Last week, I posted a blog about my experience with meeting people, especially men, and dating abroad. In this second installment I would like to dive a little deeper into my experiences, talk about the different categories of people I met in different places, and share what I learned about myself as a result of these experiences.
One positive thing traveling has done for me is help me become more open minded with men and dating. As a result of this, I don’t see a White man, an Asian man or a Black man. For me, the bottom line is a man is a man regardless of the race. This guided my decision making while considering who to meet, and I was open to getting to know people from different races and ethnicities.
With dating comes sex (maybe not) but this is at my discretion depending on the connection I have with the person. It is always hard for me to get intimate with people I meet in general because it takes a lot to build a connection with someone, especially if I am only staying in a country for a limited time.
This does not stop me from preparing for the expected or unexpected when I go out on dates. The number 1 rule I always follow is to always carry a condom. I usually have them in my checked box or my purse and I only started doing this when I had a mishap. Some places like health clinics give condoms free and its dirt cheap in other places.
Carrying a condom is important in order to be prepared for the unexpected. When I just started traveling, I met Mr. M who was also a traveler and asked to go for dinner and drinks. I agreed because why not? Long term travel could get boring quickly so meeting people is always a good way to explore a city and keep things interesting.
Mr. M. came to pick me at my hotel; we went out to eat, drank some beer and decided to go back to the hotel afterwards. Things got a little hot, and we were ready to get intimate, but I noticed Mr. M did not reach in his wallet or his pocket for a condom. I stopped him and started asking questions.
“Um… excuse me, do you have a condom”?
“I don’t, but I trust you enough. You look healthy.”
“WHAT? WE JUST MET!”
NO SIR! I trust me too, but I don’t trust you! He says he gets tested every other month, so he is sure he is fine – I don’t care sorry. I told him to put on his clothes and go home. He was disappointed but hey such is life. My health and safety come first!
This was not the first time this type of situation has happened to me in my life, but I always find the voice and courage to say no. I don’t want to get pregnant for a stranger or even worse catch an STD. Life is too short to put myself in such risky situations. The carefree man I described above is an example of one of the different types of men I met while traveling. The other types of men I met can be categorized below:
Malaysia was one of the first countries I visited during my world tour in 2018. Malaysia is the gateway to a lot of countries in Asia because it is cheap to fly from Kuala Lumpur, so I visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at least 4 times. During my 1st visit to Kuala Lumpur I met Mr. N. We went out for drinks and he asked if I meet up with guys often while traveling. I told him solo travel was new to me and I am quite careful with people I meet so, as a result, he was the 2nd guy I met up with. He told me he didn’t believe me that he thinks I meet up with and have sex with more men than I will like to admit. At this point, I had not gotten intimate with anyone while on the road, so his inference was very wrong. I felt no need to defend myself because he would not believe me, and I didn’t owe him anything.
I told him I did not appreciate the way the date went and if he only wanted to bring me out to shame me, then he shouldn’t have bothered. The conversation was quite shocking to me because what is the point of shaming a woman if your goal at the end of the night was to try to get the same thing you are shaming me for? I ended the conversation and our meeting ended at dinner. I never saw him again after that.
The Deaf to No
From my last post on dating abroad, we can all agree that I am a very patient person. While in Hong Kong, I met Mr. H on my way back to the hotel from touring the city. He said he noticed that I was solo, and he was also solo. We spent the whole day hanging out and even went out to Lan Kwai Fong street which is a very popular party street in Hong Kong. The night ended for us at 3am and he said his accommodation was far and he had to take a bus. He asked if he could crash in my hotel room for the night and wake up early the next morning to get on the bus.
I had already spent the whole day with him at this point, so I was comfortable enough. I agreed and said why not. I wore leggings and a long sleeve to sleep because it was cold, and I did not want Mr. H. to get any ideas. Mr. H and I went to bed, but he kept trying to make advances at me ALL through the night.
At a point he got very upset and asked why I was wearing so much clothes to bed. I told him it was because I had no intention of doing anything with him and I was only offering him a bed for the night so the sooner he falls asleep the better. He reluctantly went to bed and left the next morning. Was I scared of potential rape? No because the lobby was very close to my room so all I had to do was alert the security if I did not feel safe. This was the only reason why I allowed him to spend the night.
I was very stern with my NO.
Being forceful will not change my no to a yes and I am not sure why people feel it is okay to attempt several times even after hearing no. This will forever be an unanswered question. My generosity by allowing him sleep over should not automatically make Mr. H thing he has access into my pants. It is quite uncomfortable, and some women have been in these types of situations and felt pressured to say yes. This is not okay. Saying yes under pressure does not mean consent- No should be taken as no!
Being open to meeting different people comes with its own BS.
For example, the man you met who voluntarily offered to show you around his city might already be married with a kid. Did you know that though? No because he denied ever having a girlfriend talk less of a wife!
This was the situation with Mr. F who I met on Couchsurfing and he offered to show me his city. Mr. F was very nice, and he had great reviews on Couchsurfing, so I agreed to meet up with him. Mr. F also introduced me to his best friend who had a car and he said his friend will take us around. Mr. F and I saw the city for 3 days and I had to leave to visit another city in the country. Mr. F kept sending me messages telling me he had a great time and was looking forward to seeing me again.
I was able to visit the city again for a week before heading out of the country and at this point, I saw Mr. F again. Mr. F spent the week with me, and we went to dinner, the club, we went out to create content for my Instagram and everything.
Mr. F told me on the 6th day in the city that he could not spend much time with me till later in the evening because he had some business to go take care of. I did not ask questions because it is not in my place, I am only a visitor.
I met Mr. F’s best friend the morning of the 6th day, and he drove me to a restaurant outside of town that I always wanted to try. I told his best friend that he said he had some business to deal with and his best friend goes- “I will tell you this because you don’t live here and you deserve better, and I am sure you probably will never come back but Mr. F is with is wife and his daughter”.
I was SHOOK! “But Mr. F spent the WHOLE week with me” I said. Where did he tell his wife, he was going?!
“Mr F. does this all the time you are not his first”
This puts a twist to things. Mr. F spent the whole week with me but never mentioned a wife and kid. I am normally quite good at detecting this kind of boldfaced BS, but he was so good at hiding it, it slipped right under my nose. I confronted him and of course he denied it and swore that he does not have a family. Then again this is to be expected but it does not make the situation right, people have lives that keeps going before anyone arrives at their city and after anyone leaves- nothing about that is ever going to change.
The “Short” on Patience
I exchanged numbers with a guy from tinder who happened to be a young and successful business executive. He told me; “I want to see and “see” you (his exact words) the first time we meet in person”. I figured the second “see” was referring to having sex and this forwardness was a turn off for me. I decided not to meet him at all. In these types of situations, I do us both a favor and don’t meet them. Half the time their ego is taller than them anyways!
Men let me be clear about this. If you are with your first black girl, she doesn’t want to know unless she asks. Some men will blatantly tell you because they think it will make you want to see them more. For me, this is a no. I don’t want to be anyone’s dating experiment and I don’t want to be reduced to a checkmark off a guy’s bucket list.
One time, I accidentally linked my Instagram to my tinder when I just started traveling. I did not know this not advisable because linking your Instagram to tinder means some men can message you off tinder if you don’t match with them immediately.
I had one of these men send me a message on Instagram and he chatted with me a little. He told me he was excited to meet me if I did agree to meet up because I will be his first black girl. I told him I was not really interested in meeting because I had a lot on my plate, and I had a lot of places I wanted to see- this was true. After telling him no, he said he would do anything to get me to see him and he would even pay me if things were to get intimate.
How to bypass this foolishness? I was very stern with the NO, blocked him and unlinked my Instagram from the tinder app so such does not happen again.
The Husband Material
Of course, meeting people does not always have to be sour. In my previous post, I wrote about Mr. G. who I considered moving to Malaysia for. The connection I had with Mr. G was unexplainable. I was eager to explore more, but time was not on my side.
I also met Mr. W. in South Africa during my 3 weeks stay in the country. South Africa was my last stop at the end of my 2 month Eastern and Southern Africa tour and Mr. W lived close to me. We matched on tinder and we went out to eat sushi. I immediately felt a connection with Mr. W. We spent every day together for the 3 weeks I stayed in South Africa and it was so memorable. Mr. W took me to a lot of nice places in Cape Town and he was always down to explore the city. He would go to work and check on me after work and spend the day with me. The security guards at the Airbnb I got even recognized him and would let him in because he came over so often.
With dating in a new place, it is easy to fall into the traps of men who only want a fling but there are also good men out there. Men who genuinely love meeting people, enjoy having a good time and not expecting anything in return. Men who are able show that they are real and that they care while giving the woman the respect she deserves.
During my 9 – 10 month stint abroad, I learned that dating for me was a form of self-discovery. It exposed me to people of different personalities, backgrounds, and races. It taught me exactly what I do and do not want in a man, and it taught me some important lessons:
1) I am not much of a casual person. I like to be more concrete. Being casual could be emotionally traumatizing if you are not strong enough to set boundaries.
Take home lesson – Be aware of what you want in a relationship (casual or concrete) and never be afraid to demand it.
2) Dating while traveling especially long-term travel is not the worst thing. It can be fickle because of the types of people out there and because you might just fall in love with someone you might never see again. It is however essential because you get more exposure about dating and it allows you to streamline what exactly you want in a man. It was a life experience for me.
Take home lesson – Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and learning by trial and error. Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you’ve put yourself out there.
3) Dating made me a stronger person emotionally. Before I would “catch feelings”, from holding a guy’s hand but now physical contact is what it is. Take home lesson – Take time to develop a connection with someone, don’t run with that first feeling.
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