Adapt to the local culture
Each place has its own culture. Figure out what makes them tick so you can share the experience. People in European countries are open and friendly. They also love music and pubbing so focus your attention there. I did get to meet some really interesting women who said, ‘let's go clubbing and dancing and then we can decide how things evolve’. And that’s what happened.
Swapnil B, 31, innovator
Don’t get emotionally attached
I was in Varkala all by myself listening to the sea. Why don’t I see how the Tinder scene is here I thought? I swiped through a few profiles and in 30 minutes I was talking to almost seven different guys. I connected well with three of them and decided I would meet one person each day over the next 3 days. The guys were adorably sweet, driving almost 50/60 kilometers to see me. We had a gala time exploring Varkala.
I chose to get intimate with only one of them and we had set our boundaries clearly – no emotional attachments. I fondly remember my encounters even now, that’s the great part about meeting strangers on travels.
Ever since then, I have had many different encounters and would encourage everyone to try things they wouldn’t in the city. While it is imperative to be safe and cautious, let go a little with people you are attracted to. You may never meet them again, but you will have memories to look back. Whenever you remember a place, you shall remember the experiences along with it.
*Meghna S, 28, writer
Trust your gut
I was at this party, a little drunk and hitting on a few guys. One of them showed interest and we hit it off and spent the whole night dirty dancing. We danced till morning, till we were kicked out of the pub. He wanted me to come over and I was sorely tempted. But, caution got the better of me. I wasn’t completely sober, I had no phone to contact my friends and I didn’t know where he stayed.
As a woman growing up in India, you anyway tend to be on high alert – it’s like part of your system. In this case, something felt off. He seemed nice but the thought of going with him made me feel weird. I didn’t.
I have hooked up with men before when travelling but no matter how attractive they are, or how much chemistry we have, if my gut says no, I don’t go. In a foreign land, especially when travelling solo, I have learned to trust my intuition in all matters. It has never let me down.
•Mabel Lopez, 24, wedding planner
Always invite the man over to your room
I have travelled alone and met a few strangers and had one of those vacation romances and flings. My advice would be to always invite the man over to your hotel room if he is a complete stranger. Always insist on protection, avoid drinking more than two or three drinks at a time.
*Aparna Hajirnis, 29, media professional
Never do drugs
Never do drugs, especially in South East Asia or the Middle East (the laws there are very very strict). You'll be tempted a lot, steer clear, including honey traps of boob sniffs and licks of cocaine and super Mario. And never, never ever forget to carry condoms in the pocket.
*Aditya Kapoor, 28, fashion entrepreneur
*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.