This argument is very exciting to me as it combines two of my long time favored interests: Feminist Propaganda and Travel. I usually try to keep a lid on my excitement– but today, my two cents are ALL IN.
Before diving into the debate, lets share some of my favorite feminist propaganda, brought to you by friends and fellow writers. As we grow and move all over the world, learning and discovering, destroying and building on our separate paths- when I get online and see what everyone is up to- I feel we maintain a strong unspoken network. There is unyielding support and admiration in the community of women sharing their lives and experiences. Check out wiseoldbitch, and her feature on funnynotslutty, the Dreamer Diplomat, To Benin and Beyond, Sarah Wohlgamuth. post-grad pre-adult and fuddled feminist have been on hiatus, but worth having a look.
I was inspired by a friend to chime in on the discussion Dating Girls Who Travel. The gallant tone of Miss King’s post reflects so perfectly her strong, secure and supportive family. I love the confidence in this post and wish I always felt the same way. The independence and freedom of travelling give you a mechanism to view the world in a different way. You learn that things like dating are trivial. You learn who is worthy of a “first hug” at the airport. (For me, its often my sister, standing in the corner wearing sunglasses with the limo drivers holding a sign with my name on it.) She can pack her bags, lace up her shoes and go anywhere in the world, whether or not you date her. She’s comfortable and secure. However, sometimes she does care. But if she cares, it won’t matter for long- sometimes she travels to escape. Sometimes, she travels because despite what she feels, she KNOWS whatever she will encounter is more important than who she is or is not dating. She cares, and she takes to the internet in the form of: Date a Girl Who Travels and Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels . The royal She- we take to the internet in masses because we care.
My first thought while reading these very well written and inspiring pieces are that they are both written for women by women. The feminine nuance and perspective dominate the writing. Specifically, these are women who care, which is what unites these two posts. They are also united by the grand assumption to claim “I know what boys like“. Personally, I’m skeptical of men. I don’t know what they like, all I know is- its not me. These two pieces make a lot of assumptions. The values described in Date a Girl Who Travels appeal to me more. I hope those are things men value: patience, understanding, appreciation for beauty, valuing the simple things, optimism, sincerity, humility and interest in people. These are things I value and I hope that I gain while I am travelling. On the other hand, Don’t Date a Girl Who Travels has a slightly different idea of what men want. The tone pits us against men, suggesting they are materialistic, chauvinistic, and somewhat self centered. By being a girl who travels, you relieve yourself of the burden of dealing with mundane, uninteresting men, which is great. The tone shifts slightly towards the end when the post exclaims “So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her.” I rather agree with this final point.
The relationship between dating and travelling is very interesting on its own. These two posts assume different definitions of “dating”. You can be casually dating, seriously dating, married dating? I find travelling becomes intertwined with getting to know someone because we all have different attitudes about travelling, and often our true selves are revealed when we do travel. I have never met someone who claimed to not like travelling. Perusing online dating profiles, most people emphasize their interest to travel- because travelling is exciting and new and people are drawn to people who are exciting and new. People like to post pictures of themselves around the world. It seems almost like a competition to showcase how interesting you are. Travelling is impressive to some people. It can be intimidating. When it comes to whether or not you can date a girl who travels, I’d ask- can you handle being intimidated? I consider myself, to a degree, to be a ‘traveler’. I’d want to tell someone this: You can look at a lot of pictures and listen to all my stories- but you really have no idea what I’m capable of until you get to know me. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Travelling is somehow fundamentally attractive. It’s like claiming you exercise and are really fit. Who doesn’t want to look attractive? Some douche bags are fit, and some douche bags travel…. but it’s all about appearances. Reality is: there’s a difference between desiring to travel and physically packing your bag and going. Much like the levels of dating- there are levels of travelling. Do you dream about travelling, but can never quite make a trip happen? Do you travel alone? How far do you travel? Do you make friends on the road? When you get the chance to travel, do you go for it, or stay home instead? Travelling takes up a lot of your time and can take up a lot of your money- much like dating. They’re both commitments.