Choosy Lover: How to Vet a Lover With Travel
Most travel blogs explore traveling with your Other as this fluffy, froo-froo experience of complete bliss and candy coated raindrops. And it can be! However, what about those times when you travel with someone and you learn that the person you were dating did not exactly have all the things that you thought they did or was not the person you thought they were? In this post, I want to explore how to vet (process of performing a background check on someone) a lover, and why traveling is one of the
ways to get to know someone.
I went on an international trip with a friend (of the opposite sex). We stayed at the same hostel but different rooms (I personally ONLY stay in places that have rocking a/c which he was okay not having). We enjoyed all the cool activities like hiking waterfalls, extreme sports, and trying all sorts of amazing restaurants in the area. Unfortunately, with all the fun, I ended up with an ear infection (NOT fun in 100 degree weather!).
I told him to enjoy the rest of his day and he promised to come back to the hostel in a few hours to help me find some ear drops at the local pharmacy. Long story short, I do not see this fellow until the NEXT day at 6pm. He never came to check on me, let alone take me to find medication for my aching ear. Then I find out the next day, that the entire hostel went out to dinner and a party in the jungle! Unbeknown to me, I had been left in the hostel alone that night. WHET?!
Without getting into too many details, I can tell you I was disappointed in said "friend". He was the only person I knew in this foreign land and he left me in a hostel alone. While I was hurt that he did not even come check on me or let me know what was going on, I was more disappointed in seeing and experiencing that side of him. Yet always finding the silver lining, I found the most enlightening lesson I saw in the experience. Travel shows you caveats of one's personality and character, that you may not see otherwise.
Another example stems from my cousin. After telling her what happened, she shared that she too had a similar experience. She and her guy at the time had been dating for ~ 7 months and decided to travel to Peru for a week. Upon returning from the trip, she ended things immediately because she saw character traits in him on their trip that were on her "Non-Negotiables" List. Through her trip, she was able to vet her boo and determined he was, in fact, not IT.
And for this, you MUST travel with your Other (or potential Other).
If anything, traveling together breaks up the day to day monotony you experience with dating. To me, traveling together is one of the best ways to explore a person past their immediate comfort zones. You will be able to assess area like:
- Is your Other financially savvy with the trip budget?
- How do they respond to heart-wrenching situations like seeing poverty, lack of clean water, or other economical or societal disparities?
- Are they selfish or selfless?
- How open are they to trying new experiences?
- Do they have the same types of interests as you? If not, are they willing to compromise?
- How do they keep up with their hygiene? (very important!)
Traveling together creates this controlled environment; almost like a social experiment. For however long you travel, you probably cannot escape that person for very long. Chances are, you are staying in the same room, enjoying the same activities, and eating most meals together. You are forced to see their nuances (good, bad, and down right annoying!), their character in certain situations, bad habits, and parts of their personality that you may not have explored otherwise.
Have you ever traveled with someone (Other, lover, or otherwise) and found out that they may not be sticking around much longer?
Until then, journey on.