Long term travel with an
OK Cupid Hookup…
It’s definitely not for everyone.
There are as many different traveler types as there are world destinations and just as many travel motivations. There is the adventurer who craves the thrill of new and different experiences. Then there is the global citizen who desires to meet new people, make a difference in the world, and touch the lives others. Or there is the traveler who needs to “turn up” wherever the plane takes him/her. What about the “just want to be anywhere but home” traveler? Well, in the novel “No Baggage” author Clara Bensen introduces herself as a new category of traveler for your consideration: the Travel Dater. How many times have you heard the saying, “you never know someone until you travel with them?”
Depending on the locale, traveling can be quite challenging and an adventure unto itself. On top of that, layer on a companion you are interested in, and there is the potential for the best time ever or the vacation from hell (now that would make a good story). In this story, Bensen takes a big chance at online dating and she and her beau (Jeff) decide to take a date abroad for three weeks and experience some pretty cool destinations. Now, why is this story-worthy you ask? They undertake this adventure without luggage, plans, or the baggage of past relationships. (No baggage from past relationships? Not.) Clara and Jeff are pretty ordinary if not flawed individuals (Jeff more so than Clara) leading rather ordinary lives. However, Bensen takes this experience and weaves an interesting travelogue that makes for a decent read. She presents herself a person that any one of us could identify with and with close inspection and no small amount of introspection, relives the journey through her new beginning. Bensen is quite adept at capturing and sharing the sights and sounds of her travels but even more so at revealing her inner emotions and that in itself, makes the book worthy of reading.
There is an inherent risk in writing this type of story though. Sometimes life’s journeys, both figuratively and literally, and the lessons learned, are deeply personal experiences. With that said, often during this literary journey, you will appreciate Bensen sharing. However, the significance she places on events, feeling, and revelations, does not always resonate with the reader and amounts to a mildly engaging storyline and sometimes comes off even as self-indulgent. Nonetheless, No Baggage provides an interesting emotional perspective for those who have resolved to start fresh relationally this year.
Bensen is a talented writer and has more to offer in the future for sure.