thing led to another and we ended up sleeping together. What he failed to mention to me was that he had a girlfriend back home and after we had gotten done, we decided to go out for pizza. As we were going to the pizza place, we walked by the street full of massage parlor that were known to give "happy massages." As we walked down the street, this old Thai lady asked if we wanted to get massages and we obviously said no. However, she didn't not give up without a fight and as we were walking away, she pulled this guy aside and said that he could fuck her daughter for 100 Thai Baht. That is about $2.50 by the way. Thinking that he would say no, I started walking away. But, to my surprise, he said yes and dissapeared into the shop. I was honestly shocked, not going to lie but, I walked back to the hostel alone and went to sit by the pool. His friend was sitting there and asked me where he was and I told him that I had no idea even though I knew exactly where he was. He told me that we needed to find him because his GIRLFRIEND was arriving the next day and he needs to come back. I told him that he wasn't my problem anymore and he needed to deal with it without me. So, I went to bed and the next day I went to chill by the pool and the guy that I had hooked up with's friend was there with a girl that I have never seen before and it turns out that that was his girlfriend. I wanted to steer clear from the drama that was about to happen, so I went to sit on the opposite side of the pool. Within minutes, the guy I hooked up with shows up with a massive smile on his face not realizing that shit was going to hit the fan. He approached his friend and was about to tell him what had happened to night before, but then his girlfriend stood up and his face dropped. She figured out what he did and broke up with him on the spot. She ended up staying on the island and getting really fucked up and made his life a living hell. So, well deserved.

He was definitely confused because he wanted to have a good time and lied to his girlfriend about it.

For the couples.

There are also a lot of couples that travel together and it is obviously a very interesting dynamic because in this situation, they go from seeing each other a few times a week, if they are in a relatively new relationship, to spending 24 hours with each other every day. I like to say that traveling together as a couple is a very good test of whether a couple should be together. And I am not saying a one week vacation, because obviously you will pick a nice place to just chill and there would be no issues most likely, what I am talking about is actually backpacking for months together where you may be put in situations that are way out of your comfort zone.

I have met quite a few couples that have either stayed together or broken up while they are backpacking.

When my boyfriend and I were in Penang, we started hanging out with this Finnish couple and when we first met them, we thought that they were pretty solid. However, the more and more we hung out with them, I started realizing that their relationship was actually quite rocky. They had been dating for a few years and they were traveling for a few months. However, while they were traveling, they realized that because they were spending so much time together, the smallest things were starting to annoy each other and ultimately while they were in Penang, they broke up. Not only did they break up, but they had to endure 10 more days with each other because that was when they had book their flight to head home. It was honestly a bit heart-breaking because I obviously knew them as a couple and I loved them both but I told them that if things just weren't working well with them as a couple, maybe they should end things because it would be better if they could try to salvage whatever friendship they had without hating each at the end.

We also met another couple that met while traveling and teaching in Vietnam and they had been together for about 3 years and they were still going strong. They are both currently back in the guy's home country working and are still together. So, some times it can actually work out.

On different sides of the spectrum, romance can be challenging. However, sometimes you may find someone that will make you happy for the rest of your life, or you may realize that you need to be alone for a while after being in a long relationship. Either way, it is a good life lesson.

Comments

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    • tinathanabalan profile imageAUTHOR

      Tina Thanabalan 

      9 months ago from Malaysia

      great comment thank you for you review and answer

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      "what I am talking about is actually backpacking for months together where you may be put in situations that are way out of your comfort zone." Most people do not look to test their union.

      The more stress applied to any relationship the more fights and potential breakups couples will experience. That's just life.

      Do they attack the problem or attack each other?

      The answer to that question reveals if they're compatible.

      As for meeting someone while traveling odds are if you are young person the relationship you're in isn't going to last anyway.

      Most people don't meet their "soulmate" in their teens or early 20s. Generally speaking a "first love" is rarely one's last love. Should you meet someone you want to get with means you're not "in love" with the person you're already with.

      It doesn't mean you don't love/care about them it just means you're not really "in love" with them.

      Secondly traveling or being on vacation is an (escape) from one's "real world". It's easy to connect with someone when you're in a cocoon and don't have deal with the everyday outside pressures of a job, bills, and drama from friends and family. You can put (all of your focus) on the present and that naturally intensifies and romanticizes things.

      However when the two people finally get back to the "real world" that's when their relationship usually falls apart. While sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, on a crowded train/bus, being yelled at by one's boss, and having to deal with demanding parents or the drama of friends will make most people wish they were back on the beach of a tropical island or in the middle of nowhere living among nature, backpacking, sipping coconut water, making love outdoors, and waking up with no real plans or obligations.

      You have to ask yourself are you really into this person or are you being swayed by the bonding experience of being in a remote area. Essentially if you can't imagine being with them in the "rat race" there is a good chance what you're feeling is a desire for a romantic escape.

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