Guest Post: Travel – The Ultimate Dating Deal Breaker

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This week's guest post come from Scott Hartbeck of Worldwide Scott. Scott is a travel addict trying to make up for lost time. When he’s not dreaming about the St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup, trips to New Orleans, or his next bloody mary, he is dreaming up ideas for backpacking T-shirts and planning his 2012 RTW adventure.

Travel: The Ultimate Dating Deal Breaker

Dating deal breakers. We all have them, right? For those not familiar with the term, deal breakers are those issues and priorities that you simply cannot budge on in terms of your search for that special someone. My own unscientific research shows me the most common and seemingly most important deal breakers concern wanting children, religious beliefs, financial strategies, and political leanings.

For example, if you are all about a family and the person you are casually dating is a “no kids” kind of girl or guy, then that deal breaker will be putting an end to things sooner rather than later. Can you have fun for a while? Absolutely you can. Deep down though, you know the relationship will never get off the runway.

As a single guy who has been proudly bitten by the travel bug, I have stumbled into a new type of deal breaker I am guessing is not uncommon to the fellow travel addicted: the traveling deal breaker.

In addition to the criteria listed above, I have found that finding someone who is on the same page of travel passion is an absolute must and may possibly be more important then the others combined. Travel compatibility is huge! Do you daydream about seeing the world? Do the stories of exotic locales get your heart racing? Are travel shows “must-see TV”?

If yes, that is an amazing start, but, like finishing first on the initial leg of The Amazing Race, it is only that — a start on a multi-legged journey. It is the dedication to making those travel dreams reality that becomes the crux of the matter. It seems that a lot of people love to talk about how much they love to travel, but are more than willing to cast plans aside if need be and then be content with it.

This is the true deal breaker for the travel lover.

Sadly to the previous point, I have personally found the phrase “I love to travel” to be one of the most overused phrases in the dating world, and in life in general for that matter. Just click an online profile or ask a single at a bar what they like to do in their spare time, and I‘ll bet you that travel will almost always be listed as a first or second response.

Obviously at first listen, this strikes a chord to the dating traveler and may even get dreams of a double hostel room dancing in your head. But, If you are not on the same guide book page as far as making things actually happen and working towards those goals, much like the decision to have children, things are not going to get cleared for takeoff.

Now I will leave the “Can a Lonely Planet Girl Date a Let’s Go Guy?”, “Will a Hotel Girl and a Hostel Guy Last?”, and “Can a Flashpacker and Backpacker Find True Love?” blogs for another time or place. I just know that if you do not have travel as one of top priorities in what you want out of life and are not working towards achieving your travel goals, you won’t be a match for a real travel lover and it is time for that to be taken as seriously as other deal breakers are.

So, is travel a real deal breaker? Obviously I sure think it is. What do you think?


Visit Scott's site: Worldwide Scott
Follow Scott on Twitter: @BeenThereWear

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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30 Comments on “Guest Post: Travel – The Ultimate Dating Deal Breaker

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  1. Wow definitely a dating deal breaker! I could never date someone who didn’t have a similar interest in traveling. It’s such a strong passion for me that the idea of being with someone who doesn’t want to leave his own backyard or who just wants to lie on a beach in Florida for vacation just doesn’t appeal to me. Definitely as important as the kids/no kids issue.

      you definitely touched on EXACTLY the point I was looking for about the Florida beaches. Many times you meet someone, they say they “love to travel”. only to get disappointed that your idea of travel and theirs is not on the same page.

    This is SO true! And its not only about finding someone who enjoys traveling as much as you do, but also likes it the same way. I think I’m quite flexible and versatile in traveling and would need someone to be the same.

      Very good point! Not only does a love of travel factor in, but style of travel matters, too!

    Fair enough! My husband and I share a passion for travelling (we actually met while travelling) and I don’t think it would work if one of us wasn’t on board with it.

      I think especially if your dream is to travel long-term, or even just do a RTW trip, you have to be with someone who can understand and appreciate that desire. I always love stories of couples who met on the road!

    I think our ability to travel together was definitely something that helped me and my husband click better with each other, ever since meeting up for a whirlwind Egypt vacation, to Romania, Finland, Iraq, Malaysia, and now we’re living the expat life in Kyrgyzstan for the foreseeable future. It wouldn’t work as well if we didn’t have good travel compatibility!

    I hear you SO much!

    It got to the point when some of my friends said to me, “Hey, saw your latest post on Craigslist!” There aren’t too many people who will post, “Travel MUST be one of the most important things in your life!”

    I’ve dated a few guys who I’ve told about my travel dreams, to which they replied, “Oh yes, I’d love to do that! Sounds amazing!” But they never came up with it on their own. I need someone who not only wants to do it, but who has actively been doing it.

      So you are that person on Craig’s List who never responded to me? JK, A real point I was trying to make here, maybe not as effectively as I wanted though, was how hard it it so really “break through the clutter” of everyone who claims to love traveling. I would be willing to bet a beer that almost every response to your ad was in agreement with your criteria, but then once you drilled down more you realized their idea of travel was much different to yours.

    I can definitely find a lot of truth in this post. My girlfriend and I have been traveling together for almost two years now but that compatibility has found its limits. She’s ready to stop traveling for a little while and I’m keen to amp it up and do a whole lot more.

    I think, should I ever decide to couple up again, it will be imperative that she suffer from a similar level of wanderlust

      I can imagine how frustrating that could be, realizing that you don’t want the same things out of travel anymore. I mean, it happens with other aspects of a relationship, too, but I can picture it being especially tough to come to terms with if you’ve already been traveling for a long time together.

    definitely a deal breaker, it would be difficult to travel if the other person didn’t want to…. if the other person want a family and to settle down into a normal conventional life it is unlikely that you will be able to travel for 1 or 2 years.
    I think it is just like having common hobbies and interests – it just has to be something that you both want to do something about – it’s hard saving/planning etc not so much if it is just an “aspiration”

    I couldn’t agree more, travel (or the lack of desire to travel) is definitely a deal breaker! I have so much curiosity about the people and places I have yet to meet and see that I can’t imagine dating someone who wasn’t on the same page for long.

    I could never date someone that didn’t travel and hasn’t backpacked. That said, I have never run into someone I really liked that didn’t travel. I think I’m just attracted to a certain personality and that personality likes to travel.

    It’s so interesting to read all these responses! I can’t reply to all of them with agreement, because I’ve actually never dated a traveler. A desire to travel has become more important in recent years when it comes to deciding to date someone, but I don’t consider a lack of travel experience to be a deal breaker.

    My current boyfriend is still in college, and has never been outside the U.S. But we’ve already talked about all the places we want to see together when we have enough money, and I’m confident that we’ll make some of those trips happen someday. Plus, he’s super supportive of my travels and my travel blogging, which is so great!

      It sounds like he is on the same page, so that is great! I guess the proof will be in the passport!

    I cannot stress enough how important is is to choose a travel companion.

    And if travel is anything close to a serious thing in your life, finding a life partner is also a pretty big deal. Many people simply don’t understand why one would want to spend considerable amounts of money on things that are not tangible, like a house or a car. You have to find that one person that will not only get that, but also the constant need to be on the move.

    Also, I think that being a traveller says a lot about the kind of person you are: independant, ambitious, resourceful, at least. More often that not, travellers will couple with similar people who share these qualities.

    I think the biggest deal breaker is travel itself. I’ve met a few dateable guys when I’ve been traveling–but the problem is, I move onto the next city while they stay put. Now that I’m home for a few months, I know I won’t date anyone seriously–who wants to take the risk of falling in love when I’ll be moving to a different continent within weeks?
    Sure, eventually, I hope to find someone who is compatible with my travel style–but for the moment, I just have to accept that I’ve chosen travel instead of a relationship! (And I’m totally OK with that!)

      It’s awesome that you’ve figured that out, and that you’re content to be single right now!

      Last year, I had a similar plan as you – to stay single, and hopefully leave home soon enough for somewhere awesome. All male relationships that summer were supposed to be strictly fun, no strings attached. … But of course things like that never work out the way we hope, and I ended up being taken completely by surprise by a guy I totally did not expect to fall for. And then I got offered a “real” job, and the rest is history. I don’t regret it, though. It’s been the best year of my life.

      And I know some serious travel isn’t too far away, which always helps!

    Definitely my #1 deal breaker! I told my boyfriend that my biggest fear is that he’ll lose his passion for travel and he knows what will happen if he does!

    I completely agree, definitely a dating deal breaker! We’re also on the same page in the difference between saying you love traveling and really being committed to it. It’s a lot of work, a lot of money, a lot of energy, but the payoff – to me – is always so worth it, and it’s important to find someone else who shares those ideas!

    Side note: love that you’re obsessed with STL Blues Hockey, I’m from the 314 as well! : )

    I love this article! It absolutely is a travel breaker for any potential significant other, I knew my love for travel would pose a problem for any relationship but it wasn’t until a few years of being single while finishing my degree so I could travel that I realized that until I am on the road and traveling my status would remain single because (almost) everyone I meet before my trip isn’t as serious about making traveling a priority. It leaves me wondering what love will be like once I’m on the road…

      Well hopefully you have some luck on the road, Heather!

        I totally feel you on that Heather! Apparently I’m somewhat “famous” among my hometown friends because I’ve gotten a graduate degree, became a published writer and travel the world. It’s just my nature! 🙂 Hang in there.

    Hi there

    I enjoy travelling as I like to see different places, meet people from all over the world and learn about different cultures. So far I have been to eight countries outside my home country and I would like to visit more in the future. Recently I met a guy who said he had a crush on me. He said he wouldn’t mind visiting places with a very different culture or different architecture, but travel has never been a priority for him. He has visited only one other city in our country and has never travelled overseas, also he is currently unemployed. I am concerned about what if he tries out travelling and decides the travel lifestyle isn’t for him and I worry about having my lifestyle restricted just to be with him. For these reasons I am very hesitant to enter a relationship with him.

      There’s always a chance in any new relationship that you might have different interests than your partner. This is OK! My own husband likes to travel, but doesn’t always have an interest to go all the places I want to go. So he’s fine with me joining a tour or going on my own to the places he doesn’t want to travel. My case is a little different since I travel for my job, but I think if you find the right person, they’ll be fine with you continuing with your passion even if they don’t share it.

    Dear Amanda,
    I see that this article you wrote about passionately traveling being a deal breaker for dating someone, was posted ten years ago. I don’t know if you’d be checking the replies ten years later, but I will do so just in case.

    Travel has deeper levels that were not yet discussed by you or the previous responders. You were perhaps limited on the amount of time or blog space, but already thought about more pieces.

    You did mention the travel partners having an appreciation for cultures different from their own. This perspective taking might increase a traveler’s empathetic vision of “community” and how a person interested in giving service to others can contribute to bettering the quality of life no matter where you might live during your lifetime. Appreciating cultural differences and respecting people’s needs, different from one’s own needs, is a good quality for character development, as a benefit of traveling.

    Another factor is how invested the traveler is in reading and educating self about the places you plan to visit. Many travelers will book tours where there has been very little effort to learn about where they are headed. The tour guides handle much of the heavy lifting such as what to see, where to sleep, where to eat, etc. The traveler uses the time as a “vacation” from any research or decision making. A person that is well educated about the place(s) in advance of the travel has a lot to contribute to discussion before, during, and after the travel destination has been explored.

    The companion’s “travel energy“ is also a consideration in selecting a travel partner. Does the traveler wake up early to head out to explore, making the best of each day abroad, or does the travel partner want to sleep in, lay out at the hotel pool and essentially remain physically stationary because it is to be a “relaxing vacation” rather than a hands-on experience?

    Does the travel partner want to hike or travel distances to see many elements of the geographical region or spend time in shopping centers looking for things to purchase and bring home? Spending travel time texting friends back home, posting photos and comments on social media while losing valuable time being in the travel region? Types of things to see and do while traveling might differ.

    Does the partner have an exploratory and adventurous palate to try tasting different foods that they have never tried before? Or Does the travel partner look for the local McDonalds for meals that are familiar?

    Traveling with someone does increase companionship, safety; and decrease costs for lodging, rides, etc. by sharing. So finding a travel partner is worthwhile. Talking about “how” one travels is also a worthwhile component of your “getting to know each other” conversation.

    All of these travel purposes might matter. It might be after traveling with a few people that one discovers what they really hope to achieve from their travels and dating life.


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