I recently stumbled across a blog post by a young man bemoaning dating a girl who loves travel. The post outlined the aggravating draw backs of having her being gone “all the time,” and always thinking about the next place she was headed. Once I got done yelling at my computer screen, I started to write this post in my head. Here goes:
One of the greatest pieces of advice my beloved grandmother, (who loved to travel by the way), gave to me was to marry a girl that you can sit across the breakfast table with for the rest of your life. Somehow I followed this wise advice and found just that person. Travel definitely played a role in why I asked Luci to marry me. Travel makes you smart, interesting and sexy! So what makes a traveling girl so great?
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Smart Women Travel
The most dynamic and interesting women I have met in my life have been travelers. Call me crazy, but travel really makes people interesting. One great example is the Evelyn Hannon, the Jouneywoman. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you must. She continues to criss-cross the globe in search of adventure and fulfillment. I hope she doesn’t kill me for saying this, while she is advancing in years, it hasn’t stopped her from her mission to explore and discover. Now she supports and encourages other women to follow in her footsteps. What a great example.
Smart women travel. One attribute that comes shining through with traveling women is their ability to delay gratification. They are willing to scrimp and save for 6 months to spend two weeks in the Tuscan country side. Sacrifice is a critical life lesson for relationships. It is a cold hard fact: the best things in life take time and effort. As poor newlyweds putting ourselves through college, we had to be creative in our travel destinations. We both did internships in areas that had interesting places to discover. Every weekend we would map out where we wanted to explore next ….on one tank of gas. Traveling women find a way to make it work because discovery is so important to them.
Travelers tend to be readers. Another appealing aspect of finding yourself a traveling girl is they tend to be well read. As many of you loyal Fighting Couple readers know, we do extensive trip prep. This involves reading about interesting angles of our trip. Yes, my traveling girl reads Frommers and Rick Steves. But she also read, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” before we visited Savannah, GA or “1453” about the fall of Constantinople before visiting Istanbul. The potent combination of reading and exploring makes living exhilarating.
Traveling Girls are Dreamers and Doers
The travel industry has marketing the dream down pat. You are bombarded by these high gloss destination magazines of white sandy beaches and cool breezes blowing the palm trees. They offer the eyes of the beholder an escape and a dream. The thing about traveling women is, they see these dreams…then they make them happen for themselves. One of the quirky things about Luci is that she wants a destination to look just like the dream. We have a good laugh occasionally when we both say…this doesn’t look like the brochure. On the other hand, we have visited places that we will never blog about because they are just that pristine and amazing and we want them to stay that way. Traveling women make their own dreams come true. For those of us that are lucky enough to love these women, we are invited along for the ride.
Traveling Women are Selfish?
Traveling women are intriguing to me. While family is undoubtedly important to these wander lusters, they elect to leave home and family behind occasionally to focus on their own self-improvement. Many mistakenly view this as selfishness. Dive a little deeper and you see a person investing in themselves to be a better mother, wife, sister or friend. How is this selfish? Reaching out, and understanding the world around you is the exact opposite of self-focus. Taking the education that travel can dish out: appreciating beauty, understanding diversity, experiencing first hand real poverty, making friends, learning the difference between needs and wants are all lessons learned on the road. In turn these lessons are taught to our children. How much more powerful is a lesson on valuing diversity to a child coming from a person that has visited the Soweto or Auschwitz? Likewise a lesson on poverty having slept in a grass hut in Swaziland?
Travel is Hard
Traveling women know how to do hard things. I am not naive enough to believe that intercontinental travel is for everyone. It is certainly not. It is exhausting, it can be expensive, and certainly takes a lot time. Travel at times means learning a new language, culture and adjusting to unfamiliar cuisine. It means dealing with ambiguous situations. The dangers of travel are real and common. One of the dividends of travel is that it makes you stronger and helps you to exercise common sense and problem solving. How are we going to find the right train to Fontainebleau or how am I going to find my wife I left at the Louvre because I was hungry? As you face a challenge, meet it head on and achieve your intended goal, you become resilient. Would we have been bitten by leaches staying home and working in our cubicle? Not likely. Travel can be fraught with disappointment and difficulty. At the same time there is something reassuring about getting yourself lost and working your way out of the situation.
Where Do You Find Them?
The travel blogging world is dominated by women! It really is. Us guys are way too slow to value the education that can come from leaving the home port and discovering the globe. Maybe we do travel but, we just don’t write about it. Traveling women are easy to spot. They are constantly posting pictures of food and interesting road signs on their social media sites. Pinterest pages of “traveling girls” are cram packed with green Peruvian jungles, rolling Tuscan vineyards and Irish blessing memes. Traveling girls have a twinkle in their eye when they talk about the next road trip they are planning. Guys, go get them!
Candidly, finding a traveling girl has changed my life for the better. Regardless if we are in remote Africa or climbing Machu Picchu as we explore together, I continue to be impressed with my bride’s passion for the new and unknown. She chooses the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference for us.