A Girl Who Travels

I saw this post on Facebook. It’s called “Don’t date a girl who travels.”

It’s a charming post by a young woman named Adi, who loves to travel. It received some well-deserved attention. It spawned a “rebuttal” post, called—wait for it—“Date a girl that travels” and yet another post that asked whether you’d even want to date a girl who travels.

Thing is, these posts mostly focus on the extreme example of a girl who travels: the archetypal “free spirit” who won’t be tied down and refuses to live by society’s traditional rules. And sure, there are plenty of women like that. Yet there’s another kind of girl who travels. One who loves adventure, but also has a place to call home.

I know a girl like that.

I dated a girl who travels. I went to Vietnam with her. We sat side by side on two makeshift plastic chairs in the aisle of a train speeding toward Da Nang. We climbed a muddy, slippery mountain on Cat Ba, with only flip-flops on our feet. We slept on the floor in the house of a Hmong family in Sapa, under the cover of mosquito nets. We biked the roads of Hue, walked the streets of Hanoi, ate at a low-key riverside cafe in Hoi An. We took a rickety boat to the remote village of Viet Hai. We spent a night under the stars on the open waters of Ha Long Bay. We hiked a lot, swam a little, visited historic sites, got lost, struggled to communicate with the locals, laughed, got exhausted, rested, did it all over again.

Then we came home with lots of shared memories.

I dated a girl who travels. We went to Australia together. We sat side by side on the Greyhound bus that carried us from Sydney to Cairns. We stopped at Port Macquarie, Brisbane, Hervey Bay, and other places along the way. We hiked in the forests, petted koalas, fed kangaroos, saw a wild dingo, chased after an echidna to get that perfect shot. We held hands while snorkelling among the fish of the Great Barrier Reef, taking care to avoid nasty jellyfish stings. We swam in ice-cold waterfall pools, cooked a “barbie” in a park, struggled helplessly against the wind to set up a sun tent on a beach. We rode the quaint trams of Melbourne. We joined a crowd of locals in Federation Square to watch Australian Open, while the sun mercilessly scorched our pale skin.

There, in Australia, after the clock struck midnight on the 31st of December, 2012 (or was it the 1st of January, 2013?) and the Sydney fireworks were in full swing, I proposed to a girl who travels.

When we returned home, we were engaged.

I married a girl who travels. For our honeymoon, we flew to Hawaii. We aimed, for once, to relax and take things easy. We failed. There’s too much to see, too many places to visit, too many new things to try. So we did it all once more. We sat side by side in our rental car as we drove the winding road to the summit of Mount Haleakala to watch the sunset. We hiked the Kukui and Kalalau trails of Kauai (that’s a lot of K’s). We drove the famous road to Hana, exploring waterfalls, trails, and parks. We went to a traditional Hawaiian luau, learned to surf, and snorkelled the Molokini crater. We got lost and yelled at our treacherous GPS, got soaked in the rain, wandered aimlessly around a mall while looking for a place to buy groceries. We watched the sunset at Poipu beach and laughed at roosters by the Spouting Horn.

Then, as always, we went home, back to our daily lives.

We love our home. We love our dinners with friends, our cats, our separate hobbies, and our lazy evenings together. We do love to travel, but we also love all that other stuff we do in between the trips, while planning our next big adventure. We love whatever we do together. But that’s just because we simply love each other, I guess.

So, do you date a girl who travels?

For me, there is no doubt: Don’t just date a girl who travels. Travel with her. Explore the world with her. Do stupid stuff and laugh with her. Fall in love with a girl who travels. Marry the girl who travels. Then count yourself the luckiest boy in the world.

52 thoughts on “A Girl Who Travels

  1. Sonia Zafar says:

    I know you had started writing blogs but i didnt realise you write so well.🙂
    This is very very sweet Daniel…emotionally moved. Your wife is a lucky lady.

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  2. Oh, I loved this post for many reasons but I’m a traveler too. I’ll go anywhere because it’s the company that matters most. You had a very similar honeymoon to ours. And you were spot on with your marriage advice, by the way. Explore together (not just the world but everything else, too).

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  3. I love this, especially the ending. My husband and I have made some of our greatest memories on our trips, but I so love coming home too. I really identified with this. And Vietnam sounds so wonderful–I hope to go there one day.

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  4. This is absolutely lovely. I’m still reeling from a breakup with my outdoor adventure partner in crime. It’s such a gift to be able to share both adventure and the little (but profound) day-to-day moments. This is the first post of yours I’ve read — and I’ll definitely be back!

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    • Yeah it’s pretty rare to find someone who enjoys the same things! Sorry about your breakup, but how good things are in store otherwise. Thanks, and looking forward to more visits.

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  5. That’s the love of a lifetime, that lasts a lifetime, and begs for a long happy lifetime – together! Congratulations to both of you! My husband and I are the same way together, we don’t travel much but we do everything like we are one person with four hands. Thanks for an awesome post ;^)

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      • Hahaha no, we’re muslim! Lol I know what you mean, tho, we’re a great team if we build anything together, we’ve built a house and barns and lately covered our roof with a grape arbor… we’re handy together ;^)

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  6. icescreammama says:

    nothing better than exploring uncharted terrain with someone you love. so sweet and lovely. i wish you guys many adventures.

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  7. Natalie DeYoung says:

    As a girl who loves to travel more than anything in the world, I must say, it’s comforting having a home to return to. My wandering heart does give my husband some grief, though…
    I liked the way you structured this story.🙂

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  8. Well said, Daniel. I married a man who travels 20 years ago. We’re still together. It’s not always been plain sailing, but we’ve had fun along the way. And I kid you not, the man now wants me to buy him a boat, out of my book sales! I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or write faster…🙂

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  9. A fine tribute to your young lady. You’re such a romantic! But within your tribute there is a sound message: a girl who travels and a girl to love should not be mutually exclusive.

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  10. Aw, this is very sweet. It’s nice that you’re both adventurous when you travel. My husband and I love to travel, but it seems most of our trip to Hawaii was spent on the beach sipping beverages. On the other hands, in big cities, I like to get around and see as much as I can.

    By the way: “We climbed a muddy, slippery mountain on Cat Ba, wearing nothing but our flip-flops.”—If there isn’t a picture for us, it never happened…😉

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    • Yeah we sure are lucky to agree on the big things like that! Hey, nothing wrong with relaxing and sipping beverages, it’s just very hard to do in a totally new place that you haven’t explored just yet!

      Ha, challenge accepted. I’ll try and see if we can dig up some pictures from that walk.

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  11. This is so lovely- so well written, just wonderful. Wow Daniel- your love for your wife shines through. I will read you other posts you’ve linked to. You just made my day. I too have tears in my eyes. Good tears, joyful tears.

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    • Thanks Pam, appreciate it as always. Also, I’m killing it today when it comes to making people cry. So much for running a humor blog.

      Tip: You can probably skip reading all of the Vietnam Diaries, that’s like “War & Peace” of travel blogging.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I hope my colleagues haven’t noticed my teary eyes and the “ahhhh” noices I made while reading this. ;o) Love you :*

    Like

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