Why I chose being free over being in love


I've written about travelling before, a fair amount. But one thing I've never talked about is love. Probably because I don't seem to be the Nicholas Sparks worthy example of a romance protagonist - and I don't seem to get it quite right. I like to think that the lack of a man’s love in my life has become sort of a beautiful absence – so much that at times, I question if I’ve ever really truly loved. I've been on my own for quite a while now, and more often than not I've given the credit to not wanting a boyfriend as a result of moving around so much. Since turning 18, I've packed my life into my suitcase and moved to a new country almost every year, bringing me to pretty much all across the continent and the most different cultures and environments. Beachside, big city life, remote countryside - I've done it all, and my life has changed completely ever since. Most of all, my priorities on what I want out of life have changed. And nothing has been holding me back - Most certainly not a man. Understandably, it hasn’t worked out so far.

Don't get me wrong - I’m not distancing myself from love, from relationships, or from any kind of romance at all. If anything, I love love. But I guess I've always been pretty much cynic when it comes to love. I’ve never wanted to compromise my dreams, to change my plans for a man - to abandon who I was, in order to love him. To me, picking a person I love over the life I want always meant slowly degrading my sense of self-worth. Still to date, the thought of having to settle feels like a terrifying commitment, and would most likely lead me to boredom at some point. I’ve always found a quiet solace in my own company, and have learnt that it’s perfectly okay to be selfish, and to put your own needs and desires in life first. And while we’ve all watched movies and read novels that told us otherwise, love shouldn’t have to be the biggest compromise of your life. I don’t care how many novels try to tell us otherwise, you can’t have it all. But you should be able to have what matters.

At the end of the day, love is wonderful, worthwhile and most probably enriching, but it should never be a deadlock between the person and the life that you want – love just isn’t enough to make up for an entire lifetime of compromising your core values.
If you find yourself having to choose between your dreams and love, choose your dreams. Choose the world. Choose to travel. Choose to go. Love will always be there. People will always be there.If someone was to come into my life any time soon, I’m certainly not going to say no to an opportunity. But the man I end up with will not force me to sacrifice or compromise any of my dreams or aspirations – he’s gazing outward in the same direction as I am, and that’s exactly why he’ll be the man I end up with.


TravelCharline Catteeuw