All that is gold does not glitter
It’s my belief that women who travel alone, especially those of us over 30 are seen as women who don’t want to settle down. We’re always travelling after all. The majority of the people I have spoken with tend to think this way. They certainly don’t mean it in a negative way, but if you travel so often, it seems impossible to settle down or meet that someone. From family to friends, and colleagues to strangers, the most common questions are:
“Don’t you want to settle down?”
“But don’t you want a relationship?”
“How come you don’t have a partner?”
“Don’t you just want to stay in one place, buy a house and settle down?”
You get labelled or they feel pity.
And so I couldn’t help but wonder: Do women who travel alone reject the desire to settle down? Or are we women who crave the can’t-live-without-each-other-love who have not found Mr Right yet?
I’m the type of girl who embraces love with my whole heart. I have crossed oceans only to learn the most valuable love isn’t for some man (who can’t even decide what it is he wants in life), but love for yourself and the wonders of life. I would be lying if I say that I am not a full romantic. I am the girl standing in front of a guy asking him to love me, I just haven’t found the right one. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to settle down, nor am I incapable of doing so. I refuse to sit at home wait for mister right. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m too ambitious to sit still having patience is hard for me. So no, I won’t do that. I’d rather travel, see the world and embrace all that life has to give.
I guess at the age of thirty it’s expected that you have your shit together. It’s expected that you are married (or engaged, yeah engaged is good too), have a steady job, you own property or a home, you’re financially stable. You’re leaving all your younger years behind and heading into mature(er) years. You should be ready to live the life you’ve created yourself!
Expectations of others shouldn’t be what drives your life, live a life that is fulfilling and gives you YOU. Whether that means buying a house, developing your career, or finding the one. As for me, I agree with Miss. Bradshaw who said: “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”
From the moment I decided to move and live abroad, I knew I made the right decision. I learned so much in Digital Marketing it became one of my passions, allowing me to work freelance if I wanted to. So I created new opportunities for myself. I developed an international repertoire by working internationally (Berlin, London and the Caribbean), I speak four languages (and I’m pushing myself to learn Spanish). I have worked with people who motivated me and challenged me to do better be better and to ultimately be great.
But more than anything, I’ve learned cultural aspects that I didn’t know before. I celebrated Easter the French way with a typical French lunch – Poisson D’Avril.I learned that Danish people are not that different from the Dutchies, that they are the most open-minded people I have met, how Swedish people celebrate spring – Valborg! I could go on forever.
The thing is when you travel you meet yourself. You get the chance to explore, to grow, to be filled richly with experience. You get to know you the real you as you step out of your comfort zone. You have to rely on you and you alone! You get to choose your own route on your own pace and you will start enjoying your own company.
So maybe I was not supposed to be tamed. Maybe I was supposed to run wild until I find someone just as wild to run with. Or maybe I was supposed to learn to love myself first. Travelling alone is tough, but the rich experiences I’ve had and the amazing people I’ve met make it all worth it. I wouldn’t do it any other way.