CHIANG MAI MEAT MARKET
I was a dating-vegetarian walking through the meat markets of the Chiang Mai , admiring the eclectic mix of local and imported products from afar.
The stalls were bright and colourful and alluring and the things they were selling were new and exciting. There were things I’d never seen before, and things I didn’t know existed.
Most had travelled hundreds of miles to get here and every single one of them had an interesting story to tell. They were bold and brave and brainy and those Malteser eyes that are so hard to find back home were everywhere, in all shapes and sizes.
I was curious and salivating mildly, but no stall-seller kept my attention for more than a few moments and the handwritten signs hanging amongst the lanterns saying Look, Don’t Swipe, reminded me to keep moving on.
So I wandered the seductive sois with my hands in my pockets taking a mental note of my future shopping list and realised a feast for the eyes on a full stomach gives you plenty of time to listen to your taste buds.
Whether it’s online or offline, one of the biggest things causing widespread dating delirium is this…
Back in our early days of hunting and gathering, we’d take out our spears and go off in search of anything with bit of meat on the bone. It didn’t matter if we’d come home with a mammoth, an armadillo or an elk – it was food on the table and we were hungry to eat.
Today, our approach to hunting is much more prescriptive and damagingly so. We’re taking our digital spears and armed with a never-ending checklist we go in search of something to tickle our Tinder taste buds.
This time it can’t be a mammoth, an armadillo or an elk – it has to be a buffalo.
He’s got to be tall and well-built with shaggy fur, a cropped beard and decent sized horns. His skin should be a particular shade of brown and not too leathery. He needs to be a leader of the herd, slightly territorial and a good looker-afterer, but he’s also got to be open to wallowing in new soils and grazing on foreign lands.
He has to be intelligent, playful and not too aggressive and if boredom sets in early, I’ll trade him in for another until I find the one I want. And when I do, I won’t be prepared to share him – he’ll be mine and only mine, forever.
Is it really any wonder that more often than not, we come home hungry?
Physical, mental and spiritual attraction are the magnets that get us to lust and love in the first place, so I’m not saying deny your taste, drop all your standards, break down your boundaries and have a free-for-all sausage party (unless you want to). But what I am saying, is that maybe we need to let go of our expectations.
DIGITAL NOMAD DATING
It still baffles me when I see profiles that say “Looking For…”
If it’s character traits they’re stating then it’s a little bit more acceptable, as we do tend to have a relatively good idea of what traits we’re attracted to. But if it’s Looking For a hook-up, Looking For a locationship, Looking For love I just don’t get it.
How do you know what you’re looking for until you’ve found it?
I’m yet to experience the fun, fear and fantasy of Digital Nomad Dating but my first impressions are that it could be a little bit easier than the conventional kind as it all comes down to mindset.
If you’re a Digital Nomad, it’s because you’ve chosen to be.
You’re independent, you’re driven, you’re strong-minded, you like adventure and you know what you want, even if what you want is the freedom of not knowing what that is yet. You’re a dopamine-loving Explorer and you’re attracted to somebody just like you.
You’ve renounced all traditional notions of stability and if you’ve truly embraced the concept of Digital Nomading, then you’re like to be on the no-plan-plan where your stomach is Director of Decision-Making and Fate is your CEO of Life.
You’ve thrown away your hunting checklist and you’re letting the algorithms of destiny work their magic.
WANDER + LUSt
When you hit up Google with questions on Dating for Digital Nomads, you’re presented with exactly what you would expect.
First of all, ignoring the fact that the regular apps are very much a worldwide thing, there are now a range of Digital Nomad Dating Apps popping up, the worst-named one being Ninder, a Tinder for Nomads.
And secondly, there’s an increasing number of websites and blogs with how to guides, dating dos and don’ts and self-pitying sob stories.
The how-to guides tend to be so personalised they’re not relevant to anybody but the story-teller, the do’s and don’ts are going completely against all freedom-fighting principles of Digital Nomading and the sob stories are just a little bit too whiny for my liking.
Yes you might swipe yourself into early-onset arthritis, yes you might turn up to dates and feel the magnificent rush of disappointment consume your veins after one millisecond and yes you might feel lonely. You might make a deep connection to somebody who’s leaving the next day or you might fall in love with somebody who’s falling in lust with everybody else.
But if you choose to be a Digital Nomad then you choose the free-flowing, open-minded life that comes with it and your only really dos and don’ts should be DO share your stories, but DON’T take advice, because the wisest words will always be Let It Be.
As for me, right now I’m happily satisfying my appetite with vegetarian pad thai and spring rolls, but when I’m ready to put the Lust back into my Wander, I’ll let you know.
Jessica 15 November 2018
I think when I hear other digital nomads complain about dating, it is just the same gripes about modern dating. We just have a more limited dating pool, but I cannot imagine most of us would go for someone that is not into the wanderlust schtick!