Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Loves to Travel

The idea that men see "loves to travel" on dating websites and makes unpleasant assumptions about the girl who does has popped up in an earlier combox. So let's continue the discussion here. Respectfully, keeping in mind that men are Readers now.

Personally, I love to travel to other cities. (This usually means Toronto, Rome or Krakow.) Generally our travel money comes out of my earnings. Basically, that's where my writing money goes: Polish class and travel. Sometimes I travel with my husband. Sometimes I travel on my own. I am much better at travelling on my own because there is no-one for me to snarl at. I'm not a fantastic travel companion; nobody should ever have to fly with me. I'm okay in trains, though. Cars, ditto. There's just something about airplanes. Oh, and on holiday snoring turns me into a homicidal maniac.

I have never had a holiday romance in my--- I never had a holiday romance that did not result in me marrying the guy. Occasionally I have been hit on by locals, or by recent immigrants, while on holiday, and I have just ignored them, mostly. I did get a terrible reputation on my Contiki tour by chatting with a couple of cops from Napoli one evening. My Italian was very good then. Sigh. I do recall saying "Non piace alla mamma" (My mum wouldn't like it) a few times. ("Then don't tell her." "I tell my mother EVERYTHING!" When under pressure in Italy, invoke your mother a lot.)

Anyway, I have googled about looking for unpleasant associations with "loves to travel" and found this. Man, I wish men weren't so obsessed with money. Too many seem to have this idea that women are out for all the money we can get. But like the manicurist who had already paid $9000 towards her wedding to the guy who gave her that $50,000 engagement ring, most of us are employed and have our OWN money.

Update: This is rather amusing. Okay, apparently I don't love to travel. I travel three or four times a year, unless you count going south of Prestonpans to fall into rivers on hikes.

Update 2: Jeepers. Another guy who worries "loves to travel" = "I want a guy with money."

Update Three: The BBC suggests that "I love to travel" is a cliché, and you should leave it out of dating profiles.


Kathryn Rose said...

How interesting. I know the current Pinterest cliché is that women are obsessed with clothes/wine cellars/exotic vacations they can't possibly afford, but IRL (in real life) I seem more apt to discover ye aulde provincial Tom and Sue who have *never* travelled outside their home state. When men express a romantic interest in me, especially if they are the types to have lived home all their lives, got an Associates at best, and make a living pumping gas, I think it only fair to tell them that I travel quite frequently (so that they understand that I would be extremely bored to confine myself to their mode of life). I understand it's not within everyone's means or opportunity to have friends on every coast or travel the globe alone, but what I cannot abide is the people who have an extremely limited vantage point (seeming to have never read a book in their lives) and expect me to be thrilled with tailgate parties and lite beer while I’m spending my weekends at art galleries and reading Proust. Perhaps I live in the wrong contingent of the US, but I do wish that “love of travel” would become more of a cliché, because I have such a hard time finding people with diverse interests in the Midwest.

Gregaria said...

Kathryn, you should move to Seattle. The Catholic men here tend to be intellectual and well-traveled.

I personally don't enjoy traveling very much (though once in a while is nice), so I avoid men who like to travel.

But, yeah, while we're on the subject of online dating, it seems like *everyone* says they like hiking, traveling, and having a good time. I don't like hiking or traveling and *everyone* like to have fun. There has to be a way to liven up those profiles; after a while, most men look the same.

Seraphic said...

Oh dear, how mid are we talking Midwast, here? Chicago always struck me as a cosmopolitan place. Minnesota-St. Paul seemed pretty cool, too!

Seraphic said...

Oh dear, how mid are we talking Midwast, here? Chicago always struck me as a cosmopolitan place. Minnesota-St. Paul seemed pretty cool, too!

Nzie said...

I feel odd about putting "love to travel" on things - I do enjoy travel, but I'm a strange mix of "so this one time I rode through the jungle in the back of a pickup truck" and "nope, won't be going out tonight."

I am kind of grossed out at the idea of people putting it as a way of weeding out men who don't have a disposable income that allows frequent travel. Also, I would love to take lots of trips, but realistically I don't have the budget for it. My biggest "travel" experiences were from working abroad - and going to museums or weekend trips.

Is there some non-cliche way of saying, "Northeast culture, southern charm, and Vatican values"? Because that would be great. :-)

Also, anyone else saving that BBC list? I'm not online dating, but for future reference... I've been hearing OkCupid "research" stories from another law student. Strangely, ALL the law students on it seem to say NO LAW STUDENTS.. or not strange at all, if you know law students - either they're sick of arguing, or they want to reliably win, haha.

Anamaria said...

Oklahoma is always up for debate whether its Midwest, South, Southwest, or some other region called "plains" (I tend to say it is the latter, plus a mix of the others), but Oklahoma City is certainly full of the "loves to travel" types.

My husband was nervous about how much I traveled in my early-to-mid twenties- not because he was worried I'd been promiscuous (that was clearly not the case), or that I was after him for his money (ha! he was a grad student!), but because he wanted to make sure I wouldn't be bored without traveling in years with young children when it is difficult- if we could even afford it (we can't). It seems to me that this kind of hesitancy is understandable when thinking about future family life.

"Will this person be able to miss some of her large group of friends' faraway weddings? (I was invited to four far-away weddings last summer; three are fairly good friends. I happily and gratefully went to one, at my husband's insistence.) Will she be content to go on a yearly vacation the years we can afford it, and to go to my parents lake house when we can't?" all seem like reasonable questions to me.

So tempering it with Nzie's "I like to stay in" would be helpful, or just some kind of acknowledgement that you can take a break from traveling and resume it when the kids are older, if that is more conducive to family life.

Jam said...

I do a lot of traveling, and I enjoy it, but I would hesitate to describe myself as "oh, I love to travel!" I'm not one of these people who loves discovering new places, or trying strange local delicacies, or who would go plunging into the wilderness, and by the same token I wouldn't spend my money on an all-inclusive beach resort. I guess it's sort of how I feel about being a "book lover" or a "knitter". I like to read, I like to travel, and I even like to knit, but I don't feel like any of those things really encapsulate anything about me, so I wouldn't want to identify myself with those stereotypes at all.

That being said, I have thought a fair bit about my travels and worried that it might be offputting to the sterner sex. From my point of view, I'm single and I don't always want to be, so I ought to gather my rosebuds/frequent flyer miles while I can. But I can easily see how someone who met me during one of the years when I was traveling a lot for research and conferences might think I'm not interested in settling down.

(This conversation reminds me of my parents mocking the people on house hunting shows: "Oh, we LOVE to entertain!") (Also, let's remember this topic next time the menfolk say women read too much into everything... ;) )

Jam said...

I would add/clarify: my benchmark is that when I look at travel blogs, or knitting blogs, or book blogs (to continue my examples), I think, "ehh, I'm not this much into it, and I wouldn't want to be." But I admit I should probably (at least in a just world) feel more empowered to claim my own interests.

Chocolate Lover said...

Hmm…I am not on a dating web site but if I were, I would very likely have put “loves to travel.” Because I really really do love it. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that traveling is among the greatest highlights and delights of my life—it is what makes me most happy and gets me most excited, other than relationships and food. I don’t spend money on clothes or jewelry or things, but rather save up so that each year I can go somewhere exciting and see something new and beautiful.

I have been to all 50 states in the U.S., and more than 25 countries, and seen some stunning scenery and wildlife and had experiences I will cherish for a lifetime. I often “meet God” there in nature as well, not in New Age instead-of-Church way but in the way that many find the Author of Beauty--in the beauty of His creation. I’ve often imagined heaven being the chance to see all of the amazing places that I will never afford to go to in this life. [Yes yes I know God and heaven are way above and beyond all that…] So, too insist that I say that I merely “like” travel is silly.

I don’t mention the extent of my travels to brag or to imply that I am rich—in fact, I work for the Church and have to live quite frugally to afford to travel, and when I do travel, do that somewhat frugally as well. I certainly wouldn’t go online looking for someone to finance my travel. I would however want someone who would also delight in traveling and want to go with me. There are many people who detest travel, and we would not be a good match. How could we be, if what most delighted me was something he detested?

So, in short, I am that person who “loves to travel.” If that’s a turn off for some, so be it. But I will add that I myself am turned off by suspicious people—i.e. those so quick to read into people’s choices “character flaw” or “selfish” or assume the worst about a four line description in a profile. [That goes not just for travel but for any “women are just after….” statement made by grumps.]

Now off to Google pictures of the Galapagos Islands… ;-) 

Seraphic said...

!My question is, why say it on one's dating profile? If it's counterproductive, why do it? If one travels only once a year, on holiday, then how relevant is it anyway? It's like saying, "I love Christmas." Well, millions do. For an eye-opening personal ad, read the one Pope Benedict's dad wrote!

Pearlmusic said...

Oh dear. The semantic noise we are facing is just about horrible.

No, I wouldn’t write “love travelling” on my dating website profile if I had one even though I sometimes blurt it out uncontrollably during a talk. But is “I enjoy travelling from time to time” still very repelling?
Actually, I used to be more home-attached when I was younger and it is my job that has made me a bit of a vagabond (I have never been outside my continent, however). I had to travel quite often and sort of got adjusted to it, so when I had to stay home for half a year without going literally nowhere I almost got depressed. Yep, I noticed some men find that scary and may judge me as light-hearted and frivolous “independent spirit”. But what if ye humble Pearlmusic travelled for such purposes as; work, study, visiting museums, libraries, archives, churches and other places of interests, going to concerts, making new (mostly professional) acquaintances and visiting her old friends on the way? What if travelling was nothing but keeping herself busy while she was Single? Plus, even if she were not always super-chaste during her travels, she was not in any relationship at that time.

However, I understand the fears. In old times (like my Grandma’s youth) even a business trip was seen as sanctioned promiscuity and an opportunity for marrieds to romance, have one-night-stands etc. But travelling is getting quite normal for women and some men are just not used to it yet. Perhaps they need more testimony of Single women who seek God and are willing to be faithful wives in the future who travel a lot during their Single season and are not necessarily promiscuous.

Modesty said...

I lived in the Midwest for pretty much all my life until I graduated Graduate School because I had no job opportunities. I had to move to Texas to get work in my field. (My field is making Video Games.)

I've been discussing my dating profile with my therapist and we think mine might have red flags. I consider myself a good writer...but it's kind of embarrassing to get someone to proof your profile.

I find it tough to really put pen to paper and include all things I enjoy, because my hobbies may not be what a NCM (Nice Catholic Man...no boys please), finds desirable in a future wife. I'm an artist at heart and I see different art mediums differently. I am orthodox to Catholic teaching, I love my faith and practice it daily, but I also LOVE video games, comics and action movies. I get that there seems to be a disconnect between geek culture and Catholic culture. But there's good in both.


Sheila said...

It seems to me there are probably guys online thinking, "I will NEVER find a girl who combines serious Catholicism with my love for art/gaming/nerddom/whatever." So it seems to me putting those things on a profile would be very helpful -- it's what makes you unique!

I think those people who love to travel should put it in other terms, explaining what they mean. "I scrimp and save so I can go road tripping once a year" or "My dream is to hike the Appalachian Trail someday" or "I love history and culture, and nothing makes me happier than touring some old European church." That is a lot clearer, and more original, than "I love to travel."

Me, I *would* love to travel. I have enjoyed those trips I've gotten to take. But I've always been kind of poor. And when my husband-to-be asked me if I wanted to get married sooner, or if I wanted to live it up first, have a career, travel .... I said no, I'd rather get married. It was my choice, but sometimes I feel melancholy because there are so many places I'd love to see, and am not likely to. (I did not find a rich man, and traveling with kids is a whole different kettle of fish anyway. Going home once a year gives us all gray hairs.)

However, I am a person who is pretty happy with the idea of a staycation, and who would rather build a really nice home than wander. So I would NOT put "loves travel," because that would imply it was something I couldn't or didn't want to do without, and all the guys who aren't into traveling wouldn't contact me.

I imagine what I might write: Hippie social-justice pro-life Catholic, into homesteading, homeschooling, homemaking, and home brewing. Message only if you are open to a dozen kids.

Yeah, I am not sure I would have had any success going that route. Maybe on Catholic Match.

Nzie said...

Modesty, I feel ya on the "not sure I fit what an NCM is thinking of" front, and I think Sheila's right (my brothers enjoy gaming, e.g.). I can identify, even as a non-gamer, because when I entertain thoughts of a hypothetical person, I'd love someone who'd be into museums and dressing up steampunk (or cosplaying Doctor Who/LotR/etc.). At any rate, you sound cool to me. :-)

Bruski said...

Hello, Catholic (married) guy here. My sister shared this post with me, so I thought I would give my comments.

Rather than saying "I like to travel," I would talk about recent travels in a profile. This has several advantages. First of all, it's more interesting, because travelling and vague and rather meaningless, there are so many different ways and places to travel (Europe, South America, staying in hostels or fancy hotels, travelling by trains or hitch-hiking, etc), and frequently people are found on one mode and not another. Posting pictures and/or descriptions of travel sows the type you are interested in.
Also, this distinguishes you from the many people who "love to travel" but rarely do anything about it. Finally, it demonstrates that you're not looking for someone to finance your travel, as you've been able to travel plenty fine without that.

As a bonus, it provides fun first date/conversation topics.

When I used to browse online dating profile, the phrase "I like to travel" wouldn't have been off-putting or made me think gold-digger, but it wouldn't have been very interesting or attention-getting either.

It you're interested in using online-dating more effectively, I can recommend few better resources than OKCupid's blog, where they do fascinating statistical analyses on what's effective and what isn't. For example: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-4-big-myths-of-profile-pictures/
I hate to be a downer, but pictures are important, guys are visual. This doesn't mean if you aren't a super-model you don't have a chance, it means you take OKCupid's advice and post well-lit flattering pictures with a high-quality camera of you doing something interesting.

Disclaimer: I met my wife online, but not dating, through World of Warcraft, where we played for a couple years before meeting IRL. Shared interests and the abilities to have hours and hours of conversations about everything help a relationship a lot. ;)

Bruski said...

@ Modesty, I have to agree with Sheila that the love of art/geekiness/video games is something you should display and not hide.

"I get that there seems to be a disconnect between geek culture and Catholic culture. But there's good in both." Maybe it's just the circles I travel in (TAC grad) but I've never met any disconnect like that. I suppose it could be present in some of the extremely traditional/conservative families (actually I was raised in one like that) but the vast majority of my Catholic male friends LOVE at least one of your interests, and would find engagement in that to be a very attractive quality.

On the other side of the coin, putting it out there at the beginning also provides a self-selection process. Anyone who would be put off later by finding out these things are your life (or your job at least) won't bother to contact you, and you know the ones that do are at least worth taking a look at.

Loreman72 said...

Hello, Seraphic!

In answer to your question on the other thread - I have no idea! The reaction to 'loves to travel' is instant and unthinking. I couldn't even articulate it before I saw it written by someone else!

As Pearlmusic said, it was a reputation risk within living memory, and while times may change, people don't. So, if it's that important to you (as in Chocolate Lover's case), perhaps you could hedge it with a declaration of 'family values', or 'traditional Catholic' or 'Biblical morality', or something like that? That should reassure the more skittish beasts

@Modesty - what Bruski said. +1

Modesty said...

Thanks for the encouraging thoughts everyone. :) Maybe it's only because I've studied and experienced so much gender inequality and the assumption that gaming is immature. I also enjoy going to conventions where not everyone is behaving or dressing appropriately. And I usually end up going to Mass alone on Con Sunday.

Also got to say that being well traveled, I think a better way to phrase it is to either list places you've enjoyed going or say you've studied abroad. I've worked abroad as well as visited friends in other countries. I LOVE visiting my family and friends scattered around the country.

Kate said...

I have gotten rebuked on a dating website (I'm a blogger) for talking about my love of traveling. I was very clear that I didn't go into debt over my trips and that I was trying to soak up as much Western European/Catholic culture as possible now - because if I get married and have 12 kids, it won't be possible to do that later. I'm not sure why men would see this as a sign of a gold digger - I'm working all year to send myself on a trip, usually with a few girlfriends.

I think it all comes back to this bizarre online/window shopping attitude that so many people have now (myself not excluded). It's very easy to pick apart someone's actions and words when you're not talking to them in person. One man told me flat out that I was never going to get married, because I keep traveling. I suppose I should always stay home and pray, because that's a much better way to find a husband....

There are times when I really prefer the men I meet on vacation (Munich is the best) than most Catholic men I meet.

Seraphic said...

Although I am the only woman I know who did this, I did in fact marry a man I met on holiday. In person, I mean. Naturally B.A. was a blog reader first.

Getting back to dating websites, which I don't like anyway, as long-time readers know, it seems to me that they are ADVERTS above all else, and if various official and amateur marketing researchers say "Don't say 'I love travelling'", then gosh darn it. I guess you shouldn't say that. Leave "I went here and I went there" for the first date and just say things like, "I love visiting my family and friends scattered around the country" and "I'm learning to recreate Asian food at home" and "I love trying to learn languages; Spanish is my favourite"

Comic book culture is tricky because for some reason it is anti-religion, or so I have read. However, I know a devoutly Catholic comic book fan, so this cannot be a universal thing. And I think "I develop video games" is a pretty neat thing to have on the ol' resume. Mostly, though, you'll be judged on your photo.

Sheila said...

Ugh. Judged on a photo. I haaaaate that it always comes down to looks. Because "men are visual." Or perhaps some men are superficial and want to pretend this is something they couldn't possibly help?

If I were posting on a dating website, I'd use the picture of me in a medieval gown, perched on a barstool at a 50's diner. That's a picture that says "I have a personality too, you might want to look into that."

Sarah said...

I don't see how "comic book culture" as a whole can possible be called anti-religion. Comic books are just another art/entertainment medium. You can have amoral, immoral, and quite moral comic books on any subject, like anything else. Saying that comic book culture is anti-religion because some comics are anti-religion or immoral is like saying literature circles are anti-religion because Christopher Hitchens has published work.

Anyway, Modesty-- The Catholic boys/men are some of the geekiest people I know who love all manner of fun things like gaming, comics, cosplay... And I know plenty of NCGs who do, too. Myself, for example. I'm going to the major Comic Con in my area in June with a girlfriend, and I AM SO EXCITED. We will, of course, be dressing up. Her costume is quite elaborate. I had planned to go as a female Han Solo, but decided on something a little simpler (i.e., nothing that requires a laser pistol)

Men are really impressed when girls like things like that. I think it lets them know that you'll have things to talk about, and that you have fun, laid-back, likely complex, and unique interests.