Tinder, Tinder, Tinder! Tinder (just like any other online dating app) has a bad reputation. People see it as a hook-up app and don’t want other people to know they are on Tinder. Some people on Tinder use pictures without their faces because they want to hide their identity. While the people who are not on Tinder judge those who are because it makes them look desperate. Well, I am on Tinder. I am neither ashamed nor proud of it. I have been on Tinder for about a month now, and during this time I’ve deleted my account and the app many times because some Tinder dudes are so gross and thirsty, which made me uncomfortable. I’ve received a lot of hook-up invitations (unmatched all those dudes), and I’ve also gone on a Tinder date (will make a YouTube video about how that went). After deleting my Tinder account many times, I decided to find a way to use Tinder constructively, for my benefit. Below are ways you can use Tinder to your benefits as a traveler.
- Language Exchange
Language exchange is perhaps the best way to use Tinder to your advantage if you’re in a foreign country. But this only works if you’re staying longer than a couple of days. I am currently in South Korea and have about two people I meet twice a week to learn Korean while I also teach them English. We use Google translate and Naver Dictionary to make communication easy. My Korean is still terrible, but with time, it probably will get better.
- Tour Guide
From your language exchange (If you’re in a non-English speaking country) you can get your very own unlicensed tour guide (Just don’t call him or her that, it’s not nice ) and travel buddy. Yes, there are honest and harmless people on Tinder who will be more than willing to show you around, take you to popular spots and assist you in communicating with locals. In this case, it is very polite that you offer to pay for transportation and food because they are helping you more than you’re helping them.
- Make Friends.
I will be in Korea for three years. It’s easy to make friends with other foreigners, especially those who speak English because we mostly attend the same events. However, being friends with nonnatives is not adventurous at all, it keeps you in your comfort zone thus defeating the purpose of traveling in the first place. Why would I leave South Africa only to hang with South Africans all the time? Making friends with Koreans is hard because most of them are insecure about their English and will try to avoid speaking to you by all means. Tinder makes it easier because, you first build a relationship through texting, making things easier when you meet in person.
Networking is my favorite one. I am a creative who is always looking for a way to meet other creatives. There are Facebook groups and stuff but reaching out to people on Facebook can be hard and awkward. Tinder makes things a bit easier (at least for me) especially if these people have their Instagram profiles linked to their Tinder; that way you can do some research (or stalk) them before you start texting them. In my case, I look for photographers, bloggers, and YouTubers, etc. We share our work, give each other tips, and I am currently working on collaborating with one of my Tinder peeps.
- Find your Soulmate
I used the word ‘soulmate’ on purpose because it sounds cheesy. Without sounding like I have a fetish or anything, I find it very fascinating to date someone who is different from me. It’s always a welcome challenge, but I have never done it using Tinder until I went out on the date mentioned above. I don’t know anyone who has made a success of relationship which began on Tinder. However, I’ve read a lot of stories about people who have met their ‘person’ on Tinder, went on dates, dated seriously, got married and lived happily ever after (Ok, not exactly like that) so, it is possible. It’s a challenge for travelers because there’s a lot of hopping around, but maybe you can find another travel obsessed being and have your travel relationship.
I hope you feel a little different about Tinder after reading this. I am not saying Tinder is safe and pleasant, but it also isn’t terrible. Use your discretion and read those bios before swiping right. If you’re using Tinder for all the other reasons except for five, then you should swipe both men and women.