BY: TRENT FLESKENS
If you’ve ever been in love, then you likely already know how much it sucks to have your heart completely broken. I’m talking ripped out, torn to pieces, chewed up, spit out and stomped on. Breakups are hard, and sometimes the most difficult ones aren’t the ones you go through with another person – but with a place.
Every time I travel to a new place, I fall in love all over again. Cities have become like people to me – each with their own set of unique characteristics, each with their own stories. As it is with the people I’ve met, some are beautiful on the surface – but don’t have a lot to say. Others have a less obvious beauty about them, but they are intriguing and the more time I spend with them, the more I fall in love.
The only positive thing about having a travel-broken heart is knowing that travel didn’t cheat on me, and it definitely didn’t fall out of love with me. We didn’t break up because we had different goals or our families disapproved. It’s a relationship that only ends because circumstances get in the way. It’s like the perfect high school sweethearts, broken up only by the fact that they decided to go to college 1,000 miles apart.
Like a lovesick teen, I can’t help but put travel on a pedestal. I will spend hours upon hours reminiscing about our adventures and dreaming up new ones. It is when I come back into the real world, out of our utopic cocoon that I realize how much I long to be back in that world. I find myself spending every second possible looking over old pictures and trying to find time off work and spare cash to make the adventure happen all over again.
Travel is the love that has the ability to not only break your heart, but also to heal it.
Travel has shown me a world that I never imagined possible. It has shared with me sunsets I’ve only thought real on Instagram, places I only read about on TripAdvisor, and types of people I didn’t even know existed. When I sit back, lacking perspective and struggling to pull myself out of a rut created by the confidence vortex of past relationships, or the lack of clear direction in my life, travel is always there for me to turn to and show me the potential of just how much life has to offer. It is the perfect relationship.
1. Travel will rarely let you down
Experience has taught me that if I give something a real chance and am open to all it has to offer – there are nothing but opportunities. The doors travel can open for you to catapult you into the next phase of your life can be, well, ‘life-changing’. Even when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in a strange and foreign place, you will likely look back on it as a funny memory or a character building experience.
2. Travel has the connections to hook you up with great career opportunities
Travelling brings out the best in people. Every time I’ve ventured into a new city, I’ve never felt more alive and on my toes. And it’s this state of awareness and opportunism that opens up doors that your mundane routine at home would never provide. If it weren’t for travel, I wouldn’t have had the confidence or inspiration to quit my safe corporate career to follow my dreams of photographing the world.
3. Travel is super loyal
Don’t get me wrong; if you aren’t prepared to invest in the relationship, it won’t cater to your needs. But if you can find enough in common, and you have similar global interests, travel will never leave you. Its door will always be open. All you have to do is say ‘yes’ to the adventure.
4. Travel isn’t high maintenance
Sure, every relationship costs more than a solitary life at home. But if you are flexible and willing to compromise, travelling can be happily done living on $5 a day or $500 a day. When I’ve had no more than a few hundred dollars to my name, travel was happy to suggest some great low-budget hostels to sleep in, and free walking tours of the town. But when times are a little easier on the wallet, travel can provide you with anything you want.
5. Travel never gets jealous.
My love for travel has sometimes come between me and my other loves. But that hasn’t been travel’s fault. The person I’m with has to come to terms with the fact that travelling is a big part of my life. The great thing about travel is that it’s totally comfortable when I need to give my love to someone else. In fact, travel has offered my significant other and me just as many opportunities for happiness as if I were solo. So take it from me, if you are looking for a considerate love that is happy to go with the flow and offer you everything you desire, travel can provide that.
6. Travel never holds you back.
If you want to have a crazy night, travel will open you up to things you never knew existed. If you want to eat the weirdest food around, travel will introduce you to a culinary dream. If you want to up-and-leave at a moment’s notice, the next place you travel to will welcome you with open arms. These are the things that make falling in love with travel so easy. They are also the things that make it so hard when you have to return home.
Once I fell in love with travel, I knew no other love would overcome it. Sure, there will always be room for others in my life, but travel will always be there, calling me back across the world. Even though sometimes travel and I are apart, in the times at home when I dream up new adventures and wonder about all the things I have left to discover, knowing that we will be reunited some day is what gets me through.