Travelling alone for love and friendship

Travelling alone for love and friendship

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mate meter
Mate Meter Photos: Jim Crouch

Looking for love and friendship? Pack your bags and go on a trip. According to the new “Mate Metre” more than 2.5 million Aussies have forged their closest friendships while travelling and living overseas.

One in 10 Aussie women find love while travelling. But according to new research commissioned by adventure travel company Intrepid Travel, Aussies are also in the market for more mates (in case you’re not from Australia, New Zealand or Great Britain “mate” is the slang word for friend). Almost half of us (45%) admit to having fewer friends than we’d like.

Going on a vacation is a great way to find a partner

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Jim (30) and Jess (31) from Port Melbourne, Victoria, met on a three-week trip to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand with adventure travel company Intrepid Travel.

Back in 2008 the GFC hit and Jim Crouch’s employer suggested he should take three months leave. Crouch, who was working for a consulting company, jumped at the chance to go travelling.

He first set eyes on his wife, Jess, at a kick-off meeting for the tour group.

“I thought she was pretty nice. Intrepid trips are not very structured so discovered we both had similar interests and got along really well. Travelling together gave us a chance to gradually realise we had a lot of shared interest,” says Jim Crouch.

During one of the long bus rides, the couple bonded and really hit it off. They spent a lot of time together on the trip. When they returned to Australia Jim moved to Melbourne and four years after meeting, they married.

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“You have a shared interest automatically while travelling. When you meet someone through Uni or work you haven’t actually chosen to be with these people. But for us it was a long journey so we had a long time to strike up a conversation and get to know each other,” says Jim.

Was it love at first sight?

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Jim is unsure but what they are both sure of is neither went on the trip with the aim of looking for a partner. Jim was looking for adventure and Jess was looking for an escape.

The Intrepid Travel “Mate Metre” celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary.

Did you know?

12% of Aussies have found their best friends on a holiday or living overseas.

31% of Aussie women admit to falling for friends overall (overseas or otherwise).

23% of Aussie women agree they have fewer friends than they’d like. While most have one to three close friends, almost half of Aussie women (43%) agree they’d like to have four to six.

57% of Aussie women agree they’ve lost friends over time, mostly due to drifting apart from mates as they get older, having different lives and priorities as well as finding it harder to make new friends as time goes on.

Over 1 in 5 Aussie women feel that less than a quarter of their friends are actually reliable.

The research was conducted by research house Pure Profile during June 2014, and was carried out among a sample size of 1,100 Australians.

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