Dating for the Backpacker : Guide to relationships for people living on the road
One of the unspoken frustrations for a traveler going around the world is about sex. We don’t like to talk about it but sexuality can be a pain to cope with as you travel. Some people have some serious misconceptions about people who travel and their sex life (or lack thereof). Believe it or not, most backpackers are not asexual.
Before I got any more into this discussion, I want to warn you that this article will not be a cookie cutter “bang a local and move on” position. I want to give some real thought to the topic and how do people cope with not having the stability that most relationships need. As a result, most people who travel or are backpackers remain in the “casual dating” realm..
There are some people who date on the road, keep a long distance relationship or even get married and travel as a family but most are permanently in the area of being a single person traveling the world. We live for the waterfall or beach; not the next date.
It is as easy as just jumping on Tinder and hoping that Ronda Rousey is online at the same time. Don’t we wish it was that easy?
What about dating a local short term?
The first question that many would say is that we should just date a local wherever we are to take care of our needs. Being in the Philippines (currently) this mindset is common and I believe it is fundamentally flawed. Every country, culture, and sets of customs is going to have expectations that are not American or European.
As a male, I could date a Filipina. No matter what I tell her, she will always be thinking of “our future” and secretly hoping that I will help her get to the United States so she can send money to her family. When the harsh reality sets in that the only future is that I am going to Sri Lanka in a few weeks; she will feel used and misled..
If this is not the case, you probably had a professional lover. These are girls who have a boyfriend while you are here and as soon as you leave, another “client” is coming to the country and she will be their boyfriend while they are here just like you was.
No matter how clear you try to make it, a person from a developing country will dream of traveling with you. It does not matter how unrealistic this really sounds or that 3 out of 4 countries would laugh at the visa application. They just don’t understand with a passport from a poorer country; traveling is a pain in the ass.
In short, if you date a local girl, especially from Asia, you will face to face the fork in the road. Will you continue to travel and live the backpacker lifestyle or are you going to give up travel and settle down and being a family man or woman.
Dating other backpackers?
I tend to think the best option is to date or hook up with other backpackers who have similar goals. While most of them will not want anything long term, you are leading on some poor girl from a village in Asia. Many backpackers are cool with the “two week relationship” thing and it is not really that wrong unless you have twenty six girlfriends a year (then you are kinda being a casanova).
Many of the girls that travel the world realize that the traditional relationship just is not going to work. Some of them actually preferred the friends with benefit option so they can focus on their passion (being on the road) but work out their sexual frustration from time to time. While some of them are nymphomaniacs (I dated one without knowing it), most of them are not sluts. They just want works for them and their lifestyle..
Many times, they will develop bonds with people and they will try and meet up a few times a year to travel together. A woman might have a few guys that she plans to travel the same place they are traveling at least once a year. She might do this arrangement every three months so she is basically only having sex with four men and doesn’t go more than three month without action.
Otherwise, they would stuck to using Tinder and OkCupid for hookups. That is probably not the best or safest options for most people, especially women.
Practicing safe sex as a traveler
If you are hooking up with local girls in every country you visit, you better to using a condom and taking other measures as well. It is not just to protect you from having a baby (quick way to end your travel adventures), it is about things like sexual transmitted diseases and of course AIDS.
In the Philippines, there is 27 new cases of AIDS reported every single day. That is over 9,800 people reported every year and it does not go away. This is one reason I do not suggest messing with locals as you travel. Most people in developing countries are rarely tested. This means they could be carrying and spreading things like HIV for years before they realize they are actually sick..
This is a problem all over Asia and really the world. It is a serious problem and every time you have sex with someone who does not see the need to be tested; you are putting your health at risk for a quickie. It just is not worth it.
While having a “friend” that you meet up with a few times a year presents risk as well; it is a must more managed risk in most cases. Women from America and Europe understand the responsibility of remaining sexually healthy and they take the time to be tested often to make sure they are not sick and they are not making anyone sick.
Be safe as you travel and experience the beauty of the nation.