Traveling to another country is always exciting. This is especially true if you go alone. You’re out there yucking it up solo, living your life and maybe even doing things that you wouldn’t do back home. You are you, but the vacation version of you. And what does the vacation version of you do? Takes a shit ton of chances! Not crazy chances, but rockin’ the boat type of stuff that will make for great stories when you get home.
So if you’re single, out in the world and maybe even in a country where there is a barrier thanks to language, how do you meet someone? Whether you’re looking for a one-night-stand, a fling or maybe something long lasting, you have to be able to get over all that “lost in translation” stuff. It can happen, because as they say, “love is the international language.” Or, to be more honest, straight-up banging actually is.
Embrace the native tongue. If you’ve decided to travel abroad alone, there’s a good chance you have at least a very basic understanding of the language you’ll be encountering. This immediately puts you yards ahead of those groups of Americans who travel together and give the rest of us a bad rap. Between your broken, say, French, and their broken English, it will make for some fun chatter that will be both cryptic and endearing. You’ll also get a mini language lesson out of it.
Take advantage of your tourist status. I would never suggest someone play the damsel in distress card, but it’s OK to admit you’re not really sure where you’re going. It’s not only a great conversation starter, but also local residents just love to show off all the secrets of their home. Wouldn’t you do the same if a tourist were in your city? People love to play guide to a doe-eyed newbie.
Be proud of your accent. When I’m in a foreign country I can’t help but flinch when someone asks if I’m American. Even if I have a line in their language down pat and I can roll it off my tongue with zero effort, my accent remains. While this used to bother me, I’ve learned (well, frankly I accept it because I have no choice) to turn it into a good thing. Now my response is: “Actually, I’m a New Yorker.” No offense to the middle of the country, but New York and California produce a look of awe and dazzle; conversation is inevitable! No one in a small town in Italy has heard of Arkansas. Sorry, but it’s true.
Feel out other cultures. When it comes to sex (or love) other cultures roll with it differently. Some places are far more free-spirited, while others are buttoned-up and prudish. It’s important to be aware of which way the particular country you’re in works. What you might think is a great come-on, just may be truly offensive to someone else – and then you’ve blow your chances to get laid.
Lay off the alcohol. Most Americans I know can drink like it’s going out of style. The tolerance I’ve witnessed in my friends is both astonishing and terrifying. However, when you get outside the U.S. you realize that – gasp! – some countries do not get “wasted” the way we do. In fact, and you might be shocked, getting plastered on a Friday night and ending up in a one-night stand isn’t exactly how things go in other parts of the world. So drink casually and slowly when you’re trying to loosen up, instead of reaching for a line of shots. Also, no one wants to stumble out of a bar in Barcelona at 4 a.m. so drunk they can’t find their way home. Bad call.
Be you. Although we already pointed out that you’re vacation you, you still have to maintain a level of regular you-ness. You may think you’re pulling the wool over someone’s eyes because you’re not completely on the same page language-wise, but body language says more than words. As with every pick-up situation, you need to remember who you are, keep your awareness about you and not lower your standards for a romp. Regretting your actions the next morning is always a bust, so try to avoid it all costs. Besides, you’re supposed to be having fun, not face-palming it for the remainder of your trip.