When it comes to romance and traveling, most people have a cliché image of traveling abroad, falling madly in love with a cute foreigner, and living happily ever after. However, dating is still dating no matter what country you’re in. Traveling and constantly changing your location can change the rules a bit. It can make dating absolutely impossible or make you feel like you’re in a real life fairytale. Don’t just take it from me. Here are six travelers’ stories from around the globe.
Susannah, @ensusiasm, www.ensusiasm.com
After backpacking Australia in 2014 I knew I was going to live there someday. I moved back to New York and tried to adjust back to teaching and living in the states but I couldn’t get Australia out of my head. At the end of the school year in 2015 I quit my job and moved to Australia not knowing a single soul with two backpacks and no job or place to live. Some may call it crazy but ultimately two months later it led me to a hostel in Sydney. A guy I was seeing from the states came to visit me and we quickly decided it would not work out. I was ready to take on my new city as a single lady. I made friends with this hilarious girl from London and she introduced me to a bunch of her friends staying in the hostel. We all went for a night out and the next morning she put her matchmaker hat on. She was talking up this English guy Harry and saying he really thought I was pretty, what did I think of him, etc. I was so distant about it and said I just wanted to be friends because I just wasn’t after anything romantic at the time. Our friendship evolved as we explored Sydney together, binge watched Game of Thrones and I kept stealing glances of his sexy ass walking past my room after a shower. I quickly realized this felt right. We didn’t rush into a relationship but we were basically inseparable from the day we met. A year and a half later we are living together in Sydney and planning a future together. We are so different but also share so many passions, especially our love of travel, a healthy lifestyle and great food. Never underestimate whom you will stumble upon in a dirty hostel on the other side of the world. I just happened to find my best friend. I can’t imagine my world without him in it.
When I was 16, my best friend invited me to Spain for a month as her 16th birthday celebration. Of course we thought we were on top of the world when we went clubbing and drank beers until we were throwing up. One night, we went out in Barcelona until 5am and I thought I’d met the love of my life halfway through the night when he approached me telling me how beautiful I was and how he would love to get to know me more (at 16 you take anything a good looking guy says to you very personally). We were making out all night on the dance floor and when my friend told me that we were going home, he took my email address and Facebook and promised to stay in contact with me. As we left the club and were waiting for our taxi outside of the club, he walked out about 5 minutes after us as we were still waiting and I was gawking to my friend about how hot he was. Trying to be graceful, I waved goodbye to him and ended up stepping and falling into a tree pit distracted by his presence. Since then I’ve learned that no matter how hot a foreign guy is, it’s not worth it to wake up the next morning (afternoon) with bruises on your back and a twisted ankle from trying to make a peaceful and attractive last impression.
I have been dating my boyfriend Chris for almost 10 years. Over the last 4 years traveling has completely taken over our lives. Everyone always is asking us when we are getting married, or when we will have kids. But to be honest all we want to do is see the world. Although I always say Chris doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body the second we step foot on a flight everything changes. This past year we have checked off so many of our top bucket list items. There is nothing like traveling and experiencing the world with the person you love. Over the years we have always done a kissing photo at every place we visit. At first Chris was not excited about the idea and would get embarrassed when I would ask a stranger to take the photo. We invested in a tripod and it quickly became our trademark #kissingaroundtheworld, and now it’s a must do at every place we visit. This year alone we have kissed at the top of Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, in the bluest water in Cancun, atop a rock overlooking all the Grand Canyon, on our favorite hike overlooking San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, at the Rise Lantern Festival right outside of Las Vegas, in the forest in Lands’ End right outside San Francisco, in the middle of the world known as Delfi in Greece, flower field in the middle of no where, at sunset standing on the edge of the Nile River, and our top top top bucket list destination while riding camels in the middle of the Sahara Desert with the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt in the background. I cannot wait to see where we will be kissing next, and where this crazy thing called life takes us.
One night in Costa Rica a group of girl and I decided to go out. We heard about this place that turned into a salsa club after a certain time. The girls and I had become so close that we decided we were going to have a great time and get our drunky pants on. We all had soup for dinner, of all things soup before a night of drinking. Our night was off to a great start and then I saw a familiar face. It was our zip line instructor from earlier that day! (I might have casually mentioned our evening plans and a subtle invite) By this point we’ve all had our fair share of shots and he asked if I wanted to go for a ride and points to his helmet. Drunk me thinks this is a great idea. So I convince my friends into coming with me and riding with his friend and we took off! We ride to the top of a mountain and get off the bikes to enjoy the view, which was unbelievable. It hits us suddenly that we don’t know these guys, where we are, we have no cell service AND we don’t know where our hotel is. Side note: Costa Rica literally doesn’t use typical addresses. Think: “pink house to the left of the mossy tree”. Now we’re both antsy to get back “home”. We made up an excuse about how tired we were or something along those lines. They start to take us back and we attempt to give them Costa Rica directions; i.e. “it’s next to a big rock with trees and a sign”. Super descriptive, right? We ended up only passing it twice before making it back safely. Long story short; we survived our midnight dirt bike ride with cute but random Costa Rican men.
I was lucky enough to spend three months in London interning in fashion/public relations. I made lots of friends, a few of whom wanted to set me up. I am not a fan of blind dates, but I decided to just go for it. I met my date at a pub close to my work, he was very tall and handsome. He handed me a single rose, kissed me on my cheeks (so European), and introduced himself, an excellent first impression. The conversation flowed and there was definite chemistry, I was thankful that my friend set us up. About an hour into the date he excused himself to use the bathroom. When he came back I could tell his mood had changed a bit. I asked if he felt ok, to which he replied “well I just did a line in the bathroom, so yeah I feel good.” WHAT!? That instantly killed my attraction toward him. It was the best and worst first date ever. Needless to say, I never accepted another blind date from my friend again.
Stacey, @agirlgoneglobal, www.agirlgoneglobal.com
After a long and exhausting bus ride, my boyfriend Zach and I had finally made it to Dubrovnik, Croatia. We were excited for romantic strolls through cobblestone alleyways, cute dates in quaint cafes, sipping wine in restaurants nestled into the dramatic coastal cliffs. We even had reserved a private and intimate Airbnb by the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Of course, what we actually got was an experience much, much different than the one we had romanticized in our heads. Zach had always been prone to carsickness, so when he stepped off the bus that night in Dubrovnik he felt extremely nauseas. He managed to put on a face as we talked to our Croatian Airbnb hosts and kindly accepted the cake that they had offered upon arrival. The second they turned their backs; he threw his piece of cake onto my plate. A few seconds later our hosts return with another surprise: shots of homemade Rakija (think Croatian moonshine). There’s too much of a language barrier for him to communicate to them just how sick he was so he takes the shot to avoid seeming rude. And what does he do next? Projectile vomits into their backyard. The rest of my night was spent sitting next to Zach on the bathroom floor. It was not quite the romantic getaway we had planned. The rest of the trip was spent laying in bed, feeding Zach crackers and debating whether or not he could get down to the beach without throwing up along the way. Ah, the romantic nature of travel.
Cover photo by Brittany Toney