By Emme Rogers of Roamancing
I am in my 30s. I am single. I am ready to meet that special someone. In my travels, I regularly have attractive and interesting men expressing interest—but why do I keep saying no?
1) Canada and other wealthy nations are often seen as a utopian dream for many people around the world. While I know how lucky I am to have been born here, and while the marriage proposals I receive are flattering, these men don’t really know me. I don’t mean to be callous, and I don’t begrudge them for this, but I represent the opportunity for a better life.
2) It’s not safe to wander off with a random stranger in a foreign land just because you are feeling a little frisky. That’s not safe here at home either. You are putting yourself at risk of rape (or worse), disease, and robbery. Plus, you don’t understand all the nuances of the culture you are visiting and the trouble you could be opening yourself up to. For instance, if you unknowingly sleep with a married man in some countries, you could end up committing a crime punishable by law. Just look at the poor Norwegian woman that was recently raped in Dubai. Upon reporting it to the police, she was initially sentenced to 16 months in prison because the man was married.
Now, I said two reasons, but I do have a third. I don’t buy into the whole “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” attitude, because the way you behave impacts fellow Canadians travelling in that area of the world. So by now, many of you would assume my answer to, “What advice would you give someone about safely ‘shacking up’ with people on your travels?” is DON’T!
Not entirely. Travel is a wonderful way to meet like-minded, worldly, and interesting people, so being open to love and possibilities is a good thing. Here would be my advice:
- Don’t treat travel like a free pass to misbehave. If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it while you are travelling.
- Read up on local customs and dress codes before departing, so you don’t make yourself a target for sexual predators. You can find this information on TuGo’s Government of Canada Country Travel Advice and Advisories page.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel unsafe, err on the side of caution and listen to your instincts.
- Do not leave your drink unattended. (Guys: this goes for you, too!)
- Do not agree to let someone pick something up from your room. Bring it to them in the lobby. (And yes, I do have a story from experience here.)
- If you do choose to bring a visitor to your hotel room, make sure your valuables are locked up.
- Don’t have a fling with a married individual.
- If you do get together with someone, have the proper protection with you and use it. Just as you would at home!
The men I would consider actually dating (or even having a fling with) from my travels are:
- Someone that ends up travelling with me for an extended period of time, usually to do with work or a conference.
- A gentleman that I meet through mutual friends.
- Someone that I meet on one trip, who continues a friendship with me virtually, before reconnecting on a subsequent trip.
Just remember, both travel and the charm of a foreign accent can be seductive, so before you get caught up in the moment, remember to be safe and to listen to your gut.
Safe travels (and dating)!
Emme Rogers is a Canadian gal about town, with a love for culture and the indie arts scene. She is taking her adventures around the world with Roamancing.