When you leave home you can never prepare yourself for the people you are going to meet.
When I left home in January 2014 I was on a mission to do as I pleased every day. I basked in the freedom of having no one to answer to from day one.
I had been single since September 2011. I had essentially outgrown my 5 year relationship, it wasn’t who I was anymore. I left my boyfriend and never looked back. We had a flat together in London, that didn’t phase me … I packed up and moved out within days of making my decision. The break up was clean, we never spoke again.
Cold hearted? Maybe. Honest? Definitely; breaking up with him was one of the best things I ever did. My life has always been a happy and very lucky one but from the day I left him it went into overdrive – What did I want to do? What were my plans? How.much.fun.could.I.possibly.have? I was born again.
As I flew out of London intent on ”doing everything and never saying no” I didn’t know what lay ahead of me. In terms of love I wasn’t looking for it. People kept telling me ”you’ll fall in love and never come back”. I’d laugh and shake my head. It wasn’t on my agenda.
18 months after leaving home I’m nearly 4 years single and as happy as I could wish for. I’ve just spent an unforgettable few days living it up in Queenstown with my friends and somehow all the fun and laughter put my whole life, my vision for the present and for what the hell I’m still doing on the road into perspective. But I’ve not always been this happy on my travels, those closest to me know the down times only too well.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the kind of people I am surrounded with as I solo travel my way around some of our world. On reflection here’s the 6 types of love/ relationships I’ve experienced that I think we can all relate to:
- Lessons. Lets dive straight in! No one likes to admit they’ve been hurt, had their feelings stamped on or their pride knocked but I know I’m not the only one who has fallen for someone and been sorely disappointed. Twice I’ve met guys who I’ve thought were possibly ”the one”. Twice I’ve had to admit to myself ”it was all a dream” and pick myself back up again, it bloody hurt. The second time the most as I couldn’t believe I had let myself get so carried away with my own hopes. I look back now and think it’s funny, ”it is what it is” at the end of the day. I won’t stop being a dreamer and I won’t stop trusting people and looking for the best in them until they show me otherwise. But I have learnt to try and not give too much to those who don’t give me as back going forward though.I see now that it’s all about being on the same level, wanting the same things from each other.
2. Life Changers. I spent most of my time in Australia with a friend who quickly became a big part of my life, Lucy. This girl brought me so much happiness and our friendship became concrete almost immediately. I feel lucky to have been there when her new-found relationship grew from strength to strength during our 3 months farming in Australia. Nyall and Lucy met briefly on the East Coast but it wasn’t until we ended up farming tomatoes (what is life?!) that their friendship became the real deal. They are off to Canada on a working visa this year and have a life of laughs and extended travel to look forward to. Together they are living the ultimate dream.
3. Promisers of the unknown. I’m a sod for making promises and breaking them, as the title of my blog portrays; ”change of plan”. The amount of times I’ve told a guy, with full intent, that I will meet him at X for Y amount of time and we’ll have Z amount of fun is untold. But it works both ways. I’ve had plans dashed a few times. Sometimes we want to see each other again but it just doesn’t happen – it doesn’t mean we didn’t want it to. It’s the nature of travel. We’re going separate ways and we don’t want each other enough to be the aforementioned Life Changers for each other.
4. Solid Couples. Since arriving in Queenstown at the end of April I’ve noticed it is much more full of couples than Australia ever was. Many here have been together a long time, often travelling over together from home. They have their futures mapped out together and they’ve already shared so many good times along the way. I’m finding friends among people like these and it’s nice to be surrounded by content couples who are so happy as a pair.
5. Travel Couples. ”Here for a good time, not a long time” is a phrase which many travellers certainly live by. They spend time together while they are in the same place then they move on with memories of the good times to look back on. They understand that it ”was what it was” and if their paths meet again they do and if they don’t they don’t – no one gets hurt.
6. Couples who should probably be single! In life things don’t always work out as you planned, you might not be with the person you want to be with. Since leaving home I’ve certainly seen a side of couples you hope you’re never involved in; those who seek their fun in the arms of someone else. I appreciate travelling is full of beautiful girls and dreamboat men but to me, if you can’t be truthful then you should end it. Don’t be greedy now – if you really care for them at all you’ll set them loose and start afresh on your own!
7. Fun Havers. Single and not looking for anything serious, not just yet. Happy to live life to the max, and enjoy as many different experiences as possible with new people. These kind of travellers are everywhere. These are the ones who will ultimately become Life Changers one day – but first let the games continue!
The idea of writing about ”love” felt tricky as people don’t always talk about it openly, for some it’s private, for some it’s embarrassing. I’m sure I’ve missed out other versions of what you may perceive it to be but for me, this is what I’m living in. Love on the road is a different ball game to what I knew living back settled in the UK.
I’ve just spent the last six days and nights surrounded by great people and one person in particular was my friend Nat Asia. It’s hard to put into words how someone can make you feel but when she left I thought ”damn that was a good few days, I needed that!”. We did the Nevis Bungy, we did The World’s Largest Swing, we went to a winery, we walked by Lake Wakatipu, we drank Queenstown dry and danced our nights away. We lived! We separated with plans in place to meet again, to recapture the magic of the weekend in a different country as soon as possible.
Sharing such a fantastic few days with my friend gave me clarity; at the end of the day if you love your life whether you’re single or in a relationship, if you appreciate every day for what it is and step back to take a moment to look for the greatest things in the smallest moments, your life will always be filled with love.
Now go on and be happy with your day and if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship, look after them.
(Last image courtesy of EmilyBCummins)