[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Karina Kennedy to the site today! She has some must-know do’s and don’ts of dating abroad. Take it away, Karina!]
The French are great kissers. Italians are boldly romantic. Germans are strong and sexy. Danes, sweet and generous. The Irish know how to have a good time. Brits are brilliantly brainy. And the Portuguese? Just plain gorgeous. But the truth is, it’s always the accent that bewitches us. We’re tired of the dating apps and the same flavor of ice cream back home. So, we’re traveling abroad to see new places, meet new friends, expand our horizons and… our dating pool? Well why not?
The Do’s and Don’ts of dating abroad is the area of expertise of my heroine Marina Taylor, from A Not So Lonely Planet: Italy. In the book she takes her first trip abroad to Italy, under the guise of researching her “noble contribution to the world of literature” a book on influential Italian women. But truthfully, (like me) Marina has read more adventure romance novels than noble contributions to the world of literature and the real reason she wants to go to Europe is to “have exotic lovers and awesome adventures.” So, with an open heart and appetite for exploration she sets out. But Marina is, (again like me), imperfect, squirrely and a bit overly zealous. On her “Italian-love-cation” she does find amore aplenty, but only through tricky or hilarious situations she must navigate. So, let’s ask her advice…
Marina Taylor’s Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Abroad
DO: pack some nice underwear and bras. (Italians are second only to the French in the world of lingerie.)
DON’T: wear those comfy cotton granny pants your mom gave you with the little dancing alligators on them because your black lace thong rides up your ass and makes you walk like you’re holding in a fart and there’s no way anyone’s going to see your underpants your first night in Rome. (You never know!)
DO: accept an invitation to a local’s birthday party from a cute-but-shy, Italian boy-cop who is clearly in need of an experienced-but-not-slutty, confident-but-not-cocky American woman to liberate him from the bonds of his virginity.
DON’T: correct his friends when they sing the wrong English words to Hotel California, or realize you’ve left your condoms at your hotel and rifle through the medicine closet in the bathroom, knocking the pin out of the shelf and sending everything crashing into the toilet– that you haven’t flushed yet.
DO: Make friends with the European girls you meet on the train. Wing-women that speak the language and know locals are good to have.
DON’T: drink too much wine at the group dinner they invited you and try to seduce the handsome French-Italian photographer across the table with a clandestine rendezvous outside the bathroom where your inner Jessica Rabbit will more closely resemble Miss Piggy mauling Kermit, forcing you to make a humiliating escape through the kitchen.
Although I certainly haven’t screwed the pooch as many times as Marina, I also can’t claim her track record of success with foreign flings and exotic strangers. In those Choose Your Own Adventure moments where Marina would lean into bravado and chutzpah throwing caution to the wind, I’m more inclined to look before I leap. She does, after all operate in a fun fanciful world of my own creation and the only real dangers, she need worry about are my writer’s block or eighth book urge to ‘jump the shark.’ So, with that in mind, here are some of my own Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Abroad, for those romantic readers whose family may not have bail or ransom money ready to wire.
Karina Kennedy’s Do’s and Don’ts of Dating Abroad
DO: make friends with that cute guy/girl traveling on your train
DO: explore tourist sights together, find quaint little restaurants
DON’T: spend the night with him/her until you’re sure whether or not you’ll wake up alone with no passport or money.
DO: date locals who are vouched for, like friends of local friends or a tour guide your travel agent knows
DO: befriend the barista at your favorite local café; ask if she has any single friends who may want to show an American girl around town.
DON’T: get into a vehicle with a complete stranger if you’re alone.
DO: ask the hip girl at the shoe shop where the cool locals hang at night
DO: try the signature drink, dance at least once with anyone who asks
DON’T: drink too much if you’re alone or with someone you just met
DO: Give people the benefit of the doubt, connect with an open mind/heart
DON’T: be naïve. Let yourself be taken advantage of.
DO: have fun, enjoy the moment, let yourself go, create memories
DON’T: get too attached if you’re planning to leave.
Meeting another likeminded traveler with which to explore can make your trip safer, more fun, and hopefully more romantic. But there is nothing like an infatuated local to give you the insider tour, show you things you would have missed, introduce you to other locals, help you with the language, and create memories you’ll never forget. Marina Taylor considers herself a good will ambassador, bringing the world closer together, one international romance at a time!
Marina’s romantic adventures begin June 8 in, A Not So Lonely Planet: Italy.
About the Author:
Karina Kennedy is a writer, romantic and brave, restless spirit. Growing up in Florida, she cheated her Choose Your Own Adventure books by keeping fingers stuck in the pages so she could change her mind. Who wants only one adventure? Marina is inspired by strong, creative women in all walks of life and uses this passion to fuel her travels all over the world. As an intrepid explorer she is unwilling to miss out on a memory, willing to bend the rules, unafraid of her own beauty, and ready to share it with those who deserve it. Marina hopes to inspire and entertain other like-minded people to explore the world, fall in love, or just have fun.
A Not So Lonely Planet: Italy by Karina Kennedy, out June 8!
Marina Taylor is a bold, adventure-seeking writer with a one-way ticket to Rome and big dreams to write her book, Italian Women of Influence . . . but an undeniable connection with an irresistible stranger—and her penchant for disaster—just may derail her plans.
Inspired by actress and sex icon Regina Lombardi, Marina tries to master the sexual gaze as she researches her book and stumbles her way through Italian scholars, Turkish footballers, and Sicilian twins. From the nightclubs of Rome to a Venetian masquerade ball, Marina’s escapades leave her yearning for a particular French-Italian photographer. Will she catch her illusive stranger, or prove more calamity than coquette? And what about the ruggedly down-to-earth ex who’s waiting for her back home?
Equal parts laugh-out-loud travel comedy and sexy adventure, Marina’s first trip abroad will inspire you to throw your own itinerary out the window and throw caution to the wind. Art, love, sex, wine—the Italian playboy and the boy next door—who says you can’t have it all?