Dating Abroad: Meeting the “One” while Traveling
January 1, 1970
by Nat Gold
Everyone secretly hopes that the love of their life will be waiting for them when their plane lands. Or better yet, that their special someone will be traveling with them to an exciting new city sipping complimentary white wine and picking out favorites from travel guides in flight.
If you’re single and you’re traveling abroad the chances of you finding someone special are actually quite likely! It could be an old fling that you’ve reunited with abroad, a friend traveling with you that has shown a different side, or even a complete stranger who locked eyes with on the dance floor. In any case, once you’ve found your someone special how do you maintain a stable relationship when your own itinerary is constantly changing?
[“Second” Date posing as Gladiators in Rome]
I myself never thought that I would find my prince charming, let alone find him 6,000 miles away from home. But here I am now, living in Vienna, Austria and married to my best friend.
I met my husband when he was studying abroad at my home university in California in 2011 just days before he left back to Vienna, Austria. Fast forward two years later I was on my way to Europe to spend a semester abroad. I was coming from Kolkata, India and arranged for a quick 5 day trip to Vienna to be reunited with an old flame. Keep in mind we rarely talked in the two years between our first and second encounter. In those 5 days we quickly fell head over heels for each other and enjoyed a wonderful three month long distance relationship between London and Vienna before spending another one and a half years dating between California and Austria before getting engaged.
So if you clicked with someone over gelato in Rome or tapas in Barcelona, don’t despair – it can work! You never know, this person might become someone significant in your life and could even become your soulmate, so don’t let “the distance” get in the way.
Traveling is fun – you’re in a new city and you’re going with the flow. Love abroad should mirror that easy going nature as well. In the beginning don’t sweat the hard questions like:
What are we?
How can this work?
Do I need a visa?
How will I find a job here?
Of course these questions will come when you two get more serious but in the meantime just enjoy each other’s company. Don’t force a label onto something you both aren’t ready for and don’t try to fit your relationship into a box… especially when your hometowns may be separated by an ocean and 20+ hour flight.
In the beginning, just go for it even if you’re unsure of how it will end. Don’t let the fear of hurt prevent you from enjoying a new and exciting romance. No matter what you’ll both be making memories that last a lifetime even if you don’t end up living in the same place later on.
Take Weekend Trips (lots of them)
What does a typical date night look like back at home? Netflix and chill?
What can a date night look when you’re traveling abroad? A gondola ride in Venice, a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, a ferris wheel ride on the London Eye? You bet.
[Engagement on a Gondola in Venice]
Whether you’re both based in the same place or living in different cities, taking a weekend trip together or even with other friends can be a great way to get to know each other. You’ll see how the other travels, their emotional highs and lows, and how they survive in unknown territories.
My top suggestions for Europe based weekend trips:
More Budget Friendly Trips:
Spa Weekend in Budapest, Hungary
Romantic Strolls in Prague, Czech Republic
Clear Blue Waters in Croatia (Split, Umag, etc.)
Beach Parties in Barcelona, Spain
Castles & Royalty in Vienna, Austria
Gondolas in Venice, Italy
“Remake of the Lizzie Mcguire Movie (#everygirlsdream) ” in Rome, Italy
Cheese and wine in Paris, France
When I take romantic weekend trips, I always look for small flats on Airbnb with a kitchen. They’re usually cheaper than hotels, typically more comfortable and private, and can you imagine how living together might actually be like! Also take some time to buy some groceries for breakfast (eggs, bread, coffee, milk) and you’ll be able to have breakfast in bed while saving $$$ for those romantic dinners that are sure to come.
Define Your Communication Style
Long distance dating relies on frequent communication. It’s important to figure out what works best for you both when you may not have a steady routine. Social media is always a great way to connect but the occasional snapchat or like may not be enough. When dating, my husband and I wrote each other only a few messages throughout the day since we were traveling, studying, working, or just busy. However when we did write each other, they were thoughtful and detailed messages. We wrote about what we did in our day, what we were planning to do, what we were excited about, what we were anxious about, what was on our mind, and even planning our next vacation. Think someone doesn’t want to know about your day in that much detail? Well when you’re both hundreds of miles (or km) away, it’s refreshing to be able to imagine how the other’s day is going even if you’re not by each other’s side.
This worked for me but maybe it’s not your style – no worries. I would recommend that you two discuss how you want to communicate and on what medium (short texts throughout the day, phone calls at night, skype calls on the weekends). It might not seem needed at first but eventually you want to be able to set a rhythm in your relationship that works even when you can’t be together physically.
Best of luck with your adventures in love and life!