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Also, how is it traveling with your
girlfriend? I assume good, but I am thinking about whether or not I would rather
Here is the deal on this, as I have figured it:
The decision to travel with or without a girlfriend is a big one, and one that I have fumbled with on many occasions. All I can say is to ask yourself this question when you first wake up in the morning by flipping a coin.
Heads= travel with girlfriend
Tails= travel without girlfriend
Flip the coin in the air and let it hit the floor. You do not need to look at the result, because in your heart you will already know what side you want to come up, and you will therefore have your answer. This is how I make most of my decisions, it is a good way to decipher your own intuition.
But my logical thoughts on traveling with a
girlfriend are varied:
On the one hand, traveling with a companion, and especially a girlfriend, is difficult. It seems to go against the very nature and flow of traveling to have to review almost every decision that you make by another person. Where to eat, what to eat, how much money you want to spend, what hotel to stay at, where you are on a map, and every other otherwise little decision can become a big deal when traveling with a girlfriend. Traveling in this way becomes very cerebral: you must think before you act, as you must frame your intentions in words to communicate to the person that you are traveling with. Intuition goes out the window here, as every decision that you make - even the small ones - becomes a DECISION. This kind of screws with the free flow of traveling. Also, people have different intentions, want to do different things, have different ways of communicating, so traveling with another person really requires A LOT of patience. You really must acknowledge that you are not the only person in the world, and that your ideas and ways of thinking are sometimes not the best. This is hard for me to do. I think this is difficult for many travelers, which is why most travel alone.
In point, I think you must really love your
But on the other hand, if you have been with your girlfriend for a long time and/ or really love her, you may really miss her if you choose to travel alone. This can also be very hard, perhaps even more so than all of the hassles involved in traveling with your girlfriend. Believe me, man, it is difficult to be traveling on the Road away from the one you love. Doing so can also put a damper on even some of the most beautiful places of this earth. It is torturous to try to enjoy a place when you really want to be somewhere else . . . or with some one else. This is hard and, if you get caught up in this, it could ruin your travels.
But I have found that sometimes cutting the umbilical cord and ripping the band-aid off of the wound by going traveling is the timely thing to do in many circumstances. There is no better way I have found to break up with a girl than by simply going away from her. There is so much stimulation on the Road that it is very difficult to think about anything other than what is right in front of you. I have found that most relationships are easy to forget in travel. It is only the really good girlfriends that stick with you.
Traveling alone is a good way to test your
love for someone. Many times I have split up from a girlfriend unsure of how I
would feel being away from her, and many times I realized that it was not so
bad. Many times traveling has taught me that I was not deeply in love with the
people that I was in relationships with. But this has also worked in reverse for
me many times: I would leave someone who I thought that I would not miss only to
be broken without them. So traveling alone away from a girlfriend can also be a
good way to gauge your feelings.
So I suppose you really have to evaluate where you stand. If you really like your girl and think that she is fit for the Road then bring her along and try it out. But if you are having doubts before you go then you may want to slip out the backdoor in the middle of the night. If you are having any big problems before you start traveling then I think that these problems can only grow. I have found that relationship wounds do not heal very well on the Road. Traveling is sometimes very frustrating, and another person is usually the best dumping point for frustration. Traveling with a partner can quickly deteriorate into prolonged fight. This is not fun.
But traveling with a girlfriend is also really good too, as you always have a partner whose company you really enjoy - and who really loves you - with you all day long with nothing else to do but love each other. This is really nice. It only makes a relationship grow to have the perpetually new experiences of traveling. You quickly find yourself saying things like, "Remember when we were in .......Remember when we were caught out in that storm in ......" Traveling is a great way to build a solid, lasting history with another person. It is a good way to make memories that you will collectively cherish for the rest of your life with another person.
Traveling is a good test for a relationship. If you can travel with someone for the long haul then you can get through anything with them. It is a great test. Traveling has taught me that I have a really good girlfriend now. If we did not travel together, then I do not think we could have been tested in the same ways, as I feel that aspects of our characters would have remained covered up for a long time. Traveling with someone is a good way to get down to their core; it is the best way that I know of really getting to know a person. This is also pretty scary.
If you are planning on traveling for a long time, then my advice can only be to really think about whether or not you want to be with a girlfriend. It is hard, man, but also really good. If you have a fleeting thought that you may want to be with your girl for the rest of your life, then test her out on the Road. If you are still together by the end of it, then she may be a keeper; if not, then you probably would have broken up at some point anyway, and the finalizing rigors and strains that travel put on your relationship just saved you a lot of time.
If your relationship is light, just for fun, not to serious, or problematic, then by all means you may want to consider traveling alone. I think it would be crazy to try to travel with a girl that you were not way, way into. It is also easy to meet people when traveling, and there are many folks who would not mind a companion for a stretch of the way.
It is also much easier to leave someone that you meet in travel as oppose to someone that you leave home with. A travel friend can be left in an instant, whereas splitting up from a real friend - or girlfriend - is infinitely more difficult.
So, it is a big decision.
In the end I recommend traveling alone.....unless, of course, you would be miserable without your girl.
Test it out, find out where you stand, and have fun.
Traveling with a girlfriend is either really beautiful or really horrible. I have not experienced any grade in between.
I think that travel is the great litmus test for anything in life.
So flip the coin and find out where you stand.
This is only what I have learned through