Confessions of a Traveling Male

This post isn’t by me- obviously. When Jeremy asked to write a guest post he- rightly, pointed out that my blog is somewhat lacking in the male perspective. While his experiences are very different from mine, I’m glad he chose to share such a personal story:

So here I am, a twenty-something solo traveler, gallivanting across the globe, gaining my worldly experience. And though I have been single for three years, I have made countless connections with countless women from all over the world. My relationship is with women everywhere.

I’ve never been the relationship type. Frankly, I’ve only had a couple of girlfriends in my lifetime, and only one of those was serious. And, yeah, that one? Well, it ended in a big fat fit of dysfunction. Ask my friends—they’ll tell you. Things got real weird there, for a while.

And then there were a couple more girls with whom I fell madly in love. So, how did those end? Well, you can answer that one. As I write this, I’m sitting on a train on the other side of the world. I left home two and a half years ago and I haven’t been back.

To be honest, half the reason I left home had to do with a girl.

But of course, there’s always a girl.

Some people call me a misogynist; some might call me a hopeless romantic. It depends who you ask and how well they know me. It’s a weird combination, on paper at least. But in real life, and in practice, it works. And it seems to work well.

As many men would say, I’ve been “gettin’ my flags.” And sure, yep, I’ve been doing that. I’m an independent person. And I’m a male. Cut me some slack.

But the truth is, and I don’t think I’m dispelling any myths here, men have feelings, too! It’s isolating, being on the road, traveling from town to city, country to country, meeting and bidding farewell to friends, connections and lovers.

(I hate that word, “lovers.” In actuality, though, that’s what they are. Were. Have been.)

It’s carefree and intoxicating, traveling like this. I have no commitments, nobody to answer to but myself. There’s no drama, no need to concern myself with who’s watching or whose feelings I might hurt because there’s a good chance that one of us will be leaving the other very, very soon. It’s brilliant, really. And it’s fun. Lots and lots of fun.

But then there are couples who travel together and who are so in love. And I wonder: Where did they meet? How did they become such perfect companions? It’s one thing to be in a relationship with somebody, it’s another to actually travel with them!

I’ve lost friends just by traveling with them, and learning that we simply weren’t as compatible as we thought.

No, it’s not easy being on the road alone. To the outside world, it’s the dream. And well, really, it is! (Queue sardonic laugh.) I’m 26 years old, working on a career which essentially allows me to be anywhere in the world. I get to be reckless, unsympathetic and carefree! I answer to no one. I’m friends with who I want, I sleep with who I want and I never have to explain myself.

I know. You wish you were me.

But, alas, it’s exhausting! Not because I’m fed up with the single life (I only slightly rue the day I get fed up with the single life), but because I have met a number of women with whom I have genuinely shared something special and unique with.

The sheer number of people I have encountered in the last couple of years is, well, insane. And I am picky and difficult to get along with! So when something special strikes me, I’m taken aback, and I treasure that connection.

I am an independent, strong and malleable person. I bounce back. So, in the end, inauspiciously, it’s no sweat if one of us leaves. There will always be another one.

Like I said, there’s always a girl.

But what if?

What if I stayed? What if I opened myself to the possibility of something real?

Ah, but, alas, I cannot. Because I have to go home. At some point. And thus I’m cast into forcible separation and singledom because I cannot reasonably allow myself to open up.

It’s a predicament, really. I am in a world of isolation yet I am the most social I have ever been in my life. To the women I have met, and even those I haven’t yet: I respect you, I love you and I cherish you. Really, I do. But unfortunately, it will never work.

I seem to fall in and out of love with every girl I meet, and I leave a piece of my heart with each and every one. Not in a pitiful way, but in a gracious sort of way. I am thankful for the impression that each and every woman makes on me, and the imprint she leaves, because that stays with me forever, and I will stay with them forever.

And now, remarkably, pieces of my soul have been scattered all over the world.

Born in America, Jeremy, an IT specialist by trade, packed up his belongings and left home on an open-ended trip to Australia. Two years later, he’s still on the move and exploring other countries. He is now a mobile cocktail bartender and the head writer for travelFREAK!

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29 thoughts on “Confessions of a Traveling Male”

  1. I like this article. Good perspective, and hopefully something my friend keeps in mind when she leaves on her RTW next year! Sounds like you’re having a great time.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! There’s a lot to consider when it comes to relationships on the road, and I could only have written this article after gaining the heavy experience that I have over the past couple of years. Traveling is eye-opening on so many levels. You really learn who you are.

  2. I couldn’t have read this post at a better time. As a GAY MALE traveler I have had MANY hooks ups, but the chance of a relationship has only arisen once & well I fell & fell hard. I spent over 5 months in Egypt with him & just recently said bye. We both knew that with my lifestyle we had an expiration date. Well now I just keep thinking “What if I stayed? What if I opened myself to the possibility of something real?”. Now I’m back on the road and it’s been tough & know it will continue to be hard. Only time will tell… & only time will heal this wound. One thing is true you do leave a piece of your heart behind & it sucks, but the moments you shared are just beautiful.

    1. As cliche as it is, Jaime, it’s true that only time heals wounds! The women I have left behind have been, well, left behind. I will always cherish them, but I no longer think of them like I once used to. It is important to remember the best, and move forward knowing that they have forever impacted your life.

  3. The only question i would like to ask you is “WHY DID YOU DO THAT ?” having fun with ladies doesn’t mean that you travel well..better try to know more and more about culture of particular country you are traveling rather than knowing ladies of that country.

  4. Hey Man, good post. I am hoping to fire up some traveling blog post myself as write now I just write about thoughts and perspectives at whiskeydreamer.blogspot.com. I know that it says you are blogging from the road, but does that support you financially to travel as much as you want? How do you go about being on the road for 2 years. I know the way I travel, you can easily drop 2k in a week in Copenhagen alone…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jeremy, I really wanted to understand and appreciate this article, but I couldn’t! I tried… I felt like i was reading a travel hook-up article written by a frat boy. I want to understand you, Jeremy, and I really do believe you aren’t as “difficult” as you say you are, but your voice (as a narrator in this article) is hard to like. I think everyone can relate to your experiences in some manner, but It’s how you come across in this article that has me bothered. You have given me nothing but information about yourself. You tell me you are picky, strong, independent, but as a writer, you shouldn’t have to tell me. I should hear it in your voice. Readers don’t like to be told information; instead, we want to know you through your actions and tone. Your honesty is admirable, at least.

    In the end, I don’t feel like I better understand you. Sure, I know what you appreciate. (Your hook-ups, female connections, no-strings attached style). Yet, the end of your article confused me. “Pieces of your soul are scattered all over the world?” I would love to buy into that, but it sounds trite. And you end by saying you are forcibly cast into singledom? Yet at the beginning you so bluntly stated you just aren’t a relationship “sort of guy”. Oh, Jeremy, I’m really confused by you! Are you actually trying to be vulnerable by saying you “could open yourself up to something real” or is that just a veneer?

    1. Alex, I think you understand me better than you think.

      In some respects, it IS a hook-up article written by a frat boy. You would not be the first person to make that very same comparison about me. But it is also a piece, written from the heart, about the complications and contradictions in my life. So, if you are feeling like I have left you confused, then I feel as though I’ve conveyed my point quite nicely.

      I do enjoy a care-free lifestyle, but I also appreciate, greatly, my experiences. I have met a couple of women in my travels, ones I still think about often, who I would have been willing to drop everything for. These women made an impact on me, and I hold, deep within, an immense amount of respect for them. Perhaps you find my words trite, but I can only respond by saying that these words bleed nothing but the truth.

      Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you’ve taken such an interest.

  6. Thank you Jeremy.

    I’m not a traveller (yet), but recently I fell in love madly with one. This article helps me realize that it was fun – and that I don’t have to be sad, because he might still love me too.

    Thanks.

  7. Thanks for this post Jeremy,

    I’m glad you’ve exposed one of the more confusing/darker sides of living abroad/traveling: LOVE. I think, I mean I would like to think, that every traveler ponders around these thoughts at least at some moment of their nomadic life.

    Once you first embark on your travel experience everything seems new, exciting and exhilarating, so many people to meet from around the world. Initialy you want to meet EVERYONE, because you’ve never really been exposed to this many people before. Every new person you meet allows you to learn something new about yourself and maybe from their culture as well. Life is sweet!!! You think, I mean I could be meeting so many new people right now and I love it. There is always a new bar to go to or a new French man to take salsa lessons with. SINGLE LIFE IS GOOD, especially in a foreign country where flirting in another language just makes everything more sexy. After awhile though these type of relationships become surface level and begin to materialize. I mean at the end of the day you are in a foreign country and you just seek some sort of connection. But more importantly, you just want someone WHO GETS YOU.

    Then you finally figure it out…meeting people abroad is really the ultimate “Match.com” experience. If you think about it, you are putting a bunch of people who have the same interests (Match.com) as you into a small space (namely, the Expat bubble). You meet someone you really like, because they actually share the same life goals, lifestyle and interests. BOOM SHAKA LAKA…magic…but wait it seems to easy to be true right? I mean this girl/boy can’t REALLY be the one for me, I mean “we are in China!!!!!(emphasis on !)”. But you have to think about it, if you were back in your hometown how hard would it be to find a group of people who are just as passionate about traveling and the world (ok, maybe at a bar…but still) ?

    You think, I really really like this girl/boy but I’m eventually going to go back home. So therefore I come to the conclusion that it won’t work out. You immediately tell yourself to remain strong and independent without her/him getting to close to you. Basically you shut out any potential blossomings of love. Then once you do “return” home, you realize that being home was never what you wanted and immediately return abroad again. You could have opened yourself to her/him. In turn, you completely shut out your potential to be happy…mate happiness potential= lost! Sad sad sad.

    We have this notion that we think returning home is where we will settle down and find love, but in reality this ends up being a “disney-like” fairytale. The real love you find is where you are open, vulnerable and feel most like yourself; free from wordily duties and family pressures (if you see where I’m going with this I mean “traveling”, for the most of us). This is not a concrete, physical place, only a state of mind. We can start, end and progress our lives anywhere and other people can come with us. Isn’t this the coolest part about being abroad? I know many couples who met abroad and have stayed together abroad…like for FOREVERand have had super worldly childern…Our life is not temporary suspend in time when we remain abroad. And if being abroad makes you happy, being with a new girl/boy friend can even exaggerate this experience. How great is life then? But still, we’re taught to go back home and get a “real job” and “real spouse”.

    Alright, I know this is a super elongated post but what I’m trying to say is to enjoy the beautiful vulnerabilities of learning to love abroad. If not now, then you will never do it. Open yourself up, see what happens. Maybe you become really really hurt in the end and your heart is not mended for years, but you will never regret those amazing feelings and memorizes you had. And hey, who knows, maybe you end up with them forever and you spend your time jetting between living abroad, in your country and maybe in his/hers. What a sweet life this is, don’t shut out those opportunities.

    Personally, as the strong female I am, I made an effort to let go and open up and it really changed my life and experiences abroad. I fell in love on a beach in Thailand with the most unexpected person I would ever have thought. NO, it didn’t work out. And YES, it was because we thought our lives would have to become anew when we went home. It’s such a shame. Not just on him, but me as well. Then I fell in “like” (AKA pre-love) in Morocco and Germany and Taiwan and Italy and the Ukraine. And they stayed as “likes” because I thought it was not worth it becoming if I would return home.

    And here I am, in Prague, not at home.

    All I’ve really wanted is for someone to just “get me”, and I could have had this.

    Words of advice on love abroad!

    Cheers and good luck 🙂

  8. I have been paddling down the same river in the same boat for 5 years now. It is a great lifestyle to live, however eventually it would be good to meet someone that can not just put up with your crap but also travel with you. I am sure someone exists, but also, it will only work if both are completely vulnerable to each other, which I think is quite hard for a traveller because being tied down frightens us

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