One woman has taken online dating to the next step and traveled around the world, all expenses paid, with a man she met on the internet.
Sarah Andros, 44, stayed in private villas with private pools in Bali, took horse drawn carriages through the streets of Morocco and drank champagne at rooftop bars, with a man who had paid to enjoy her company.
The mum of two met her travel companion on the online dating site MissTravel. A site where around 600,000 adventure-seeking users can be paid to go on holiday anywhere in the world.
The Australian life coach loves travelling and travels a lot for her job: ‘I had been separated and I was trying out the online dating thing,’ she told Daily Mail Australia. ‘I saw the site for MissTravel and I thought it was really cool.’
Her profile caught the eye of a Perth accountant who introduced himself with a wink:
‘It was a little strange at first, but with my job I’ve learned to focus on what I want and use that to create the reality,’ she said. ‘You just have to be really clear on is what you would like out of the experience and what your expectations are.’
Ms Andros knew the accountant for around eight months and in that time traveled to Bali, London, Paris, Barcelona, Fez and Marrakesh, staying in five-star, luxury accommodation everywhere she went.
She only paid for one thing during her trips, a breakfast in Bali, everything else her companion paid for. MissTravel offers three options for arranging travel expenses: I’ll Pay For You, Pay For Me, and 50/50.
One of her most memorable experiences was exploring the streets of Morocco, experiencing the people, sounds and snake charmers:
‘We were going for food when we came across people playing drums,’ she said. ‘I just jumped in and started drumming and dancing, it was an amazing experience.’
Ms Andros admits the relationship did get romantic, but says they both began the experience looking for companionship after separating from their respective partners.
While the relationship didn’t work out, Ms Andros says she wouldn’t say never to doing it again:
‘Sure there’s risk, but you use your intuition and focus on what you want’ she said. ‘You can be stupid and not use your awareness, but just use your awareness and ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen here? In the end you have to enjoy it for what it is.’
Daily Mail Australia spoke to MissTravel who said the site was established to serve and give experiences to people just like Ms Andros. They admit there are risks to travelling around the world with a virtual stranger:
‘We give all our members tips on how to stay safe while travelling, technology is great and we recommend members chatting on things like Skype beforehand,’ a MissTravel spokesperson said. ‘The safety of our members is paramount.’