Six weeks after meeting on OKCupid, Clara Bensen and Jeff Wilson did something a little crazy: They decided to travel to eight countries in three weeks together — with absolutely no luggage. Bensen boarded the plane with the clothes she was wearing, a comb, toothbrush, credit card and passport, and that’s it. For 21 days.
Bensen, who chronicles their journey in her new book “No Baggage”, is part of the new adventure dating trend, doing something daring with someone you just met. In Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series “Masters of None,” Ansari’s character, Dev, takes crush Rachel (Noel Wells) to Nashville for their first date. Going on an adventure date isn’t only a good story, it creates a deep bond much quicker than you would just going out for dinner and drinks. But there are some things to know before you give it a try. Here, Bensen gives her best tips.
Trust your gut. “Generally speaking, I don’t [recommend] meeting a stranger and then taking off for some crazy adventure a few weeks later. For me, it was totally a gut intuition. The moment I met Jeff, I knew something was going to happen between us. We had a really strong connection and I trusted him pretty quickly. But I doubt that I would have had that same feeling for many other guys I could have met online.”
Be spontaneous. “Introducing a little chaos and uncertainty is a good way to either bond or find out you don’t want to bond. You can seek out exploration and adventure wherever you are. Jeff and I are adventurous in our dates at home in Austin, too. We’ll just walk out the door and explore a new neighborhood.”
Make sure your personalities mesh. “If you’re planning something big, make sure you have the same expectations. Some people are really organized and like everything planned out in advance. Other people are spontaneous and like to play things by ear. If your personalities are too mismatched, it can be a nightmare.”
Be prepared to get real open, real fast. “When you travel with someone, it’s like getting to know them in fast-forward. In the middle of my trip with Jeff, I got my period and since we were traveling light, I only had two tampons with me. Jeff went out early on the streets in Sarajevo and went to all these places to find pads for me. It was actually a very sweet gesture.”
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