Many people dream of that holiday fling, that whirlwind romance that makes you melt at the knees, your head floating on cloud nine whilst you are exploring a foreign land with no cares in the world. Strolling along remote beaches as the sun dips below the horizon, hand in hand, sipping cocktails as the palms sway not knowing what lies ahead. Or perhaps your version is more along the lines of sitting in a café sipping on your morning espresso in a cobble stoned piazza where a suave Italian woos you with ‘Ciao Bella’ and sweeps you off to his Tuscan Villa for a true Italian romance.
For many, this is just a fantasy just as each individual daydreams about their ideal partner. Perhaps a man in uniform, a fire fighter or a swimsuit model or nurse. For some of us, dating an exotic foreigner is on the bucket list when travelling or living abroad.
Dating a foreigner is purely that. Exotic. It’s intriguing, alluring and curiosity takes over as you yearn for something different and mysterious.
The sandwich boy who delivers lunch daily to your office is someone you would never look twice at in your home country, but here, in a foreign land, suddenly his olive skin, green eyes and spell binding accent encapsulate you. You see him as sexy and find yourself buying sandwiches each day, even though you can’t afford it because you save every penny you have for your travels, just to try and find an excuse to chat with him in hope that his intrigue and interest in you will be returned. You flirt for a few weeks, testing the waters, testing the language skills until one of you develops the confidence to ask if its ok to catch up for a coffee.
Everything moves fast, it’s exciting, it’s new and it’s different. You are swept up in the rush of it all and chances are he is to. After all, you are also a foreigner to him. Your pale skin and cute freckles are enticing to his Latin eyes. Your accent is as endearing to him as his is to you. You are both wearing rose coloured glasses as you discover your new exotic flame and try to figure out if this is a foreign fling or potentially love beyond borders.
Dating a foreigner can be a wonderful eye opening experience. At first it is fresh and filled with excitement and an electric rush as you are exposed to a new language, a new culture and potentially a new country.
Your horizons are broadened, your eyes opened to new worlds and a new way of life. Your Tuesday nights change from sitting on the couch to learning a slow rumba fused with passion as you dance with your sandwich boy in a dimly lit basement bar on the Latino side of town.
Life seems like it can’t get any better. You are living abroad, claiming your independence and living your dream. Now you have an enticing foreigner to share it with you and to show off.
Despite things going smoothly, barriers will always come up when dating a foreigner. It can be a frustrating experience and has extra challenges to regular dating and of course there is always the potential of expiration dating.
Visas run out or one of you may have to return to your home country due to unforeseeable circumstances. It happens and unfortunately it can’t always be avoided.
You start meeting his friends only to find they don’t take a liking to you because you are not ‘one of them’. They all speak in their own language when you are around and you feel excluded. It comes to the time where you want to chat with his family on Skype, only to find they do not speak English, and they have their heart set on their son dating someone of the same ethnicity and cultural beliefs.
There are both positives and negatives of dating a foreigner. For those purely wanting a foreign fling, it can be confidence boosting, stimulating and one of the most fabulous experiences you have whilst travelling. For those wanting to date a foreigner with more of a long term plan, it has been proven many a time that love can cross oceans and go beyond borders. My advice for anyone, is to go with the flow. Take it as it comes as you do with your travels. Unexpected things happen on a daily basis as you explore the world and many things you experience which are beyond your control are some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of your life. Let this be one of them and check that foreign lover off your bucket list.
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This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.