Recently someone forwarded me an article on ‘why not to date a travel girl’. It was an interesting perspective from a girl’s side. We boys also have challenges when it comes to dating or finding a life partner. This becomes more complex if you are from India. I decided to write our own story based on our experiences (mine and my old time travel partner Sankara). We have been doing on & off travelling for nearly a decade. We are both from India. Backpacking travel is still not accepted widely as a preferred way of travel in India. The general perception is that backpackers are those people who have gone insane or don’t have enough money to support normal way of travel.
So here are the 7 reasons why a girl should not date or marry a travel guy:
He will have lots of time for you: Don’t date a guy who loves travelling because he will not have enough time for dating. As a general expectation weekends are for movies, shopping malls and partying. However we love spending weekends travelling. Your entire weekend romantic plan goes for a toss because we are never in the town. Please don’t expect us to spend weekends with us shopping, eating at restaurants or watching romantic movies. And if you are trying to be considerate by believing that weekdays can work, please forget that. Weekdays are the times when we plan for our weekend gateways. We can’t spend hours talking on phone or chatting on all social networking platforms. We need to do our research on travel places. We can talk but for max 10 minutes per day. We can’t talk about the nice dress that Megan Fox wears. By the way, I don’t even know Megan Fox.
He will be well groomed, clean shaven and smartly dressed: That’s impossible. Trekking gets one tanned so much that my mom needs to show my pictures taken 5 years earlier to convince people that I was fair skinned at some point in time. My cousin sister declines to introduce me to her friends, as my face color is darker than her colored brown hair. Wrinkles, pimples, cut marks, body scratches, skin rashes & dark eyes come as part of package. Luckily we don’t need to mess with our hair, both decided to keep ourselves bald, its painful to see yourself losing hair due to all travel related side effects. And definitely, you will look 5 years older because of continuous travel and different food & water on which you survive. Hitting gym for us is only to build strength and not to show our muscles. When it comes to clothes, we prefer to wear cheap cotton t-shirts and shorts as these are the most comfortable ones when we travel. We never buy Calvin jeans or Burberry shirts, too expensive to risk for travel.
He is financially very stable: Well the first question a girl asks is which car you have or which flat you have. Well we do have a bullet for our travel, a very stable bike that can survive the ordeals of Himalayas. And that’s it. Car and house - no money for that. Savings – well if you keep on spending money on travel, your credit card statement follows a sine curve with +ve balance at the start of month when you get salary and goes to –ve at the end of the month. Once I was asked if I do have any assets of financial value. I thought for couple of minutes and then I proudly told her that yes I do. I have camera gear worth 5 lakhs and entire camping & travel gear for another 3 lakhs. But that was not what she was looking for an answer.
He lives life king size: Well, we prefer living life as king of travels. So when it comes to eating, we can eat anywhere, anytime and anything. We have eaten with laborers in their thatched houses and with fishermen on their boats. We believe firmly in ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ but people who serve us food don’t have same belief; hence we tend to ignore an insect in fried rice or the plates licked by dogs before food served on the same plate. So if you are finicky about food, don’t come with us. We understand the benefits of rich & mixed diet, but most times we don’t have a choice. So I have survived on rice for exact 5 months. That’s only carbs. But this was still better than some places where you get to eat things which creeps, crawls, wriggles (I literally mean to throw your imagination to the wildest). If you have to survive, you eat what you get. One of my close friends deleted me from her messenger friend list simply because she couldn’t bear what I was eating. We love staying at world’s top 100 places to stay. Clarification – we mean in terms of location only. Some times our budgets don’t allow and on most occasions, places where we visit don’t have good places to stay and on some occasions places will not have any places to stay at all. So if you don’t like common dormitory, or sleeping at bus/railway stations or throwing your sleeping bag on the road, then definitely don’t travel with us. We believe that the most hygienic loos are the open loos in jungles, I mean wherever you have open space. Many times we are not lucky and hence while using a loo at old bus station we put a cloth on our nose to clear our bowels. We have stayed at an isolated island in Mauritius (slept on the beach) and spent at Halong Bay in Vietnam (on a rugged fisherman boat).
He talks about romance: We love talking but about people, culture, places, etc. Romance is always with nature and not with girls. We can say “hi sweetie” but that’s it. Rest of the discussion has to be on travel. So if you want someone who appreciates your curves, well talk about the curves of the roads. We need peace to indulge ourselves when we travel. We want to be left alone to appreciate gods own beauty. You will be with us for sometime, we can appreciate you later on also. But we are for max a day at some pretty location and hence our priority is the location.
He has a great career and highly ambitious: Well, we might have an engineering degree and a management degree from one of the prestigious institutions of the country but that has become useless now. Our most sought profession has changed from Analytics expert at Wall Street or Management Consultant at Silicon Valley to Travel photographer at NatGeo or Wildlife photographer at Discovery. With so many job breaks in between, placement consultants have started avoiding us. And even if we get jobs, we end up reporting to our college juniors. So if you are looking for a great career oriented person, we are the worst cases.
Finally, he will treat you like an angle and will pamper you: We believe firmly in gender equality and independence. You wont find a person like us who will treat girls equally. So please don’t expect us to open the cab door or restaurant door for you. We believe you know how to pull a cab door. We believe that you have equal strength to lift your backpack, handbag, water bottle, etc. Hence don’t expect us to carry your fully loaded backpack even when our hands are free, we will not offer you any help. We believe that you are equally intelligent to book movie tickets, reach to a common destination and find restaurants that serve good food. So please don’t depend on us in planning and booking those details.
Now if above 7 pointers still don’t make you rethink twice, then do get us checked by a clinical psychologist. We have been termed as ‘Psychologically Unstable’ and diagnosed with ‘Excessive high-risk taker’ and ‘Compulsive disorder syndrome’. Still if you want to try, mail Sankara. J