Falling in Love on the Road and the Wisdom of Bill Murray.
As traveler and travel writer I get interviewed and asked a lot of repetitive questions. One of the questions that I get asked the most and one that so many travelers before me have written about is love.
How does a nomad find his soul mate? How can you fall in love if you are constantly traveling? Is it possible to live a travel lifestyle and have a long-term relationship?
Well, I guess this is my two cents. There is no formula to love. It happens when it is ready to happen, when and where does not matter and you have no ability to control it. I think if you are truly nomadic, traveling might be the best way to find your soul mate. Where else are you going to find someone that shares the same passion for adventure as you, someone that can relate to your same life altering experiences?
On the flip-side, in the past I’ve taken breaks from traveling for a long-term relationship. But it’s about mindset. When I met someone and was in a relationship the idea of being in one spot with her was more attractive to me than traveling the world, for that moment at least. Now, that is not to say you can’t have both with someone, I have many friends that live nomadically with the people they love and they’re my heroes.
That being said, you must take into consideration the travel mindset. Travel is about impermanence, a lot of people are roaming the world because they don’t want to be in one space for too long and they are trying to discover something possibly more meaningful or exciting in life.
Too many people approach love as an idea of possession and permanence, that it will last forever, that it takes time, that it can’t happen suddenly, that anything short of a long term relationship and long term investment is just passion.
When I focus only on the big life, I have focused on a big lie, and have chosen to ignore all the little lives I encounter everyday. The biggest mistake most people make is the idea that love is meant to be forever, when almost all evidence has shown us otherwise, and in our delusion we have refused to see any other option but.
The main protagonist in one of my favorite books The Alchemist reaches a similar crossroads. He falls in love with a desert girl, but can’t stay with her because his journey is not complete; his destiny has not been fulfilled. And he realizes staring across the desert he has “to deal with the concept of love as distinct from possession.”
While traveling you maybe have a day with someone you meet. There exist options at every moment, that there is love lurking for possibly a minute, or a glance, or a night everywhere, and it is not it’s permanence that should be our focus, but rather the simple chance that it could ever happen, even if just for a moment. Most people just lack the skill of enjoying the impermanence and the complex simplicity of that finite moment. That’s a great way to live life, to fall in love with it everyday.
Bill Murray recently gave an impromptu speech about the matter of travel, love and marriage. I leave you with his oracle like words of wisdom because I think he says it best:
“If you have someone you think is the one, don’t just sort of think in your ordinary mind, think ‘Okay, let’s make a date, let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. If when you come back to JFK [airport], when you land in JFK and you are still in love with that person, get married at the airport!”