Traveling isn’t the same as it used to be. You used to sit down with a guidebook and highlight the museums, neighborhoods and tourist destinations you planned to see, folding the corners of the pages to mark the very best places.
You researched the hostels where you felt you'd meet the coolest people, and you planned your days as best as you could before you reached your destination.
Then smartphones came around and changed EVERYTHING.
Suddenly, there were no more paper maps in your pockets. There was no more over-planning for fear of not understanding the language.
You didn't book hostels because you thought they'd be good, lively meeting grounds. For better or for worse, the digital world transformed your travel habits.
You have everything in the palm of your hand now. If you miss your train, you immediately know when the next one is coming. If you don’t know where to eat, you have every "Top 10" list in the world at your fingertips.
If you don’t know whether to bring your rain jacket, you can get an hourly forecast of your exact neighborhood. If you’re lost, you can geolocate your way.
You can also geolocate your next foreign love story by using dating apps like Tinder.
Last year, I was traveling in Germany with my parents. The stale family conversation bored me. My parents went to bed, and I stayed at the hotel bar alone.
Once that shut down, I returned to my room and went on Tinder with the little Wi-Fi I had in my hotel. I started chatting with a couple guys, focusing on one named Max.
Max was blond, buff and had a (European) skater boy style. He picked me up at my hotel, and we began our Tinder date.
We had the most incredible night together. We drank, laughed and eventually f*cked. Let’s put it this way: those two little beds in my little European hotel room wound up on the other side of the room.
He left early in the morning so that he wouldn't run into my family, but we kept chatting.
I ended up back in Germany later that summer, and we had a romantic rendezvous. We still chat on WhatsApp every now and then. And -- who knows -- maybe Max-ze-German is the one who got away!
I knew I wasn’t alone in my Tinder adventures, so I asked some other people whether they’ve swiped right while abroad, and sure enough, they have.
Here are some of their stories:
Some are innocent with it:
- Josh*, 25
Some are aggressive about it:
- Gretchen*, 24
Some make some money from it:
- Jorge*, 32
Some are impatient with it:
- Dave*, 29
Some are ambivalent about it:
- Jerry*, 32.
Some find the loopholes in it:
- Adrianna*, 27.
Some are disappointed by it:
- Regina*, 28.
Some find other uses for it:
- Bradley*, 31
Some collaborate with it:
- Susan*, 29
P.S. I’m the (non-pregnant) friend in this story.
Some really get theirs from it:
- Daniel*, 29
Some Tinder meetups, like the trips themselves, are more memorable than others. Whether you’re using it to find friends, weed or sex, Tinder is a great tool to amplify your vacation and meet new people.
Maybe Tindering abroad is generally successful because both parties are aware of the expiration date. Or maybe the language barrier is too strong. Or maybe it’s the allure of a foreign place. The takeaway here is that Tindering abroad works -- no matter what you’re looking for. When I asked these same people whether they keep in touch with their Tinder encounters, around half said yes.
Get yours, and get those Tinder stamps in your dating passport.