For those of you who aren’t aware, Tinder is an app in which you can communicate with people around you whom you find attractive.
It’s a simple application, you just connect it to your Facebook, upload some pictures, add a description, and select the preferred age range for whom you’re interested in. Then finally you just choose a radius for how far away from your current location you’re willing to travel. Then boom, the magic happens.
“Magic” is a general term with different meanings for everyone. Some people want to find the love of their life, others just want to have sex, others are only there for the free food and drinks, and not surprisingly because we’re a “notification generation”, many people get excited to see that people “matched” with us or messaged us.
I’m sure there are more reasons. Whatever they may be, I’m not here to judge. I promise.
I just know that I’ve experimented on and off with the app over the years. Reflecting back, I astonish myself with the variety of reasons I’ve used it. I’d create social experiments by posting surveys for my matches, or seeing how ridiculously crazy I can take a conversation before she stops talking to me.. but by far, my favorite use is to inquire with locals about their area while i’m traveling.
The classic tourist experience doing everything that is posted on trip advisor is great, but what do the locals do? They obviously don’t buy that overpriced meal, or take all the tours advertised everywhere. What do they do for fun? What are the hidden gems of the area?
I’m a big advocate for vistitor centers because they give you a good idea of what’s nearby, but then you need to check with the locals themselves. If you get the opportunity, ask them in person. Put yourself out there.
I’m going to reflect on my experience in the Netherlands. Although many people speak English, a lot of people don’t. That’s many times part of the adventure, but I found a convenient place where people my age hang out. I don’t even need to leave my house, and yes, I’m talking about Tinder. Remember, in person interaction is better, but you can use Tinder while on the toilet. 😈
While living in Den Haag, Netherlands, I decided one day to take a trip to Brussels, Belgium just as a change in scenery. Although I enjoyed some aspects of the trip, overall I didn’t care for it. Just not my cup of tea.
From that day on, I regarded girls from Tinder (to myself) as my local tour guides. Kind of. I actually had no interest in meeting up with any of them (not in the budget), but I was very interested in learning about the places they loved to frequent. I would ask many girls similar questions on where to go, and if I got a certain city/town/landmark recommended by at least 5 girls then that’s all the convincing I needed. I was never disappointed by a place I visited that originated from their suggestions.
Then there was Raisa. Raisa was a girl who was going to University in the Netherlands, and she took it to the next level.
Some backstory on Raisa: she had recently completed a 850 km (528 miles) pilgrimage in Spain doing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (you should absolutely look it up), and then hitchhiked all the way back home. After she graduated from University (which would have been May of 2017) she was going to walk from her University in the Netherlands to Rome totaling approximately 1600 km (994 miles) all depending on which route she took of course.
She in my opinion, is a pretty cool girl. I included in our conversation a few places I wanted to go, but was struggling on where to prioritize my near future. Her response, which is verbatim because I screenshot it for loving it so much, was “The destination is not what matters, believe me :p I can only recommend that you travel by foot. The slowness is wonderful. You have time to enjoy, and you meet the most generous and wonderful people on the road.”.
My mind was blown.
She essentially revolutionized my travel experience, and I have Tinder to thank for “connecting” us.
We’ve gotten so fast at everything. I think the desired reason is that we should try to fit as much into our short life as possible. From face value that makes sense, but does it really result in a better life?
Or are we just racing to the finish?
Let’s not stress ourselves out trying to become faster. Let’s not remove the human factor in life. Let’s stop, take a few deep breaths, and take a walk. You’d be surprised where it may take you.
If it’s the speediness of life that we seek a vacation from, then why not make “slow”, a lifestyle? It may sound difficult with everything that’s happening nowadays, however I challenge you to make a list of everything that happens in your day from start to finish. Now circle everything that isn’t essential for life (to survive). Do those items relax both your body, and your mind? When I say relax, I mean unwind from the daily grind.. When I say unwind, I mean reflect.
Reflection is key.
Reflect on what’s important. Spend your time with those who bring out the best in you. Don’t race your life away, and remember slow is where the connection occurs.
Why make your heart race from stress when you can let it beat faster from falling in love everyday?
I currently do not have Tinder installed. I’ve noticed I fall in love with life more, when I have increased human interaction, and less of a technological influence. However, I do not regret the growth I’ve received from that experience.