Picture this, you're in Paris having coffee with a girlfriend at a cute little cafe with the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.
She signals you to look over and you catch the cutest Parisian guy giving you the eye. You shyly return his interested gaze and he correctly takes that as a sign to walk over to introduce himself. After a light but flirtatious conversation, he invites you out for dinner before you leave. Sis! Soon, you're hearing wedding bells with visions of you living off the coast of Spain.
Dating abroad can be an fresh and adventurous experience, hopefully one that could change your life for the better. But with every risk and subsequent reward, there are precautions you must undertake to ensure that while you wear your heart on your sleeve, you keep your head with you. This big leap outside of your comfort zone calls for a few tools to keep near and dear. Here are a few tips for meeting that special someone while traveling abroad:
Don't be afraid to meet someone.
Being in a foreign country is daunting, but the joys of travel are often found in the people we meet. Don't be afraid to get out and meet someone even if you're only in a place for a short time. Who knows, a day or two may turn into a lifetime! To make things easier, you can get proactive by using sites like Tinder or Bumble to meet a prospective boo or just someone you think you would make a good connection with when you arrive.
You can also meet people at small places like cafes where the locals love to hang and kick back. In European cities like Paris, these are virtually in every district. The train can be hit or miss, but is a great place to spark interest. The beach is also a great place to meet someone, a bonus in this case would be the better visuals! I've also met many amazing people as the "Can you take my photo?" tourist. Locals tend to be genuinely excited to meet people from abroad.
Don't date alone.
Traveling abroad alone can do one of two things: make you really afraid or make you really confident. In the event that you get this unexpected boost of superwoman confidence, don't date alone. There are so many things to do in a public setting. This may even make things more relaxed between you two, especially if there is a language barrier. If the person insists on being alone, it is perfectly okay to express if you are uncomfortable and would prefer to stick to a restaurant, cafe, or even with a travel companion on the first date. Make your own arrangements to get there and back to your accommodations. After you've gotten to know each other, feel free to venture out all you want.
Don't get lost in the exotic sauce.
I get it, he's from Paris and he speaks French, or she's from Barbados and her accent drives you wild! It is important however to stay on planet Earth (hello Ms. Head in the Clouds) and stay level-headed. Sometimes a person can sense naivety and take advantage of that and it never hurts to be cautious and observant. After all, these are people just like us. They get angry and feel emotions the same as we do. It is important to treat someone you meet as a person and not a possession. After all, a man is still a man so don't be fooled by the accent.
Don't forget to learn the culture.
Now that you've exchanged numbers and set up your WhatsApp to talk internationally without running up a check from home, don't forget to take time to learn about his culture. Language barriers and cultural differences can make a huge impact on friendships let alone relationships. Google is a great start, but take a moment to talk with him or even get a few books that will give you better insight on how that person operates in their comfort zone.
Speaking of Google, Google Translate is a great tool to use when texting or just to get a clearer understanding of something you heard them say. You can also learn their language, and not just their love language! Learning a few words or phrases in their native tongue could leave a lasting impression by taking the initiative to show interest. If you really like a person and vice versa, this could be a challenging yet rewarding adventure!
Don't be afraid to have a little fun.
Be adventurous, travel off the beaten path, visit each other as often as possible. Writing letters and sending physical photos is also a fun way to get to know each other.
Remain open to the possibilities and make an effort to become a better person in the process.
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