We locked eyes in the Plaça and I thought “Wow! He’s really attractive!” We danced the night away at a discoteca (literally, we left the club at about 7am), kissing in the middle of the club and it was as if everything else stopped around us. We made plans to see each other again and spent much of the rest of my trip together. When it came time for me to leave, he tearfully told me he wished I could stay. I sucked it up there and cried on the plane leaving.
This is an issue that I’ve thought about for a long time. I have met many potential romantic partners in my travels and remain perpetually single (for the most part) at home. I’m not talking about vacation flings if you will, I’m talking about people you meet who you really connect with – who teach you things and with whom you can have incredible conversations with, people who you are sad to leave. This leads me to the following question:
Is this “love” (I use that term loosely as I believe love takes some time to develop, usually not in the span of a vacation) real?
Pondering this question leads me to more questions.
Is it the romanticism of meeting someone exotic somewhere new?
Are your senses on high alert because you are exploring and therefore more apt to meet someone new?
Are you not paying as much attention at home for the opposite reason?
Do you simply want what you can’t have?
Could it last if you lived there or they lived here?
I’ve met people both abroad & home who I deeply connected with, where the chemistry was electric in both mind and body. Although rare at home, I find myself meeting more soul mates abroad. I always thought I didn’t believe in the term soul mate until I realized that what I didn’t believe in was one soul mate per person per life. What I do believe in is that there are multiple soul mates for each person, and maybe you’re not supposed to be with one person for a good chunk of your life if at all. I believe there are people you are meant to connect with though never be in a relationship with. Perhaps, you are meant to meet that soul mate on an encounter in a Peruvian ice cream shop for two days, change plans to meet up with them for romantic week before tearfully parting ways at the airport in Lima before returning home to the States. Maybe that’s all the time you needed to connect with them, to learn a lesson, such as finally allowing yourself to allow your heart to go where it wants.
Perhaps I’m asking the wrong question – “Is it real? “ As this is what I feel, by definition, it is real, right? Whether or not these relationships would last on a day to day basis is another question. Deep down, though, I still wonder why I have such a difficult time meeting men in the Bay Area. I’m not sure if I’m being “too picky” or not giving men around here a chance. And on the other side, why is it so easy for me to meet men who I connect with while traveling? For example, on my most recent trip to Boston, I met two men who I connected with and had great conversation with and was attracted to, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. At home, I can go months without meeting a man, let alone one I connect to. Is it really the romanticism of traveling or am I simply living in the wrong locale?
I suppose in writing this I have somewhat answered by own questions –at least by deciding to not care so much about whether it’s “real” and just experience it for what it is – a life experience – and hopefully learn something from it. Have any of you ever had a (non-fling) romantic encounter while traveling? Do you think it was “real”? Did it last?What are your experiences and thoughts on this subject?