I recently read a post about why not to date a girl who travels. The post talks about how girls who travel are independent, forward-thinking, do-it-yourself-ers, free spirited, and worldly. They do not “need” a partner.
Growing up, I travelled. With my family, I went to Europe and Mexico during elementary and high school. In my late teens and early twenties I traveled again with boyfriends or friends: Asia, Europe, and South America. I was that traveling girl. I could change the oil in my car and swap tires. I wanted the road and life to be my education. I couldn’t plan – or forsee myself in – a steady, long-term job. Security was not always a paycheque and I was on the move.
While I wanted a life partner who shared my passions, the boyfriend who came with me to Asia had different ideas as to what travel and exploring the culture entailed. If you can survive traveling with someone, you can also generally get through the mundane with them. This wasn’t us. When we got home from that trip it wasn’t long before we went our separate ways. The idea of life sola was more appealing again.
I wouldn’t say I was an extrovert growing up but I was the girl at the bar, I was ready to party. I remember in grade 7 I was told I was “domineering.” Later, I had a friend who referred to me for my bluntness as “Tania the truck.” I was sure of myself and my convictions because I didn’t know otherwise. I was never in trouble with the law, but I didn’t always make the smartest decisions. I thought if I stayed home I would be missing out on life.
Time changes us. We have different experiences, we change our focus, we listen to different music.
These days, I am different. I grew up, met my partner, and have a family. My kids have both worn me out and slowed me down. I am the introvert I always ignored. Crowds make me anxious and I go to bed early. I take my car to a dealership to be serviced. I am gentler with my emotions and rely on routine. I like the predictability of knowing where I will sleep each night. I find comfort in the fence that surrounds me.
There are times where I miss the excitement of travel and seeing new places. I do still get the urge to *be* in the world. But these days there is more of a balance. I don’t begrudge the usual or the normalcy. Reading that post made me think of my old self, a slice of my life, but not in an envious way. I’m glad I had that experience at that point in my life and I wouldn’t have traded it. It helped open my mind, and to get me to where I am today.
I sometimes miss having all the days blend together and wondering how I will afford a plane ticket back home. But then Friday comes, and it’s pay day, and I am home with my family, and I know what to expect. It’s as exciting as I make it. The world to be travelled is still just outside my door.