In my 27 years of existence, I've traveled to two continents, 11 countries and over 20 cities. I would rather spend the contents of my bank account on plane tickets than designer handbags. I save my vacation days for three-week vacations to the south of France, instead of for couples' trips to Colorado.
I get judged for it.
My free bird outlook on life is shamed by society. Instead of wandering around the alleys of Edinburgh, people think I should be house-hunting in the suburbs. Thankfully, after years of searching, I've found someone who appreciates my zest for adventure, my passion for exploration and my love of travel.
Dating a girl who travels will be unlike any other experience in your life. She's smart, independent and stubborn, and she isn't afraid to go after what she wants.
She's the one who turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. She's traveled across the globe, and she appreciates the little things in life. She sees with her heart, not her eyes. She believes in the beauty of all things.
Here are nine reasons you should date a woman who travels:
1. She's fearless.
Well, at least she seems to be. She's the one who's always up for an adventure, and she's not afraid to go outside her comfort zone.
Instead of settling, she inspires you to take chances. She's the girl who will face her fear of heights and jump off the top of a 30-foot yacht in Croatia, just so you don't have to do it alone.
2. She's OK with being alone.
In fact, she embraces it. She uses the time spent alone to reflect on herself, who she is and who she wants to be.
She knows she will be lonely at many points in her life. Therefore, she opens her heart to embrace that loneliness wholeheartedly. She lets it in, feels it out and learns how to navigate life while flying solo.
3. She lives in the moment.
She doesn't waste her days stressing over the future. Instead, she spends them making the most of each passing second.
Her hours are spent living in the now, and accepting that everything happens for a reason. She's the woman who will live in the moment with you. She sure as hell won't spend her time stressing over hypothetical problems in the future.
4. She will never settle.
She won't settle for mediocrity in herself, in her relationship or in her life. She definitely won't settle for mediocrity in you.
She'll be pushy and demanding, and she will challenge you on a daily basis. She knows what she wants out of her life, and she goes after it.
Frankly, she won't expect anything less from you. Her ambition will inspire you and make you want to be the best person you can possibly be. You are better because of her.
5. She can handle anything.
She's gotten lost in the middle of the German countryside, gambled at the high-stakes table in Monte Carlo and communicated with a taxi driver in Prague through simply hand signals.
She's quick on her feet and ready for the curve balls life's bound to throw at her.
6. She's the one who cherishes memories and moments, as opposed to things.
She's become minimalistic after years of backpacking around the world. She knows the real treasures in life aren't the tangible things.
7. She's living.
She knows what she wants out of life, and she isn't afraid to go after it. She works a steady 9-to-5 job day in and day out, in order to build up her bank account and live her dreams.
She's not satisfied with herself unless she's breaking through her comfort zone and taking chances. She doesn't just exist. She lives.
8. She's independent.
She will never need you. She'll be with you because she wants to be with you, not because she needs someone.
Being a part of your life will be a choice she makes. She won't be forced into it because she's afraid of being alone.
She will never need you. But if you're lucky enough, she'll choose to make you hers.
9. She's an optimist.
Even on her worst days, for her, the glass will always be half-full. She's lived and immersed herself among cultures that are different from her own. She's open-minded, understanding and tolerant of other people's beliefs.
She doesn't take love lightly. She falls in love constantly, with people, places and moments. She loves fast and hard, and with her entire heart. When she falls for you, she'll love you with her mind, body and soul.
If you're lucky enough to be loved by a girl who travels, hold on to her. She's the one who will make you feel alive.
A version of this post was previously published on the writer's personal blog.