An Open Letter to the Author of “Don’t Date a Girl who Travels”
Alternative Title: Adventures In Trying to Understand My Generation
*Disclaimer: I did my very best to write in the approved style of summarizing with no bias before presenting an argument, but I think that the articles speaks for itself*
In the college circuit, blog articles get passed around with a certain frenzy of comments such as “OMG! THIS CHANGED MY LIFE” or “This is exactly what I experienced over my Spring Break in Cancun”.Whether it’s an article about loving yourself, modesty, or expressing your sexuality, these fads come and go. The latest one, with largest amount of immaturity and ridiculousness yet, was “Don’t Date a Girl who Travels” from lovethesearch.com.
(It can be found here https://medium.com/better-humans/802c49b9141c)
In the article, the author gives a romanticized view of traveling, a concept that millenials have of packing up their bags and just leaving (with their iPhones in hand, of course, to document their every step for their “sell-out, corporate” friends at home). She warns men that these women who travel have insatiable appetites for adventure and will never be impressed with the mundane.
I found the analysis to be very trivial but more than that, inaccurate. Not only was it an unrealistic view from someone who honestly sounds like they’ve never travelled solo a day in their life (I know she has but quite amazingly, one would never know from reading her work), it’s also the truest testament to the problems of this generation. The author comes across as nothing but spoiled.
If there is anything I have learned from living abroad it is that traveling is humbling. I have so many friends who will never have the opportunity to go abroad. It isn’t due to the fact that they have “sold out” or are too boring; circumstantially they cannot. They’re here at home watching over their children, their hospitalized family members, or working to put themselves through college. As she says in her article, don’t waste this traveller’s “time complaining about your boring job”. Yes indeed, don’t ever talk about yourself and your living that provides for your family; you need to hear about her life-changing time smoking weed by the Mediterranean.
The author never says anything about how fortunate she is to be able to travel. She should be thanking her lucky stars she wasn’t born as one of the 870 million people in the world who are malnourished, much less jumping on planes to exotic locations.
She then says “chances are, she can’t hold a steady job… she doesn’t work like a robot all day”. If anything it sounds like she’s describing herself and her own impertinent personality. She doesn’t work nor will she “try to impress your parents or friends”. This doesn’t sound like an aspiration at all. She sounds like she’s spitting out mindless fortune cookie sentiments that girls get as tattoos like “she goes out and take what life has to offer” or “she goes with the flow and follows her heart”.
A particular point that rubbed me wrong was “she’s busy living in the present…she will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world”. Wait, what? Interesting and like-minded? Aren’t those somewhat contradictory terms? The most rewarding point of travel is getting to meet people whose perspectives are so radically different from yours. That is how you learn. You don’t sit around with the same people, thinking the same thoughts, and then think you have any authority to judge others. Anyone who travels has immersed themselves in a culture, a place, a time. Investing in your surrounding is the true essence of travel, not this “I’m too flighty and self-serving” nonsense.
If anything it made me sad: this view cheapens all that travel is.
Date a girl who travels. She has accomplished one of the hardest transitions in life by pushing herself out of her comfort zone and diving into another culture, literally broadening her horizons. She’s got a heart for the world. She appreciates all that she has because she has seen the meanest forms of life but she has also seen its supreme beauty. Date a girl who travels because she may just want to share the adventure with you, and nothing is more fun in the world.