Why Vacation Dating is a Bad Idea

Vivien Grace
7 min readJan 13, 2020

Lessons learned from a Solo Female Traveler

Bocagrande, Cartegena, Colombia

I love to travel and am fortunate to have a “digital” career that allows me to do so often. In the past few years, I have been to Africa, Mexico, India, Turkey, Greece, Sri Lanka, Dubai, and Colombia.

I cannot seem to avoid the temptation of vacation dating. Vacation dating, in my experience, is neither a casual hook up nor an actual relationship. It is a facsimile of a romantic relationship, except for that the courtship, infatuation, fighting, and breakup occur at hyperspeed.

My intention when planning these trips is to experience a new culture and for the thrill of escaping my comfort zone and the cold New England winters. I recently embarked on a three week trip to Colombia to learn Spanish, and found myself utterly distracted by yet another vacation boyfriend.

From the day you meet your vacation boyfriend or girlfriend, there is a ticking clock, counting the minutes until you will be inevitably separated from one another by departing flights, oceans, thousands of miles, cultural differences, and countless other obstacles.

Each one of these recent experiences has followed a similar pattern:

Phase 1: Attraction

During the attraction phase, my suitor and I decide that there is a mutual physical attraction, determine that we speak the same language, and can manage enough banter to fill a few days’ worth of conversation. It will be some harmless fun, entertainment, and a good story later. What could go wrong?

Phase 2: Co-Habitation

I have not officially lived with a man for the past twelve years. However, I have cohabitated with two vacation boyfriends quite recently.

Perhaps the heat and humidity go to my head, or I am giddy from the sweetness of days that are free from daily chores and obligations. I throw all caution to the wind when it comes to choosing appropriate men, and then inevitably end up shacking up with them in tropical places.

Phase 3: Domestic Bliss

At this point, the vacation boyfriend and I have fast-forwarded several months (even years) that would be required in a real-world relationship. We have inside jokes; we are having…

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Vivien Grace

Solo Female Traveler & Writer Wellness Junkie | Allergy Queen 🌎🛍️✈️ 5-Star taste on a 2-Star Budget.