Travel adds a natural intensity to all emotions and experiences: fatigue, excitement, friendships, romances, and love.
Since we move through countries at lightning speeds, discovering waterfalls and new cuisine, we also bond with people at the same lightning fast pace. Guards are let down as bathroom stories dominate conversations and nudity takes over dorm rooms.
Needless to say, hookups are bound to happen. But on the road romances are a different breed from dating at home. Here we have vacationships and expiration dating and I’m going to tell you exactly what they are.
Vacationship is a Portmanteau of the Words Relationship and Vacation
Now I’m aware that travelers are not merely on vacation, but everyone is indeed in a seemingly perpetual state of euphoria similar to the ease that is vacationing. We meet lovers, sometimes for one night and sometimes for one month, but they usually fall in the category of a vacationship: something slightly more than a one night stand but less than serious dating.
Expiration Dating is Being with Someone Even Though You’re Well Aware There’s a Definite End to Your Time Together
Without the prospect of a future, travelers are free to date without limits or risk and with the understanding that when it’s time to part ways, they will do so cordially and without expectations.
Expiration dating lends itself nicely to letting one’s guard down and consequently letting someone into your heart. Sometimes paths are meant to cross and love stories are born. Sometimes it just makes it easier to say goodbye to someone you would have awkwardly broken up with back home. Some people fall too quickly and some people never fall at all, but love is a tricky business, made even more complicated by the open road. So how do you navigate this complex and interesting situation?
Sometimes a Vacationship Can Become Something More
Let go and give in. If you meet someone you want to spend a few nights with, that’s great. On the same path and willing to travel to the next destination together? Even better. If you decide to keep in contact long after you parted ways, that’s overcoming some incredible odds. The point is to live in the moment and let yourself love freely, but to let it go just as easily. If you fall in love while traveling, don’t despair: you CAN make it work.
I’ve had lovers while traveling that I’m still in touch with, 10 years later. Some I’ve even met up with again, 8 years later to find the fire still burning between us. It’s a tragic loss when you are forced to grieve a relationship that just never was meant to be.
Some romances transition to the long term, while others just exist for one special moment in time.
Rarely do Relationships Formed on the Road Last a Long Time
Expectations can’t be high when we meet so many incredible people in each beautiful place we travel to. It’s important to remember that expiration dating is exactly what it is: it’s meant to expire, in other words, it’s going to end.
They’re based on abnormal circumstances that are hard to replicate and hold onto for an extended period of time. When it does happen, it’s magical, trust me. But it isn’t the norm. If you can accept that and recognize that your new whimsical and amazing fling will end very abruptly, then you’ll be just fine.
Enjoy your vacationship for what it is: a great bonus romantic story to tell your friends. Tell them about the mysterious accented man, the volcano you hiked together, and all that great bunking you did.
Traveling is all about letting go and living in the moment; why should love be any different?