As an intrepid solo traveler and inadvertently single person, a friend gave me a copy of Jennifer Cox's Around the World in 80 Dates. It's been sitting on my bookshelf, waiting, as it were, for me to discover how six months, eighty men, sixteen countries, and four continents meld into the search for lifelong, romantic happiness.
I still haven't read it.
It's nothing against the book - I'm sure it's lovely, and someday, I will probably read it and love it as much as the person who gave it to me loved it. My problem is, I can't get past the inscription - "May you find inspiration in your travels and be led to the love of your life, too!"
Maybe it's the vibration I give off, but I've never been one to date during my solo trips. Unlike Ms. Cox, if I asked every person I knew if they knew of one person to set me up with, I'd get a lot of blank stares, and probably end up with a list of maybe 10 potential bachelors, which wouldn't get me out of the United States, let alone around the rest of the globe. I could easily sign on to an online dating service and look up men in the areas where I travel most, but is that the smart thing to do?
I've given it a great deal of thought, and I think there are some balanced pros and cons.
On the pro side, if the date was going badly, I could always say "I have an early flight" and it probably would be accurate. I would probably never have to worry about the guy showing up unannounced at my front door, and if things went well, meeting the family would take weeks of planning - thus giving me ample preparation time.
On the con side, however, and slightly more serious - I would always, always, always be worried about date safety. Whenever I have a blind or first date, I always keep in touch with a friend via text, take my own car, and - most importantly - I know my way around the area. Not having a safety net with a trusted friend close by makes me nervous. And also not knowing my way around as well as I know my hometown adds to a feeling of trepidation - should something go really wrong.
Solo travel and dating my way around the world - or even the Northwest - probably isn't something that I'll add to my list of "must do's" for this year. I know it works for some people, so maybe the universe will prove me wrong.