So you finally found your perfect travel buddy. You like the same things, you have the same priorities, your travel goals complement theirs. You don’t fight over anything — no fights over where to eat, not even over who uses the bathroom first. It’s effortless to be around them, because you know that at the end of the day, you have the same goal: to have the best trip ever.
Slowly, you realise a new feeling inside of you. A feeling no words can explain. A feeling so universal, yet so personal… but wait, are you sure it’s love? Let’s have science take over to see things deductively. Here are ten tell-tale signs that you’re falling in love with your travel buddy.
1. You stare at them more than at the view
Even with a breathtaking sight across you, you can’t help but stare at your travel buddy instead. Eye contact promotes the release of oxytocin, also known as the “love” hormone, which is why people in love are more likely to stare into each other’s eyes. If you catch yourself looking at your travel buddy way too often, then this may be a sign that you’re in love.
2. You want to travel more — with them
Studies show that falling in love triggers the brain to emit dopamine — the very same chemical found in cocaine users. This is why it’s easy to get addicted to someone you’re in love with. Upon your next trips, make sure to examine your heart and learn about your motives. Do you travel plainly for the sake of travelling — or are you travelling because you want to be with your travel buddy more often?
3. You think about them more than you think about your trips
Your trip is over, and you’re feeling hungover from the euphoria travelling gives you. You replay your favourite scenarios in your head — the time you woke up to catch the sunrise, the hearty local dish you tasted, the new adventures and places you explored, the rush you felt when you almost missed your plane. All of which, you realise, were unbelievably amazing experiences because you were with your travel buddy.
Another chemical your brain releases when you’re in love is called the phenylethylamine. It makes you think about a person over and over. It makes you replay memories you spent with that special someone.
4. You’re more concerned with their travel experience
We know true love to be selfless — when you’re in love, you value happiness other than your own. A traveller’s version of this is you prioritise your travel buddy’s experiences over yours, and you always make sure they get the best of the trip. You find yourself sacrificing things that you wouldn’t normally forego just for the sake of their experience.
5. Travelling isn’t as spontaneous anymore
Once upon a time, you lived for solo trips. When the travel bug bit you, you’d book a flight, regardless of anyone else’s schedule. But now, you refuse to travel without your travel buddy, so you aren’t as spontaneous anymore. You want to plan ahead so that you’re sure they can join your trip. You even take into account their travel interests when trip planning — again, their happiness is your priority.
6. You’re more adventurous
Suddenly, you’re open to trying anything your travel buddy wants to try. Research says that being in love pushes you to enjoy things you normally wouldn’t, as long as you do them with your object of affection. If you’re suddenly into eating worms just because your travel buddy has a special interest for exotic food, well, that truly says something, my friend.
7. But you’re also more anxious
Who can ever forget that iconic song by Hotdog from 1975? The lyrics go: ‘Di na makatulog / ‘di pa makakain / tigyawat sa ilong / pati na sa pisngi / sa kakaisip sayo / tigyawat dumadami.
Along with the confidence being in love gives you, bouts of stress and anxiety are also evident in those bitten by the love bug. There’s a whole lot of emotional instability involved in being in love, from extreme excitement to utter sadness. When you’re in love, your brain releases the stress hormone cortisol and you’re suddenly easily triggered by everything. This may explain why you’re more panicked and annoyed when you’re with your travel buddy.
8. You think they are the perfect travel buddy
In your mind, there’s no one who can compare with your travel buddy. You feel like you’re meant to travel with no one else but them. Heck, you may even feel like you’re ready to conquer the world! Suddenly, nothing and no one can stop you from travelling with your travel buddy.
Falling in love makes you feel powerful. It even leads you to believe that the person you’re in love with is specially made for you. Science says it may be the act of dopamine that controls your brain to focus on the “apple of your eye” only.
9. You let their lapses pass
Your travel buddy has a bad habit of being late, and you’re the type of person who’s always on the dot. They keep forgetting about your allergic reactions, ordering food you can’t enjoy. They keep cancelling last minute. But still, you’re convinced that no one can be as perfect as them!
Not only do you overlook the negative traits of your travel buddy, but you cherish their every little quirk. You make jokes about their forgetfulness or Filipino time. You even text them when something makes you remember their bad habits.
When you’re in love, there’s a spike in your central norepinephrine that not only prompts you to stay awake and lose appetite — tell-tale signs of the love bug — but also increases memory and attention. This is why you’re constantly reminded of your travel buddy even when you’re apart. And this is also why you smile every time.
10. You constantly plan future trips with them
We were made to long for an intimate connection with someone, which is why when we fall in love, we find ourselves planning our future around our love object. If you find yourself daydreaming about your future travels together during your spare time, then maybe you’re truly in love with your travel buddy.
It’s one thing to fall in love with travels. It’s another thing to fall in love with people. Before you act on your feelings, make sure to think things through. You don’t want to lose your perfect travel buddy over a wrong diagnosis of feelings. Remember — just like how travelling requires a good amount of responsibility, so does love.