Happy Thursday, travelers!
Valentine’s Day has come and gone and I truly hope that you all had an enjoyable evening. My plans included recovering from my epic girls’ trip to Miami this past weekend (yes, I went with a friend!), eating the last of my Asian food before observing Lent, and enjoying a glass (or 3) of wine.
I went back and forth about when I would publish this and thought that with the theme of love and relationships swirling around, I would throw in a few of my thoughts. I hope this resonates with some of you. I hope that it causes you to reflect on your personal journey and I hope that one day in the future I can share some of my Valentine’s Day baecation highlights *wink wink*. This is more personal than I usually care to go, but I want to be transparent and maybe it will stir something within you as well (male or female).
Phase 1: I was FED UP.
You can thank 2 of my exes for kicking off my journey. Yup, I do thank them. I was living in Houston when I got my first passport and a lot had been happening within my four years there. I loved that city and still throw up my H whenever I deem appropriate, but I had some -deep down low ugly and depressing- moments. He who shall not be named delivered me one too many episodes of being cheated on but I was young, dumb, and stuck on stupid. However, I can appreciate one lesson he gave me in the fact that I should never be afraid to do things on my own. Whether that be grabbing a bite to eat or grabbing a drink at happy hour, if I wanted something I should go do it. Period.
About two years later, I met “Lover”, and there’s no love lost there, we just were on different life trajectories. I guess that’s what happens when you pair a 24 and a 37 year old (fun fact: I compared our gap to Jay-Z and Beyonce, chile…) He worked out of town for about 2.5 weeks a month and so I was a lovestruck schoolgirl whenever he’d be home. I have never exclusively typed this in a post, but there came a time in which I experienced 2 miscarriages in 6 months. Hell no, I wasn’t trying to have a child but I felt such an extreme sense of loss and I felt like my womanhood had gotten snatched from me. We pushed through it but that eventually led to some conversations about what was… or wasn’t in line for us.
Now, I currently work in a nonprofit but for the past 6 years I had worked in a school. I had been elated that during my Spring Break he would have some time off work and he had been saying he would take me on a trip. Well, that was all talk and in February of 2015 I realized that waiting on him would not work out in my favor. I was angered at the thought of staying in Houston during my break and thinking about what the previous ex taught me, I booked my first trip out of the country that also happened to be a solo adventure. Needless to say, Moms freaked out a bit but almost 3 years later, I’m still pushing and thriving in my solo travel game. I’m glad I didn’t wait for Lover forever because I probably still wouldn’t have gone anywhere. One month later around my 26th birthday I told him I was done, called him some not so nice things, and signed a contract to move to Dallas.
I wish that I had a more motivational reason for why I started traveling internationally / solo, but this is my truth. I was fed up. I wanted to make my man angry. I wanted to prove that I was good and was going to live my best life and flirt with some other men while doing it. I was running away from some deep pain and decided to chase the jet stream while doing it. However, that my friends, just does not work.
Related Post: Solo Trippin Isn't For Suckers
Part II: Catching Flights -and- Feelings
I’m all about empowerment and making yourself feel good, but why do we say “catching flights not feelings” as though both aren’t possible? Hell, I want BOTH and for a brief time, I had it. Two years post-Lover I found myself in love again. Out of respect for him, I won’t go into all the details. What I will say is that I was on such a high at thinking I had what I had been looking for. I even went on my first baecation but do you know how many times I get asked/told…
“When are you going to slow down down and have some kids?” Where’s my huzzzband at?
“If you sat down in one city long enough, maybe you’d catch a man.” Tell me more.
“Single women shouldn’t be traveling alone.” I’m not even going there
“How does __ feel about you traveling so much?” I was traveling before you came…
“Your man lets you go alone?” ….
“I wouldn’t let my girl visit ___ without me.” ….
And the list goes on and on and I know I’m not alone. Our American culture is used to being such workhorses that don’t appreciate a good holiday, that we try to make others (i.e. single woman) feel bad about living their best life. If you can’t trust your person, then that’s on you but I felt as though the trust was reciprocal and I appreciate him for letting me be me. I am an Aries / Taurus girl that loves to chase her dreams, and because of that I would look that much more forward to returning home after a great trip. Like I said in one of my most popular posts, “I Don’t Date Men Without Passports”, I alluded to the fact that while I won’t cast out a man that isn’t as well traveled as others, but I do pray that my future partner appreciates my love of the world and wants to catch some business-class upgrades with me.
Part III: Putting Things Into Perspective
I went from a low to a high and now I think I’m even-tempered. I’m in a relatively new season of life (especially with my job) and to be transparent, I’m trying to figure shit out. I recognize fully that while traveling can help, it does not and cannot ever fully solve my problems. Most travelers get a bad reputation for being people that are running away from their problems and that is not my flow. I want to see the world and put on for Dallas. I want 2018 to be my Cardi year and a year of continued “living my best life’ing” with friends and family. I went on a date with a gentleman about three weeks ago and he made a comment about my travels, and ultimately if I find someone that makes me want to stay home more, then I will but -until- then, I’m out! I am learning to be content in my season even though once upon a time I had imagined my life at (almost) 29 to look a lot different. It’s surreal and bittersweet that in just 14 months, I’ll be 30 and will have hopefully reached my goal of hitting my 30 states and countries. I suppose with age comes wisdom and I try to learn something from each relationship that I am in, successful or not.
Have any of you dealt with this? Taken a trip after a bad break up or to clear your head when bae gets on your nerves? How did it work out? Hopefully, it was for the best and know that I am clapping for you. Whether you’re a single sister like me or in a committed relationship, I encourage you all to continue showing love to yourself and others! Happy belated Valentine’s Day, travelers!