Choosy Lover: How to Vet a Lover With Travel

Most travel blogs explore traveling with your Other as this fluffy, froo-froo experience of complete bliss and candy coated raindrops. And it can be! However, what about those times when you travel with someone and you learn that the person you were dating did not exactly have all the things that you thought they did or was not the person you thought they were? In this post, I want to explore how to vet (process of performing a background check on someone) a lover, and why traveling is one of the BEST ways to get to know someone.

True Story:

I went on an international trip with a friend (of the opposite sex). We stayed at the same hostel but different rooms (I personally ONLY stay in places that have rocking a/c which he was okay not having). We enjoyed all the cool activities like hiking waterfalls, extreme sports, and trying all sorts of amazing restaurants in the area. Unfortunately, with all the fun, I ended up with an ear infection (NOT fun in 100 degree weather!).

I told him to enjoy the rest of his day and he promised to come back to the hostel in a few hours to help me find some ear drops at the local pharmacy. Long story short, I do not see this fellow until the NEXT day at 6pm. He never came to check on me, let alone take me to find medication for my aching ear. Then I find out the next day, that the entire hostel went out to dinner and a party in the jungle! Unbeknown to me, I had been left in the hostel alone that night. WHET?!

Without getting into too many details, I can tell you I was disappointed in said “friend”. He was the only person I knew in this foreign land and he left me in a hostel alone. While I was hurt that he did not even come check on me or let me know what was going on, I was more disappointed in seeing and experiencing that side of him. Yet always finding the silver lining, I found the most enlightening lesson I saw in the experience. Travel shows you caveats of one’s personality and character, that you may not see otherwise.

Another example stems from my cousin. After telling her what happened, she shared that she too had a similar experience. She and her guy at the time had been dating for ~ 7 months and decided to travel to Peru for a week. Upon returning from the trip, she ended things immediately because she saw character traits in him on their trip that were on her “Non-Negotiables” List. Through her trip, she was able to vet her boo and determined he was, in fact, not IT.

And for this, you MUST travel with your Other (or potential Other).

If anything, traveling together breaks up the day to day monotony you experience with dating. To me, traveling together is one of the best ways to explore a person past their immediate comfort zones. You will be able to assess area like:

– Is your Other financially savvy with the trip budget?

– How do they respond to heart-wrenching situations like seeing poverty, lack of clean water, or other economical or societal disparities?

– Are they selfish or selfless?

– How open are they to trying new experiences?

– Do they have the same types of interests as you? If not, are they willing to compromise?

– How do they keep up with their hygiene? (very important!)

Traveling together creates this controlled environment; almost like a social experiment. For however long you travel, you probably cannot escape that person for very long. Chances are, you are staying in the same room, enjoying the same activities, and eating most meals together. You are forced to see their nuances (good, bad, and down right annoying!), their character in certain situations, bad habits, and parts of their personality that you may not have explored otherwise.

Have you ever traveled with someone (Other, lover, or otherwise) and found out that they may not be sticking around much longer?

Spill it!

Until then, journey on.




**Let me point out, that I am not a relationship/dating expert; I am merely speaking from my personal experience! 🙂

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  1. Great post Rachel! A lot of great points here. I always say it’s not always the destination that makes your holiday great but the people you travel with. It’s important to be picky with whom you travel with because they can completely ruin it for you, or if you’re lucky, make it totally awesome! Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Hopefully you’ll have awesome travel companions from now on.

    Elles from

  2. GirlWhoLovestoTravel

    I completely agree! I went out of the country with two of my best friends from childhood and we returned with a stronger bond. I went across the country with college friends and realized our definition of “fun” was totally different. I enjoyed myself, the person who organized the trip did not and reminds us every time the subject arises. They want to travel again. I’m declining this time.

    • RachelTravels

      Sooooo true! I think as you grow and mature, what you considered “fun” varies drastically from person to person!

      That’s awesome that your childhood friends came back with a stronger bond!

  3. Just stopping by to say great post! (and sorry about your experience!)

    I’ve also learned to be more discerning about who I travel with… everyone’s travel styles are different. But when you have a great match, it makes for an extraordinary trip!

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