Backpacker Love – When, Why, What.

When it happens, why it happens, what to do when it happens, and what to do after it happens.

The conversations I’ve had including my own and others experiences on falling in ‘backpacking love’ has taken place over lunch breaks, via Skype, a one to one with a brother or through drunken conversations reminiscing about how we are trying to justify our feelings, what happened and mostly, what went wrong.

Lets break this down to the whys, when’s, and what’s. This article isn’t the answer, its more a clarification and realisation that it happens, maybe again, and maybe to take these points into consideration next time you feel this kind of love coming close.

I think its an incredibly intriguing yet tricky subject. Backpacking love, hence its name, almost provides you with the natural act of affection, intimacy and connection in a heartbeat, something you may never have felt before, only for you to be reeling somewhere down the line. To be open enough to speak about it is a gift and definitely a good sign, as it shows you are happy that it happened, infact overjoyed it happened, are still interested in its uniqueness and even excited in a crazy way it will happen again.

When does it happen?

When you least expect it. Same as the real world. You could be high on life, happy with what you are doing, and sometimes you see that someone and you just know. Othertimes, it can take a trip together, chemistry build up after a couple of conversations, but when it comes, and hold on because it doesn’t half turn up quickly. Before you know it, you’ll feel that same feeling you can relate to that took a few months to build up with someone back home.

Why does it happen?

If you are backpacking, generally most people have money to spend, are somewhere ethey want to be, are happy, are anxious but a euphoric way, are outgoing, want to meet new nations and everywhere they turn something is physically, psychologically or spiritually new to them. If you are happy and you find someone who is going your way, maybe from a different part of the world, the accent, the words they use or even the slight different look maybe with an extra earring or styled top, we as humans we become curious. Curiosity added with the freedom we have backpacking, becomes forward and close. If you are feeling like this, you will be more relaxed to get close with someone however that may be as a friend, intimately for one night or more, you have a relief of no social pressures to influence you. You find something’s in common, you find something you want to do which they have, and vice versa. This huge bubble of interest grows, the mind is at ease, your walls are down and personality plays a bigger part than maybe it normally would. I have to admit, writing this gives me an excited feeling. It certainly is a giggling kind of happy. Its new, as humans, we connect. When you travel with someone, you eat, sleep, hike, travel etc with each other constantly. 2 weeks together is like 2 months together back home. You are on a timeless date.  If this situation occurred was at home, or somewhere where you are settled, in a routine, maybe the walls and distractions of modern life battle that connection, postponing it or blocking it out. Backpacking? Nothing stands in your way. If you are a romantic, you are pretty much done for. One more thing to be mindful is when your backpacking, you are a blank canvas to someone. What I mean is, the people see you, for you there and then. Whether it’s how you act or what you do.It isn’t based on thoughts on what you were like in high school, at work together or as a 19 year old growing up. You meet each other, completely unknown to one another in each other’s eyes, waiting to explore each others souls and create a sense of fate.



What to do when it happens?

My mind write now instantly thought of a variety of different ways to explain this one. This is from my experience only, so there is no right or wrong. I would say, go with it. If its something you are feeling naturally, instinctively, then do it. Your gut feeling is your best direction in life sometimes, your mind is on vacation and isn’t thinking about the wants, the do’s, the maybes, what if’s, future etc. If it feels right go for it and see what happens. It may be an in the moment thing that you cherish forever or it may be the start of something wonderful, if you are lucky that is. If you are very mind strong and think of you more so in your future and you know it would get in the way, then that’s what you should do if that’s where you are in the present. However, being mind right and ‘doing the right thing’ isn’t always the case, we are travelling remember, stressful or boring decisions are made for paying the bills or going to IKEA for house goods. I’ve had experience in both from one relationship. At first I went for it, only started out as friends with benefits, it turned quickly to love, but then I wanted to end it because I looked to my backpacking plans. For this instance, I kind of regretted it, because I looked at too many things in the future and things didn’t immediately pan out the way I planned. So there was regret there. The initial decision to go with it from a casual relationship to love was impossibly beautiful. The best I’ve ever felt with someone, when we were together. So, there’s pro’s and con’s. I would say go with it though if you feel it’s good.




What to do after it happens?

Based on if things end, you are going to a new continent, she’s going home. You are still bound by this Backpacker Love, the feeling of emptiness is ever present and you are wondering when will be the next time again. You are left reeling and the more you think, the more intense and difficult it becomes. Sometimes things may be over thought, and its your mind wanting it to be something it never was. However sometimes, you as much as it hurts at first, even months afterwards, you have to see it for what it was. If you guys were free to see others to, then maybe it was a ‘in the moment’ situation. If it was something you literally had everything in common even by the way the most intricate of reactions came around the same, you may have to think to yourself, do I go there or does she come here

Keep in contact; see what your plans are. The world is round remember. You have to realise when you go back to civilization of a working and routine based world, feelings regularly change. So it could of been an in the moment thing, something which you can always look back on and smile. However, maybe, just maybe, it may be one of them rare loves that despite both your life’s continuing, there is always that door you can re-open and take it on where you left off.



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