We live in a mobile, connected and fast-paced world. Through social networking tools (and dating websites like CatholicMatch), we can interact with people from other cultures with only a few clicks. But by filing onto a plane and landing in a new city or country, you personally experience life through the lens of a traveler – open-minded and innately curious.
Travel opportunities are endless, and singles, especially, have a unique opportunity to experience new cultures firsthand.
The U.N.’s World Trade Organization estimates that 1 billion people will travel internationally for the first time this year, representing a 4 percent increase from last year. We’re becoming more mobile, and it’s likely that singles are playing a part in that movement.
There are many challenges to singlehood, but there are also many benefits. Hoping to catch a last minute travel deal? No need to clear the plan with a spouse or feel guilty for shelling out a few hundred books. Want to use two weeks of vacation to backpack through Europe? Have your neighbor pick up your mail, and you’re good to go.
While many friendships and family relationships take a back-seat to marriages, singles can devote time to nurturing these important relationships during an impromptu road trip or relaxing at a tropical location. You truly get to know someone when you take them out of their familiar surroundings, and many times, singles have the flexibility to connect with friends and family in a whole new way while traveling.
Though most of us would likely trade the opportunity to take advantage of a 24-hour fare sale for a loving marriage and growing family, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the here and now, while hoping for the future. Many former CatholicMatch members like Stephanie Wood Weinert have urged current members to embrace their current relationship status while still searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right:
“I regret the huge amount of time and emotional energy I spent worrying about my future,” Weinert wrote in a blog post. “If I could go back, I’d do my best to utilize the awesome years of being single with a better attitude and more trust in God to take care of me.”
CatholicMatch contributor Mark Shea offered similar advice in a recent post, telling singles: “Take that time that seems to be wasted on not getting the thing you want, take it as a feature and not a bug. Use it for cultivating.”
So embark on a spontaneous road trip with an old friend. Plan a pilgrimage to your ancestor’s home country. Set off on that weekend getaway you’ve always talked about. Watch 4th of July fireworks in a different time zone. Explore the Rocky Mountains with fellow CatholicMatchers over Labor Day weekend. View singlehood as your passport to new experiences and relish in this unique opportunity to gather as many stamps as you can.