I have a friend who studies catastrophe management and frequently travels to interesting countries like Israel, India or the Sudan for research. For this she is gone for periods of time ranging from a couple of weeks to a year. Her work is interesting and adventurous and important. But for it she repeatedly leaves behind her boyfriend who remains in Europe. This of course makes her a bit sad but I can tell that she's okay with it because this is how she wants so live her life.
Personally I could never be apart from my boyfriend for such long periods of time. When you share your life with someone, it comes with many perks: having a partner in crime, sharing your dreams for the future, frequent sex. But it also comes with some sacrifices. Living in a commune in Israel, moving to the other side of the Earth for a job oppurtunity, travelling the world with a trailer, running away with the circus. All these things now are only possible if one of two things happen: Either your boyfriend is on board with your drastic life changes and neither of you has any responsibilities which keep you from going after them - or you do them alone and stand being apart from the person you love.
For me the first is difficult and the latter impossible. The longest I've been apart from my boyfriend was six weeks, and let me tell you, I was absolutely miserable. If you're seperated from the one you love, it feels like you're physically missing something, like an arm or a leg, a condition which makes you feel odd and hinders you from functioning in everyday life. So, I rather stay with my boyfriend and change the year long travelling plan into a week long trip. I even tell my boss that I can't go on business trips which are longer than a week.
Neither my friend nor me are wrong with how we handle our lifes. For her her studies are most important, for me it's my love. And that's fine.
The one thing that you have to do in order to make most of your life, is to get your priorities straight. What do you desire most: A thriving career? Travel and adventures? Money? Or time for your hobbies? Being close to the people you love? I know, I too want all of these things, but chances are that we can't have it all and that we have to sacrifice some aspects of those things for the ones which matter most to us.
Find out what you want and then go and get it!