Because being a journalist often feels like being a teenager living like a businessman, I often find myself travelling to random cities where I know nobody, spending nights alone in hotels. And because I’m a super-sociable person, this quickly became dull. So I was intrigued when someone I’m proud to call my friend, Daisy, invented a new game: Tinder tourism. Of which I’m now a connoisseur.
Tinder — for anyone unfamiliar with how twentysomethings spend Saturday nights — is a dating app. It works on your phone’s GPS, setting you up with people in your vicinity. In a funny way, I see it as the zenith of a new kind of tourism that aspires to authentic local experiences (in the same way I like renting out local people’s homes on Airbnb, going to tiny pop-up restaurants in local neighbourhoods, and to people’s houses for dinner via websites like Eat With.) If you want to get to know a place properly, you may as well date local boys.
I have checked into the app and chatted up boys in Scotland, Devon, London, Wales, San Francisco, Thailand and New York.
The first thing you discover is there are certain things boys on Tinder all over the world have in common: they all pose next to cars. Why? Nobody knows. Posing next to a car has not impressed a woman since 1956. But then neither has posing cuddled up next to a drugged-up tiger during a gap year in Thailand. Yet this, too, has somehow become a Tinder archetype. But that’s where the similarities ended.
READ THE FULL COLUMN HERE: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/article1501804.ece