Americas

Being a Stay-Girl

I have lots of experience with being a Go Girl. In fact, this internet magazine is now nearly five months old (celebrate!) and going strong. I am thankful to our thoughtful writers and our enthusiastic readers. Together we have built a wonderful community that I am so proud to be a part of.

Yet what I have found is that the magazine has not only been about travel, and women doing it– it has been about growth. The beauty that comes from taking chances, accepting risks, and pushing forward. Oftentimes growth like this comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone –and what better way to do that than by traveling to the unknown?– but as I am growing, too, I am also slowly learning that traveling to the unknown is not the only way we grow.

Sometimes you learn a lot by staying put, too. It’s simply being proactive that really makes a Go Girl unique. Of taking her circumstances by the reins–wherever they may be.

Getting M's gear ready to go

We already know about Marvin, the best friend slash ex-boyfriend who moved away for Marine Corps-related training. Sometime between my getting back from São Tomé and his deployment we thought it was a good idea to get back together, to give distance a big F-you and to just give it all one big shot. So now Marvin is in a country far far away while I am the loyal girlfriend back home. He gets to be the Go Girl while I am the Stay Girl, a whole different character with a whole different definition.

Being a Stay Girl, ie, the woman that is independent, adventurous, and on the homefront, and especially (but not necessarily) while some large connection to her like a boyfriend or family member or best friend is out in the Big Wide World, is new for me. I never thought a self-proclaimed Go Girl could also be a military girlfriend (aren’t military girlfriends supposed to be inside the home, knitting blankets for hubby and pining away and writing him perfume-scented letters until he comes back?). And yet, being a military girlfriend or go girl or stay girl or whatever you want to call it isn’t that different. You’re still in new territory, though this territory is more mental and emotional than physical. You still have enormous fears about the unknown (though they are probably entirely different fears from one another), and you still pick your battles.

And despite the fears, the insecurities, the loneliness, the independence…in both being a Go Girl and being a Stay Girl, you still move ahead. Because Go Girls know that that is the only direction to go

And in that way, there is always growth.

Being a military girlfriend is one thing. You can’t help that without altering your entire relationship. But you can help deciding if you want to be a Stay Girl. You can decide to reach out, to explore, to seek your independence. And this isn’t just for military wives- it’s also for recent divorces or breakups, as well as various other situations. It is 1) finding yourself alone and 2) doing something about it and making the most of it. It is accepting yourself and your circumstances, and pushing forward. It is always about pushing forward.

I am in awe of the powerful women who do this regularly…who are go girls and stay girls all their lives. There are days when I don’t want to leave my phone for ten seconds to go into another room in case Marvin calls from base. But there are also six upcoming months of “girl trips”, sunny vacations, birthdays, adventures…six months of growing in every way and every direction possible…six months of pining, I’m sure, and there will be moments for that, but also six months of Beth time, six months of independence, six months of taking advantage of a situation that has been given to you and crafting your own circumstances out of it.

That’s what being a Stay Girl is all about…and that’s what I’m going to be.

Beth Santos
Founder and CEO of Wanderful, creator of the Women in Travel Summit, enthusiastic lover of ice cream, picnics and art.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Americas