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And so it begins. First stop, London!

Connecting with a local during my first few days in a new place can completely change how the rest of my time goes, from getting recommendations to the opportunity for a second or third date depending on how strong the connection.

Loni James
Loni James
2 min read
And so it begins. First stop, London!
Tower Bridge, London

A Date in Every Country: A Series
Date #1
Location: London, England
Nationality: French but dual citizen
Activity: drinks into dinner
Time: 5 hours
Connected via: Tinder
Will see again? I'd like to.

I did it. I quit my job. The story of how I got to this point is long so I'll cover that in another post but for now this is the beginning of my journey. My plan is to hike and date in every country as I travel the world with no idea of when I'll stop. It should be fabulous and I'm glad you're here to tag along.

While there are quite a few dating apps, Tinder seemed the easiest to connect with people abroad. I downloaded Tinder Passport as it specifically allowed me to change my location so I could swipe before I arrived in a new location. Tinder was ROUGH in London. At the advice of you friends, I downloaded Hinge but honestly with only 10 swipes a day this proved harder to find someone when I was working with a limited amount of time. Not sure if I should just pay and upgrade at some point. Do they use Hinge other places as well? I have no idea what the popular apps are in the different countries I'll be visiting. I realize that by being a traveler I’m not the ideal connection for those looking to date with intention but also…I’m a damn good time lol.

I persevered through some pretty sketchy profiles and Tinder eventually proved successful for me as I managed to start a conversation with a cute French guy. He was very into travel so there was plenty to talk about. I was out and about with my cousin just beforehand so she had a drink with me until he arrived. To be honest, she was dying to sit in the corner and spy on our date but I wouldn't let her. Has anyone done this? I have friends that have offered but I've never (knowingly) done this. It was pouring down rain (shocking for London I know) and he came barreling in the door and immediately spotted me.  Figured I'd keep this first date low key with drinks at a local pub. Conversation flowed easily and drinks turned into dinner turned into chatting for 5 hours?! It was getting late and I was leaving the following day to head to Cairo but the conversation turned to how fun it would be to meet up again somewhere. Can't say I'm opposed to this but I realize that many will say this but few will follow through.

I'm trying to hold these connections lightly - enjoying them for what they are with no expectations of a future rendezvous.  As this was my first of many dates, I quickly learned that I will plan my dates earlier moving forward. Connecting with a local during my first few days in a new place can completely change how the rest of my time goes, from getting recommendations to the opportunity for a second or third date depending on how strong the connection. A few lingering goodbye kisses at the bus stop had neither of us wanting to leave and he insisted on flying to me meet somewhere so I’ll keep you posted. All in all, it was a great start and I enjoyed myself immensely.

Teaser: Date #2 was in Cairo, Egypt and lasted for 13 hours!

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Loni James

I'm new to the world of writing and pray these stories make you laugh, curse and dream of far off places. I hope they inspire you to cross oceans and meet plenty of interesting people along the way.