A Travellers Romance

Travellers holding hands in airport


I’ve spent the morning staring at the same two sentences hastily typed into a Word document, hoping to be inspired into writing a post on love when travelling for Valentines Day; But truth be told I’ve only had two romances on the road, two romances I’m not sure where stand.

This story is but as old as time.
Boy and girl in love, each others arms together they are entwined.

Externalise the internal

Last year I wrote a piece for Nomadic Chick’s ‘Summer Chick Tales’ about one of the romances. If people know me they’d know that it was the left of field approach as I’d just come out of a short, deeply meaningful relationship (fling? I’m not sure what to call it) with someone who is a writer as well.
Jeannie, the author behind Nomadic Chick was sure I was going to write about the short lived relationship with the writer and he was excited to be painted as a charming, dashing James Bond figure who swept me off my feet; But the pressure to define what went on in our relationship, to give it a title, to externalise something that I hadn’t even internally worked out my feelings about… I just couldn’t do it and left the story how I thought it should be at that time – untold.

Beginning, middle, end

Every story should have a captivating beginning, an enticing middle, and a rounded end; but this relationship hadn’t had a clean break because I took a last minute flight back to Australia. Despite continuing to talk almost every day and with intentions to come back mid-year, I didn’t know that he was angry with me for not trying harder to stay…

But I was just 20-years old; the kid who always put off being in a relationship because I was going to travel, to move interstate for University, because I just found excuses to never say no to relationships, whilst never saying yes either so that I didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings, which meant that I never had to be kept stagnant, I was always free. This relationship/fling was the first time that someone had ever managed to tie me down for more than three-days and yeah, it scared me.

Recently I was told that a person had labelled me “too immature” to have dated the writer at the time and as angry as I was when I heard it yeah, I was too young at that time to be in a relationship with that boy man.

So now that the relationship has a clear beginning, middle… where shall it end? Truth be told he has moved on, other woman takes his eye and that is the way it should be. I ran away back to Australia and though I was meant to head back to London Australia was where I was meant to be at that time and I wouldn’t have changed.

Do I think travellers romances can work? Yes. Some of the strongest relationships I know are couples who travel together. Take a look at Michael and Steph from Art of Backpacking and 20-Something Travel respectively – they are both Americans who met at a travel bloggers conference and are now travelling South America as an unbeatable blogging team, or the lovely Janey and Justin from 40 before 30 and 48-Hour Adventures – Aussie moves to London, Aussie meets gorgeous British girl, both fall in love, cue ‘awwwww’s.

Moving away from bloggers what about just looking at one of my closest Adelaide friends travellers romance – she met a great guy when she was Au Pair-ing in the UK and they went out, Skype dating and text messages followed before he came to Australia for three weeks to visit her and despite having got back to the UK only a few days ago he’s packing his bags and moving to Australia next week. Now that’s a story.

Sure there will be the odd fling, the bad romances, and even the down right ugly but sometimes you need to travel across the sea to find the one you love and marry – look at Andi from My Beautiful Adventures and her gorgeous husband who she has recently married. She had to travel all the way to South America to find and fall in love with her knight in shining armour. Had to be separated whilst visas were processed – a process which can take months on end, but now he is with her and they are starting a beautiful new life together in America.

A fellow traveller understands why you need to travel, understands the need not to be tied down to a single place, a 9-5, have the perfect family with 2.5 children – they get that sometimes the place you need to be is on the road whether that be for a weekend, a month, or several years. They understand that I learnt more about myself and writing in the year-and-a-half I took off from study than I did in the 2-years I was at University trying to be the model student. They understand my need to just get up, move, and have an adventure even if it only is to explore my own backyard.

But what about my feelings, my emotions towards this travellers romance that I had? Well, perhaps this poem will help understand where I am as well as tell my story a little bit better than my words can express.

A Travellers Romance

This story is but as old as time.
Boy and girl in love, each others arms together they are entwined.
But ripped apart they must be, whether it be by death, or in my case by sea.

Like Romeo & Juliet our story began,
As I gazed down upon this gentleman.
Instead of a window way up high, my balcony was the railing, not quite in the sky.

Waterstone’s books was where it all began.
But soon I was being dragged through the West End.
I cursed myself, wishing I’d listened to people’s advise.
“Don’t talk to strangers or you’ll end up as cold as ice.”

But death did not find me on this cloudy day,
A coffee shop was soon where we found ourselves – hurray!
Our chats turned from strained into absolute delight.
Right there I was hooked, and knew there would soon be a second sight.

Dinner was cooked, the rock collection was unhatched.
Looking from outside you would think we were really quite mismatched.
But sometimes you know things that others can’t see, this boy was my friend, he was quite my cup of tea.

Our adventures began, each night better than the last,
Our fingers were tired of texting all the short BBM blasts.
I became homeless, he took me in with open arms,
Moving in with him right there should have raised a few warning alarms.

Things moved too quickly, now that I look back I can see.
Our hearts trying to keep pace with our own chemistry.
Was I too young, too high strung, or not ready to be kept from being free?
What ever it may have been I soon had to flee.

Across the sea I had to go, back to Australia – the place that is my home.
Despite our ever constant contact this boy had some feelings and he needed someone to reciprocate them back.

Alas that person could not be me. For he and I were separated by a large blue sea.
Though my heart was left in London-town, this boy had to move on he couldn’t have someone like me let him down.

This travellers romance, as short as it may have been,
Doesn’t stop me from hoping, waiting, perhaps we will see.
Because whilst he has moved on, a girls heart never forgets.
The ones they care for most, the one that they loved the best.

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  • Reply
    Teresa Gotay
    February 16, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Awwww! Nicole! Just remember this, when you’re 80 years old, you’ll look back on your life and think: “Damn… what a life I had!” Or, you’ll be sending your grandchildren to go kick some ass! (:

    I think the beauty of a travel romance is the risk- it’s taking a chance because (especially if you live far apart) you don’t know where it will go. And I think two people willing to take that risk are going down a path that hopefully looks good if everything else falls into place 🙂

    • Reply
      February 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Totally agree with you about the risk factor about a travel romance – and that’s what makes them so much fun!

      And I’m so glad that YOUR traveller romance is going so well. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

    What a beautiful post Nicole. I think that romance and travel go hand in hand when you’re happy, relaxed and ready for a fling. Relationships and travel don’t go together so well – trust me, I know.
    I understand that the boy couldn’t wait for you forever but who knows what the future will hold 🙂

    • Reply
      February 25, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Definitely looking forward to the future and keep working on that travel + relationship balance! 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Travel and romance is a tricky thing. I have my own story (with a beginning, middle and end). For me, the need to keep moving made the story end, but maybe next time it won’t.

    Also, as a side note – I’ll be excited to meet you at ITB soon. See ya!

    • Reply
      February 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Hopefully next time it won’t have to end for you. 🙂

      Awesome – look forward to seeing you at ITB too!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Some day we’re going to sit down and you’re going to tell me this story, haha. Loved the poem, btw.

    Thanks for sharing, hun. I just want to hug you right now 🙂

    • Reply
      February 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      *blushes* Thank you for your kind words lovely. *steals hugs from Chris*

  • Reply
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