Why is Traveling So Important?


I’m curious to hear why so many people think how much someone travels or does not travel is relevant in regards to a dating profile.

Is it really that big of a deal if someone travels a lot? What is it that having a passport full of stamps supposedly says about a person?

Do you judge people who haven’t traveled outside of the US? If so, why?



PS….to the private post crew:

Please check your emails for the last posts. A new post was sent on Sunday and another one today.


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58 Responses to “Why is Traveling So Important?”

  1. Eliza Says:

    I’m curious to know – who wrote in asking this. I will go on a limb and be the first to post a reply to such a question. There is nothing inherently wrong with someone that does not travel, or has a passport full of stamps. All it says to me is, if a person travels…and not for work, but for leisurely purposes, and depends to where…it is somewhat indicative of how adventurous they are. That coupled with their financial means to travel abroad, and how often and to which destinations. People who travel often and do not limit their travels to Florida every year or Vegas only…are curious about the world. Travel does that you…it opens you up to new cultures, experiences, and nothing wrong if someone does not have the thirst for that. Some people can’t travel due to their living situations and other circumstances. Others claims to be waiting to meet that right person to travel with. In my opinion, there is no point in “waiting for someone” to start living, if you have an interest in doing something, meeting a goal or exploring a different city or country. Why put your life on hold? For what? What if you don’t meet that special someone? You will put your life on hold indefinitely? Make zero sense to me.

    • Z Says:

      Judge much?

      I dont have any burning interest in traveling…yet I’m sure I’d enjoy traveling and sharing that experience with a special someone. My life isn’t on hold and I won’t die with regrets if I never go on another trip. To me travel is an experience to share, not an experience to have.

      What does bother me though is that you and many others can’t appreciate this difference.

      • K Says:

        I have a huge interest in traveling. If I met a guy who didn’t have that interest before me, but was willing to share in that interest with me, I’d be happy with that. In my experience though, guys who haven’t had that interest usually weren’t too enthused to spend time traveling with me. I miss being in a relationship when I had a partner to travel with. If my partner only wanted to go on the occasional trip, then I’d still have to go solo or try to find friends (many aren’t single anymore) so that would be a downside for me. Not wanting to travel isn’t a deal breaker, but I’d prefer someone who shared my interest…that’s all.

      • Mandy Says:

        People prioritize traveling to different degrees. To me, it’s not about the travel and passport stamps in general, but what it says about the person. I can appreciate that you may be someone who doesn’t care if they ever travel again, but would happily do it with someone else. I don’t judge you for that, but I do think that says you’re really not compatible with someone who has prioritized travel over many other things in life.

        For most people, travel is only a small part of their year. But the reason it’s so important is because it says a lot about who you are the rest of the time. To me it’s no different than finding out what type of work someone does, or how close they are to their families, or if they’re a vegetarian. It’s just one little aspect of their overall personalities, but it gives you a bigger window into who they really are.

    • dee Says:

      I could not agree more – well stated all around. International travel expands horizons and, for me, travel compatibility is a must in a relationship.

  2. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    Yes, Moxie! Yes yes yes!
    I read one woman’s profile who said: “If your passport is not full of stamps, we’d probably wouldn’t be a good match.”

    Really? Wow.
    I can’t wait to see the responses on this.

  3. PGH Gal Says:

    I don’t think it matters in a profile, specifically. It does matter for me in someone I date since I A: travel for work a lot and B: travel for leisure a lot (I’ve taken 9 out of state leisure trips this year, with 1 more for Christmas). It’s a lifestyle for me. So it’s just like people want to meet those who work out as much as they do or who enjoy cooking or whatever. I think some people say it to sound fancy or cool, but for some of us it really is an active part of our lives we’d like to share with our partner.

  4. marshmallow Says:

    Some people might use it to gauge someone’s financial means but it is not always a great indicator of that – I have friends and relatives who prefer to spend their money on “things” instead of “experiences.” I wouldn’t judge a person who doesn’t travel international because they can’t afford it. But if they would rather spend their money on a male equivalent of a Louis Vuitton handbag instead of a trip, then we have different interests and priorities.

  5. Erik Says:

    To open, here is a quote from David Foster Wallace:

    “To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience, It is to impose yourself on places that in all non-economic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.”

    ― David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

    Admittedly, this is from an essay on visiting a New England lobster festival, and not, say, studying architecture in Barcelona.

    However, I’m going to use it to segue into the subject of travel as it pertains to advertising oneself for dating.

    My take is that travel on a dating profile is a semiotic exchange indicating privilege in most cases. Sure, there are people whose life revolves around travel — and if having a partner who travels is important to them, then they should indicate that. However, to borrow a concept from the largely farcical economics of Thorstein Bunde Veblen, using travel as a means of conspicuous consumption raises red flags to me.

    So: saying, “Hiking in various world spots is critical to me, and my partner needs to understand that” is one thing. Cataloging all the countries one has visited for leisure is another. The former is not so baggage laden, and it seems like a good faith effort to attract a partner who understands something. The latter is more like code for: “I have or utilize a significant amount of disposable income and/or time away from home. I might or might not have a lot of money, allowing me airfare, or I might be deeply indebted in an attempt to replace personality and substance with a checklist of activities which make me appear interesting.”

    The fetishization of glamorous travelogues on dating sites seems like a vapid attempt to sort out people of means from those without — or perhaps: people who think somewhere else is always more exciting than right here [a red flag to someone who seeks a partner who can be happy with what he or she has]. I know some people stumble into this innocently, without knowing the systemic privilege they are reinforcing, because travel _is_ exciting — pictures of you with a lion, or you standing on the Great Wall, or you cliff diving into a sky-blue ocean — or even you standing in line, making a funny face, waiting for coffee in a Laotian street side vendor — it is narrative. It is distinctive. It is evocative. It is also easy.

    I have, for years, been able to afford travel with luxury. My adventures, in the past, were done on a shoe-string, even when I had the means to do otherwise, and I have some great stories. However, I didn’t post them on a dating site. Most of what I posted which could differentiate me can be accessed for free: empathy, books available at the library, movies which are available mostly for cheap or for free, ideas which are the great democratizer.

    I had seen enough photos of people on adventures to know that travel can be very rewarding, it can be done cheaply or lavishly, but what it tells me most of anything is: this person spent money to go some place. Sometimes, it told me about the fitness of the person [bushwhacking through Alaska wilderness?], but mostly it told me: this person spent money to go some place. It is generally absent of ideas, of substance, of true personality. Any personality which can be expressed by buying a ticket to Cambodia can be expressed a lot more cheaply, and with less privilege, another way.

    Even eco-travelers, dear to my heart, subvert their own message, when, hearkening back to the DFW quote, spent lots of capital and carbon to visit locations with deprived people to snap a selfie with a poor soul before returning to their lives of privilege and luxury… then use the whole the whole thing as an attempt to purchase a ticket into someone’s heart.

    It is the eco-tourism equivalent of flaunting an alligator-skin wallet to show your support of fair trade and local economies on a first date.

    All this said, if I had more money than I knew what to do with, my passport would be much more full than it is. I’m responsible with money, not averse to travelling, and enjoy new and exotic experiences. I’m considerate about the ecological and sociological impact of my travels.

    I’m not going to try to turn my travels into an advertisement for me, though.

    • mxf Says:

      I’m with you. If a profile is supposed to offer insights into someone to make them seem even slightly unique, then “love to travel” just isn’t effective. There are a minority of people who really devote the bulk of their energy and resources to far-flung travel, and another group who stay home and have zero interest in leaving their normal routine. Most everyone else is some mix in between, depending on time and money and interest. But that exact ratio isn’t all that interesting to talk about.

      Personally, I’m not drawn to the never-leave-home-without-my-passport types, because the ones I’ve gone on dates with seemed a bit smug or self-satisfied in their extensive travel, not just fulfilled by the experiences. I feel like the truly passionate don’t need to talk about it much, and can see whether or not someone else is like-minded without any explicit advertisements. Like, if I’ve read thousands and thousands of books, I’m not about to hand a list to my date and show them all the titles, talk about how much they all meant to me, inquire as to whether reading means exactly the same amount to my date, etc. It’s dull and assumes the other person will automatically be impressed, which is obnoxious from anyone.

  6. Parenting Says:

    I once met a woman who lived 1.5 hours from New York City but never traveled to see it. She said she just saw no reason to go. I see people who never saw a reason to go abroad to a lesser degree In the same way.

    People who only travel to a couple of the common tourist traps like Paris and Rome can mean anything from affluence and a desire to keep up with the Joneses to a love of art and hostory to a love of resorts and being pampered. People who have traveled extensively or lived abroad usually have a broader cultural and political perspective and a sense of adventure and independence. I guess it really all comes down to what motivated the travel, how they describe it and how they feel it changed them.

  7. Bethany Says:

    I’m not a complete stranger to traveling (Caribbean, Ireland, England – pretty “safe” choices) but I don’t value travel as much as many of my peers do. Whenever I’ve traveled, it’s never been some sort of life changing experience. I’m an introvert and a bit of a homebody, so traveling a lot isn’t a big priority to me.

    I don’t really judge people on how much they travel, though I’d probably be incompatible with someone who wants to travel internationally frequently. I do sort of side eye people who live in a small town and never go *anywhere* but as long as they don’t have an obnoxious small/closed mind it’s not a deal breaker in and of itself.

  8. Lisa Says:

    It’s not important to me if you haven’t. But, it is to have the curiosity. I was a travel nurse for 10yrs and have lived all over the states. It opened my eyes and heart to different cultures and lifestyles. The same abroad. It’s interesting to meet people from different parts of the world and see how they experience life day to day. Talk to them about world politics. I’ve accepted that children are not in my future. But, seeing the world is. Traveling solo is pretty awesome too. Yes, at times it’s nice to have people to share moments with. But, freeing to meander and explore on my schedule. I don’t judge if you don’t want to travel. But, for me…….when/if I meet that person. It would be beautiful if they were open hearted and curious about the world.

  9. Zaire Says:

    Personally I’d love to travel but money doesn’t allow for it.

    In my observation it’s more a status thing than cultural. I see guys talk about travel in profiles as a way to convey some sort of jetsetter lifestyle.

    I had an ex boyfriend who travelled frequently for work, hiking trips, and leisure. On his leisure trips he’d visit friends in that city and go to local spots to get a feel for the way of life. Or he would stay in hostels to meet people also traveling/backpacking. He was actually well off and could afford to stay in a fancy spot but he was going rose what life is like. We met online and I don’t even think he mentioned travel in his profile.

    On the hand I have friends who love travel (usually on credit TBH) but what they usually do is go shopping or hang out with other Americans or expats abroad. They aren’t really experiencing local culture or customs they just want to party and jetset. Nothing wrong with that but they could have stayed stateside or in our city to do that. These are the people who are usually saying they can’t date someone who doesn’t love travel.

  10. ATWYSingle Says:

    What really gets me are the people who talk of going on spur of the moment trips abroad and want someone with the same kind of sense of adventure.

    Um, I…have a job? And pets? And, like, other stuff?

    I’ll admit it: I don’t travel. I’ve just never been one to travel much because I’ve always worked. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to, I just…never get to it, I guess. I think to many people who use these sites and apps I’m boring and uncultured. Yet, I’m always reading about other countries and cultures and trying to learn more about other people’s traditions. I have a curiosity about stuff like that. That’s not something you put in a profile, though.

    • Selena Says:

      Somewhat related…

      My impression of people who travel extensively for personal enrichment are those who didn’t have the responsibilities of a weekly job, or children.

      They were 20 somethings, or 60 somethings in my experience.

      • JustCurious Says:

        Really? Your impression of people who travel are only those who don’t have weekly jobs??? Umm, ever heard of technology? Remote workers who are still 9 to 5ers? There are lots of us and Im writing this from Iceland at the home of someone I met travelling this summer. Get a grip. Your “impression” smells of ignorance. This comment is also for ATWYS above too. Reading about other cultures is commendable. Aint the same though.

        • Selena Says:

          My impression comes from knowing childfree 20-somethings with flexible(?) employment. Those who worked in food service, retail, temp jobs – lived very frugally in order to travel abroad some parts of the year. They weren’t on a “career track” so to speak, where taking weeks, or months off to travel would have a negative impact on their future. And ofcourse, they didn’t have children in school.

          The other group I’m familiar with are successful people in their late 50’s and up. They did the “weekly job” thing for decades. And found they had enough time and money to travel when their kids were grown.

          Despite technology, I simply haven’t known people who can take off periodically for world travel at their leisure. Maybe I am ignorant, but I tend to think such people are likely well-off (as in they don’t HAVE to work), and if they have children…they have them in boarding schools, or travel with nannies and tutors.

          Talking about sight seeing and culture immersion here, NOT people who travel BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO FOR WORK.

          • Parenting Says:

            Ive seen quite a bit of this with folks who work remotely in the IT field. Ive worked from all over the country and heard from colleagues and friends who spent several weeks telecommuting from Hawaii and Morocco. Even one friend who owns a business selling data and has been traveling the world with his wife for the past 4 or 5 years.

            I bet Moxie has the professional flexibility to do something like this if it suited her lifestyle.

            The reason its so easy for some of us is that we got so used to traveling for work sometimes at the drop of a hat, its a breeze to pack up and telecommute for fun if we have the money and the assurance of a good internet connection. Never heard of anyone doing this with kids but Im sure they are out there and above my pay grade.

          • JustCurious Says:

            Madonna mia! as we say in Italian!!!!! Selena, it’s exasperating trying to explain a simple concept that has been around since the 80s!!!! I’ve consulted for IBM where they had this policy in place since the early 80s to allow their employees the flexibility to WFH (work from home). I was again a consultant for them subsequently 2 more times. Always WFH. They ENCOURAGED people to WFH because they didn’t want to pay rent on office space!!!! Like many other fulltime or contract workers, think of it this way: cubicles without walls. My company has no idea what part of the world I may be working from. I simply sign on at 9am New York Time and sign off at 5:30pm. Im obliged to keep my Lync session on all day and just as in a cubicle, other employees can “drop by” and ask me to work on any project. Get off this idea that people in their late 50s are the only ones who do this. The youngins are at it too. Hmmm, you have some pretty archaic and narrow minded views of alternative work styles!!!! Just sayin….namaste

            • Selena Says:

              Namaste to you friend as well.

              And how wonderful for you have found a way to make a living that involves such flexibility to not only to be able to work at home, but to be able to work anywhere in the world! Ideal, I think.

              Culturally aware as you must be, you are also aware that in the US, with a population of 3 million, most adults don’t have the same option,do you think?

              And worldwide, with a population of 7 billion…few very people have the option you have.

              You are quite fortunate Just Curious.


            • K Says:

              JustCurious it may be an industry thing. I work generally in the tech space as well, and while when I first joined I could not work anywhere in the world, by this time in my career, there is flexibility. I have an office, but can work from home and if I don’t want to take vacation (for example when I visit my family over the holidays) I can work remotely. I often have to be available for deadlines on nights and weekends so it’s in their best interest to give me this perk. We also are a global company so I can work from any office in the US or world should I want to on occasion. When my last ex boyfriend traveled for work and it happened to be a cool location (Copenhagen) I joined him and worked from there and got to tag on a few days and evenings for fun. Between airline miles, friends in foreign cities, hotel points and some work flexibility I do get to enjoy more travel. This is common in a lot of industries these days, but certainly not for all!

              • Eliza Says:

                Yes, to answer the question about whether working from home, or remotely is an industry-related option, or rather privilege/perk – in my opinion…yes, it probably is. I work in the legal industry. And if you are not a partner billing clients at $550+ per hour…or a high-level associate, you do not have that lovely option–of working at home, when you choose to do so. Based on what you do, your position, and who you work for…you are expected to come in to work, and if you do want time off? You need to plan ahead for it, aside from being sick. As archaic as that may sound for some people…who have more flexible work options…it’s reality for many of us. So, it does impact ability to travel to a certain extent. I am fortunate enough that I have some autonomy and that the people I work directly for/with are very laid back and are OK with my taking weeks off to go to Europe or take extended vacation time. Some employers do not even allow one to take more than 1 week off at a time! I have worked in such a place…and quickly left, since I felt suffocated there. You do what you can, within your means, and based on your circumstances. I had a married friend that would always judge and assume, since I was single, I should be jetsetting everywhere in the globe. “If I were you…. bla bla bla”…she would go on and on. No…if she were me…she would have to consider care for a pet, care for my parents and their homes, and other matters (behind the scenes) that her narrow-minded eyes and mind were unaware of and incapable of grasping. I find a way to get away–as often as possible…but it’s not always in the cards. That’s life.

        • BTownGirl Says:

          I wouldn’t call what they said “ignorant”. Sure there are jobs that allow for a ton of telecommuting, but in some areas of the US they are few and far between. I live in the Boston area and there are many, many companies that allow for that, but in other regions that isn’t true at all. Also, as Selena mentioned, for someone with school-aged children that kind of travel isn’t realistic for a good bit of the year. Personally, I enjoy traveling, but I’ve always taken it more as an opportunity to unplug and relax than anything else.

        • Erik Says:

          Your response defines “privilege”. Even in the privileged tech field, such jobs are difficult to find.

          • Parenting Says:

            How is it privileged? Go work for a consulting company. You’ll make low wages by industry standards, work 16 hour days and depending on project you may work from home.

    • Parenting Says:

      One of my friends went out with a woman who said she was a stewardess with tremendous travel oppurtunities and her non-negotiable was whomever she dates HAD to have the flexibility to ski 100 days a year with her. Needless to say, there was no 2nd date.

      Travel is pretty much a recreational activity. Scratch my previous comment. I dont know that there is a point in making it out to be more than that. If someone super loves spending their weekend flying to europe to try a new restaurant and cant see themselves with someone who doesnt share their foodie passion, good for them for being self aware.

    • Noquay Says:

      I have travelled overseas but then the expense/time in caretaking a dying parent ended that. Now I am paying off the bills. When I travelled, I learned the language and customs of where I was going so as not to offend. In the developing world, I do not judge, and have brought in school supplies for the local kids rather than luxury items icoulddowithout. I have met fellow Americans abroad that are respectful and those that criticize everything, seemed to think they’re entitled to luxury although in the developing world, are arrogant, glutinous, pigs. Travel doesn’t necessarily broaden ones horizons, thinking does.

  11. SE Says:

    I have plenty of friends who are immigrants are first generation from a variety of racial and religious backgrounds. I dated someone of a different racial and religious background born on a different continent (although it didn’t work out for unrelated reasons). When my schedule has allowed in the past, I’ve participated in volunteering that allowed me to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Travel is one way to experience different cultures, but one can also befriend people of diverse backgrounds locally (unless you live in a very homogeneous city in which everyone shares your background).

    I do think that thinking that travel is the *only* way to demonstrate an appreciation of diversity is kind of elitist. Travel is a great way to experience culture, but one can also interact with diverse people locally if you don’t have the opportunity (due to time or money or other responsibilities) to travel. Plus while many people who travel make an effort to experience foreign culture, many just stay in a group of people from their own country and stick to areas filled with tourists.

  12. Meee Says:

    I look more for cross-cultural experiences or interest in a social justice issue bigger than oneself rather than just straight travel. I spent over a decade living in some very poor countries, and someone whose life is as small as just making money in their own city is probably not going to be a good fit for me. I’ve tried. Those men look at me like I’m a sparkly alien from another galaxy. We can’t find much to talk about. I’m looking for someone with more perspective on the world. Travel can be code for that, but plenty of people have done Europe and don’t have the worldview I’m looking for. It tends to be people who’ve lived outside their own culture and learned from that, whether in the US or abroad.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Some people are private about their philanthropic activities – for instance, when I volunteer or donate, I don’t talk about it on social media and I know quite a few others who don’t as well. You may be judging people on their “small” lives when they’re actually doing a lot to help others.

      • Meee Says:

        I’m not not sure why you would assume I meant only on social media. I’m speaking of actual conversations with other human beings, some of which may at some point have started online. If a person’s primary interests are hunting or football or shopping, we aren’t going to have much to talk about. If they are into hunting and can talk with some excitement about conservation or teaching kids to hunt safely to provide food for their family or other hunting related causes in which they are interested, we may have a good time. I’m talking primarily about people who have not bothered to look beyond the confines of popular culture or explore what it means not to be the dominate culture in every place they go. I want to know who people really are. If they’ve never thought about that beyond being a packers fan, their world is small. I specifically stated that I have better conversations with people who care about social justice issues bigger than themselves, which it sounds like you do. Basically, I don’t want to date someone who only cares about himself.

        • BTownGirl Says:

          I meant social media as an example, sorry if that wasn’t clear. I’m actually cracking up over here because I’m a huge football fan and post about it all the time, so this is an even better example than I thought haha! My point was that some people aren’t as open about their more “serious” interests from the get-go and you can’t judge everything about someone’s worldview from an online dating profile.

        • BTownGirl Says:

          Sorry my phone is acting up and I meant to add “or the first few conversations”:)

          • Meee Says:

            That is true. I am no longer online dating (in a relationship), but when I was, I gave a variety of men chances to show me what they were interested in. I’ve been told that I “don’t do small talk,” so my deeper interests are going to come out fast. If we don’t either 1. Have a ton of fun laughing at ourselves at whatever activity we are doing on a date, or 2. Have a good deep conversation, I probably won’t be up for another date. But in terms of online dating, I think revealing some of your deeper interests makes you stand out, and it may be useful for finding the right kind of person. I threw out that I was into social justice and lived in Africa, and it weeded out a lot of men who were either not into helping other people or were afraid of a woman who isn’t afraid of Africa.

            • BTownGirl Says:

              Agreed! I probably tend towards being a little more closed off with people I don’t know that well at first, in all honesty. This is prob TMI (irony alert, see previous sentence), but when I was on the third date with my boyfriend, he told me he was going to South America to do pro-bono surgery and I decided there and then I would give it up that evening haha!! I think we can all agree being a great person is pretty darn attractive!

  13. Lucy Says:

    I’ll admit that I’m pretty lucky. As a British person,I have access to cheap flights to Europe and have been to 17 countries. I wouldn’t be counting countries and wishing to compare notes on how intrepid we both are. But I would want to date a man who traveled with a sense of intellectual curiosity and not only for the sake of escaping British weather. It’s more the sense of interest in the external world and not living in your own bubble that traveling represents to me. People can have that mindset and not have traveled as much.

  14. John Says:

    If someone likes to travel, then great. I think anyone who talks extensively about it though have nothing else to write about themselves.

    I love hockey games. But do I list every game I have gone to, how many times I came close catching a puck and how many different teams I have seen play? Hell no.

    The person who lists every country on their passport is no different than anyone who lists every game they have gone too. Both are clueless as to how little other people give a damn.

  15. Nia Says:

    I think it’s a couple things:
    It indicates a personality type that is perceived as free spirited and open minded.
    It does act as a class and income indicator (you rarely see people posed on four wheelers who describe themselves as a working class hero list out tons of countries in SE Asia they’ve been to).
    It is part of an identity the way a job or family would be with others.
    It gives a lot of people both built in connections and stories (“Oh, you’ve been to Thailand’s full moon parties? Cool!”
    It’s something to fill the space and give people something to talk about *that is not controversial or easy to argue about*. I think that’s key. Many of my values could be immediate deal breakers to men (I’m a feminist, for openers) but hardly anyone is going to bristle at my desire/interest in travel. Easy opener, easy connection, easy source of questions and conversation.

  16. Mark Says:

    Travel…. Is it important?

    I guess there is a spectrum. As with about anything else, for some people it simply is critical. For others, not so much. For some people they prefer to invest their time and money in experiences rather than things. In doing so they may learn a little about themselves by experiencing these new people, places.cultures, customs and things. At least that would be my guess.

    For the purpose of filling out a profile, it may be a way to indicate that you are busy experiencing life and not just home sitting on the couch doing a whole lot of nothing. Just a thought.

    Funny though, I have known some people who really haven’t traveled outside their town/city/county but are more worldly than few people I have known with a passport filled with stamps. That is to say some who travel extensively but in a very real sense never left home. It’s just a way of counting coup for them. Yet there are others who do make these journeys and are really enriched by those experiences. Again, I suppose it just depends on the individual.

    Pick and choose, but do so wisely.

  17. Isambard Says:

    Anyone have any input on if this mostly applies to NYC, and other large cities, or is the travel bug more universal?

    Full disclosure: I’m not a big traveler myself and I do find it interesting that people who live in one of the greatest cities in the world find so many reasons to vacate frequently.

  18. Sarah Says:

    Personally, I enjoy traveling and the fact that I get to do so for work is a big perk, to me. That doesn’t mean any potential long-term partner has to like travel. I can go by myself, you know? I happen to believe that anyone who claims being well-traveled is “essential” in a mate isn’t worth wasting breath on. It’s just really, really tacky to require this of someone. It stinks of entitlement, elitism, and immaturity. Traveling doesn’t make you interesting if you aren’t already. There are a LOT of reasons for people not to travel — some of which are mentioned here, others covered in depth and so articulately by Karl Pilkington in “An Idiot Abroad.” And can we talk about Bill Bryson for a second? Traveling certainly doesn’t seem to be making him happier as of late.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Most people I know who travel a lot for work complain about it (because they say, “You’d think it sounds so glamorous, but it’s really just wall to wall hotels and office buildings.” Which makes sense; if you don’t have time to do anything fun or take in the sights, you might as well be anywhere).

      **It’s just really, really tacky to require this of someone. It stinks of entitlement, elitism, and immaturity. Traveling doesn’t make you interesting if you aren’t already.**


      • Selena Says:

        ““You’d think it sounds so glamorous, but it’s really just wall to wall hotels and office buildings.” Which makes sense; if you don’t have time to do anything fun or take in the sights, you might as well be anywhere).”

        This is what I’ve also heard from people who routinely travel for business in the US. The company does not allow time to see “the sights” in any city. Airport, taxi, hotel, office, hotel, maybe restaurant near hotel, sleep. Repeat.

        Just a guess…but I wonder if those who feel travel is important enough to put on a dating profile… are not the one’s who spend significant time traveling for business?

        • Lucy Says:

          It can come across as elitist to require people to have traveled. But it depends on the context. As I mentioned, I live in UK and we are close enough to the European continent that holidays can be pretty cheap and even people on low incomes have probably been to at least a few countries. So it would strike me as a little unusual (not odd in any way) to meet someone who hadn’t traveled abroad before. People travel for different reasons so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are very similar to a person just because you enjoy traveling.

  19. Dave Says:

    Interesting to read everyone’s responses. I’ve been judged quite a few times in my life for not being very traveled but my view is that travel is simply one way (and in my opinion, not always the best one) of learning about yourself and other cultures.

    That being said, I’ve been continually surprised at meeting people who have traveled to and lived in other countries but learned next to nothing about the culture. One of my best memories is a conversation I had with a lady years ago when I found out she had lived in China for several years and tried to speak to her in Mandarin:

    “Oh, I’m sorry, I never bothered to learn the language since my husband was in the military and we had lots of local guides who translated for us! I’m afraid you know more than I do.”

    I remember being so disappointed as a young aspiring student of Chinese martial arts who also dabbled in the language and thinking that if I had the money to travel, I would’ve immersed myself in every aspect of the culture. Seemed like such a waste of an opportunity.

    Having a passport and a smug attitude isn’t something impresses me. And seeing so many dating profiles where people talk and display too many pictures about where they travel seems like a gigantic circle jerk of self inflated hubris. Doesn’t directly tell me about the quality of their character, but it sure does indirectly when you read between the lines.

    There’s a lot more I could say here, but instead I’ll share a great post on this subject that was shared last year on this very forum:


    Scroll down to the very last post. My personal thoughts, although from a completely different perspective, align nearly 100% with what this very wise person had to say. :)

  20. Anonymous Says:

    As a foreign born, yes, it matters. People who don’t travel are not exactly open minded and not as receptive as those who do travel. And let’s keep it there because I already get cranky reading the newspaper.

  21. Steve from the city next door Says:

    There are lots of different kinds of travel. For Example, I dated a woman who was into SCUBA and once a year would go to one of two English speaking resorts and didn’t venture out side them — she thoughts she was major world travel but I would disagree.

    I think travel is a real big compatibility issue. I see it right now between my brother and SIL … she wants to go on a cruise he wants to spend the money on fixing their house or save it for the kids college (coming up soon). This year the issue was resolved because they had to go one of her niece’s weddings.

    I traveled a lot for one job (just North America) and it was not glamours. For example I was in Hawaii for about a week…I was in the data center from at least 9 to 9 everyday – lovely windowless 65 degree dungeon.

    Being able to telecommute at will appears to be slipping away. I have two friends that are IT admins and they used to be able to work from home 100% but now they are expected to be in the office at least 3 days a week and strongly preferred all 5.

    Oh, and it can cause problems. One state came knocking looking for income tax for employees who had WFH more than x many hours. Don’t know how the state found out about it…but that was a bit of mess. Don’t know how it all worked out … but everyone lost permission to WFH unless they were sick or a special legal contract that specified when and where they worked.

  22. Brad Says:

    Lots of traveling pics = you better have money.

  23. mostboringgirl Says:

    I’m a lot more interested in going places and seeing things than I am in owning stuff. I like learning about interesting places to visit and seeing other cultures. I’ve been a translator on a medical mission in a third world country. I don’t know how to advise anyone about how to shop for a TV or a computer or a major appliance. I just have different interests.

  24. UWSGal Says:

    I respect people who travel with a purpose – whether on business, as part of government or humanitarian missions. Have zero respect for serial tourists and think it does nothing to expand one’s horizons and tells me nothing about one’s character. Taking a selfie next to the Eiffel tower or an Indian temple does not make you worldly or sophisticated. It makes you another ignorant tourist who has for no good reason contributed to level of CO2 emission and possibly brought home some nasty viruses (zika? bird flu?) from another part of the world. But hey, you have seen PARIS. Wow. You must be so special. Personally I travel a lot for business (meaning, actually getting things done in the world) – but for my own vacation I refuse to spend over 3 hours in the air and actually prefer staying local.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      All these ignorant (ignorant and diseased, sorry) people who want to visit another country on vacation? Seriously, what a bunch of carbon-spewing losers. Want to take a picture next to one of the greatest feats of architecture and engineering?! Gross! You should be conducting business abroad and that’s IT. You sound like a delight, girl.

      • Lucy Says:

        The way I see it is I’ll be dead soon enough. I’m sure going to make the most of my time on earth! Anyway by traveling to these locations, we all contribute to the economy of the places we are visiting and keep people who work in those resorts in jobs. I’m not someone who obsessively takes selfie so being able to take a selfie next to a building is not on my ‘must do’ list anyway.

  25. Lucy Says:

    There’s something I forgot to add and that is that travel is a lifestyle compatibility factor. I hope to have children one day and if I do, I intend to take on holiday as often as I can (if we can stretch to at least afford it once a year). It was an important part of growing up for me. So this is an example where the desire for travel can affect compatibility in all sorts of ways.

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