Around Valentine’s Day, there are travel stories that come out about couples that have found love while on the road. Some have happy endings, others not so much.
If you think about, it’s easy to have a romance while on the road. You’re in new surroundings. If you’re open to striking up conversations with new people, like locals or fellow travelers, you can bond quickly over similar experiences, interests, and maybe itineraries. Plus, you’re on vacation.
So, yes, I think it’s possible to find genuine romance while traveling. But you can also meet someone while passing through or encounter the exact opposite. Here are some suggestions on whether a travel romance could just turn out to be a fling or the real thing.
- Take your moments together as they come.
It’s very easy to get caught up in what’s happening, but sometimes it’s best to keep your mind and heart in the present moment. Maybe you and the guy/girl you met are enjoying a night on the town or paired up to hang out on a beach or head to some other location. Just see how it goes. While I was on a walking tour in Berlin, my group included a young hunky South African on a yearlong gap. My friend and I invited him to join us at our table and he was very fun and sweet. He and I ended up walking together, and he got very chummy with me. When the tour was up, he lingered for a while and then gave me a kiss and walked off. My friend pointed to out to me that he seemed keen on me; I chalked up to just having fun.
- Follow your heart, but trust your gut. Generally, most people you meet while traveling are basically good. But remember to keep your head. Along with common sense rules like watching your belongings, and even drinks, if something doesn’t feel right, pay attention. Keep an extra bill of the local currency on you in a separate place so if you need to get away safely via a cab you can. Also if his/her behavior seems off — doing one thing but saying another, being vague about himself/herself, or just emotions flying — it’s a good indicator that there’s more to him/her than willing to show. I hate to say this but I’ve found that some who’ve really put on the charm upfront (very out of the ordinary charm) were quite the opposite later on.
- Think about where you from and what’s at home.
Maybe you’re from one part of the globe and he/she is from the other. Most likely, you’re either both going back home after your trip is done or your locally-love interest is staying where he/she is. Or if possible would you both continue on together? When I was in Athens, I met a charming Greek guy who after helping my awkward self figured out which subway stop would get me to the Acropolis Museum. He ended hanging out with me at the museum, and our night continued on in the Plaka. He invited me over to his place afterwards, but my hesitation kicked in (plus I thought about my then-BF back home). But it was nice to be flirty, at least for one night.
- Weigh how you’ll stay in touch.
Facebook, even email, makes it a lot easier to keep in touch after travelers go their separate ways. So mostly likely you’ll keep in touch somehow, or initially. Circumstances can change, and people can change. With my Athenian, we became Facebook friends, and I would Facebook message him when he was online. But after a while, it felt like I was more interested in chatting with him than he was with me. But it happens. At least, you’ll have made a new friend, right?
- If it’s right, then go for it!
In all, traveling is the one of the best ways to judge someone’s personality. If you decide to go jaunting together for a while, here are some questions to think about. Are you both open to compromising on where to go, what to see, and how much to spend? Do either of you sulk or stay patient with each other? How do you handle conflicts together? And mostly, are you both committed to having a relationship or it is more casual? If all your answers sound right for you, then see how love unfolds and take that leap.