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A few years ago, I was a young inexperienced backpacker embarking on a trip around Southeast Asia. I was 21 and on holidays from university. At that point I had only briefly visited Europe and a few months prior to leaving for Asia, I had broken up with my boyfriend of the time.
One of my first stops was Boracay, a small island of the Philippines. Compared to the well trodden backpacker circuit of the mainland, Boracay and the rest of the Philippines are relatively unspoiled by tourism. Its idyllic beaches, easily rivalling those of Thailand, are a well kept secret.
I was staying at one of the few hostels in Boracay and was lucky enough to meet a good group of people. They mainly comprised of Norwegians and Swedes, making me one of the few non-Scandinavians at the hostel.
On my first night we went out for drinks. I spent a lot of the night talking to one of the Swedes, Max. He had a cheesy sense of humour but it didn’t hurt that he was tall and good looking.
After a few drinks, he suggested that the two of us return to the hostel. We went back to his dorm which we had to ourselves. The sex was amazing and not like anything I’d experienced before. At that point my ex-boyfriend was the only other guy I’d been with and our sex life had not been anything to write home about, so to speak.
Unsure of how to behave towards him, I studiously avoided Max the following day. I went to the beach with a girl from my dorm and when we went back to the hostel, I spoke to everyone but him. It didn’t occur to me that he might interpret my aloofness as a lack of interest and naively I assumed that he would approach me that night to initiate a repeat of the previous night’s events.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed when he left the bar we were drinking at without saying goodbye. I went back to the hostel and went into his room to find him – only to discover that he no longer had the dorm to himself and was sharing it with two guys who had just checked in. I made a show of pretending I had confused their dorm for mine but I don’t think I fooled anyone.
The next day, I hung out with the girls from the hostel and he spent the day with the guys. That night, he found us having drinks at one of the beachfront bars and joined us. It was obvious that he had been looking for me and shortly after, we left to have sex in my dorm.
Aside from the post-coital awkwardness of the second day, it was as ideal as holiday flings come. We enjoyed each other’s company but neither one of us got too attached to the other. Since then, I have been with one guy who grew too attached to me and vice versa. Whether you are the one with the strong feelings or the one on the receiving end, neither situation is ideal and both experiences have made me appreciate how simple it was with Max.
Obviously it isn’t for everyone and as someone who has to genuinely like a guy before I can sleep with him, I haven’t jumped into bed with too many backpackers. But as long as the conditions are right, casual holiday sex can be a lot of fun – one of the many perks of travelling as a single person.
Anneliese is a travel blogger from Australia. You can read about her recent travels on her blog All Signs Point To Yes.