Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with some of the archetypes of the online dating world, I’d like to devote some special attention to a special group: Rabid Travelers . The demographic seems to be engendered by the very process of filling out a profile. If you’re a guy and have perused a plethora of female profiles, you’ve no doubt run into a number of RTs. They are sometimes hard to isolate and separate out from the casual travelers prior to a face-to-face date (F2F), but some profiles are dead giveaways.
Granted, the average OkCupid profile includes a nod to geographical escapism. Americans, and New Yorkers in particular, are more likely than other Americans to hold a passport and to have actually used it. Add that to the fact that our generation has much more leisure time and economic freedom to explore–whether through semesters/work or volunteering abroad, extended backpacking tours through Europe and South America, or just using that odd week here and there on more exotic places than cruises and all-inclusives, and social media portals quickly become a shrine to wanderlust. Perhaps we’re rebels without a cause. With no wars to fight or protest (or the desire to do either) for most of us, maybe our generation pours the energy and soul-searching of baby boomers into global exploration. Who knows?
After a while, it becomes expected and your eyes are desensitized to the mere mention of other places; no more compelling or eye-catching than anodyne statements about gadget or food preferences. The modern consumer experience prizes long menus of options and travel, once a privilege of the leisure class, is now as ordinary as choosing a drink at Starbucks, a craft beer at a bar, or cruising Netflix. And so we pick from an endless adventure menu: BeNeLux, Uruguay, Tibet, New Zealand, Jordan, Venezuela, Iceland. For some RTs, everything is a stamp on the checklist of authenticity–World Cup in South Africa; Carnival in Brazil; Mardi Gras in New Orleans; mountain-climbing in Tanzania; bullfighting in Spain. Others choose human interest–building homes in Haiti, working in African schools, or teaching English in Nicaragua. But within the RT domain there’s one startling trend: Machu Picchu. I don’t know when it happened, and perhaps it’s already jumped the shark, but it’s undeniable that a significant percentage of ladies on OkCupid fetishize Peru and would forego their yoga mat, smart phone, and a month of NPR to walk the Inca Trail.
Why Peru? Why the Incas? Where’s the love for the Mayans and Aztecs? Outside of doomsday predictions and Roland Emmerich movies, we barely cast a glance of tribes to the north. I myself look forward to one day checking out Peru and Machu Picchu, but my initial gusto has been tempered somewhat by the frequency with which this appears on women’s bucket lists.
Ladies, no disrespect to the Incas, but there are so many other trails to walk! Check out the Highline, for instance. Or the Freedom Trail in Boston. Nature walk, anyone?