FOLF / Divorcing Your Freedom of Solo Traveling
You have probably heard about FOMO – the new and trendy – fear of missing out. You know, the one that makes you feel the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere. Anyway, when it comes to starting a relationship, the FOLF shows up. I call it the fear of losing freedom. And yes, I invented this term.
by DIANA KIJAUSKAITE
What is FOLF?
The FOLF symptoms may not show up for all, though. But there’s a big chance you can get it when entering the relationship if before that you were a real loner, a “confirmed bachelor” so to say (if you’re a guy), a happy single woman and an experienced expert of solo traveling.
Let’s admit it – traveling solo is a thing for some of us. You may call it a romantic trip with the whole world, a journey to meet our true selves or our destined adventure. Personal growth is just skyrocketing — the schedule set according to your wishes. Furthermore, nothing holds you back from meeting new people – when traveling solo, you seem more approachable.
2 + 2
The things turn around when two attractive solo travelers meet. Then there’s all the joy and pink sky, and the butterflies in the stomach faze. Entering the relationship means less stress, feeling understood, and loved by your partner; only it makes people happy and opens up the whole new set of layers to their life.
Naturally, this leads to changing the habits of traveling. The short weekend getaways or even the long-planned trips become your mutual projects. And also though you are enjoying the new way of moving and discovering, the FOLF symptoms may occur at this point.
There’s the sudden realization that the decisions from now on have to be made equal with your partner – that includes destinations, hotels, activities, waking up time, eating places, etc. You have to compromise. In addition to this – you have to share the moment. Sounds very egoistic, but remember those magical moments when you land in a new city, take a walk there and have your first cup of coffee – you drink those colorful minutes greedily, enjoying every second of it. It’s just a different deal when you are with somebody.
And yet we shouldn’t be afraid of changes in our lives as they usually are the right kind of changes. First, you see double the goodness of the place – as you both have your lists. Second, you always have a backup – if you feel sick or get injured, your partner is there to help you. Last, but not the least – you grow your relationship into a stronger and deeper one as you get to learn more about each other as well as about yourself in your partner’s presence. That builds more trust, understanding, and respect, the ingredients that strengthen your mental and physical connection.
Anyhow, I strongly advise not to forget the solo part: you will have your chance to do the Eat Pray Love thing (without the breaking up) if you feel the need of some single adventure time. After all, this is what makes us who we are.
P.S. Below I created a list of my personal recommendations for solo travelers (though there are millions more to be explored…):
1. Northern lights in Norway;
2. Switzerland by train;
3. Copenhagen on the bike;
4. Wild horses and whales in Iceland;
5. Costa Rica - pure, sustainable and happy country;
6. Tullips fever in the Netherlands (with Amsterdam);
7. A date with Gaudi in Barcelona;
8. Sauna in Helsinki;
9. Techno weekend in Berlin;
10. Malta - the entire island for yourself.