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Why travel could make or break your love life

There’s something about travel that makes people more inclined to get involved in extramarital affairs, a recent survey has found. 


Apparently, being away from home makes it easier to be discreet — or at least that’s what 62% of married dating site Ashley Madison’s members said.


Whether they met their affair partner in advance or during their trip, 43% of members said having an affair while travelling felt more exciting, 39% said it felt more spontaneous, and 35% said it felt easier to compartmentalise compared to an affair at home.


“Research indicates that many people adopt a different persona while travelling that has them feeling or acting differently than they would at home, and our members are no different,” says Isabella Mise, Ashley Madison’s Senior Director of Communications. 


“This survey reveals our members feel more open, free, and adventurous while away which explains why they are perhaps more willing to lower their inhibitions and explore different connections.”


Tammy Nelson, PhD, author of When You’re the One Who Cheats, says, many times affairs happen while travelling because cheating feels more exciting and easier when we become someone new in a new place. 


A different part of the personality emerges, what she calls the ‘temporary’ part. Being in strange surroundings away from people who know us allows us to fully explore what it feels like to be a new person, and to try on different personality traits.  We might wear sexier clothes, flirt more, be more extroverted, and take risks to put ourselves out there and meet new people, crossing lines into sexual indiscretion if those hookups are brief and promise to not follow us home.


Nelson concludes that because of the impermanence of a short fling (or a side meeting), there is less risk to the overall sense of self. Like trying on a new persona, if it fits and feels good, it increases self-esteem and can be integrated and brought home, which is why we feel good after a renewing journey or a quick trip out of town. If trying on this new personality doesn’t work and we don’t like this new aspect of ourselves, we can leave the experience behind, and maybe even pretend it never happened.


And it seems there are some destinations that are more adulterous than others.


The top 20 list is as follows (in descending order from 2021 data), so maybe proceed with caution if your significant other says they’re headed to any of these on a solo trip:  

  • USA
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Colombia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Taiwan
  • France
  • Argentina
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Chile
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Portugal
  • South Korea
  • Hong Kong


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Published: 8 July 2022

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