Love for Travel, or Love and Travel?
Yay, the incredibly riveting topic of dating! If you couldn't feel my sarcasm oozing through the screen, I'm completely kidding because it's not usually super fun for people to rehash old memories that include people who are no longer actively in our lives. If you're one of those people who haven't let the person they're with ever hold them back from anything in any way, then congratulations, keep doing your thang and feel free to read my advice on the situation that may potentially make you laugh due to how terribly wrong it is.
Have I ever let dating influence my choice to travel? Unfortunately, yes. Yikes. It makes me do that little gag/ fake vomit at the idea of it. (Keep in mind, this is DATING I'm referring to, not MARRIAGE. Big difference- you should definitely always take your spouse into account, as well as any significant other if you have obligations/responsibilities that you have already committed to.) I'm talking about not letting your boyfriend or girlfriend dictate your decisions out of fear that pursuing your goals will influence the love you have. That's not what love does. Love embraces every part of you- the good, the bad, the terrifying and the potential aspirations hiding behind doors you have not opened yet. Or maybe you fall into another category: taking off on a trip after a break up to "find yourself".. Too cheesy? Sorry, that's the reality of cliches existing for a reason. But the truth behind "finding yourself", means that you let yourself lose part of yourself. Bear with me here..
If you are unconditionally loving as Jesus does for us, and demonstrating that same love for others, you shouldn't be losing any part of you. It should be an endless faucet of love that you doesn't empty you if that person is one day removed from your life. Oooof, guilty as charged right here. It's not a blast to look at the reflection in the mirror and realize that you're a huge contributing factor of situations you've let yourself get into. That doing this has allowed for your downfall. Woaaah, too deep. Had to be said though, anyone that has been in any of these circumstances has probably grudgingly pushed this guilt to the back of their mind to suppress and ignore until, the man upstairs (I'm not talking about my noisy neighbors with the kids that sound like they're constantly having a body slamming competition), forces you to face this reality. That's the thing with learning lessons: if you don't fix what you need to work on, God will keep allowing situations to happen until you fix them. Ever wonder "why does this keep happening to me"? Well well well, isn't it the ol' self-pity routine. The good news: you can totally fix this with a little practice and a whole lot of self-awareness.
I had dated someone long distance for a year who made work a priority to the point of it affecting our progression in our relationship. I was eager to travel the world and, because I wanted to experience it all with him, I kept waiting until he was ready to come. I then dated someone for a year and half who seemingly urged me to travel but made me feel guilty when it came down to booking a flight. Two big lessons learned. The first being that you can't continue to put your life on hold just because someone has different priorities. You'll make time for whatever is a priority to you. Travel was for me and it grew to be an unhealthy resentment because I didn't make the plunge on overseas travel out of fear. The second lesson being that I shouldn't let someone hold me back from exploring what God has placed on my heart out of fear that it will change how they feel about me. Again, this isn't what love does. This fun little book said that it "is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs; Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 12: 5-7).
I should be encouraging my significant other to pursue their strengths and heart's desires. Not holding back out of fear. Love does NOT equal fear. This would've been an awesome lesson to learn years ago before I had let selfishness and fear dictate my actions. Hopefully, you can learn from my own actions so that you don't have to learn the more heartbreaking way- from your own. Sorry for the sappy post, but it has played a pretty big role in my push, as well as withdrawal, from travel so it had to be said. Take the plunge. Do what God has placed on your heart, and if you've got real love, they will be stoked to see you grow.