Vacations and romance… they just go together, don’t you think? Throw in the fact that we’re often barely dressed (beach or poolside), at least slightly tipsy, feeling pretty damn good about the dent we’ve made in the office-zombie pallor we sport for the rest of the year – and it all starts to make sense. But somehow… it does seem to be more than just those things.
What is it about traveling that makes entering an instant relationship seem so very normal? We form immediate bonds and make best friends in a day. Our minds are more open to infinite possibilities, and our manner is more geared towards fun and adventure than at almost any other time in our adult lives. It’s glorious. Instead of worrying about the future, we focus on the moment and truly enjoy our surroundings, and the company of other lovely human beings. We share some laughs and maybe, just maybe, a little more.
And it doesn’t really matter where you go… it could be a haven for beach lovers like Australia or Hawaii, exotic, magical locales like Turkey or Egypt, or the deepest darkest jungles of Brazil or Peru. Taking guided tours is a fantastic way for single travelers to try new things and meet new people…without any pressure… opening the door to connecting with like-minded travelers of the opposite sex (or the same sex – if that’s what you’re into).
If I think back on prior trips there is often at least a hint of romance if not a full-on fling to fondly recall. There was Robert, the smoldering dark haired Torontonian in Jamaica, who returned home a week before my scheduled layover in that city. He completely surprised me and my friend at the airport by showing up in a gorgeous stretch limo and whisking us away for an amazing lobster dinner! Most recently, a transplanted Californian living in Ecuador followed me from his beach hometown to my next stop - enduring a 7-hour journey (and mega potential for altitude sickness!) through the Andes… not just once, but twice. Mighty fun weekends indeed.
However, when it comes to travel and romance – you do need to keep your wits about you – if you don’t want to end up heartbroken or disenchanted. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind so that good memories are the only consequence of your holiday dalliance.
1. Keep your expectations in check.
One of the reasons a vacation romance is so much fun is that your boring routine is entirely out the window and theirs is too – you’ve no endless checklist of chores to cross off, no alarm clock, no obligations, no office – but all that does end when you get home, so take it for what it is and enjoy every minute.
2. Use protection. Always.
The souvenir you do not want is an unexpected gestating baby, a touch of the herps, or a multi-jurisdictional paternity suit.
3. Location, location, location
. If you find yourself with multiple suitors (giddayup!) and there is no easy way to decide – it may sound crassly opportunistic but all else being equal – lean toward the hottie with the best home base… if you end up doing the “you visit me in the spring, I’ll visit you in the fall ” booty call swaps – do you want to end up with repeat visits to a highly desirable destination for a naughty weekend, or to a city that resembles a giant parking lot / toilet bowl with a high crime rate and bad weather?
4. Find small mementos.
They’ll stir your blissful memories once you’re back home …. Like a t-shirt or hoodie of his that you wore on the beach, some cool trinket from the outdoor market you visited together, shells from the beach, a woven tribal bracelet, the shot glass from the bar you met in, or maybe her sexiest panties. No tattoos with names! I mean it.
5. Don’t ditch your posse.
Find ways to keep both your travel friends and your new friend happy.
6. Be honest!
You wouldn’t want to be fed some line and therefore you should hold yourself to the same standard. If you’re looking for something light and short-term – just say so and make sure you’re both on the same page to keep your good karma intact.
Here’s a tongue in cheek video that we love about why you shouldn’t date a girl who travels – based on a popular story that made the rounds last year. All I know is that it makes me want to grab a cab and head straight to the airport, and it makes me far more proud of my beat up legs than I ever have been before.
Have you had a ”most memorable” travel romance? Talk to me.