Author: Lucy Corne

How to Impress Guys from Around the World: Tips About Men from Six Different Countries

There are many things you’ll want to take as souvenirs from your time exploring the world – tie-dye clothing that looked cool in India, paintings created by talented elephants, novelty booze that tasted good in the right setting, or exquisite carvings that seemed like a bargain until you worked out the exchange rate. But sometimes you’re looking for a more permanent, more impressive and altogether more useful souvenir from your travels – a boyfriend you picked up along the way.

Hooking up on the road isn’t that different to trying to score back home and can often be even easier as people are in ‘anything goes’ holiday mode. At home or away, bagging the guy you have your eye on is pretty easy as long as you take care of the three Bs – boobs, beer, and ball games of some description. But the game you choose to chat about could just be the clincher, depending on the nationality of the traveler you’ve set your sights on.
Naturally there are all kinds of guys from every country on earth, but just to get you started along the right path here’s a whimsical guide to impressing guys from the main backpacking nations around the world and to keeping hold of them, just in case you’re in the market for a more permanent souvenir…

Charming a Canadian

lucy_guyscanada2First impressions:

Renowned for their unabashed niceness, it’s not too tough to get off on the right foot with a Canuck. In fact, all you need to impress them off the bat is 10 minutes of Wiki-research. Memorise a few names to demonstrate your knowledge of his countrymen – famous faces that are generally thought to hail from south of the border. A brief internet stint will turn up a host of singers, actors, and (above all) comedians that you never knew came from Canada – and gushing about the comedy talents of John Candy, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, or Jim Carrey will certainly gain you Canuck points.

Keep him interested:

Like most men, sports and beer are common interests of the Canuck – and of course the sport in question here is hockey. If you happen to find a random bar in Bangkok or a Palau pub that is showing Canada’s unofficial national sport (on paper it’s lacrosse!), just keep in mind two golden rules and you’ll soon melt even the frostiest of Canadian hearts. Always call it hockey, not ice hockey (for a Canadian there is no other kind), and never complain about the violence (that’s the best bit). If you can throw in a pitcher of cold beer and a plate of buffalo wings, you’ll have him eating out of your hand.

Under no circumstances:

Never ask a Canadian which part of the States he is from. Nothing irks a Canuck more than the presumption he’s American – not through any hatred of their southern neighbour, but just through a desire to be recognised (hence the presence of copious amount of maple leaves generally found covering Canadian luggage).

>> Find one: Plan your trip to Canada on with our Canada travel guide

Bagging a Brit

lucy_guysengland2First impressions:

It’s pretty simple to make a decent first impression on a Brit – you just have to order a pint. OK, here comes a sweeping generalisation: British men tend to like a girl who can join in with the guys. Sure, in an ideal world they’re seeking a Pamela Anderson lookalike – but when she opens her mouth they often seek funny, crude and bloke-ish over giggly and appearance-obsessed. The first step to being a so-called geezer-bird (translation: a dude-chick) is enjoying a beer and a bit of toilet humour.

Keep him interested:

Once the preliminary pint-drinking is out of the way you can easily impress a Brit with your knowledge of their national sports – namely football, rugby, and cricket. Knowledge of the off-side trap is a definite winner. Master the ins, innings, overs, and outs of cricket and you could be talking wedding bells. But if he suggests an impromptu marriage, don’t take him too seriously. Sarcasm is his favourite weapon and if you hope to get anywhere with a Brit you have to take everything with a massive pinch of salt, not only to stop him hating your gullibility but also to save yourself from unintended offence!

Under no circumstances:

Don’t call it “soccer.” Most Brits are open to diluting the Queen’s English with a touch of American slang – if only to make them sound a little cooler – but to a Brit it is called football and never, ever soccer. And whatever you think of it, to most Brits its tantamount to a religion – so don’t expect to get far if you insult the beautiful game.

>> Find one: Search for cheap flights to London

Scoring with a South African

lucy_guyssouthafricaFirst impressions:

This might seem like a ridiculous thing to say on a site frequented by independent travellers, but a good way to start with a South African is knowing where South Africa is! Considering the name of the country it seems an even more ridiculous statement, but amazingly the number of times South Africa gets confused for a continent is surpassed only by the number of times Africa get confused for a country. Find it on a map, memorise a couple of border nations, and you’ll be on the right path with the South African male.

Keep him interested:

Be Lara Croft. South Africans are fond of the outdoors and love a girl who can get down and dirty. But if you can manage to look super hot and stylish while bungee jumping or bush walking, the South African man could well be yours. Throw in some serious South Africa knowledge and you’ll be well on your way to taking home a human souvenir to meet your parents. The rules of rugby and cricket are good starters, proclaiming your love of biltong (a spicy version of jerky) will have him hooked, and then clinch it with a random fact about South Africa’s back of beyond (which, in the interests of your scoring success, is officially located in a town called Pofadder).

Under no circumstances:

Refrain from asking if there are wild animals roaming the streets. Think of all the animal-related questions you’d love to ask – and then keep them to yourself. He didn’t have a pet rhino in his childhood, he’s never seen a lion in the town square, and he never rode a zebra to school. You might well be asking in jest, but he’s most likely heard these comments a dozen times before in all seriousness, so he might just fail to see the funny side.

Find one: plan your trip with our South Africa travel guide

Enticing an Aussie

lucy_guysaustralia2First impressions:

Admire their drinking skills. Like many beer-mad nations Aussies like to believe they down more of the amber nectar than anyone else, and an offhand comment like ‘wow, you guys can really take your ale’ is a sure-fire conversation starter (unless you find the only Aussie tee-total backpacker in the world).

Keep him interested:

Keep the admin to a minimum. The Aussie is a low maintenance kind of guy, especially when he’s travelling, so fussing over whether your thongs (flip flops) match your thong (g-string) is unlikely to impress him. Anything involving the beach probably will, though, so sharpen your Frisbee skills, give surfing a go, and grab another stubby (beer). You can worry about the state of your hair once he’s gone to bed.

Under no circumstances:

You can’t expect him to ditch the wife beater. Australian men are generally an easygoing bunch, but you will have to learn to love that saggy singlet if you’re going to get along – it’s practically national dress.

Find one: Search for cheap flights to Australia

Attracting an American

lucy_guysamerica2First impressions:

Don’t jump on the bandwagon. Sure, in recent years it’s become cool to hate on America and all who hail from within its borders, but obviously criticising someone’s homeland is unlikely to endear you to them. Have an open mind about your American beau having an open mind. They’re not all dumb, they do know where Canada is located, they don’t all think Superman is a real guy, and they don’t take kindly to people who believe every stupid rumour they’ve heard about Americans. Ask intelligent questions and the American backpacker might just notice you.

Keep him interested:

Swot up on sports. As you can see from the entries above, this is true of guys from every country – but Brits and those from the southern hemisphere tend to have a downer on American sports, so learning a few of baseball’s basic rules is sure to keep him interested. Find the nearest American-themed bar wherever you are and settle in for a few hours of baseball, football, or basketball. Of course, you don’t want to know too much – letting him teach you his passions will keep the conversation flowing until you know each other better. But a basic knowledge is a good idea, if only to stop you asking annoying questions like ‘why do they stop and chat every couple of minutes? Why can’t they just get on with it?’

Under no circumstances:

Don’t go on a rant about American beer. Some men you meet might agree with your tirade on the King of Beers, while others might be Miller men and most offended that you consider their beer of choice something akin to urine. And anyway, the wealth of craft breweries across the States makes the ‘American beer is crap’ argument moot. Other no-nos include mocking the language or claiming that American football is just a girly version of rugby.

Courting a Kiwi

lucy_guysnewzealand2First impressions:

Tune your ear to the finer points of the Kiwi accent. Just like asking a Canadian which part of the States he comes from, a guaranteed way to get off on the wrong foot with a Kiwi is to ask him which part of Australia he calls home. Downloading a few episodes of “Flight of the Conchords” could help you train your ear, plus as one of New Zealand’s favourite comedy exports it’ll give you a winning conversation starter as well.

Keep him interested:

Acknowledge his nation’s rugbying prowess. Rugby is the nation’s unofficial national sport as well as its unofficial religion. A few comments noting the All Blacks’ unmatched win-loss record will get you far, and knowing the difference between rugby league and rugby union will get you further. Announcing your opinion that Kiwis play rugby better than their southern hemisphere rivals Australia and South Africa will at worst get you another date and at best get him talking honeymoon destinations.

Under no circumstances:

Do not obsessively ask him to repeat words you find comical. Yes, it’s fun to get a Kiwi to order fish and chips in a restaurant, especially if you can prompt them into ordering seven portions. And of course the Kiwi pronunciation of the word six is always hilarious to an outsider. But after being begged to repeat these words a dozen times over while fellow travellers giggle inanely at their clipped vowels, it gets kinda old.

Find one: Plan your trip with our  New Zealand travel guide

Read more about romance on the road:

Read more of Lucy Corne’s articles on BootsnAll, and learn more about Lucy herself in her bio.

photos, top to bottom, by: Phil Hawksworth, Kevin O’Connor (and may not be used without permission), Fritz Park, OzStryker, Lucy Corne (and may not be used without permission), Brainless Angel