I have a certain amount of self-interest at stake when it comes to People Dating People Who Travel. I travel an awful lot and would like to date attractive men (or at least men who smell OK and like to talk about subjects other than football): ipso facto, I logically hope that attractive men find my stories about Komodo dragons, Cambodia, and oddly-advised drinking choices in India are alluring, or at least amusing.
However, I just read this piece, entitled “Date a Boy Who Travels.” And now I’m worried. Worried that I am the earnest, boring-story telling, pain-in-the-butt who wears Angkor beer t-shirts in perfectly respectable US bars.
Am I the horrendous female equivalent of this supposedly sexy manchild the piece describes in prose lifted from a compilation of Chicken Soup for the Travelers Soul? Is this me? I hate that guy!
“Buy him a beer, maybe the same brand that he wears on the singlet under his plaid shirt, unable to truly let go.”
Specifically, I hate this guy.
I became worried about my own welfare when I read this paragraph:
“He’ll squeak like an excited toddler when his latest issue of National Geographic arrives in the mail. Then he’ll grow quiet, engrossed, until he finishes his analysis of every photo, every adventure. In his mind, he’ll insert himself in these pictures. He’ll pass the issue on to you and grill you about your dreams and competitively ask about the craziest thing you’ve ever done. Tell him. And know that he’ll probably win. And if by chance you win, know that his next lot in life will be to out do you. But then he’ll say, “Maybe we can do it together.”
That’s me, I’ve realized, and as I now admit to the public. I’ve done that before. The National Geographic thing. The craziest-things-you’ve-ever-done thing by way of an icebreaker. Competing with random strangers for WHO’S THE MOST EXTREME, lubricated by a few…wait for it…exotic Angkor beers. I am this person. Well, perhaps more cynical. I am the World Traveling Cynic.
But still, I am this person.
I think I even own some version of the outfits those douchey tanned European girls in the picture attached to the article are wearing.
To wantonly paraphrase Nietzsche, I have stared into the Lonely Planet abyss….and it is staring back at me. To an extent.
Perhaps if applied to me, the article title should be amended. It should be “Date A Girl Who Travels But Is Really Cynical About It, Because She’ll Never Ask You To Do Yoga And You Won’t Have To Talk About How Sunsets Make You ”
Or “Date A Journalist Girl Who Travels So You Can Both Sit At Bars And Sneer At Backpackers Approximately Your Own Age, While You Both Read Difficult And Horrifyingly Dry Political Science Books.”
Even: “Date A Girl Who Travel-Writes So You Can Expense Account Stir-Fried Ants And Complain A Lot For Pay.”
Don’t rush all at once.