We all know one of the best aspects of travel is the romance. In fact, the truthful traveler will put it on par with gaining perspective, engaging in different cultural practices, and overall learning. The truth is that a little romance makes all these things sweeter. While in our home and native lands it is great as well, there is an intangible additive that travel creates. The saying goes “to each their own,” and with travel romances, this couldn’t be more true. Here are a few of the many types of travel romances one will encounter when hitting the road, as well as how the stack up in the fields of passion and longevity.
the One Night Stand romance - OK, OK, OK. I know you can experience one of these anywhere you go, but they happen while traveling, too. You can normally find this type of “romance,” in all the same places you would back home (bars, night clubs, etc) but also on booze cruises, overnight transportation, airport layovers, or trying to clandestinely hit it in dorm rooms to the peril of all the other horrified people with whom you share the room (dick!). The one kicker with a travel one night stand is the majority of the time it happens with someone from a different culture (awesome!). The One Night Stand romance loosely fits in this article, only because it happens while on the road.
Passion level: 2…which your shit-faced brain mistakes for a 9
the One Tour Stand romance - This is the classy, older sibling of the One Night Stand. The One Tour Stand romance occurs between a person on a tour and either another tourist or their faithful tour guide. Tour groups bring together a whole bunch of random individuals, normally from differing destinations, who all fit generally under the same umbrella due to what they are able to pay for said tour. Whilst experiencing new and exciting things, two (or more!) individuals will find connection blossoming like the exotic flora and fauna they came to see. Maybe it is the change in climate or just how magical even the simplest of things feel when you are in a new destination. One thing’s for sure though, the fire building within you can’t be contained, but it will probably fizzle out. Just like the tour will inevitably end, so will this romantic unison.
Passion Level: 8
the Island Fever romance: So you are stuck on an island with nothing to do but enjoy the sand, sun, and surf. Oh wait, there is also all the other swimsuit-clad tourists whom you can enjoy as well! This type of romance, of course, doesn’t always happen on an island. It can happen at any isolated destination where there is nothing more to do than profit from the beautiful nature, enjoy an adult beverage or herbal remedy, and mingle with the other lucky souls who realized that a place like this exists. While most of the time, much like cabin fever, this type of romance fades as quickly as your sun tan, it does have potential to blossom into the Tourist Trail Love Tale (see below), the Peripatetic Lovers, or even the big L-word!
Passion: 6, because those mid-morning beers really take it out of you, making it exceedingly difficult to unleash the burning passion at night.
the Expat Shuffle romance: It is called the “shuffle,” because those within specific expat communities will eventually shuffle between each other as partners. It is kind of like being in high school again, except the stakes are a lot higher. The amount of teachers, business people, and guides I’ve met who have had to relocate, or even find a new niche, due to a little too much double dipping is unreal. Why these people don’t try the Taste of Local Cuisine romance is beyond me. Either way, expats love to stir up the drama within their own community.
Passion Level: 7
Longevity: As long as the contract with the signed dotted line.
the We Can Finally Articulate Ourselves Fully romance: While the whole point of travel is to experience something new, at some point you are going to want to speak in your native tongue, using the fullest extent of your vocabulary. Often times, when you find that person whom shares the same native tongue, and the same desire to fully articulate themselves, you realize that the most conducive atmosphere to elaborate is horizontally between guest house sheets. Don’t beat yourself up, we all do it. In fact, lots of times it ends up being awesome. Shedding your travel skin for just a moment and indulging in pure national pride is A-OK. While there is the possibility of realizing that the luscious lover lying next to you looks more like a last resort after the passion dies, at least the only thing you will leave in the room as you sneak out is your homesick yearnings.
Passion level: 2-8 Depending on the outcome
Longevity: 2 (except for those folks who realize that they were just running from
their problems back home while enjoying the embrace of a fellow countryman/woman)
the Taste of Local Cuisine romance: There are many ways to get a taste of local cuisine on this list, but because it is regular facet of travel, it does deserve its own category. Maybe you are taking a course in a foreign destination and find someone who enjoys your butchered attempt at their language? Perhaps you are in a tourist hot spot and engage with a person who is just as intrigued with your culture as you are with theirs? Maybe your tour guide, guest house employee, transportation driver, or interpreter is just too damn sexy not to make a pass at? All the above and more can lead to an unforgettable culture experience. Just remember, post-game activities may differ from one culture to the next, so be prepared for an interesting morning after, trying to decipher exactly what is a culturally appropriate exit plan.
Passion Level: 10
the Tourist Trail Love Tale romance: While this romance can occur for short-term travelers, it is mostly reserved for those who have taken the vow to travel for more than a two week vacation. Travelers like this will often choose a region, as opposed to a single destination, and find themselves on a trail that is laden with other travelers hoping to also imbibe in all the splendor of the region. This beautiful romance is fluid. You meet, you love, you depart, you reconnect, you enjoy. This is the essence of travel and love intertwined. While there is no specific commitment to one another, there is an underlying devotion, and a secret desire that paths will cross once again. Though this can wind up a bit messy due to emotions, the possibility of other travel romances invading this beautiful unison, or a person departing in hopes of not meeting up again, the Tourist Trail Love Tale is one romance all travelers will hopefully be blessed to experience.
Passion Level: 9
Longevity: 8-10 (Until the money or travel bug runs out!)
the Peripatetic Pounding Pals romance: While this article is written for a target audience of travelers, there are those people whose lives consist of moving. Some people like to stay in one place for months, years, or a lifetime, while others may find themselves moving every other week. Believe it or not, there are people for folks like this. Often times, a roaming individual’s moves can even be based on the partnerships they’ve made, and the romances they have in differing destinations. Most of these people have steady jobs or paychecks, yet their work location is undefined. While the “pals,” they choose to pound with may be stationary, this romance often occurs between career vagabonds who put all their faith in where the wind will blow them next.
Passion Level: 9
Longevity: 7 (Surprisingly, these guys tend to find people who only commit to work and location, so a vagabond pounding pal is perfect!
the Love romance: You know what they say, it is best to meet your future or current spouse doing something you love, rather than drinking at a bar or sad, late-night Tinder sessions. Travel romances are fun by definition, but sometimes they can turn serious. The luckiest of travelers will find their counterpart in the midsts of backpacks, turning wheels, and tumbleweed dreams. When they do, only time will tell if their sails will still be raised, or if their wandering ways were secretly motivated by finding the one.
Passion Level: 10
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