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21-day trip instead of 'getting coffee' date [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-11-14 16:10:04 |Display all floors
This post was edited by gattosonia at 2013-11-14 16:21

A couple of online daters have told how they ditched the standard 'getting coffee' or 'grabbing a movie' in favor of a 21-day European adventure.

Freelance writer Clara Bensen and Dr Jeff Wilson, a professor of biological sciences at Huston-Tillotson University, met via the dating site OkCupid and eight weeks later the Texas-based duo found themselves on a plane to Istanbul, Turkey.

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Beats having coffee! First-time daters Clara Bensen and Dr Jeff Wilson at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, before departing on their 21-day European tour.

The blonde told MailOnline that she had only been signed up to OkCupid for seven days before stumbling across Dr Wilson's 'intriguing and strange' profile, which showed a photo of him wearing an oversize Mexican Mariachi bow tie.
The academic suggested going away together in the third email he sent to Miss Bensen, before knowing her real last name or if her profile photo was a true representation of what she looked like.
'Do you have any ideas for travel experiments? I have a few things I dabble in, and I’m going to push one of these experiments to the nth limit in June,' he wrote.







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Post time 2013-11-14 16:11:16 |Display all floors
This post was edited by gattosonia at 2013-11-14 16:19

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Packing light: The duo - who had met a handful of times before their trip - decided to travel luggage-free - here are the few possessions they decided to take with them.

It turned out pushing it to the 'nth limit' meant traveling 'completely unstructured' with no itinerary, no hotels booked and - to Miss Bensen's horror - no luggage.
Recalling her reaction, she wrote on Salon.com: 'No stuff? As far as habits go, I’m a pretty standard American woman. I shower regularly, I like clean clothes, and it’s a rare occasion where you can find me looking disheveled.'
'Somehow our personality differences are offset by the fact we live for the unexpected and the experimental'
However, drawn to his adventurous spirit, she decided to take up the challenge and sign her name to the 'no-carry-on dotted line.'
The pair, who had met around a dozen times before traveling together, decided to wear the same outfits for the duration of their trip - including the same underwear - and wash-and-dry en route.
Miss Bensen opted for a green embroidered dress - that could be adapted for various occasions -a shoulder satchel and sandals while Dr Wilson wore red chinos and a striped navy sweater.
The few possessions that they did pack into their pockets and purse included passports, credit cards, iPhones, maps and toothbrushes.
In a bid to look attractive for her beau, Miss Bensen also snuck in deodorant and some cosmetics.
She and Dr Wilson spent $1,200 on return flight tickets from and to Houston, Texas, with stops in Turkey and Scotland.


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Post time 2013-11-14 16:14:07 |Display all floors
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First stop! The couple pose for a photograph in Izmir, Turkey.



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Post time 2013-11-14 16:14:48 |Display all floors
This post was edited by gattosonia at 2013-11-14 16:18

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Next destination: The Acropolis of Athens in Greece was a must-see for the duo.




On average, they ended up spending around $30 a day on food and lodging.
She admitted before setting off she was nervous about how she and Dr Wilson would get along.
'On the surface, we appeared to be sure candidates for "World’s Most Unlikely Pair." [Jeff's] a wildly energetic university professor who is always on the move.
'I’m a reclusive writer who spends hours identifying new constellations in the ceiling paint.'
'We're compatible on multiples levels: physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. That doesn't come along every day'
However, as they went along, Miss Bensen realized she had more in common with Dr Wilson than she originally thought.
'[I discovered] somehow our personality differences are offset by the fact that the same mad scientist blood flows through both of our veins.
'We live for the unexpected, the experimental and the subtly disruptive.'
In total they traveled to eight countries over the 21 days using various modes of transport including ferry, car, bicycle, and foot power.
'There were no plans. With no stuff, moving to the next destination was as simple as getting out of bed and pointing to a dot on the map,' Miss Bensen recounted.
To keep costs down, she and Dr Wilson slept in hostels and small hotels for three out of the 21 nights and spent the remainder surfing on couches, floors and even park lawns.


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Post time 2013-11-14 16:15:28 |Display all floors
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Taste of England: London was another point of call for the couple.

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Post time 2013-11-14 16:16:32 |Display all floors
This post was edited by gattosonia at 2013-11-14 16:17

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Taking the tram: A commuter takes a picture of the couple in Budapest, Hungary.

When hungry, they grazed on street food, cafe fare and the occasional home-cooked meal.

Miss Bensen told MailOnline that the most memorable part of the trip was seeing iconic spaces such as the Parthenon in Greece at dawn and roaming around the ruins at Ephesus in Turkey.

The most challenging part, she added, was the 'lack of privacy and rest.'

Returning to Mark Twain's quote, it turned out that Miss Bensen and Dr Wilson did 'like' each other after traveling together.

Miss Bensen concluded, six months on: 'Jeff and I are still together and I would say that we have definitely have chemistry but it's a chemistry with a lot of depth to it.

'We're compatible on multiples levels: physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. That kind of compatibility doesn't come along every day, and we don't take it for granted.

'[Our trip] sure beat meeting for coffee.'






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Post time 2013-11-14 20:55:41 |Display all floors
Awesome. I would pack at least a spare shirt, socks, and underwear. I have a hard time traveling without my Swiss army knife too...

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