Should you travel for love?

Club Elsewhere - Global stories for borderless minds. Travel love stories by Sandrine Champagne

Sun, sea and… love? Who hasn’t heard one of those tremendous travel love stories under the warmth of foreign sun? Of that vivid temporal passion that forges unforgettable memories that last longer than they did in real life?

Travelling is no longer an option; it’s a way of living. The question is not when do you travel, but where your next voyage will take you. During those journeys, let’s agree to agree that meeting people (locals or other travellers) is all part of the adventure, and with it comes a higher chance to connect deeper with one of those souls.

Exploring the globe and taking in new sensations opens you up to varying degrees of euphoria. Depending of course, on how open you are, this curiosity may lead you to your ideal partner while on the road. But is it a gift or a curse? Will that nomadic love be your best chance at happily ever after, or leave you heartbroken?

At a birthday party last month I met Anna, a cute curly-haired redhead from Canada. I couldn’t believe the story she told me and how dreamlike it all sounded. A year ago while on a flight from Athens back to Toronto her neighbour initiated a conversation with her about the book she was reading. They talked for the entirety of the flight. He was heading to Florida where he lived. They kept chatting with one another on Facebook and eventually decided to meet up in New York. This is where their love story began. A year later they were engaged and will be married in a few short months. Did destiny put them together on that fateful flight? What if she had been reading a different book?

Falling in love on the road is universal. I’m almost certain you know someone with a love abroad tale, good or bad. Maybe you’ve experienced one personally.

On the flip side, ‘la vie en rose’ doesn’t quite work out for everyone. A dear friend of mine made the decision to move to Mexico – home to the friendliest of smiles and ever-delicious tacos. She couldn’t get enough of them, and soon, she couldn’t get enough of Diego either. He was wonderful and she told me the most inspiring and silly tales of their budding romance. Soon the stories turned sour, and their differences in values, culture and tradition soon began to show. They could no longer understand each other and their charming debut was a thing of the past.

Falling in love on the road is universal. I’m almost certain you know someone with a love abroad tale, good or bad. Maybe you’ve experienced one personally. You might even be in the middle of such an affair right now. 

Travelling is a blessing, as is finding love. It’s a blessing I wish upon all of you, to meet your love here or there. Perhaps you haven’t found it yet. You won’t be sure until it happens because as they say, “when you know, you know”. Be careful however of the risk involved in finding love on the other side of the moon. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you do.

1 Language

If you both speak the same language, this may not apply to you, but in the interest of living in the moment, travellers are often more open to lost in translation situations. A connection can happen with just a look, a slight touch, or a smile. Don’t stop in your tracks because of language barriers alone. You’d be surprised how fast you could pick up the lingo if you really wanted to, especially when it comes to being able to express yourself with your beloved. Sharing a second language in common helps communication even further. Keep your significant other’s family in mind too. If things get more serious, being able to converse with them will be very helpful indeed.

2 Cultural differences

The trickiest one on the list. We all have traditions and values that stem directly from how we were raised. We have our own culture as well as habits that we’ve carried from birth even though travelling may open our minds to include new ideas. Be aware that this new person may have a different religion, a different morning routine, and different thoughts on family, or differing values from yours. For example, faithfulness might be extremely important to you but not so much for your partner. This is important to know before getting serious.

It takes some time to fully understand your partner and with cultural differences, perhaps even more. If this is what you really want, you can’t give up at this hurdle. Things might not be easy, but if everyone involved tries their best nothing can stop you and your relationship will prevail. If on the other hand, you really are too different and can’t seem to find common ground, let go and find someone else. You can’t mould the person you love selfishly to what you want them to be, or it’s no longer love.

3 Shared vision

Where will you live together? In which country or town? Does one party need to give up their job to follow the other? How long will you have to stay apart before you can see each other again? Are you ready to embrace his or her culture? Religion maybe? There are so many questions that you have to ask each other and the answers should leave both feeling happy about the relationship. When two people meet in the same town where they lived all their lives, these questions won’t pop up, but as nomad lovers with a future, you will need to find out sooner rather than later if it’s possible to build a common path.

4 Your happiness

Don’t get carried away and lose yourself. If it’s you who’ll have to move over to join your partner, will you really be OK leaving your family and friends behind? Will you be able to adapt to this new place? Love is probably the greatest reason to do crazy things like changing your life completely. Just take time to think about what life will be like after you’ve taken the leap. If you feel like you’re making too much of a compromise, maybe you don’t want it badly enough. Also, remember that nothing is permanent; decisions made today can be changed in the future. Nothing is irremediable and solutions can always be found.

 5 Distance

Many nomad lovers face difficulties with long-distance relationships before committing to a shared location or calling it a day. I myself have been in this situation. The times we saw each other were powerful and magical, but we decided to put an end to things after a year of going backing and forth. Was it a lack of communication? Selfishness? Not prioritising the relationship? Perhaps our love wasn’t strong enough to transcend the Atlantic that separated us. I believe that real, deep love would have given us (me or him) that little extra, crazy push to take the step towards building a life together. Today, I know I was right to follow my instincts. If you are in this situation remember that communication is the KEY. Both of you should agree on the how (and how often) you want to communicate and most importantly, fix a day when you’ll see each other again. Knowing that day lies ahead will 100% help as you plan when you’ll find somewhere in the world to call home – together.

In the end, if your heart is ready to love, leave it open as you travel. There may be many beautiful souls along your way and one of them might just be for you.


This article was written by Sandrine Champagne, a Belgian entrepreneur currently living in Panama City, Panama. Follow her adventures on the appropriately-named BeYoa (Be your own adventure) and on Instagram. Club Elsewhere is a portal for adventures in life designWork with us here.