We’d met less than a month ago, but it didn’t feel that way. I had to admit there were feelings involved. And honestly, it felt a bit odd. We did shit together that consisted of more than downing wine and pajama parties. A rarity in today’s day and age. Well, for me. Sadly? Maybe.
Heading to the beach together, frolicking in the waves, and riding jetskis in the ocean. Trips to the zoo filled with combo-selfies galore. She drove me all over her city showing me the secret spots. She even lied to me with a straight face to boost my ego. Babe, I know I’m a shit salsa dancer. You don’t have to lie. En realidad prefiero bailar perreo mi amor;)
She cooked me local food until I couldn’t get up from the table. Dinner and breakfast. Food coma on the regular. Life could have been worse. She made me feel like a king. Admittedly, that’s not too difficult. I’ve always been prone to ego stroking. Among other things.
While I’m still trying to figure a lot of this shit out, I’m not exactly a stranger to romance on the road. After all, heavy squats must be fed with more than protein shakes. Going from city to city over the course of a few year changes how you operate. It’s out of necessity really. Sadly, forming real relationships can be difficult. Exceptionally difficult.
The Travelers Dilemma
As a traveler, you know this. You understand forming long-term relationships can be tough. You become a bit battle hardened. You find yourself focusing on hedonism in ways you never knew existed. Just like traveling from city to city becomes a new experience – so do the extracurriculars.
Feelings of romance often take a backseat to the hedonistic heathen inside you. That next endorphin rush is continually chased. Everyone likes to get high. Some of us simply choose other drugs. If it’s not alcohol or narcotics, as Weezy F. Baby states, then it might be money, cars, clothes, or hoes.
I was an addict, and I knew it. Truly, I didn’t care. My heathen inside was happy. I didn’t even try to hide it. Some people didn’t appreciate this, but for some reason, she loved it. I was her “gringo malo” – but she treated me muy bueno. We got along splendidly for the month or so I was in her city.
Home & Holding Back
While we had a fantastic time together, I was still surprised when emotions crept up on our last evening together. Emotions aren’t my strong suit. I felt different as I took the elevator down to meet and greet her for one final evening. Or maybe it’s that she showed up on time. Yeah, a Latina on time. What is the world coming to?!
Con mi amor 😉
Greetings around as the doorman winks at me. Major Key: Always make friends with your doorman. She’s carrying a large bag filled with her things to get ready for the evening. Some would call it a purse. It looked more like a duffel to me. Basic conversation in Spanish ensues in the elevator ride up, but there’s a tension. Sexual in nature, but a bit repressed due to the realization I’m leaving. It was clear she felt differently, too.
Inside my place, she quickly made her way to the kitchen. Just how I liked it. Fresh food for me. I was more than happy. Then it was time for a nap. The club wouldn’t pop until 12:30 or so. It was 8:45. We curled up and faded off for an hour or so. She made a perfect body pillow. And like any able-bodied male in his 20’s – something awoke within me during that nap. She must have felt the same because muchos besos ensued. Then we went back to the body pillow arrangement for a little longer.
A night of dancing followed. And next thing you know, she was making me breakfast again the following morning. Then she helped me haul my luggage into the elevator. I was off. As we hopped in the elevator, her demeanor changed almost instantly. She was holding back. Trying to, but she was unsuccessful. I pulled her in. Hugged her tight. Part of it was to comfort her. Part of it was I didn’t want to see her tears. Her pain. If I saw that, I might have shed one or two myself. We all have a soft side.
Living & Loving on the Road
Ultimately, traveling is a choice. And by choosing to travel, you understand that forming long-term relationships can be exceptionally difficult. The lifestyle of a traveler is not conducive to long-term romance, but that doesn’t mean strong feeling can’t develop in short times. And there’s always a certain amount of pain that comes as a result of leaving.
Dealing with these emotions is often difficult. You stay in touch. You continue to communicate. But a relationship without a return date is nearly impossible to continue. It’s all part of the traveler’s dilemma regarding romance. If you’re on the road or thinking about it, you know what the decision to travel often means. For most of us travel junkies, the tradeoff is one we’re willing to make. After all, we’re all running from something…
“How many men stand on a balcony and wonder what happened? He wanted adventure, and he got two weeks’ vacation. He wanted a mission, and he got a lawn that needs mowing. He wanted purpose, and he got a cubicle. He wanted a mighty steed, and he got a minivan. He wanted a castle, and he got a mortgage. He wanted a battle to fight, and he got televised sports. He wanted wisdom, and he got talking heads on TV. He wanted treasure, and he got endless debt. He wanted every part of his life to be wonderful, and here he is… standing on a balcony, in bleak, ruminating hesitation.”
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.