Why I Did It:
I’ve always wanted to find a person who had the same sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, who would like to go on adventures and do fun things whether it is at home or somewhere far away. Most guys I meet however would rather just stay home and chill. At one point I thought maybe I found a guy who could be my travel partner in crime, he seemed adventurous and passionate about life like me. We had known each other for a few years and after a summer spent talking daily and a visit to his hometown, he invited me on a really exciting date, and I started to think maybe we could go on some adventures together. And then he ghosted me! I think ghosting to be the rudest thing ever, I would rather people just be mature and honest with each other. It’s OK if someone is not interested anymore, but be an adult and cancel plans so that person can get on with their lives instead of waiting around trying to figure out what is going and wondering if you are dead.
I wasn’t going to let my disappointment in not having found my travel partner in stop me from going on more adventures though, I thought, “Oh well, I’m going to keep doing the exciting things I want to do and have always done and the right person for me is the person who would like to do those things too.”
I had already booked a 200$ ticket to Ireland and Iceland and I came up with this project as, “Look at the awesome time we could have had together” but also also as a kind of funny joke dating advertisement – the right fun adventurous guy ‘could be here’ with me!
The right person for me is the kind of person who would want to be there, exploring new locations with me, sitting on the edges of cliffs in Ireland, and spotting glaciers and waterfalls in Iceland. It was kind of a way of putting it out there like, “hey adventurous fun guys, you could be here!” Just for fun. People I met while travelling with him and the girls in the Facebook girls travel group that I’m part of loved the foam-core guy so I made him an Instagram. I think a lot of people can relate because we see those perfect couples with amazing photos on Instagram and wish we could do that but just because you don’t have found the perfect travel partner yet doesn’t mean you can’t still do all those things and have a great time.
Travelling with a travel partner means you need to make compromises.
Since I was traveling carry on only, getting my foam core man around required to travel light in order to fit him into my suitcase. I had to remember to take him with me when I was leaving at 6 A.M. to get a bus touring around Iceland. I had to make sure he didn’t blow off cliffs or off mountains (he almost had an untimely death at an especially windy cliff in Iceland)
Taking couple selfies is really hard.
Taking selfies of yourself as a couple is really hard! Trying to hold everything in place and get a good angle and click the shutter button while you both are in view of the camera was pretty challenging. Even when I set up my phone as a remote and tried to use a cheap selfie stick trying to hold everything was tricky. Plus I was trying not to fall off the Cliffs of Moher, get blown over by the crazy Icelandic wind or get sopping wet from the waterfalls. Props to those Instagram travel couples who have all those amazing shots. I did not realize how much effort it takes to get them.
Getting the perfect shot is not as interesting as actually looking at what you are trying to photograph
I could have bought and brought along a tripod and gorilla pod and whatever other photographic equipment and accessories people use in order to get perfect Instagram shots. I could have got up at 5AM to do my makeup and hair perfectly before I got on my 6:46AM bus to my next location in order to look perfect. I could have brought an extra suitcase of clothes so I would look fashionable and coordinated. I did buy a selfie stick and I set up my phone to be a remote for my camera and tried some complicated setups to try to make the photos look good before I ultimately gave up and resorted to just taking snapshots with my phone. Because I realized I am not that interested in getting the perfect shot, where I and the landscape are all perfectly aligned and look amazing, I’d rather be looking at that landscape. I’d rather be hiking and looking over the cliffs edge at the wild ocean below and feeling the wind whip through my hair. It’s hard to do all that when my hands are full of photography equipment. It’s hard to enjoy what I’m seeing at all when I’m thinking about how to get it into a photograph. I didn’t like that feeling of needing to get a great shot at all and I realized that is not what I travel for, I’d rather not have the photos at all and be there in the moment instead.
There are actually a lot of really great travel partners out there!
I met really awesome fellow travelers in my hostel that I ended up booking tours and going out for great nights on the town with, had deep conversations with local people I met while going out to see live music at the pubs, met up with other travelers to try out Irish and Icelandic food. I may have traveled solo but I did not spend my time solo or feel solo. I felt even more connected because of the ease with which I found myself bonding with other and sharing experiences together. I made great friends in the process! I’ve kept in touch with them and have even been invited to go visit London by a nice guy I met from there.
It’s OK to admit you want someone in your life
I think there is a lot of pressure in society to act like we don’t want someone in our lives, like we are not looking for someone. We are supposed “to not need a man” and “you’ll find the one when you stop looking” etc. People are judged as desperate or pathetic or whatever if they admit they are actually interested in spending their time in the world with other human beings. Well scr*w that, I believe if you want something you have to go out there and be open to it happening. Which means you have to admit you want it! I may not need a man to have a good time but having someone to share that fun with would add something more to that experience. I am OK with admitting that yes, I want someone to share my life with and am open to finding someone fun, friendly, open-minded and curious who would like to travel with me but also like to spend our time at home enjoying life with the same sense of wonder and attention to the small things that we would bring to a foreign city. I’m not the kind of woman who is going to sit around waiting and hoping I just happen to meet the right person. I am all about being open to experiences and making things happen and I’m ready to experience the world with someone. And I think the best way to meet someone who is interested in living the same kind as me is to keep living that life but make it clear I have space in that life for others as well.