Dealing with the Opposite Sex

Sometimes you want the attention, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you’ll like him, sometimes you won’t. Here are a few tips and things to think about, depending on the situation.

If you don’t want the attention:

  • When traveling through a foreign country, note how the women dress. If they are all wearing skirts and long-sleeve shirts, you should be too. Women who are not mindful of the culture may be harassed by offended locals. In general, the more conservative the better. Check out Safety Tips for more info.
  • If you’re going out to a club, try to go with a group. You can always use another girl as your excuse to leave, and it’s safer too.

If you want to make a new, male, backpacker friend:

  • Be aware that people do “hook up” while they are traveling. Approaching another traveler may be seen as an advance, whether you mean it or not. If you are worried about this, drop a line about your boyfriend at home or be prepared to explain that you are not interested in anything more than a friend. Don’t let this discourage you from meeting other people! Just be aware of how your actions and dress may be preserved, especially if alcohol is involved.

If you want to make a new, male, local friend:

  • What better way to get to know the culture than to make friends with the locals, right? Although this is true, we’re sorry to say that not all guys just want to be friends. Men are traditionally more aggressive in certain countries such as France, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Morocco and Egypt, although this is by no means a comprehensive list. Try to remember that many people base their idea of, say, American women, off Hollywood movies and magazines. Use your head, trust your instincts and you’ll be fine.
  • Acknowledge the fact that in certain countries, men do not address women in conversation for religious, traditional or political reasons. If you are with another male, expect all inquires and business transactions to be directed at him. There is no rule of thumb for dealing with this- evaluate the situation and then decide on your course of action.

If you are in a relationship at home:

  • Expect that your boyfriend or husband may be jealous of what you are doing. Be aware that they may not understand your reasons for traveling, or fully appreciate your experiences. Explain that you may sometimes be out of contact, or too busy to call. Discussing possible issues before you go will cut down on your phone bills and make your time on the road more enjoyable.

If you are in a relationship on the road:

  • We’ve met dozens of people who have found themselves in a relationship while traveling or living overseas. Some relationships last only as long as the trip does, while others end up meeting their future spouse! If you are in a relationship with someone from another country, realize and appreciate your cultural differences. Most of all, enjoy the experience!