A married girl who travels solo

For the love of travel!

I have read articles that say, “don’t date a girl who travels”. I totally agree with most of what the articles say except for the fact that I do have a husband and I do wear a watch (with two time zones!). I should probably add that I am also pale, but because of the fact that I hate tan lines and I fear cancer. What’s good about these articles is that it highlights why women travel, what’s in it for us. That’s what I agree with.

There have been many responses to these articles and why you should date a girl who travels. It’s much more accurate for me and I’ll tell you why. In short, I believe strongly that travel makes you a better, smarter, richer person.

Enjoying the view at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

I am better because I travel

I think that because I travel, I am a better person. I feel that learning and being engulfed in another culture only adds to my love and acceptance of other people, at home and abroad. Life experiences in other cultures are priceless. These adventures are not something you can learn from reading a textbook or watching a show. The best adventures are experienced yourself. You can research something until you’re blue in the face but you won’t truly know it until you experience it for yourself.

I am smarter because I travel

My knowledge has expanded tenfold because I have been immersed in so many cultures. I’ve seen the ways in which people around the world live. Through these experiences I learned that having it all does not equal happiness. I can live with less and be OK with it. I don’t crave the “American Dream” because I don’t think that’s a one-size-fits-all dream. It’s too conventional. Just as each country has a different feel to it so does every city and person. We are all unique and we all get to decide what is right for us. Who are we to tell someone in China that because they live in a cave with only one light bulb and a communal bathroom that they are less fortunate? We shouldn’t. Happiness comes from within. I am richer because of my experiences around the world not because of my bank account.

I am richer because I travel

Speaking of riches, you don’t even need that much money to have a wonderful experience overseas. One of my most memorable hotel rooms only cost $35 a night. Thanks to airline points, one of my most memorable flights only cost $160 for two people! Where did that flight go you ask? That flight was: Portland to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh to Manila, Manila to Seoul, and back home to Portland. Yes, that was all on one plane ticket. There was even an unexpected detour to Bangkok due to a delayed flight and a planned detour to Laos by bus! I mean, we did have to get from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh somehow. Why not a bus ride to another country and back.

Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. — Anita Desai

My life wouldn’t be the same without travel. I am who I am because of all that I have experienced. People always ask me what makes me unique or what makes me more qualified than someone else. Me. That’s all. I have my own interesting background and experiences that I can offer. I am me, a roamer and adventure seeker! I am smart, fun, directionally gifted, self-sufficient and I love talking to strangers or as I say, future friends.

My husband loves all of this about me and accepts when I tell him I want to go backpacking in Europe by myself or boating on the Mekong with my girlfriends. If you aren’t married I have faith that you too can find a partner that accepts all of you, including your wanderlust or “weirdness”.

We only have one life to live. Find out what lights you up and do it. Don’t let anyone hold you back including your partner. It’s important to be yourself and have your own passions. Travel just happens to be a passion I endorse for all women (and people). I hope you can agree why it makes you a better person.

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Melissa D. Jones is a location-independent designer helping others create brilliant designs to achieve their business’ goals and dreams.

She recently compiled her travel knowledge into a book Women with Wanderlust: A Guide to Roaming. She hopes to create a world with more #roamingwomen

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