Traveling as a single gal sucks sometimes. Yes, I’ve heard all about the awesome, soul-searching benefits of Eat, Pray, Love-type sojourns. But whether it’s for business or pleasure, when I go on a trip — even if it’s with girlfriends — I tend to get sentimental.
Recently, during a trip to Mexico, an ex-boyfriend emailed me, asking if I was having a good time. “I always get a little depressed when I travel because I have no one to share it with. And that makes me think of you,” I wrote back to him. I know, I shouldn’t probably be in contact with him, but that’s a whole other issue. (Insert emotional baggage joke here.)
This time around though, I put those pangs of relationship FOMO aside and embraced the fact that I was single… in a foreign country. That’s like being a kid in a candy store, a candy store stocked with good-looking treats in cool, not-found-in-America packaging.
And thanks to the advent of dating apps, finding a local tour guide — a.k.a. date — is now easier than ever. Which is how I found Roberto, a fitness instructor who had the shirtless pics to prove it… as well as good convo skills, FYI!
Even though meeting a random stranger IRL in a foreign country might sound like the makings of a Lifetime movie, I didn’t hesitate. I did confide to one of my work colleagues who was also on the trip that I was meeting up with some local dude. She immediately marched me to the pharmacy to pick up a questionable box of Mexican-brand condoms…
Spoiler alert: Roberto is not my husband. We did not ignite some passionate far-flung love affair that I will turn into a book then a movie. But yes, his name really is Roberto.
In short, the date was PG. We grabbed coffee. Took a spin on his jet ski. Then he dropped me off at my hotel and went to the gym. (I still have those Mexican condoms, btw.) We kept in touch briefly afterwards. But eventually our contact dwindled. Despite the “meh” outcome, that spontaneous date was a refreshing break from my staid agenda and was just, well, fun. And proved that traveling solo can be kinda great sometimes.
Side note: If you’re looking for a little vacation rendezvous of your own, you can download apps that are specifically designed to connect solo travelers, such as TourBar, a membership club and international dating site with verified users; Wingman, which hooks you up with other passengers on your flight; and Tripr, a digital matchmaking app that connects you with other travelers or locals before you take off.
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