After a holiday adventure to Paris, a walking tour in the midi-Pyrenees and a short stay in London that I thoroughly enjoyed, annoyingly, the most common question I got asked on my return was, "Did you meet anyone (with an implied wink, wink)?" or something of that derivative.
I was travelling alone you see: I was a single woman in Paris, I was a single woman on the walking tour, I was a single woman in London, I was a single woman without a man by her side, I was single a woman without companionship, I was a single woman travelling on her own, but more importantly I was SINGLE!
What is it about single women that people assume when they travel what they want is to find is romance?
After the umpteenth time being asked this question I just wanted to scream. There were plenty of other questions that could be asked of me, but almost always within the first five was this "did you meet anyone?"
I don't know as yet (but am open to suggestions) how to answer this without being angry and defensive, or offensive for that matter, but I know that it should not be in the top twenty questions you ask someone about their trip. At least don't ask me cause the last thing on my mind when travelling (and I'm sure not the only single woman to think like this) is finding romance or a mate or someone to have a fling with.
Here's a list of 20 possible questions you can ask a single woman after her holiday that doesn't include cliches like "did you meet anyone?" or "what was the weather like?"
1. What's your favourite moment?
2. What experience made you think differently about the world?
3. Which building impressed you the most? Why?
4. When did you feel the happiest? Why?
5. What was the best conversation you had? Why?
6. Which person affected you the most? Why?
7. How does your experience there compare to life here?
8. What was your favourite place to visit?
9. What did you learn that you didn't know before?
10. What landscape took your breath away?
11. What did you eat/drink?
12. What was you favourite cuisine? Why?
13. Who did you meet along the way?
14. Will you stay in touch with anyone you met?
15. Did you do anything embarrassing?
16. Did change someone else's mind about something?
17. How did the people you met along the way treat you?
18. How did you treat the people you met?
19. Where would you like to revisit? Why?
20. Where would you like to go next?
N.B. I am happy to extend this article to single males. In fact, I would love to hear from single men and the experiences they have upon their return from a holiday and the cliche questions they are asked and how they feel about them.