The Travel Bug and Why I’m Okay With Being “Too Picky”

Anyone else here tired of being told that the reason they’re still single is that they’re too picky? Yeah, I thought so. I’ve been hearing this line since the day I turned 21. Over the last 17 years, it hasn’t gotten any less annoying.

Lately, the criticism has been leveled at my desire for a mate who’s a decent communicator. Seriously, ya’ll, if I had a dollar for every guy I’ve interacted with lately who can’t hold a two-way conversation with a woman or who thinks that whatever is going on in the world of Facebook is more important than engaging with the person sitting right in front of them … oooooh, don’t get me started. We’ll just save that post for another day.

Another area where the “picky” comment surfaces? When I state my preference for someone who enjoys traveling. Now, I know that none of you ladies or gents know me personally, so you can’t know that every time I see photos on Facebook from my friends’ latest overseas jaunt, I have to pep talk myself out of a mild depression because I haven’t left the U.S. since November of 2013. (Seriously, though – WHY ARE ALL OF MY FRIENDS IN FRANCE THIS WEEK?!?!?!) To say that travel and exploring other cultures is a priority for me is an understatement.

So, why would I NOT include that on my list of “must haves”?

Besides, who doesn’t like to travel? You’d be surprised. I’ve come across quite a few guys in recent years who think there’s more than enough to explore right in their own back yard, so they have no desire to venture farther out. I even had one guy tell me that when you live in America there’s no need to go anywhere else because it would all be downhill from there. (Ummmm … what?)

Regardless of whether or not I’m deemed “too picky”, I would be hard-pressed to seriously consider joining my life to any man who doesn’t see the value in exploring the world. I’ve been flying over seas since I was 12. I have a “Top 10 to Visit” list that has 23 countries on it. Plus, I want the shared memories, the crazy stories and the photos to look back on with gratitude that we got to experience that place together.

Case in point – take a look at this note I received from Jim, who was the winner of the “Happy Couple” contest back in November 2014, after his latest trip to Peru with his lady love, Annette:


(photo used courtesy of Jim W.)


Living a life of adventure is one of the things that brought Annette and I together. We both love to travel and explore everything the world has to offer. Our recent trip has taken us to Machu Picchu in Peru, South America. Machu Picchu was the home for the ancient Incan civilization and built around the 15th century. It is located high up in the Andes Mountains at over 7,000 feet. It was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, and is now recognized as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

To visit Machu Picchu we flew from our home in North Carolina down to Miami and then overnight to Lima Peru. After a short layover, we continued on with an hour and half flight to Cusco. Cusco is a bustling city of over a half a million people and where most of the trips to Machu Picchu begin. Cusco is also over 11,000 feet in elevation and for those not used to it, the high elevation can cause dizziness, headaches and shortness of breath. Acclimation and hydration are essential in such conditions.

Upon arrival we set out early the next morning. We took the bus for about an hour and then boarded the Inca Rail Train for an incredible journey through the Andes Mountains. For an hour and a half we twisted and turned through the picturesque mountains along side the raging rapids of the Urubamba River, which is also part of the Sacred Valley.   Arriving at the bottom of the mountain, we boarded yet another bus and started our ascent up to Machu Picchu. Finally, after 30 minutes of multiple switchbacks and breathtaking views, we arrived at our destination.


(photo used courtesy of Jim W.)


Our first sight of the ancient ruins was nothing short of breathtaking. The massive complex is filled with steep terraces on every side and intricately laid stone throughout. It took over 12 years and an estimated 1,400 workers to construct Machu Picchu. Contrary to popular belief, Machu Picchu was never invaded by the Spaniards like much of the rest of Peru. According to our guide, the Incans who exchanged goods with Christopher Columbus and his men, also unknowingly brought back small pox and malaria with them to Machu Picchu. As their population died from these unknown diseases, the Incans believed their home was cursed, and the remaining inhabitants fled.

Today Machu Picchu is the largest tourist attraction in South America drawing over 3,000 tourists every day of the year. It was a dream come true for us to be counted among those visitors that day.

Once back in Cusco we toured the Temple of the Sun and strolled down the main street called Avenue de Sol. We also dined on some of the more exotic fare of Llama, Alpaca and Guinea pig, not to mention the local drinks of Pisco Sours and Chicha, the Peruvian beer. Guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Peru, and actually has a nice flavor to it. It is usually roasted with rosemary and other herbs and served whole over roasted potatoes. The presentation may not be appealing to many from the United States, but the meat was tender, moist and delicious!

Ew! LOL!

Ew. LOL! (photo used courtesy of Jim W.)

While the trip itself was nothing short of spectacular, sharing the experience with my best friend and girlfriend, Annette, made it all that much more special. I feel blessed that I can enjoy a trip of a lifetime with the woman I love. We plan on many more trips to come!

Am I the only one who sighed and let out an audible, “Awwwwwwwww!!!” at that last paragraph? Yeah, didn’t think so.

I don’t know about ya’ll, but I think these shared values and priorities are crucial to a successful, happy relationship. When the “too picky” critics latch onto my strong preference for someone who shares my love of travel, desire for communication, or commitment to faith, I gently – and sometimes not-so-gently – remind them that I have to live with the consequences of that decision, not them. I alone choose the areas I’m willing to compromise on.

How about you? What do your “too picky” critics target?

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