One of the greatest adventures every traveller finds on the road is finding romance. At some point, almost everyone sees themselves falling head over heels for an exotic specimen from another country and culture. Before you know it, you’ve followed that certain someone halfway across a continent and shared some of the best moments of your life with them.
The relationships (if that’s what you could call them) that you have while on the road are so unlike those you would have at home. They’re fast, crazy, uncomplicated and can be over in an instant – just in time to start up another. No romance is the same, but falling in love on the road is a whole other experience in itself.
Whether you’re kissing the sexy Spanish backpacker who doesn’t speak any English, or following that beautiful Norwegian around like a lost puppy. Having a relationship while abroad is unlike anything else.
Within a few hours, you can go from spotting an interesting Austrian by the fire to walking hand in hand through the streets of Thailand. And the next day you find you’re sharing a room and playing all sorts of interesting card games in your uncomfortable double bed.
There’s a quite common phenomenon amongst travellers – a bizarre attraction to people from other cultures and races. Everyone knows it, and they’re not shy to say.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself bored by the people from your own country and so overwhelmingly distracted by that exotic Mediterranean relaxing in the dorm next to you. And what’s even more surprising, is they’re even interested in boring old you. (Jokes, you’re pretty interesting). You go over to speak to them, or more often than not, they come and start to chat to you. Only to find out that they barely speak any English and you don’t speak Italian, but somehow you make it work.
The one night stands
It’s no secret that people are much more inclined to… play cards with you… when your travelling. No inhibitions, more booze than you need and nothing to do the next day. Why not see what the inside of this well-spoken English person’s bungalow looks like?
No way would you do it at home, but hey? Who’s even gonna know you in a week anyways?
Everyone’s just there to have fun and relax, just like you. When you’re living in a hostel surrounded by sexy, exotic travellers from all around the world, things are bound to get heated. And what’s wrong with that?
Just always use a case for your deck of cards.
They’re short, sometimes.
If you’ve played your cards right (which you have, because you’re rad right?) that person you spent last night with (you’ve forgotten their name – it’s hard to pronounce, I won’t judge you) is sharing breakfast with you the next morning. Maybe they like you enough to change their plans and stay a few more days and just like that, you’ve upgraded to a private room with a double bed.
The travellers romance has a very fast and hard timeline. What has been a week of travelling together feels like months. And you feel like you know them better than your best buds at home. You’ve become a team, navigating the foreign country together and putting all of your confidence and safety in each other.
And just like that, he or she has to head home and you’ve just started your trip. You say your goodbyes, cry more than you thought you would have and move on to the next destination.
You don’t even have time to be lonely because there’re so many new people in the next hostel.
Or maybe you don’t say goodbye for good and eventually meet up with them over the other side of the world. They pick you up from the airport and feeling you’re all nervous, childish and sunburnt, you pick up where you left off.
Maybe they’ll move to your home country?
In Cambodia, I fell in love with a girl. She’s from Norway.
She made up an English name for herself when we met. I still can’t pronounce her real name apparently (I can’t hear the difference).
Right when I was having the time of my life, being a single travelling bachelor, this sexy Norwegian goddess floats into my life and then out again. Within two days she’s off to see the rest of Cambodia.
4 days later she comes back, and the next night we find a private room and I show her my best card tricks. Next thing I know, she’s joined me travelling half way across South East Asia and we’re walking arm in arm through the romantic streets of Pai in Thailand feeding each other sushi, ice-cream and mushrooms wrapped in bacon – gross right?
And then before I know it, we’re looking for a chance to volunteer at a bar on Koh Rong, only if we can work together.
The next thing I know, I can’t bare to be without her, even for a few hours, and we spend almost every moment together over the coming months.
And just like that, she has to head home to Norway after extending her trip a few extra months to be with me, and I’m flying to Eastern Europe without her.
Alone for the first time in months, thus begins the long wait and distanced relationship as I make my way to Norway to be with her again.