Traditional Dating vs Travel Dating: what’s the difference?

Valentine's day has come and gone. Now it’s February 15th and you're still a single nomad and sick of the loneliness. Or maybe you’re someone who’s been travelling for years? You might be thinking: where is this all going? Or maybe you actually don’t think about it at all? Join Aline Dahmen., and her growing group of Nomad Soulmates, as she digs through the dating maze to find out what really makes travel dating different to traditional dating.

I started this article with the aim to answer one question: how is traditional dating different from travel dating? The inspiration came from some of the discussions I’ve had in the Nomad Soulmates group on Facebook and, although it’s obvious there are as many opinions as single nomads, I’ve tried to provide some structure and food for thought. For the record, ‘traditional’ dating here applies to dating for non-nomadic people, so anyone who lives and works in a location-dependent place.
What do you think are the main differences between traditional dating and travel dating?

The good life makes it damn complicated

It’s a pretty good lifestyle, that’s for sure; you’re always on the road and have the freedom to go where ever you want and work flexible hours. Most nomads don’t even have a boss. It’s certainly unconventional, but becoming increasingly popular as more people choose this lifestyle. When you’re travelling a lot, or living a nomadic life, you get to know many people – but you’re only able to build deep and meaningful connections with a few, and these can be both romantic relationships or platonic friendships.

People constantly come and go from your life: have you ever had that moment when you just got to know someone really cool and your next big flight is scheduled the following week? Maybe this person is a local and has even less flexibility to be spontaneous. These moments force you into making fast decisions and differ greatly from the luxury of having the time to see ‘where things are going’.

Love as a nomad? Some things don’t change

Nomadic or not, the couples we’ve interviewed often say the exact same things. The desired outcome has been to find a soulmate you can share your life with, or a hot date – or whatever it is you’re looking for. But we’ve also found that the basics in building any kind of relationship are not that different. We all want a real connection; we all want honesty and trust. It’s most often the external factors that make travel dating slightly more difficult. Things like being open-minded, having a similar lifestyle and the same view on life and cultures often are the things that bring nomads together.

Time flies when you’re having fun. So, when’s the ‘right time’ to take the next step?

When it feels right, jump! Jump?!

It can be very intense when people experience great moments together with someone they’ve met on the road. There’s a feeling that – in those few days or weeks – something needs to be figured out, the pressure mounts and you think, ‘do I jump?’ In most situations, it’s not an option to take it slowly or to try to figure out if you want to take the next step with this person, or not.

“A day travelling the world together is about as intense as 2 weeks of living together or 3 months of dating”

Facebook conversation about travel dating

Making the decision

So ok, you found a match! After a few weeks, or sometimes days, you already need to make up your mind about whether you want this to continue. And this decision is bigger and has to be made faster, than when you’re rooted in one place. It means you need to be willing to change your plan and commit pretty quickly.

Pros (and cons) of travel dating

Dating beyond borders & cultures

Learning a culture through a date can open up a totally new world for you. There is something fun about it, and this is something you may never have experienced before. The mystery and unknown leaves a taste of excitement behind. It makes it easier to connect with the person, and easier to fall for them too.

Travel and dating: love as a nomad

From the people I meet in Nomad Soulmates, I can see that they desire many of these things, and we do our best to bring them together. I’m delighted that Vikram and Maria have already met through Nomad Soulmates, and after some time chatting online, they got together in India for a spontaneous trip and fell in love.

First Nomad Soulmates couple!

That is something beautiful to see – and something we want for a lot more of our members, which is why we’re creating a dating app for nomads, helping them connect romantically with other like minded people.

Nomad Soulmates: the travel dating app

Check out our Indiegogo campaign to see what the app is going to look like and how it’ll work. We hope to see you there!

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