I'm sorry that you feel this way, truly I am. I don't think anyone in their 20's or late teens should feel a need to settle. It's possibly the worst thing you can do.
And by settle, I don't mean just in a relationship: I mean for your life as well. Career-wise, friend-wise, experience-wise. If you're surrounded by people who don't want to take a road trip even though that's what you've been wanting or saving up for—just do it. You'll meet people along the way that will want to experience this.
You should never settle for less than what you feel you deserve. You should always be working toward your goals and keep them in mind when you make decisions.
Settling for less just seems way too silly. The reason that I hear so many people convince themselves of is that it's just easier. It's the path with less friction, fewer unknowns, and more convenience. They don't have to work on anyone, themselves, or anything. They just have to endure it, whether it's being with a girl you don't really love, a job you don't really like, or a living situation you used to wish you could get out of. People would rather endure because it's easier than to make changes for themselves—partly out of laziness, partly out of fear.
I would hate to be one of these people, personally. I think the thing I fear the least is change, but I embrace it instead, so it makes it harder for me to understand these people. Although there are people who have made big changes in their lives and overcome their fears or got out of their comfort zone, these are huge strides and, in the end, result in a lot more happiness.
I hate seeing people giving up on their goals or what they always dreamed of doing.
Sure, life gets in the way sometimes and you have to put dreams to the side for a bit, but always go back to what you love doing or what you want to do.
People who are just settling for a relationship, on the other hand: please don't. You literally hurt everyone involved. And it sucks if you love someone so much and they just love you half-ass. Like I'll always say, honesty is the best policy.
So keep your head held high and focus on the prize ahead. It might be a long ride and a bumpy one at that, but once you get there, it'll just be that much sweeter. Don't let your dreams go; keep them in mind, always.