Title: Around the World in 80 Dates

Author: Jennifer Cox

Publisher: Downtown Press (2005)

Henk, Anders, Solimano, Chester, Garry, Cam and Gene… names of just some of the lucky 80 who made the cut for this Love Connection meets The Amazing Race adventure of a lifetime. 80 Dates is a true tale of one woman’s global search for her Soul Mate. Jennifer Cox, a former BBC travel journalist and public relations executive for Lonely Planet in London, decided to quit her job and use her worldwide network of personal and professional contacts to queue up dates in 18 countries, on four continents during a whirlwind eight month excursion. What unfolds is a fast paced tale of dating disasters (#66: foot reflexology wart nightmare in China) and wild adventures (#71: surfing in Perth or #55: riding the Spanking Machine at Burning Man), peppered with tidbits about relationships as perceived by men and woman around the world.

Jen’s early date with the Love Professor in Sweden (#4) helped to guide and ground her throughout the journey, as she juggled Love Parade revelers in Berlin, a homesick stalker in Asia, a Swedish Viking, a dead idol in Paris and Romeo himself in fair Verona. As her marathon travel dating progressed, Jen consulted her “Date Wranglers” back home and received love advice along the way from a colorful and surprising cast of characters, including: 20 dates at an LA speed-dating session, 25 lesbian picnickers, a gorgeous Thai model and a distracted professional gambler in Vegas.

80 Dates is an easy read, perfect for the beach or a long plane ride. If you’re time-zone challenged like me when it comes to relationships (I’ve got a knack for dating men who’ve lived hours behind me, or entire days ahead of me) or if you’ve ever tried dating while trekking around the planet, then you may find this book as enjoyable and funny as I did. It’s definitely chic lit, served up with great snippets about life as a single woman traveling on the road. Mixed in between the dating drama and unfolding love story (does she meet Mr. Right?), there are tales of different cultural relationship traditions from around the globe, like the wonderful Loi Krathong festival in Thailand. It’s surely one of the more ambitious Soul Mate searches I’ve read about, and a fairly impressive round the world trip as well.

Additional info and press:

Jennifer Cox bio

Seattle Post Intelligence article

Books excerpts (in four parts) from ABC News


  1. I saw this book at the store yesterday and it looks halarious – great title and idea. I look forward to reading it.

  2. Hi Court, it is really funny, a total impulse buy for me, but I could not resist the title. Let me know how you like it.

  3. I read this last week and thought it was very funny. Two of my favorite things together– dating and travel! Any travel lover has all probably done pieces of her book (ie dated a guy in Holland or Thailand), but never all together with such a tight timeframe and agenda. It’s speed-dating mixed with planes, trains, automobiles and boats. The “dates” are equally about the adventure as much as the guy. Very funny stuff. And a happy ending!

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