Date a Girl Who Stays at Home


If you ever listen to advice on dating, never accept advice by someone telling you whom you should date. Recently, I read an article suggesting girls should date a boy who travels. This post was well written and romantically inspired, but outrageously dumb. Yet, it struck a worldwide chord of nostalgia with any girl who ever watched The Princess Bride and fancied Westley as a perfect suitor. If you don’t remember, Westley was the simple farm boy who represented loyalty, faithfulness, and the comforts of home before being forced to assume the identity of the Dread Pirate Roberts – a guy who romantically transversed and mastered the world.

What girl wouldn’t want to be rescued by an exciting traveler who provides the familiarity of home while simultaneously saving her from her own mundane existence. Maybe girls should check the fate of another women who gave her heart to a traveler – Sussanah from Legend of the Falls. Do you remember her? She fell in love with the sexiest incarnation of Brad Pitt to ever grace a movie screen – Tristan. Tristan’s whims for traveling, his unsettled heart, untamable spirit, curiosity of the world, and love for another girl who stayed at home eventually drove Sussanah to suicide. While sexy as hell, Tristan certainly demonstrates that boys who travel don’t always make good boyfriends.

According to the information from “Date a Boy Who Travels,” I compiled a list of girls who should not date boys who travel.  This list is not to be taken seriously, I’m merely poking holes in the whimsical logic of the author.

1) A girl who hates traveling. By traveling, I mean roughing it all the time and getting food poisoning – this is the only “real” traveling.

2) A girl who doesn’t like boys who have pictures of beer on their t-shirts since nothing screams mysterious traveler like a “singlet” of a third world beer company.

3) A girl who enjoys vacations or staying at resorts – feel guilty if you enjoy staying at a Sandals in Jamaica or a resort in Hawaii.

4) A girl who likes boys with a picture of his family on his laptop as opposed to rolling hills, beaches, or stones left behind by an ancient civilization. If he has a picture of his dog, he’s also out!

5) A girl who likes a man who pursued his career before traveling – if the boy became a doctor, lawyer musician, or engineer before traveling, he’s no good and probably not interesting.

6) A girl who thinks a nice watch says a lot about a man.

7) A girl who wants a diamond ring when she becomes engaged.

8) A girl who doesn’t want to hear a boy’s heart race as he talks about the exotic females he met in distance lands.

9) A girl who is secure in her faith and doesn’t believe that holding convictions is the same as intolerance.

10) A girl who isn’t disappointed if her man is fighting for a singular goal.

11) And a girl who doesn’t always think having the curiosity of a five year old is a good thing.

There are, of course, other obvious factors the author ignored when romanticizing about her dream boy who wears plaid shirts and reads National Geographic magazines for fun. Is the boy loyal? I’ve met plenty of wander-lusting men who are also women-lusting men. Is he an asshole? I’ve met plenty of travelers where my “see you laters” could not be fast enough. How about security? The author mentioned traveling men know how to budget because they live out of a backpack. Do you know how many travelers are horrible with personal finances? Just because someone lives out of a backpack for three months does not mean their financial house is in order or that they are good with money. If my sister had ever brought home one of these travelers I have encountered over the years, my dad would kick his ass straight out the front door.

The author also gives her traveling man the trait of relishing home. I assume this implies not just appreciating a flush toilet or a home-cooked meal, but also having a good relationship with his family, which is important to many girls. Truth be told, not all travelers appreciate home or their families.

Date a Boy Who Travels bothers me for two reasons. First, it destroys the sense of independence that women strived for over the last century. If you need a boy to open you up to the wonders of the world or traveling, you don’t deserve this boy. Secondly, this article is nothing more than a personification of one girl’s perfect man bottled into the mystique of a traveler. It’s the perfect formula for an article luring romance-starved readers, but it falls short of reality.

Can we please stop giving into false ideas of romance? The right person for you may be someone who can share stories of his visits to the ruins of the Incas or the time that snake almost got him in Borneo. Or, he may be the boy who grew up alongside you, never traveled, loved only you his entire life, and knows exactly how to make you smile on a rainy day.  There is no formula for the right person.  Let’s stop pretending one exists.

Traveling is awesome and I encourage everyone to do it, but there are interesting people who travel and interesting people who stay at home. Despite the groovy-cool people I’ve met living abroad, the most interesting people in my life are those who remained home. Traveling makes people better and broadens our perspectives, but ultimately, traveling does not define who we are. Traveling does not mean an individual is funny, honest, caring or even interesting.

The author gets it backwards in the end. She says,

“And if you can’t find him, travel. Go. Embrace it. Explore the world for yourself because dreams are the stuff reality is made from.”

I advise you to not waste your time waiting for or finding the boy. If you want to travel and experience the beauty of this world yourself, then go travel. You don’t need to find him first. Of course, if your heart really yearns for a traveler, the best way to meet a boy who travels is to travel yourself. As your heart is enlivened from your own journey, I hope you’re lucky enough to meet the person whose heart is heading for the same destination.

25 thoughts on “Date a Girl Who Stays at Home

  1. I’ve gotta say, as a “boy who travels,” your list is exactly the kind of girl I want to stay the hell away from me, with the sole exception of the watch thing, I have a great looking knockoff I got while backpacking in SE Asia. I think it goes without saying, Brent, that finding a person who travels is not in-and-of-itself enough to base a relationship on, but I don’t think the writer has to say find a person who doesn’t beat you for people to know to add that to the list. However, the idea that there are certain traits and characteristics shared by many people who travel is also not far fetched, and the writer of this article you’re referring to did a pretty scarily job of listing them. And for travelers, traveling does define who they are.


    1. I think you misunderstood my point but I appreciate your response. My problem with the article isn’t there are some good things about people who travel, it’s that it’s a candy shop list of traits she finds desirable and then she attributes them all to traveling. That is false.

      While travelers may identify themselves as travelers, it does not define if they are honest or good people. I think we just misunderstood each other. I’m a photographer and it defines a lot about me, but it doesn’t specify my values or character traits.


      1. I get that, but I just think that a lot of the points you bring up in your article should go without saying. Is she generalizing? Sure. But so are you. I’ve never worn a singlet in my life and dont own anything with a beer ad on it. But there is nothing in this world that relates to people that is 100%, but if people don’t understand that and need to have everything caveated for them then they’re truly an idiot and i don’t know how anyone is every supposed to write something that’s enjoyable to read, Every other sentence would need a footnote. So do you have to mention that some people who travel also cheat and that you shouldn’t date those travelers? I don’t think so. Likewise, does it have to be said that there are good people to date who don’t travel? No, I think that’s equally as obvious and un-noteworthy. But more the the point, i do think traveling is a defining quality in a way most things are not and that the poeple who do it, really do it, are more easily generalized than a lot of other groups of people. I also don’t view her article as setting women back. To me it was obviously targeted towards women that don’t/haven’t traveled, otherwise they would already know about these kinds of boys. Regardless, it ends by encouraging them to travel on their own.
        Anyway, just throwing in my two cents because, like I said, I loved the article and half the fun of blagging is generating discussions.


    2. Also, you’d have a problem with number 4? Did you really read anything. I love girls who travel, but my point is I want a girl who travels because she wants to travel. I don’t want a girl who travels because I inspired her to travel.


        1. It wasn’t meant to be an ideal girl, it was just poking fun of the original article. For most women, they can identify with one of the characteristics.

          A girl should travel without the need of a boy to inspire her! I definitely think the original robs women of some independence.

          But c’mon—when she want on to fantasize about the proposal, marriage, and grandchildren… it was a little too much.


  2. I think you’ve written a great article, Brent. From experience, you’re fairly correct in your list. At any rate, I agree with your assertion that one should travel and improve one’s self before attempting to seek satisfaction from another. Well said


  3. I agree with your point, Lena’s article is too focused on dating a boy who travels as a way of inspiring the significant other, or leading them to something worthwhile (since they can’t do it themselves?).

    But hey, I still say date a boy who travels, if that’s something you do. You can tell them about your own trips and get questions/interest in response, as opposed to blank stares.


  4. The article you critique is a pile of sentimental horseshit. I’m a hardy traveler and am lucky to have married a woman–Korean at that–who loves real travel, but there is something disingenuous about the whole, cumbaya affair. I’m glad you went after it. I was thinking of doing the same.


  5. Agree with tharp that it is sentimental but not entirely horseshit. I liked this part: Where she says the guy would

    ‘ competitively ask about the craziest thing you’ve ever done. Tell him. And know that he’ll probably win. And if by chance you win, know that his next lot in life will be to out do you. But then he’ll say, “Maybe we can do it together.” ‘

    I’m sorry, but that just sends me. The urge to compete and win overcome by the urge to create significant shared memory, a piece of unique experience no one else will ever take away. Guess I’m a sloppy romantic at heart.

    The original essay starts with ‘date a boy who will’ and ends with ‘marry a boy who’ … so that says something about the author, that she has thought that far. Your reaction doesn’t go that far, though.

    I’m just saying, the ultimate goal of romance is to be the cute and boring elderly couple sitting by themselves in the restaurant, either finishing each other’s sentences for each other or not saying a word because they are so close in their lives and their hearts that they know what the other will say without need or the bother of making a word spoken. Doesn’t sound all that attractive when I describe it, but … well, that really IS romance. What I’m saying, it’s what we are working towards.


    1. Also, I don’t think people should wait for others to be inspired. It’s much better to fulfill your dreams, and meet someone along the way. Not only is this “ending” happier; it’s realistic. We can’t control who we meet or if someone loves us, but we have much more control over accomplishing our goals.


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