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Love In The Wild: Dating As A Digital Nomad

As a seasoned traveller, you probably know your way around the world quite well. Choosing what and what not to eat in certain places, understanding public transit, finding cheap local markets, but, when it comes to dating while travelling well… that

by Emma Bousfield • Sept. 17, 2023 • 4 min read

I’ll open this blog post with the long-time cliche: love knows know boundaries. And oh boy, is it ever true. I think I speak on behalf of ALL solo travellers when I say you definitely meet some interesting dating prospects when you’re abroad. But the young traveller demographic isn’t the same as it once was. It’s no longer only gap-year travellers looking to experience a new part of the world before embarking on the next step in their academic or professional careers. Now, we’re seeing an emergence of digital nomad and remote work travellers that are bouncing around as a lifestyle choice, and a big part of life, is of course, dating. So, here are a few tips I’ve gathered from my own experiences, and from the experiences of my close friends.

Remember it’s all part of the experience

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Like dating back home, you’re going to go on some great dates, and some not so great dates. The difference is, you have the opportunity to shift your perspective and appreciate all dates for their exposure to new backgrounds, languages, and cultures. Whether you’re dating locals or fellow remote workers, you finally have the chance to interact with people that didn’t necessarily grow up in the same region as you, doing similar things as you, who may even know the same people as you. Have fun, and embrace it.

But, remember why you’re there

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It’s easy to get swept away when dating abroad. Things move a little more quickly than they might back home, and so you may catch yourself making less-than-characteristic decisions in order to see someone again… But, remember that in some cases, remote work is a privilege. Some employers aren’t completely remote, but will allow 90-day work-from-anywhere policies. It’s important to respect these policies and show up each day for work, as eager as you did on your first day in the role. Even if your work is 100% remote and they don’t care which timezone you’re in or where you are, don’t lose steam on productivity, it would be super crummy to lose the job that is giving you the opportunity to see the world.

The dating game is different everywhere you go

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As a digital nomad, I’ve so far spent time travelling around Mexico and Europe. In both places, I dated locals and fellow travellers from around the world. I’m not one for generalizing, but you do start to notice certain trends. For example, South Americans are known to be very… passionate. And this, I can tell you, is true. It may throw you off a little bit at first. Coming from North America, where we really like to skimp on passion, it felt a little bit overwhelming. But you learn to appreciate it, and then you start to appreciate what you’ve learned.

It’s not really like the movies…

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I feel like before I left on my travel adventure, all my friends were saying: “you’re going to meet the love of your life and never come home.” Well, guess what? I’m home! I may have met some really wonderful people that I now do have a lot of love for, but the reality is, it’s quite challenging to date seriously when you’re travelling and working. What I learned is that everyone has their own ideas and vision for how their travelling experience will go, and unless the person you’re dating has the EXACT same image in their mind as you do, it probably won’t work out. Some digital nomads like to jump from place to place each week, some like to stay put for months on end, some work best in the early mornings, some don’t start grinding away til mid-afternoon, some like to party and others want to be healthy… the list goes on. All that matters is remembering not to lose sight of your own vision and values. Know that no matter who you meet, you will have an amazing experience and likely a life-long connection.

My hope is that some of these lessons resonate with a few of you. If there are any last pieces of advice I can give to you, it would be the following:

  • Be patient and focus on enjoying dating for what it is.
  • Set an intention, but not a heavy intention like “meet my future partner”
  • It’s really not that deep, dating can and should be fun… even the worst dates can sometimes be a funny story later on
  • BE SAFE. Let someone, anyone, know where you’re going and who you’re meeting.

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