Generally speaking, blind dates are no one’s idea of a good time. It’s always a little odd having never met someone, then being forced to be interested in that person’s life and hobbies for a few hours. Sure, plenty of good can come of them, but more often than not they’re a recipe for awkwardness.
Now, imagine being on a blind date and unable to go home because you’re in a whole other state. That’s the deal when you sign up with MissTravel.com, a dating service that hooks people up with travel companions with the hope of a possible love connection. The idea is equal parts exciting and horrifying — as you balance the relatively reasonable hope that the other person is fun, charming, and attractive, with a less likely but still valid fear that they’ll be psychotic.
Still, the idea of finding love while traveling seemed interesting enough, so I threw caution to the wind, sent in my bio along with some of the cuter photos of myself, and waited to be paired with someone who might be my future husband (no pressure).
It took no time at all for me to receive a list of men who might be a potential match, and it took even less time for me to forward that list to my future bridesmaids (is that weird?) to see which gents they approved of. Answers ranged from “Oh, he’s an ‘aspiring’ professional?’ That means he’s unemployed,” to “I’m just rooting for everybody black,” to “Nah. Start all over” — so I did my best job discerning for myself who I would want to spend a couple days with, and decided on a doctor who seemed very well-traveled.
Since our date was being hosted for this article, we had the option of choosing between Washington, D.C. and Mexico. If it had been a real MissTravel date, we would have found one another through the site, like any other dating site and decided on a way to split the expenses of the trip (the impression left by visiting the site is that women are most often being treated by men).
Initially, I was hyped on Mexico, but because of travel warnings, our trip was decided for us: We would hit the nation’s capital.
Josh and I texted from the time we were matched up until the day before the trip, and then got ready to see if we were a match in real life. I packed all the warmest clothing I could in a duffle bag to meet the airline requirements and headed to the airport, praying that the snow in the forecast was wrong. After an easy flight, a driver picked me up from the airport and I headed to the Kimpton Donovan in Downtown D.C. — where we’d planned to eat at the in-house restaurant, Zentan.