How are you supposed to cross paths and connect with someone when you feel like you’re constantly going in the opposite direction of everyone you meet?
I’ve been asking myself this a lot over the past few months while I’ve been darting between Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore & Australia. You see, I’m 33 and am surrounded by people telling me it’s time to settle down and while that would be nice, My version of settle down is very different to societies ‘normal’ standard of married, kids and mortgage… But I never was ‘normal’, I want to meet the love of my life and keep travelling the world while we run our businesses from the world, chase our dreams and leave a huge positive impact on this planet.
Before I left on this trip, I wrote an article titled ‘Would you use Tinder when you Travel?’, I was highlighting all of my perceptions, What I thought the pros and cons of the app were and how I wanted to test it out in the field… So I did, and this is what happened.
I spent the first month in Malaysia and was travelling with a friend the first two weeks which meant I didn’t touch it (Ok, Maybe I had a mindless swipefest when she wasn’t looking).
Fast forward to the next two weeks when I was back travelling solo and started to use it. I wasn’t coming across anyone I was attracted to and was chatting about this to a girl I met on a day trip. She was travelling for work, in a relationship and had never had the joy of using a dating app, So being the ‘good girl’ that I am, I let her swipe to her hearts content under my profile to see what all the fuss was about… Maybe she would have more luck than me??? Nope, But we did have a good laugh!
For too long I put others needs in front of mine and thought I was being selfish if I said No and took time out for myself… I LOVE helping people and being of service, But how are you supposed to help them if you're not filling yourself with LOVE first? ✨💜🌎 Are you treating yourself with the kindness you pour into others?
Here I am looking for the love of my life in Borneo
This is about the time where you get over the app and delete it… Except, I had 10 days of work lined up in Vietnam and Laos, but again, On this trip I am grouped with ten other people and the conversation turns to Tinder and who is around us… All of these people in relationships are curious as to how it works, so I reinstall it so they can see for themselves … C’mon guys, This is my love life you’re playing with here… Sure, Have a go on my profile and then move back on to your relationship while you leave me here solo again… Not bitter!
So far no luck and I am six weeks into this trip, Universe, send me some content please… And by content I mean tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, driven, kind, funny, location independent, successful and strong.
Well, The universe listened and BAM… In enters my American boy (Queue Estelle & Kanye, Will you be my American boy?) in Vientiane who seems to be all of these things except location independent (although he is travelling indefinitely) and has blond hair, but I let that slide because hey, I have blond hair, That would mean I am being blondist… Is that a thing?
I know, I know, You want all the juicy details about said American boy, so here goes (Name withheld, Because, Respect)…
We chat briefly on Tinder and set up a date for the following day, I am supposed to meet him at a café at 10am for coffee and then ride off (into the sunset) on his motorbike (Sounds legit safe, right? I made sure I screen shot his details and message them to a friend to let her know if I go missing, This is who to hunt down).
So, 9:30am the next morning I google the directions and set off on my ten minute walk to meet him, After half an hour of walking in 35 degree heat and nearing 10am I still haven’t found this place, so I stop and ask for directions but no one speaks English… I show my google map to a van that pulls over on this highway heading to nowhere (I was using the standard apple app and not the real google app that lets you download offline, rookie error, the blue dot wasn’t moving), This van is a truck version of a tuk tuk so I eagerly jump in and head 15 minutes back in the direction I just came from (with what felt like a hundred stops to pick up locals along the way).
I turn up to the café about 30 minutes late and can’t see anyone sitting outside so head inside (Still no one, maybe he left?) and turn the corner to find AB (American boy) still sitting there, I apologise profusely at my lack of direction (which is usually really good, I must be flustered by the heat… I swear) and probably look like a hot mess but he doesn’t seem to mind… He’s from the South, so I’m thinking, He must have good manners or an awesome poker face.
We chat for about 20 minutes and head off on the bike to the Buddha Park which is around 25km out of the city, riding down back roads through small villages and stopping in remote temples that never see tourists, all while sitting on the back of this bike with my arms wrapped around this sexy American boy and relaying our life stories through our open faced helmets is seriously setting the tone to be my favourite date ever.
There were a few little things AB did that made me swoon a little bit on the inside (He does not know this)… When we stopped at the first remote temple we left the bike in the HOT sun while we were walking around taking pics and he walked off to go and move it into the shade so my legs wouldn’t get burnt when I hopped back on (I had denim shorts on)… When I saw him do this I joked with him, thinking he was taking off and leaving me there in the middle of nowhere.
At the next temple there was a local man that came out and kept trying to grab at me and I could see AB noticed from a distance and came back over to keep an eye on this guy and make sure I was safe.
This is one of the pictures I took at those temples on this date
We stopped for lunch and chatted some more before continuing back on to the Buddha Park, which by the way is a must see for how disappointing it is… It has got to be the most random bunch of statues, haphazardly placed in a small field with this huge pumpkin in the middle that you can climb up through by entering the demon’s mouth… I believe the three layers are supposed to represent hell, earth and heaven (Ironically similar to my dating life). Anyway, I can get claustrophobic so I disclosed this to AB and he was a gentleman and went in front of me and kept checking if I was okay.
After the riveting half an hour at the Buddha Park (It seriously took twice as long to get there but was pretty funny) we took off back to Vientiane. Along the way we went past a country club and you could sense the excitement from AB. We had spoken over lunch about how much he loved golf and how much I hated it, so I suggested we turn the bike around and see if we can get in so he can teach me how to play (Supposedly I must have had a bad teacher previously if I wasn’t a fan). In we go, The security says no until AB makes a golf swinging action and they let us through, AB goes in to find out if we can play and he comes back very excited announcing that it is game on… Until I go in and have us denied because I am wearing denim and my shorts are too short for the course… Oops, Sorry AB, Game over!
So, What to do??? We head back to the city to drop off the bike, pick up AB’s luggage (because he was changing his hotel that day) and head over to my hotel to go swimming and have a couple of cheeky beers in the pool before he finds a new place to stay.
After a few beers, we decide to head out for drinks and dinner but first, AB needs to go find a new place to stay, I suggest he could stay with me (Was that his plan all along?) seeing as I have to fly out at 6am, as long as he keeps it PG 😉
AB decides he will stay and we both get ready and head out to watch the sunset over a few drinks (Including a hand wound lotto machine that dispenses local rum shots in different flavours to match the coloured balls that come out) before dinner. AB finds out that I LOVE espresso martinis, so proceeds to spend the next half an hour googling bars in Vientiane that make them… Success, he finds one, so we head there. A couple more drinks there and we decide its time to head home, but on the way we pass a place called Wind West that we saw earlier (It was done up like a ranch so we’re pretty sure it was supposed to be called Wild West but got lost in translation), I am pretty tipsy by this point and decide we HAVE to go in!!! We didn’t last long, It was terrible Laotian karaoke.
Fast forward a few hours and it’s time for me to get up and fly to Bali, say good bye to AB and hope that I will run back into him in a couple of weeks when we will both be in Cambodia, Fingers crossed it will be a case of same place, same time again … I had the best day and am pro Tinder at this point after my one experiment with AB for this blog.
The next couple of weeks includes some Facetime and messaging with AB while I am in Bali and Vietnam but it is not looking like we will be in the same place at the same time (I am on assignment and have limited time in each place).
Here I am, Loving life in Bali and living my dream
Because we had been messaging I had attached myself to the idea that it would be super romantic and fun if he came to meet me in Siem Reap where I had a couple of free days before I went to Singapore and him to Japan.
He was heading back to Phnom Penh which is only a few hours away and I was certain he was joking and actually coming to surprise me in Siem Reap… So much so that I put my detective hat on and went onto Tinder and it showed he was 2km away. OMG, I was so excited, It was going to be this cinematic re connection (I’m sure you’ve caught on to my dramatic tendencies). So I message him to find out where he is and he says Phnom Penh… Say what? But Tinder said 2km, I log back in and it says 233km… Oh no, Why did it do that? I was really looking forward to seeing him but alas, Not to be!!!
So, I guess you’re all hoping for a happy ending??? A psychic said I was going to meet an American boy while I was travelling and here I am acting like he is the only American boy in the world.
I can’t give you a happy ending but what I can offer up is what I took away from this experience.
What is my lesson in this?
I will continue to wear my heart on my sleeve and dive all in because I love, love. I love the excitement, the unknown and putting everything out there because it means I am being authentic… this is me and you can love or hate me.
What is not effective for me is hanging on to this need for control, It’s time to enjoy those moments and allow the universe to shape whatever is supposed to happen. Yes, I get to choose what I want and step up but I also get to let go, flow, allow and let myself receive.
This was a huge reminder to get out there and have fun. It had been a while (A loooong while) since I dated and this being such a fun date, reminded me of how many amazing guys there are out there and that I have so much fun ahead of me, playing between my feminine and masculine (I spend a lot of my time in my masculine since I am so used to taking charge and doing whatever needs to be done to get what I want… Being in my feminine is a whole different area I get to work on too) and looking out for that one with warrior energy that rises up to my standards and can hold space for this powerful woman.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my article and if you have any success stories or lessons learnt from Tinder, Please pop them in the comments below.
Love will always win x