Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Live or To Love

I want to travel around the world and go on spontaneous adventures. I like extreme sports and pushing limits. However, as I'm getting older, I feel the tug of my other dreams of being a husband and a father weighing me down. How can I convince myself that settling down is the right thing to do when all I want to do is grab my passport and parachute and go?
- Forever Falling,

I don't see these two concepts of travel and marriage as being mutually exclusive. Why not look for a partner to share in your adventures with you? Seeking life-long travel buddy, passport required. Let's shed the stereotypes that marriage is the the place where fun and adventure go to die. Remember, "I do" is a very affirmative statement.

Even children don't have to spell the end of spontaneity as we know it. I've seen parents harness on their walking, not-yet-talking, baby boy like he was another backpack before loading onto a train in China. They said that traveling with him was much easier than they thought it would be. Their biggest concern was that one of the local women who cut off the wandering cutie would refuse to give him back.

Meeting someone might be hard while you're a moving target, but then again, it makes sense that if you want to meet someone who likes the same things you do, that you continue with that activity in order to find that special someone. If you convince yourself that it's travel versus love, then you'll likely miss the backpacking belles right in front of your compass. So be sure to keep your mind open to the possibility of finding your true love in the passport line next to you.

Or maybe you're not attracted to women who are as adventurous as you... If not, you should consider why that might be. Do you hope that you'll outgrow these impulses and are searching for a mother figure who will "keep you in line"? If so, it's important to be sure that you're not asking too much of someone else and that you won't resent her for it later. If you want to change your lifestyle, then it's up to you to do so.

Maybe you don't like the idea of putting someone you love in the danger that you find yourself? It is hard to see the people we love behave wrecklessly (hint hint - on behalf of your friends and family). However, as you and your partner become closer and feel that you both have more to lose, you can help each other make better decisions. As long as you're safe and careful, I see no reason why you can't have matching parachutes.

Relationships are a powerful way that we grow as people. We learn about ourselves and others. The same can be said about exploring the world. Seems you need to take a harder look at why you want to keep traveling and why you want to be in a relationship. Hopefully, you'll discover that these two sides of you are much less conflicting than you imagine. Bon voyage!

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