The Balance of Relationships and Travel

Families, lovers, and friends. Coworkers, pets, and the self. These relationships need balance. Equilibrium between good and bad. Communication, response, physical contact; To me, those build relationships. Yet, what about those who chose a life abroad? How do we keep up balance with others, and within ourselves?

WayfarerKate mentions in her post relationships and travel have a delicate balance.  In her post, she mentions the difficulties with relationships, not only familial, but with friends and lovers. The struggles of keeping relationships, and desires for travel is difficult. It’s difficult to please yourself, and others. To me, time apart  strains relationships, but the ones that matter do not break.

First, family members doubt on your choices. They are supportive, as a year is not a long commitment.  As Kate states “it [is] a gap year,” a time to reflect on “serious” life choices of the future. The road ahead. Yet, if life abroad continues, doubts settle in.

Skies at home {From me 2013}

What is the purpose? Why  continue this life? Just work near home. 

These are some possible thoughts and perceptions that arise. Certainly, these same doubts surfaced in the face of my own decisions. The comforts of home. The safety of friends. The closeness of family. And the idea of familiarity. Something so accustomed and accepted as the “norm,” people cannot imagine breaking outside this protection. It’s a natural reaction, from others, to worry of someone leaving the nest. Taking flight for the first time. Yet, if the time away from home continues on, doubts linger. Conflicts arise.

Yet, this time is special. For us, the travelers. For we, wish to seek something greater, beyond our experiences at home. We want to fulfill our inner desires, our dreams. We wish to see, to meet, and experience new unimaginable events, outside of our nest. Our comfort zones. It excites us, and thrills. Bumps on the skin, wind in our hair, as we face forward toward new challenges. A chance to grow. If only travel ensured a gold star on a resume. Then, possibly, our families would support our wanderlust dreams.

Romantic relationships create another dilemma. The action to build something requires security. A ground to lay down a supportive structure. The base. For most, a relationship exists from a common place. Safely within physical distance. To live abroad while in a relationship, I feel, is too strenuous. Trust an issue. Doubts settle in. Poison the mind. The true test of love.

From Snapwire
From Snapwire

It’s the hardest of them all. We wish to find love, to feel love. It’s hardest if a person does not accept the same values. My values, for now, are in traveling,  exploring. If that person cannot accept these feelings, the relationship will remain jagged. Not smooth, with constant turbulence. If they wish to accept my dreams, and even if they share the same desires, it can work. Though, I know one day, this fire will simmer. With age. Settling down is inevitable. I guess I just need time, and hopefully I’m given it.

Finally, friendships. Friends come and go. In high school, college, we all accepted the ephemeral ideas of friendships. Friends are short-lived, family is forever. That sort of saying. If we meet someone abroad, Kate asks in her  post , do those relationships still last? Weeks, months, even years, will these flames still flourish?

As I see it, there’s a reason why I have my friends. Something ties us together. A similar bond. Whether we be a few blocks away, or a few countries, we can still meet again. We can reflect and remember the wonderful, and sometimes crazy, times we had together. Isn’t that what life is about? Remembering  those precious times with friends? Though these friendships are fleeting, and somewhat convenient, the optimist in me wishes to see their value. A family away from home.

Locks of Love
Locks of Love. Namsan Tower, Seoul. {From me 2012}

Sure, you can meet people on the road. But, do those relationships last?”

Relationships are too complex. So many factors rely on maintaining a well-balanced relationship. As one can imagine, relationships and traveling abroad, usually, don’t mix. Like water and oil. The separation stops from bonds to combine, to flourish, to mix into something delicious and sweet. To live abroad, some say, means to forgo on life’s relationships. Yet, I feel, when one travels, distance tests these relationships. The ones still in our lives abroad, show their strength. Their power. For the strings of fate, will not break even if stretched to their limits.

Stay humble. Work hard. Be kind.


{Cover image from Snapwire}


5 thoughts on “The Balance of Relationships and Travel

  1. Sure, you can meet people on the road. But, do those relationships last?”

    – Well, i love this topic of yours.. It’s realistic. I can relate into it.. For me, in my whole life I only have kept 2 close friends from highschool. Yeah, it’s easy to make friends… Until when will it last? There are many factors that can affect a relationship : priorities, life status, distance…. So, If we still have this consistent communication after 10 long years… I think we value our friends ship much. Each other has a n effort to nurture it…the process is give and take… Also, in any kind of relationship, one sided love or even friends won’t really work out…

    I think yours is admirable and interesting.. with this desire in travel.. just follow your heart desires…It’s better than to regret in the end.. ^^

      1. Yep. Without communication, there’s no connection. If a person values you, she/he will make efforts too to maintain the relationship that you have. The word “Busy” is just an excuse/alibi.

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