I have five golden rules when it comes to meeting people while I’m travelling, and even though I’m not looking at the moment (I snagged one!), I followed these things to keep everything clear, honest, and for me, really happy.
So if you’re abroad for a day or even for 10 years, give these tips a spin and see how much easier it is to connect with someone new when you’re the fish out of water.
1. Always talk about your travels
“What’s your favorite movie?” used to be the go-to question for first dates, but it’s not the standard anymore, and you lucked out by being abroad because the new favorite, is “Do you like to travel?” because it’s just so much more indicative of a person’s likes, dislikes, and your potential compatibility. You may think it’s bragging, but it’s not; it’s putting your adventurous spirit on display.
So no matter where you are in your travels, start your conversation there. If it moves your conversation to things you want to do “when you grow up” or how you felt about the latest recession in 2007, then you’re doing something right.
*Pssst Hey guys! Having trouble breaking the ice? A lot of ladies can lean on the guy to steer the conversation but don’t worry about getting stuck! Just bring the conversation back around to her…she’ll love the attention!
2. Learn the difference between a tourist fling and something that could be more.
There are certain things that are indicative of a short-term relationship right off the bat, and it’s easier to have your priorities straight from the beginning—it just helps you get what you want.
For a couple of nights of fun (or what I like to call a holiday boyfriend) the thing to do is to go out where the tourists would be. Late night clubs, patio-area brunch hot-spots, lots of beach parties—you know the drill. These kind of relationships are great because you can meet people who are also travelling and just have a good time (but be safe!).
It’s a no-strings attached approach that could become something long-term, but doesn’t have the pressure to be. And the perfect conversation starter is a no-brainer; you already know they love to travel.
3. Download your apps.
Before you get to chatting, get to swiping! You’d be amazed how popular apps like Tinder and Grindr are with travelers so download a couple if you’re looking to meet people. It can be fun, and if it’s not, you can ditch—it’s that easy.
4. Once you know the difference in what you want, cater to it.
For something more than a fling, stay away from the tourist traps. You’re going to want to get in with the locals, even if you want someone else who is a foreigner abroad like you (because if they’re smart, they’ll stay away from the tourist places too). Find a quiet pub to frequent, or a bookstore off the beaten path—the more underground you are, the better chance you’ll have of meeting someone who isn’t looking for a one night stand (if that’s what you’re looking for, refer to #1!)
5. Learn their version of the dating game.
As for trying to integrate into the local culture, I’d say start with your friends, your workplace, and your hobbies for potential relationships. While I know dipping into the workplace, and even friend group, can be tricky, when you’re abroad, your circle is smaller, and it will benefit you to look a little closer to home (per se).
But first, make sure you know the dating rules. Are you somewhere that’s really reserved and likes to take it slow? Make sure you aren’t too loud, too touchy, or too smiley (a lot of cultures can take this the wrong way). But if you’re somewhere that has a more open take, make sure you play it forward, otherwise they’ll think you aren’t interested. And a general good rule of thumb for any location: be friends first, it’s just easier to progress from there.
The thing I always find about relationships, whether you are looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right or just looking for someone to grab a cocktail with, is that you have to make the choice to make them work; they say you know when you know. And you know the great thing about that gut feeling? It’s an international phenomenon, no translation required.
This post and the pictures within it are from Claire Lovesti. Visit her website at http://traveltio.com