Follow your Heart through Travel

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It is extremely difficult for someone to write about love who isn’t in love at the moment. Trust me, I didn’t know how difficult until everytime I looked at the screen my mind was completely blank.  I’m a hopeless romantic (and, I hate admitting it) and I’m spontaneous which leads to a lot of impulsive decisions and heartbreak.  But, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that sometimes following your heart isn’t a bad idea.

Some might say that following a significant other somewhere isn’t a good idea.  I disagree.  Even if that relationship ends eventually, you may have just had some of the most amazing experiences of your life.  I’ve followed a few significant others to places and while that may come off as a little co-dependent, I don’t regret it even though all of those relationships have ended. There are many places I wouldn’t be able to say that I’ve seen if I hadn’t.

At the risk of making myself look like a complete fool, here’s some examples where I chose love over reason.  Before my ex was set to move to South Korea for a year, he planned to go to Wisconsin for three weeks to spend time with family and myself if I was able to go.  My employer at the time wouldn’t let me be off of work that long, so what did I do?  I impulsively quit and went anyway.  I wasn’t going to see the man I loved for a year…so if I had to find another job when I got back so I could spend three weeks with him, that’s what I would do.  I really enjoyed my time in Wisconsin too and got to experience it with several people who were from the area.  I also came home with my American Bulldog who became my best friend for the next five years.  When I came back, I was able to get my job back with the same employer.  Not saying that would happen in every situation because the chances aren’t likely, but it did that time.  Everything worked out fine in the end, like it usually does.

I, then, decided to visit him in South Korea for two weeks.  I got to experience Asian culture for the first time and had an amazing New Year’s Eve in Seoul–probably the best NYE of my life.  Then, while I was in South Korea visiting, we found out where his next duty station would be–Washington state.  So, what did I do?  When he came back from Korea, I quit my job again and uprooted my life to move all the way across the country.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking–“Ashley, you’re obviously not with him anymore, was all this moving around and uprooting your life worth it?”  Yes, it was.

I wouldn’t be able to say I’ve been to Korea, I wouldn’t have had the best dog a girl can ask for, and I wouldn’t have lived in Washington which means I wouldn’t have gotten to explore the PNW–a truly wonderful region of the United States and I wouldn’t have amazing friends that are now all over the country and world.  I wouldn’t be planning to go meet one of my best friends in Samoa, who I met in Washington, later this year.  I wouldn’t have friends from Denmark, Sweden, the Philippines, and so on had I not followed my heart.

So, am I saying you should just quit your job everytime someone asks you to go somewhere or am I saying you should just move across the country, or the world, everytime someone presents the idea?  Hell no.

Sometimes though, just sometimes, it’s okay to throw logic and reason out the window in exchange for love and new experiences.

Have you ever done something a little impulsive in the name of love?  Ever traveled or moved somewhere for a signifcant other?  Do share! 

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Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused on adventure, outdoors and wildlife. After spending five weeks in Southeast Asia, she returned home realizing shorter trips are more her style. Now she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville, with plenty of shorter trips in between. Up next | New Orleans + St. Louis Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function.

94 Comments

  1. Meagan | LifeOutsideOfTexas.com

    February 8, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    I met the love of my life while living in Korea. In fact, he’s the only reason why I’ve continued living here for 3 years (and about to start on the 4th).
    http://lifeoutsideoftexas.com/2013/09/16/how-i-met-an-australian-guy-in-korea/

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Aw that’s great Meagan! I’m seriously giving teaching English in Korea thought…heard great things from those actually living there!

  2. Alma

    February 8, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing! Very timely on my part. 🙂 I will be moving (with my kids) to US this year to be with my fiance. Sometimes, I ask myself if this is the right thing to do, but reading this post makes me pack now and go. 🙂

    As the saying goes, You’ll never know how it is unless you have been there 🙂 Thanks again Ashley!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Thanks Alma! This comment meant a lot to me…it’s hard to put personal things out there for anyone to read, but I was hoping to inspire someone that may be having the same thoughts. I hope the move goes great for you and your kids! 🙂

  3. Lunaguava

    February 8, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so my gut reaction is always to go and do whatever for the sake of being close to a person I love. Jobs and such just seem so… secondary (says the guy who quit everything to travel the world with his girlfriend). Lovely post, Ashley! No regrets!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      I figured you were a hopeless romantic! 😉 I think it’s fantastic that you quit everything to travel the world with your girlfriend. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  4. Dawn Kealing

    February 8, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Great post!! If it wasn’t for my partner I honestly don’t know if traveling would have been as possible as it is now! 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 6:47 PM

      Thanks Dawn! That’s great you have someone so supportive and that enjoys it as much as you do 🙂

  5. Samantha @mytanfeet

    February 8, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    I say there’s nothing wrong with following your heart, the last thing you want to do is be on your deathbed with regrets. You got to experience some amazing things, see new countries and meet new people. If I never took the plunge to move to Costa Rica with a boy I only saw every 3-6 months for 2 years, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life not taking that chance. Life is all about taking risks, some things happen for a reason and even if it didn’t work, you still got to see and do some pretty awesome stuff! How can you go wrong coming out with a bulldog? You can’t! 🙂 Great post Ashley!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Thanks Samantha! I say you made the right decision. I’m sure your life before was wonderful, but look at it now 🙂

  6. Pingback: Costa Rican Expressions of Love - Different Ways to Show Amor

  7. Jess

    February 8, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    I’ve made all my best life decisions on spur of the moment impulses. Of course, I’ve also probably made some major mistakes that way – but I try not to focus on those. 😛

  8. Henry Ranger

    February 8, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    You are a fine woman after my heart. I pose the love question myself.
    http://ow.ly/tqxzk
    Not sure if that helps, but I hope it do!

  9. Bianca @itsallbee

    February 8, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Such an honest post! You know what I am totally with you, I am not one for regreting things. There are always lessons to learn even in times when things dont go as expected. Its better to have gone and done all those things and travelling to Seoul and the USA than to have lived wondering would might have been.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Thanks Bianca! You’re exactly right. Live with no regrets…we don’t want to be 80 and wondering what could have been 🙂

  10. NZ Muse

    February 8, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    I love this! As long as you had great travel experiences while abroad I think it was well worth it. It’s hard when people follow their partners to totally strange lands where they just don’t fit into the environments and don’t click with the culture, but doesn’t sound like this was the case for you.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Thanks so much! I definitely had great experiences despite the status the relationship now 🙂

  11. The Dessert Engineer

    February 8, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Thanks for sharing this story, Ashley. You gave him the best gift, which was your time and presence. Along the way, you also gained beautiful memories. Almost eight years ago I took a chance with my husband despite disapproval from some of my family members due to cultural differences. I married him anyway, and I have had no regret.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      It’s great that you took the chance…something must be going right to last 8 years, right? Thanks Nanette! 🙂

  12. frankaboutcroatia

    February 9, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Very nice post, Ashley. I am romantic at heart and I believe that when we follow our heart, the rest arranges itself. It’s the most honest thing we can do for ourselves.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 8:00 AM

      Thank you! 🙂 Even though it may not work out, at least we will know that and not left to wonder.

  13. Jessica Wray

    February 9, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    Great post and all very true. I totally understand these feelings 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      Thanks Jessica! Glad I’m not the only one 😉

  14. Kelly

    February 9, 2014 at 5:16 AM

    Hey! I met my other half while travelling through Africa and moved from NZ to the UK to be with him. You are so going to love Samoa, it’s such a magical place – my sister and I had a fabulous time; here’s a link to my blog post http://www.aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes.com/travel/lalomanu-beach-in-samoa/
    xxx

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 7:58 AM

      I think the best place for us travelers to meet that special person is while traveling–then there’s no doubt that they won’t love it too. Checking out your post on Samoa! 🙂

  15. Calli

    February 9, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    Great post Ashley! I completely see where you are coming from 🙂 I think sometimes, in an effort to be seen as strong/modern/independent women we often shy away from following our hearts or doing something “for a man”. However if quitting your job, moving across the country, or bending over backwards for love is what will make you happy then you aren’t really doing it for a man, but for yourself 🙂 I can honestly say that traveling with Travis has been one of the best things I have ever done and although I’ve followed him to some countries that weren’t atop my own bucket list, in return I’ve had my eyes opened to another side of the world I might have missed out on.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      Thanks Calli! You’re right–I think women worry about coming off as dependent when making these decisions, but if they are making them because they truly want to and not because they feel forced, then it’s all okay 🙂

  16. Gabor Kovacs

    February 9, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    As a person who usually follows impulse, I found your story really touching.These are the experiences that you will never ever regret, and you always know when it is worth risking! Thanks for this lovely post!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Thanks Gabor! Following impulse can usually lead to the greatest things.

  17. Nancie Lee

    February 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    I’ve never moved with someone, but if I had, I know I would feel the same. Sometimes you have to take a step and let the chips fall as they may. Regardless of the result, I believe looking at the positive you gained from an experience as growth. Thank you for sharing Ashley!

  18. Angela Travels

    February 9, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Great post! I do not think you are a fool at all (did I mention I just moved to the PNW and quit my job to follow my boyfriend?). It is great that you are positive about the situation. Keep you head up and do not change who you are 🙂

  19. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    February 9, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    The one and only reason why I’m living in Malaysia now is because I followed my love over here. We have 3 kids together, so there was absolutely no way I wanted to just stay behind and be a single mom. While I was at first quite hesitant about uprooting the family, it’s turned out to be a gazillion times more fabulous than I could have ever expected. Hmmm… you’re making me want to check out South Korea.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      That’s great Michele! You make me excited about coming to Malaysia later this year so we’re even :p

  20. Tara@Gypsy Shutterbug

    February 10, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    I am a big fan of heart following. It doesn’t always end how you envision it will…(something that most of us-especially the more impulsive among us- have figured out), but it always brings other things that you would have missed if you hadn’t taken that particular path. And lots of times those ‘foolish’ moves are just part of the journey on the road to getting where you need to be. You know the old saying…’you’ll regret what you DON’T do, not what you DO’. I went rushing off to Mexico after a hombre I just started dating and 2.5 yrs later I’m still here and he is now my hubby 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Now that’s a happy ending Tara! Good thing you followed your heart 🙂

  21. Brittany

    February 10, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    I did move across the country once, but not for love. Thankfully I’ve always been able to find love close to home 🙂

  22. Cassi

    February 10, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    I can’t imagine moving at the drop of a hat like that.

  23. Bridget McGahen

    February 10, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I think really logically about stuff most of the time. I admire your spontaneity, but I don’t know that I could practice that myself. I think I would be a nervous wreck trying to figure out how I was going to get another job when I got back. And then I wouldn’t even enjoy the trip because of my stress!

    Happy SITS Comment Day!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Nothing wrong with being logical Bridget! Spontaneity while great most of the time can still get me in trouble 🙂

  24. Bev

    February 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Shortly after my (now) husband proposed to me, he brought up the idea of quitting our jobs to travel for awhile. My initial reaction was “No, that’s crazy!” but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to go on this crazy adventure together. It’s been two years since that awesome journey and I’m so glad we did it. I think it really solidified our relationship (if we could spend five months together, nearly 24/7, then we could survive anything!).

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      That’s great Bev! You’re right…if you can be with the same person 24/7 while traveling, you can usually make it through anything.

  25. Ashley H

    February 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    Stopping by from The SITS Girls to leave some comment love! 🙂
    Great post! I’ve made some of my best life decisions on a whim — also, admittedly, some of my worst lol, but I choose to focus on the good that came out of those decisions on both poles. I say, you only live once, and if your heart says, “This will make me happy”, then go for it — whether it’s a career, love, moving to a new place, of even a new pair of shoes. I think the worst thing, by far, would be to look back and see a life full of regrets.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      You are so right Ashley! If it truly will make you happen, go for it!

  26. Ashley

    February 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Your story is awesome! I fully believe in following your heart because you are going to learn from every experience you go through in life. If you heart is telling you to quit your job and move with you significant other, than do it. But if you truly know the relationship isn’t worth the move, then don’t.

    Great post!!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Agreed Ashley! Too many people give up great things because they don’t think it would be accepted…it’s a shame. Thanks! 🙂

  27. Brittany

    February 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I’ve never lived away from the city I was born in & I can’t say I’ve ever done something like this for love, but your story is amazing! I hope to travel one day, we’ll see.

    Visiting from SITS. Happy Monday!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Thanks Brittany! Everyone should get a chance to travel, I hope you do! 🙂

  28. April Mims

    February 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    I love that free-spirited attitude! I prefer stability in my life but really admire people who go out and make the most of life!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Thanks April! Nothing wrong with stability at all. Everyone needs to do what’s right for them 🙂

  29. Brandi

    February 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Traveling is worthy of great love! Keep on, you will find it! Happy Vday & thanks for the lowly post. <3 #SITSblogging

  30. Ashley

    February 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    I love your take on this. I’ve made a few spontaneous decisions and I don’t regret any of them. They were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

  31. Caitlin

    February 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    I love this!! I feel like so often when women decide to travel the world they also decide (and are very vocal) that they don’t believe in love or are closed to te idea, and it’s so amazing and refreshing to read YOUR perspective, that love actually pushed you to travel places you otherwise would never have gone! Such an awesome story!

    (I’m in your SITS comment love tribe! I’m so happy too because I LOVE your blog!! I’m following you on your social pages too!)

    xx

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      You have a great point Caitlin. A lot of women who travel alone also choose to be alone. I just hope to find someone who loves it as much as me 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet comment–can’t wait to connect with you more 🙂

  32. Becki

    February 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Sometimes you have to take that risk & like you say not every time but when it feels right. Even if you spilt up he can’t take away those life experiences you had when with him & visiting new countries is always a good thing. Coping with the Big C – The Sits Comment Love Challenge

  33. Ashley @showmeashley.com

    February 10, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    In 2011. I went on a whim to drive down and meet a guy I had been talking to a year. ( Went to my High school but we were 4 years apart so not friends then) a few months later I got my first job out of college 30 miles from where he was stationed. Married. And now we go wherever the military tells us. I was so scared to move to another state away from all my family and friends but I couldn’t imagine my life turning out any other way now.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 10, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      Thanks for sharing Ashley! It’s amazing what will happen when we listen to what we want, huh?

  34. Becky

    February 10, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    I would have to say the only spontaneous thing I have ever done is move to Michigan without finding a job prior to the move. I guess that’s not too spontaneous though 🙂 I love to travel, but haven’t been too many places. I love reading how much you have traveled & haven’t regretted any of the decisions you have made in the process – kudos to you!

    THanks for sharing!

    Stopping by from The SITS Comment Love Challenge

  35. Cate

    February 11, 2014 at 3:12 AM

    I’m stopping by from the SITS GIRLS comment love! Wow! You are well traveled! Good luck in your planning process!

  36. Carmen

    February 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Ah! I’d love to hear more about your travel experiences.

  37. Chan

    February 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Love this. Everyday I battle with the very same thing not for a guy though, but to follow my heart and uproot myself from life return to the places I visited for the first time last year because ever since I have not been able to get my mind off of the beautiful wonders of being there or stay at my job and be safe…I admire you honesty and that will to actually follow your heart no matter what….my heart is pulling a stationary me right now…

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Thank you so much Chan! I hope you figure out what you need to do as well 🙂

  38. Caroline @GRaphicDesTtus

    February 11, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    I can imagine moving at the drop of a hat but not for a bloke, I’m afraid…

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Understandable. Not everyone is the same or the world would be a pretty boring place 🙂

  39. Carla

    February 11, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    If we spend our whole life playing it safe then there isn’t much to experience. I think it’s awesome that you can look back on these memories and see all the good even if the do involve an ex.

  40. Barb@embracingthesecondhalf

    February 11, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Wow! What a cool perspective! Being a parent, if my daughter wanted to uproot herself for love, I’d probably be less than supportive. But you bring up some good points. I’m totally behind traveling as an awesome experience. My husband & I are headed to Europe for 3 weeks lugging our backpacks as we explore. We always watch House Hunters International to learn of new places.’there are a lot of young people who do the teach English thing overseas (I keep encouraging my daughter to try it)!& seem to love it. I say go for it!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Thanks Barb! I plan on doing the English teaching thing as well. I hope your daughter gets the chance!

  41. Becca @ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

    February 11, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I’m a southern girl with a gypsy soul, so I’m excited to find a kindred spirit. I’ve moved across the country to free my heart from a bad relationship, so I guess you could say it was a crazy move. It was totally worth it and brought me to live in a beautiful place and opened my heart to meet the love of my life. Best move ever.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Thanks for sharing Becca! I’m glad to find another southern gypsy soul as well 🙂

  42. Becky Smith

    February 12, 2014 at 4:01 AM

    I admire your adventuresome spirit! The only thing worse than not doing something is to live with the question of “what if?” One of my favorite quotes is, “To live and not travel is like buying a book and reading only one page.”

    Enjoy the journey!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 12, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      I love that quote as well 🙂 Thanks Becky!

  43. Serena

    February 12, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Aw, great post!
    And I totally agree with you: sometimes you just need to find the courage to follow your heart, and the path will always bring you something memorable. Maybe it’s something different from what you were hoping (the relationship unfortunately ended), but still it has brought you great memories and experiences!

  44. Carrie

    February 12, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Love your spontaneous, adventurous outlook! I need more of that myself! Stopping by from SITS.

  45. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    February 13, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    I am a hopeless romantic so I loved reading your story, Ashley. You’ve had some very great returns for all those leaps of faith you took and it looks like they were worth it. I took a chance on a long distance relationship and moved back to California and I’m still married to that guy 13.5 years later and counting 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 13, 2014 at 1:32 AM

      Thanks so much Mary! I’m glad your move was well worth it 🙂

  46. Erica

    February 13, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    One of my 2014 goals was to travel more. So many things to see and do!! Great post and wonderful site! #SITSblogging

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Thanks Erica! I hope you succeed in your goal!

  47. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    February 14, 2014 at 4:29 AM

    What a fabulous post! In this day and age where so many people can be cynical about things, I’m still a hopeless romantic at heart and love reading stories like this! I think it’s a great approach to follow your heart 🙂

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Thank you Shikha! It’s great to meet other hopeless romantics 🙂

  48. Jess @UsedYorkCity

    February 14, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    It sounds like you walked away from the relationship with a host of new and exciting experiences as well as friendships, so kudos to that! And a most happy Valentine’s Day to you!:-)

    • Ashley Hubbard

      February 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Thanks Jess! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too! 🙂

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