So before February ends, let us take a shot at love and all the butter lavishly spread on it -- in a traveler's point of view of course.
the most enjoyable date.
First date. Ha! That nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing experience everyone goes through. Sure, it's not really that big of a deal, but hey, pre-first-date jitters are totally acceptable and normal, in my book that is. Of course, first dates can make or break a potential love life. It's like that one-shot-to-seize-everything-you-ever-wanted moment, you know.
She spends hours and hours and hours trying on outfits worrying if it's too casual, too formal, or too slutty. He showers about 897 times and gargles mouthwash about 165,753 times. She
stalks him looks him up on Facebook to take a peek on his interests and have a general idea of what he's like. He wonders if she'll survive long hikes or if she's into adventure and extreme sports. Both make mental notes of all possible topics they could delve into to avoid that dreaded awkward silence -- family, career, schools, childhood experiences, yada yada yada.
But with a traveler, first-date conversations can go beyond the got-any-brothers-or-sisters, what-do-you-do-for-a-living, and do-you-have-any-pets questions. Just ask the traveler about his/her past travel destinations. For sure, there wouldn't be a need to move on to the next topic on the prepared mental checklist. She'll talk about the weirdest food she had ever tried. He, about that drink that mysteriously caused him to crawl back home. She'll excitedly recount how her knees wobbled on her first zipline experience. He, about his misadventures on his first ever solo backpacking trip. She'll share that Vigan is her ultimate travel destination, and if it all works out, he'll be the knight in shining armor and take her there one day to make her dream come true. ~_^
the ultimate travel buddy.
GTKY (getting to know you) phase of dating is more fun with a traveler. He'll see how giddy she gets as she researches about a place he suggested over dinner. She'll notice how he gets excited with adrenaline rush in every adventure. He'll observe how she's cranky in the mornings. She'll know how he handles hangovers. For each adventure and misadventure shared, he'll get bits and pieces of her likes and dislikes as well as her attitude, personality, and culture; and likewise for her.
The traveling couple will then have the time of their lives as they explore the world. He'll take her through sunrises and sunsets. She'll take photos of his jump shots and I'm-the-king-of-the-world poses. He'll hold her hand as they fly through hot air balloons and go skydiving and parasailing. She'll convince him to try feasting on frogs and bats and then finish off the meal with maggot toffee apples.
true purpose in life.
Eventually, traveling opens the couple's eyes to the world and teaches them compassion. Her heart will break as she sees first-hand the reality of child labor. He'll witness the devastation caused by disasters. Then they start to care for issues bigger than themselves and realize that there's more to life than chasing down every temporary high (yes, that's from a Stacie Orrico song).
Then travel for them becomes more meaningful and worthwhile. The traveling nomads become agents of change. He accompanies her as she climbs mountains to bring school supplies for kids. She is there as he bikes through the hinterlands to monitor the growth of seedlings they planted a couple of years back. They inspire their friends to be involved in causes. They instill compassion in others. They spread love.
love, sweet love.
Speaking of love, together, the traveling couple learns to say I-love-you's in gazillion dialects and languages. Because learning it straight from the people who naturally speak the language is so much different from learning "Je t'aime. Te amo. I love you. Watashi wa anata o aishtemasu. Ich liebe dich. Iniibig kita. Gua ay di." through a song popularized a loooooong time ago.
Well that must have appeared to be ripped off of a page of a teen magazine -- too good to be true, unrealistic, naive. Though a part of me somehow hopes I'm the "she" found by a "he" and has this kind of happily-ever-after, a bigger part of me believes it is NOT bound to happen. Not because my birth name is a jinx for my so-called love life; nor is it because I have ceased to believe in the power of love. This love story is just too simple and predictable for me. Someone like me -- who seems to be perpetually single (but with very good reasons, I tell you) -- deserves a unique never-before-seen love story. Until God decides it's time to unfold the greatest story of all time, I shall continue to do what I do -- live, love, and travel happily.