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Travel and Love- An Unbridgeable Chasm?

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Travel and Love- An Unbridgeable Chasm?


I believe that I have never met a happy woman. I suppose happiness equates to doing just what you want, when you want to do it. Well, perhaps. Maybe women are so inherently social minded that they feel responsible for the people around them, and expect these people to feel responsible for them. I do not know how someone could be happy while worrying about, or expecting something from, someone else.

Or maybe I am just a man. I know that I do not know what I am talking about.

It is my impression that travel is a selfish experience, while love is suppose to be anything but selfish. I have always found it very difficult to ride out these two seemingly mutually exclusive experiences.

I feel that it is very difficult to travel with anyone, especially a lover. I have been tramping with Mira around the world for the past year and a half. We met in Costa Rica, traveled to India, China, Morocco, rode bikes in Portugal, hiked up to castles in France, met each others parents in the USA, and now we are back in Costa Rica . . . and have hit a brick wall.

Places and people have an effect on even the most stalwart of characters: different environs lead to different ways of acting. Mira seems different here.

The relationship with Mira is boiling over in Costa Rica, and I do not know how to put a lid on it. I am a hard guy to be with. I am selfish and I do exactly what I want, or poise arguments so that I can alter situations to be how I like them.

I also do not feel comfortable around most people. I do not know how to plan, interact, or work well with others. I think my way is always best, and it seems stupid to me to not do something the best way.

I have the stalwart inability to take other people’s ideas into consideration. I like to view myself as being a separate entity from any group that I have to work with. I do not like being a part of a team, I like being me.

Love is give and take. I have not yet learned how to give.

But I am trying to. It is a hard road when you act in a way that you are not accustom to acting, when you have to wait for another person’s initiative to act. This is love.

I have always had a really hard time with love.

You ride the wind for the first couple of months, then my girlfriends give way to my somewhat eccentric ways for the next six, then they get unhappy, then they get some balls.

Mira has found some balls in Costa Rica.

I don’t know what to do with them.

I think she acts like a Latino woman. She yells at me, and seems to want to get upset at me for something. I give her many reasons.

She says that I flirt with other women. I tell her that I am a charming guy.

She says that she wants to have fun with groups of friends. I do not like groups of friends.

She says that I am a misanthrope who cowers from social interaction. I say that she is correct.

“If I wanted friends, I would be nice to people,” the epic words of a very militaristic archaeology crew chief brings a smile to my face.

Mira tells me that I am not nice. I think it may be because I seem to always be talking to myself and do not wish to be interrupted. Haha.

But this is love. Being upset with someone while not wanting to be away from them is love. Despising someone and not walking away from them is love. Sometimes doing more snarling than hugging is love. Not getting along and wanting a break is love. Looking at every set of boobies that bob by you, but trying to hide the fact that you are looking, is love. Being caught looking at other boobies and being scolded for it is love. Trying hard to remember those easy days when you were single, yet dreading the real possibility of being without the person that you are so very annoyed with, is love.

Love is stupid.

But waking up in the morning next to a person day after day and then going to sleep with them night after night is beautiful.

Humans are programed to love. If they were not, I do not think that anyone would be able to go through the day to day travails, and still be able to smile.

So I comply with my biological conditioning, and realize that Mira is a good woman, she is a good traveler.

But she is a woman.

And I am a man.

For a year and a half we have bridged the chasm. A broken bone only heals stronger.

I know it is all worth it. My parents proved this.

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Barva, Costa Rica
February 7, 2008

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Filed under: Love/ Relationships/ Sex, Other Travelers, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap