“Do what you love, and the partner will follow.” I wish someone had drilled that into my brain six years ago when I was stuck in a swamp of self-doubt, and I thought I needed to stay put in a life I did not enjoy, do the online dating treadmill, and meet a man before my expiration date made me unattractive (read: “unfertile.”)
That is why I want everyone who is single (or coupled) and questioning the best way to live their lives to listen to this podcast. My friend Amy Scott, the creator of Nomadtopia, interviewed me. Whether you have dreams of a location-independent lifestyle or not, listen in. We are talking about living the life you really want to lead and trusting that vitality and confidence will attract the people you are meant to meet. As opposed to sitting around and waiting to meet the “right partner” and then going off to live the life you want to lead.
Amy Scott is a writer and coach who helps people to create lives of freedom and adventure they really want. Amy has been on the location-independent path for over ten years. Amy and I first met when I was about to move to Buenos Aires. We have supported each other along the location-independent and quirkyalone paths. (Amy is married and I’m not, but we are both quirkyalones.)
Amy interviewed me for her Nomadtopia podcast, which is all about “real people living global lives,” sharing stories of inspiration so you can live and work wherever your heart desires. We talked about my the life churn I’m chronicling in my new book (in progress) Wet that led me to these realizations about doing what I love first, my Quirky Tango Adventure in Buenos Aires, the importance of leading the life you really want to lead and questioning societal packages–for example, getting married or buying a house doesn’t necessarily mean “settling down” and being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean being joined at the hip.
Here are some of my favorite parts, and be sure to give the entire podcast a listen.
Reclaiming quirkyalone: it’s about being happy on your own firstSasha: “The limited idea of quirkyalone I was running away from was that it’s just about being happy single. There can be this overreaction about reclaiming singlehood where people then flatten out the concept and think it’s just about being happy single. There are people who are totally committed to being single and that’s wonderful and appropriate because that’s how they feel, maybe they change their minds or not, that’s great, but that’s never what quirkyalone was about.”
“The word alone has 2,000 meanings. For me ‘alone’ means an independence of spirit and you approve of yourself. Classically when I came up with ‘quirkyalone’ it was about being willing to going to a wedding alone as opposed to with a date because going with a date is social convention. You’re willing to live your life and it goes to the level of Nomadtopia. You’re willing to leave your life and go off on this adventure alone because that is what you really want to do.”
My biggest fears before going on a life churn
“That is not easy. I faced a tremendous amount of fear and self-doubt when embarking on this life churn. My biggest fear and I had a lot of fears was that it would mean that I would be alone forever. I had this sense that this meant I was choosing adventure over intimacy and that I would never want to settle down and no man would want to be with me because I was somehow not substantial or a settling down person.”
“Ever since then I have been battling back that limiting belief to come over to the other side to embrace who I am and what I want and just expecting that is a better way of attracting a person who is a match.”
“I’ve talked to a number of travel writers about this. I realized I wasn’t alone in this fear. A lot of people who are really dedicated to a life of travel have this sense that it may be counter to a long-term relationship, and I never wanted that to be the case. Having a really intimate relationship no matter what form it takes, it doesn’t have to be marriage and we don’t have to be together all the time, that’s really important to me. I didn’t want to pursue a lifestyle that would cancel that out. So it’s been a period of discovery for me to learn that it can be possible to date someone who is open to that. That’s been tremendously validating. I thought of your story as inspiration.”
Do what you love, the partner will follow
Amy: “I had a friend who told me when I was getting ready to move to Argentina indefinitely, she said, ‘I know a relationship is really important to you. Do you think this is a good idea? Maybe you should just stay put until you meet someone and then you can go travel together.’
That goes along with you saying you can’t have both or one is going to cancel out the other. At the time I was not meeting the kind of people who were likely travel partners. I thought, I just don’t think that is the right approach. I wasn’t willing to just sit around and wait. When is that going to happen? What if it’s ten years? I was not living the life I want to live in the meantime. That sounds terrible.”
“I certainly had lots of adventures in Argentina in the dating scene that made me question my decision. But it all worked out in the end.”
“We were talking about how important it is to just go for the live you want to be living and then the great thing about that is that the people you are meeting are aware of the whole package, they know these are your passions, these are your interests, this is how you want to live your life. Of course there can be compromise and shifts as someone else enters the picture, but to present yourself as this is who I am and this is how I want to live my life. Thankfully my partner Roberto coming in saw this as attractive and he was on board, he thought, I had a feeling there was another way and now I’m totally ready for this.”
Sasha: “You have to have a belief in your power to inspire or influence . . . if that person is not there. This life can be very appealing and take many forms, you guys travel together or it can also be someone who is stable with a home base for you, that can be appealing.”
Sasha: “In my travels I had many relationships. Often a deep profound relationship doesn’t have to be that long. We have a prejudice that a long relationship is the one that is meaningful, I had a lot of experiences that were extremely revealing and powerful and taught me a lot and are deep lasting connections with people in those countries. That has been powerful and there is something about time and some degree of being together to build trust. There is a balance I am still seeking.
At the end of the day the desire to experience the world and to feel truly alive and to take advantage of all that life has to offer is incredibly strong within me. I can’t let that go away for oh here’s the settling down thing that happens. That’s the way it normally goes, people think, you meet someone, fall in love and that desire to see the world will go away. I don’t see that as true for me. I may want to have more stability and a home base but I will want to continue to have opening experiences.”
Listen to the whole podcast conversation here and let us know what you think!