Saturday, April 07, 2007

10 Reasons NOT to Travel with a Girlfriend

1) She will slow you down.

You want to see as much as you can on your precious traveling time. Most women walk and move slower than you are, and your girlfriend is no exception. She will want to stop at souvenir shops, pet stray cats and talk to small children while you are hurrying to make it to the museum before the closing time. She may not be able to climb over the fence or a wall for a shortcut. She might twist your ankle while you are running to the once-a-day bus to your next destination. Of course, that can happen to you, too, but the simple probability of a slow down is much higher when your GF is tagging along.

2) You will have to worry about her comfort at the cost of your own

You pride yourself to be a great boyfriend, and as all good boyfriends, you care about your girlfriend’s comfort and well-being. Except when you are traveling, it will impede on your own well-being and distract you from fully enjoying your journey. She may want to sit by the window in a bus (where you want to sit). You may have to help her carry her backpack (in addition to your own). She may get a headache or a stomachache, and you will have to look after her. You may not get as much sleep, as she may bogart your bed space.

3) She may have a different agenda and argue about it

It’s great if your girlfriend and you discussed your trip beforehand and she agreed to follow your agenda. But what if she a feisty type, who likes to make decisions, too? Why you are dating her in the first place is beside the point, but on a travel, this can lead into frequent arguments over where to go and how much time to spend there. You may want to go on a challenging jungle trek, while she may prefer to spend two days at the beach. You want to go to a football match, while she needs you to accompany her on a shopping trip. If you are a photographer, this may be a particular peril, as she may simply not let you spend the necessary time taking your pictures.

4) You’d spend more time and money on food

When I travel alone, I am very, very easy-going with my food. To the point of roughing it sometimes. I view food as a necessary protein intake that should not cost more money and time than absolutely necessary. I am happy with street food, beer on the go and occasional quick sit-down meal at a local canteen. Most women like to sit down for a proper meal. All that is fine at home, but on a trip, I just don’t want to waste my valuable time on an hour-long dinner. Unless we are in a country where it is really part of the travel, such as Italy, for instance.

5) You’ll have to deal with her PMS and mood swings

Ah, the inevitable. She will likely have her period at some point, which will make her even slower, more demanding and more argumentative than usual. Plus some girls are just moody in general. Say, you did not do your absolute best ensuring her comfort or made her rush. Believe me; she will make you pay by pouting, being distant or just sulking in general. Who wants that?

6) You cannot flirt with foreign girls

Chances are, in most foreign countries, you will see dozens of local girls that are prettier and have nicer bodies than your girlfriend. With her by your side, you will not be able even to ogle at them, let alone flirt or hook up. After a quick glimpse of a local muchacha’s bronzed lithe midriff, all you’ll be able to do is glance at your girlfriend’s milky-white out-of-shape legs and sigh.

7) …Or hook up with female travellers.

Those hostel nights are always packed with opportunities. Travelers hook up routinely; even spend a few days traveling together. The beauty of such arrangements is that they can be quickly and usually painlessly dissolved. You do some Aussie chick, travel with her to your next destination, get your mutual sexual hunger satisfied, and – you go on your separate ways. Not so with the girlfriend. Let’s face it, the fire of your original passion is hardly raging, and she’s not going anywhere. You are stuck together.

8) You’ll have to deal with male attention to your GF

Of course, even if your girlfriend is only average-looking, she will still look exotic to local men in many countries. Some of these men are very forward, so whenever your girlfriend is out of your sight, she’s fair game to them. For instance, when you go out to a club. You may not be a dancing type, but she, as most women, is, and in your absence, there will be herds of local machos surrounding her. She will love the attention and feel safe in your presence, but you are fuming inside. Do you need that?

9) She may witness embarrassing episodes you’d rather keep secret

Let’s say, you overdrank a little on one of those nights out, and let’s say, one way or the other, you ended up in the ditch. Without your pants. Or, you chickened out before that bungee jump. Or, that cockroach you ate from a street vendor turned you skin green. Chances are, you don’t want your friends back home know about it. But you have a trusty witness to all your potential embarrassments – your girlfriend. Of course, she probably won’t tell while you are dating (although she likely will), but once you break up – watch out.

10) You may not have a relationship at the end.

A travel with a girlfriend is a gamble on the relationship. It may be a good test, but if you get along fine at home, putting yourselves through a high-stress, low-comfort travel may spell doom on even the most solid, long-term relationships. Then again, it may not be such a bad thing after all.

By the way, if you meet a woman that will defy all the points above – marry her.