Dating a traveling man

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Sitting in the back seat of the stranger’s grey Subaru, speeding through the formerly war-torn Croatian countryside, I listened gratefully to Jeff – my travelling companion, for want of a more defined term – sat in the front, making small talk with the man in green fatigues who had picked us up at the roadside.He was telling Jeff that he worked in wines, but when he drove down the dirt track surrounded by barbed wire, it became clear something had been lost in translation. I was tired and dishevelled, but I never felt in danger with Jeff by my side – even when hitchhiking.I had reservations too – what if it all went horribly wrong?But just a few months earlier, I had given up any hope of having a ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ life, so now I wanted to go out and grab life.There was no plan with regards to our relationship either.We were both keen to keep things open, no labels or promises.Then, at some point it went from being his trip to being our trip; we’d only met a handful of times when we booked the tickets.

The idea of no baggage was Jeff’s – he moves through the world freely, and often without a plan, though he had been planning this trip for a while, mentioning it from our first messages.We’ve taken four more ‘no baggage’ trips, and each one continues to be an incredible adventure.It’s taught me that objects aren’t fulfilling but experiences and relationships (however spontaneous) are.Getting ready, I felt a heady mix of nerves and excitement – somehow I just knew my life was about to be turned upside down. That night, when he kissed me in a dive bar, it was the sort of sensuous, sweep-you-off-your-feet kiss that I had intended to avoid on a first date. Two nights later, I felt comfortable enough to tell him I believed there was something magic between us.I was doing it all wrong in terms of dating rules, but Jeff said he liked a woman who started a second date with a declaration of cosmic connection.

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