Our lives are formed by coincidences, chance meetings and unknown souls. We are not afraid of anything. We don’t break easily. We put amazing photos on Facebook and Instagram, and make you jealous because we swam with sharks or dived in Thailand or ate some weird stuff. We change destinations, we go in and out of people and comfort zones. Maybe you always see us smiling and think that we are completely in control of our lives. That’s mainly true except when it comes to one thing – love.
I wouldn’t say that we travel for love because we carry it within and for us, love is everywhere. We are very much in love with our lives and don’t seek for other people to make us happy or to fix us, as many people do. We know it’s an inside job. So when we finally meet someone we truly like, we see him or her as a bonus to our already fabulous life. But we don’t talk about it. We hide it. Why? Because that’s probably the only thing that can make us weak. And we hate to be weak!!
It’s easy to fall in love when traveling. Freedom makes us beautiful. It makes our soul shine through the eyes. How that wouldn’t be attractive to other people?! Where is the catch? Hmmmm, when you live on opposite sides of the world, maybe? No biggie, right? More adventures on the way?! Well, not exactly! We are brave and fearless when exploring jungles and cities, but when it comes to love, many of us turn into cowards. Yes, you read that right. Why? Because we know that people leave. We see it every day. So we invent reasons why it wouldn’t work out and become selfish bastards. “What is that?! Love? No, no.. First I have to see the world, then I can fall in love and deal with it!” You have no idea how many travelers I met saying that (including myself).
Until it happens. Until it hits us. Until neon jungles, mystic ancient cities and crazy, impossible dream to go everywhere, become more interesting with a certain person. Until it feels like finding paradises and heavens all together. Until everything becomes poetry. Or a disaster. It’s great if you both move forward in the same direction. It is painful if not. It’s torture if one’s fighting more than the other.
I’ve seen travelers in love. Travelers who know that they have maybe a week or two for what others have years – to fall in love, to explore each other, to love each other and to say goodbye to each other. I always asked myself – why don’t they try if they like each other? Money. Different stages in life. Fear.
Then again, I met “the brave” ones, the ones who give hope. My friend left USA and followed his love to Thailand where he lives now. My German friend met a guy while traveling and followed him to his home country. They didn’t grow into a couple but at least she tried. I admire her for that. And one guy told me: “I already did everything for her. And I would do it again”.
Love. For some it’s so simple. For travelers is often a cause of complications and broken hearts. So we avoid it. Hide from it. We let go of it. We tell ourselves that this time we won’t allow it to happen. Until it hits us even more. Until the one comes and do something extraordinary beautiful for the one whose heart is on the Road – stay.
This piece is originally published on Stories Behind Travel by Ivana Hanjs