What makes travellers so sexy?
Would you really want to date a traveller? To form a romance with someone consumed by wanderlust, obsessed with exploring the globe? Apparently you would. Well, most of you would.
Every time an online dating website runs a survey, "an interest in travel" seems to come pretty much top of the list of desirable traits in a partner. (It's right up there with "actually looking like your photo" and "not lying about your height".)
Blogger girls rave about dating a boy who travels. Boys, presumably, would like to date a girl who feels the same.
Clearly, travellers are sexy. They're also adventurous, curious, intelligent, cultured, open-minded, and good in bed. There's even the possibility that, given their choice of lifestyle, they have plenty of money. There's no down side.
We're transient. We float in and out of people's lives. We're there at the bar shouting drinks and having fun one week, and the next week we're gone. We'll be back of course – and then we'll leave again.
We're like fly-in fly-out miners, only instead of jetting off to some isolated hole in the ground to get our hands dirty and earn lots of money, we're flitting around a beautiful slice of paradise and posting Instagram photos to annoy everyone back home. Oh, and we're spending money instead of making it.
We occasionally complain about these experiences too, which is even more annoying. "Paris was a nightmare this time, so many tourists"; "My flight was cancelled and I had to stay in freakin' Chile". Etcetera.
We have hundreds and hundreds of Facebook friends but we can't really remember how we know them all. Was that guy from the Kenya trip? Or Brazil? Whatever, he just got married. Like.
We're frequently absent. We miss things like weddings and birthdays and births themselves. We need to be photoshopped into most family portraits.
We're stingy. That bit about shouting drinks before was a figure of speech. Travellers focus their financial goals on one thing: travel. That can come at the expense of things like careers and cars and houses with picket fences and buying overly generous rounds at the pub.
We're boring. Get stuck next to us at dinner and you'll know all about it. The adventurous spirit that travellers possess often manifests itself in the need to share the results of this spirit with anyone in earshot, which means lots of stories that start with, "This one time, when I was in...", and then don't really seem to go anywhere.
We're also rampant story-toppers, plagued by the subconscious desire to better everyone's travel tales with a more exotic one of our own. You got held up at US customs? Well, I got strip-searched going into the DRC.
We're snobs. We don't like the local Japanese restaurant because "the food tasted way better in Japan". We moan because the bottle-o down the road doesn't stock the hefeweizen we were drinking in Berlin. Nothing at home is as good as it was overseas.
We're even people snobs, wary of anyone who doesn't know their Turks from their Turkmenistanis, their Greenwich from their Greenwich Village. And you haven't even been to Laos? Oh.
Basically, travellers can be a bit of a pain. And now that you've had the harsh truth revealed, the question for online daters and single people everywhere is: Should you still take a punt one? Should you put yourself through dating a traveller?
Of course you should. You can find me on Facebook.
What do you think makes an "interest in travel" an attractive quality? Or are travellers really just a pain?
Sydney Morning Herald