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people often ask in response to hearing about my perpetual solo travels.The brutal truth is that yes, it’s very hard to have and maintain a long-term relationship when you travel.When it is time for someone to leave, the relationship ends. People travel to explore the world for themselves, which is why so few people change their plans, even after they meet someone.Bonds form very quickly on the road, whether a friendship or a relationship. It’s a big step to change your whole trip around or stop it completely because of someone else.But what makes those relationships work is that eventually, someone moves. But someone changes their life — and you need to be ready to do that.Someone needs to say, “Ok, I’ll move to your place” or “Ok, I’ll go with you to that country.” Someone has to cede the wheel. While a lot people wish to find that special someone while sitting on a beach in Bali or exploring the streets of Paris. However, the realities of your route, timetables, or flights often get in the way and it becomes much harder to really keep things going. You are going right, they are going left and neither wants to go the other way. What I call “destination relationships.” You meet someone, you hit it off, and, for that place and time, you are together.Without “life” getting in the way, people become instant best friends. You don’t think about tomorrow or the person’s past. That puts a lot of pressure on the relationship, and, most of the time, no one ever wants to think I’m a believer that if things are meant to be, they will work out.You simply enjoy each others’ company for as long as it will last. Maybe it’s a few weeks up the east coast of Australia. If you meet someone and it’s meant to be, it will work. Because if you both feel the same way, you will make it work. Travel romances are like all other long-distance romances – hard, challenging, and, sadly, with a horrible failure rate.
I’ve studied the romances and relationship patterns of thousands of people for three decades, and I’ve heard many of them talk about that wild, out-of-control feeling at the beginning of a new relationship — you know, when you can’t eat, you can’t sleep and you can’t get anything done because you’re constantly thinking about this person. I bet if I asked you to close your eyes, no matter your age, you could remember that powerful and amazing feeling. But when we’re in that heightened arousal state at the beginning of a romance, many of us wonder: “What am I feeling? ” After talking to hundreds of couples, I’ve come to believe there are four signs that differentiate love from lust.I stayed at her place in Brisbane and we met up again in Amsterdam the following year.Then there was the Austrian girl I dated while living in Taiwan. In the intense forge of travel, romances spring up rapidly.When we’re on the road, we’re often our best—or at least our most exciting—selves.For a brief time in our lives, we’re people straight out of personals ads: curious, adventurous, full of new ideas and thrilling plans.