Until not too long ago, traveling alone was largely unpredictable. For just about every Consume Pray Like moment, there had been untold hours of wasted time, sketchy circumstances, and missed possibilities. But now a developing suite of apps aims to connect like-minded single trekkers for every thing from regional music to unexplored cuisine. And I’m on a mission to attempt them all (OK, 3) on a brief trip to the Philippines.
On a 3-hour layover at Tokyo’s Narita airport, I start out with Wander, an app that connects solo travelers to one particular a different by matching interests (“I like pirates, British comedy, and baseball”). I discover a chat buddy, but he’s hundreds of miles away in Seoul. Following a confusing 15-minute conversation exactly where he either propositioned me or invited me for dinner (his English wasn’t stellar and my Korean is abysmal) I close the app and head for the nearest airport bar.
5 hours later I touch down in Manila and fire up Banjo, an app geared toward meeting men and women at reside events and regional spots. I discover a new Filipino restaurant in the Fort—one of Manila’s glitzy purchasing areas—and down a plate of the most effective pork sisig I’ve ever tasted. However I’m nevertheless flying solo.
“So . . . why do not you just use Tinder?” Post-lunch, I’m texting with one particular of my pals who meets men and women overseas utilizing the mega-well-known dating app. And it is a superior point! Most of my single pals who travel solo use a mix of Tinder and Facebook to discover new pals even though traveling. But I just cannot get more than the lurid subtext—plus, I’m married.
Twenty-4 hours later, I’m at Busuanga Bay Lodge on Busuanga, an island 185 miles south of Manila. I attempt to open Outbound, an app for outside-minded people. But cell reception is practically nonexistent right here, and Wi-Fi is slower than a narcoleptic 3-toed sloth.
Frustrated, I head to the hotel bar, order a rum punch and start out chatting with Ashley and Mike, a filmmaker and an accountant from Zambia. We invest the day with each other consuming, drinking, and playing volleyball. Following I dive for the ball and a jagged piece of coral opens up a nine-inch gash on my shin, I say goodbye just before hobbling off to discover a initially help kit. Will I ever speak to them once again? I hope so. Mainly because, I recognize as I verify the Wi-Fi once again, at times it is the limitations of technologies that get us to the areas we really want to go.
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