Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Alexandra, and I had an unexpected experience when I got the chance to travel out of the country. I told myself that when I earned my degree, I’d pack my bags and travel around France.
I had exactly 67 days in this beautiful country and decided to work part-time, eat cheese, see some dear friends and explore new places. In my mind, 67 days was nowhere near enough to see all I wanted to and so I placed a lot of pressure on myself to make every single day count.
I had no intentions of sleeping in or watching movies all day and I definitely did not entertain the thought of falling in love. I mean, how could I when again, I had only 67 days! Well to make a long story short, something I never expected happened: I fell in love.
The lucky guy’s name is Valentin! He’s French, incredibly picky with food but knows when to compromise. He is stubborn, but also sweet and basically got me all googley eyed for him, despite myself.
My journey with Valentin has taught me a few simple but memorable lessons about how to deal with the challenge of meeting someone special in a new country while still being able to enjoy the wonders of traveling. And here they are.
Honesty is the best policy.
If you’re looking to have a holiday fling, I see no problem with that. If you’re hoping for something more long term then by all means, go ahead! What’s important is that your significant other knows where you stand in all of this. Being open with one another will cost you nothing, it lessens the probability of hearts breaking and it’s simply the honest and considerate thing to do.
Don’t obsess about the future (live in the moment and yes it’s cliché but so relevant).
If you’re anything like me, it’s that I have a tendency to think too far ahead. The future often scares me so much that I sacrifice everything else in the process. I learned that it’s not worth the ordeal of worrying because we don’t even realize what we are sacrificing in the first place! So, live in the present, take it one day at a time, go out, enjoy, be cheesy, take long walks, hold hands, kiss in public, live, love, laugh and see how far it takes you!
Don’t count down the days.
I don’t even want to go over this. Don’t do it. Counting down the days sets you up for an expiry date. I highly suggest you throw this out the window and instead, countdown the days until your next date or when you plan to see each other next. Keep your thoughts geared towards things that are exciting!
Live without regrets.
Now is not the time to be kuripot, lazy, afraid or lame. When you’re on that plane back home, you don’t want to be looking back at a whole montage of missed opportunities and could-have-beens. You’ll be more upset by all the things you didn’t get to do—trust me, I would know! If you find yourself with a little lingering thought that tells you to do something and won’t go away, I suggest you follow it. The lord knows I’ve had my fair share of regrets.
Take advantage of technology but don’t overdo it.
This last and final advice goes out to all those who have decided to continue the relationship. Facebook, Whatsapp and all the other media of communication are going to be your new best friends (if they weren’t already). It may not be as great as being together in person (obviously) but it sure can help!
Leave each other messages, exchange photos, have Skype dates! Anything that keeps the communication flowing is always a plus. But, please do not fall into the trap of disconnecting from your life back home. You still have a life to lead and so does your significant other. Giving each other space to have your own lives will make your relationship healthier and happier.
Got anything to add? Post them in the comments!