Thursday, 27 June 2013

Perfect travel husband material

I've been married more times than I care to remember.

Sometimes my marriages only lasted for a few hours, while others have lasted a few weeks.

Proudly, all of my marriages have ended very amicably and without the need for divorce lawyers.

You see after all these years, it seems I am perfect "travel husband" material.

What makes a good "travel husband"?   Well, really there's only a few criteria: be a guy and be around.

Italy: home to one of my first "travel marriages"

 My first "travel marriage" was to some female travelling companions in Italy and Turkey where it was easier for them to say I was their partner (separately mind you, we weren't pushing a polygamy angle) to ward off unwanted advances from male strangers.

Then in China when I was on a small group tour, one of the single female travellers said they were married to me rather than face interrogation from locals as to how she could possibly be single and over the age of 25.

In the years that have followed, I've had a different "wife" in exotic places like Mongolia, Russia, Egypt, Cambodia, India and Vietnam.

I'm more than happy to play along.  It can be quite fun playing the married couple, describing our imaginary wedding, children and lives.

But upon reflection, it has also struck me as how sad and unfortunate it is that single female travellers sometimes cannot travel unharassed without a man (and it seems any man will do) by their side.

China: Another trip, another travel marriage
As a single male, I've never felt uncomfortable wandering through markets, catching trains or staying in hotels by myself.  Yet I've seen that single female travellers sometimes can't enjoy the same "luxuries".

It seems even stranger that simple acts like slipping a ring onto their finger or enlisting the help of a "travel husband" like myself can cause an immediate change of attitude in other men (and women) and make their travel so much easier and enjoyable.

I would like to think that some day single women could feel comfortable travelling where they want to without the need for such ruses.

But until then, this "travel husband" will happily walk down the aisle once again.  Just don't expect any wedding night action.

Turkey: no hanky panky in the harem

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