Author and travel and travel journalist Jennifer Cox appeared on "Good Morning America" to discuss her new book, "Around the World in 80 Dates." In it, Cox recounts her effort to find Mr. Right by globetrotting from country to country and date to date.
Here's an excerpt:
This Time Last Year
Settling into a steady rhythm of drinking, crying, drinking, crying, I became aware of the music for the first time: "Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to …" I glared at the radio: I've always hated that song. My feeling was that if the only way a man could remain standing upright was by leaning heavily on you, surely it was best just to let him fall right on over. But since today was the day I'd discovered Kelly had been cheating on me for pretty much the five years we'd been together, I let out a long, ragged sigh, too exhausted to cry anymore. It was also the day I had to accept that maybe there's a little bit of Tammy in us all. I really loved Kelly. Which was surprising because he actually wasn't that lovable. He was very sexy -- one of those dark, brooding types, with piercing green eyes and a tangle of curly black hair. He was tall and strong, with a gentle mouth and a chest broad enough to do a week's ironing on. But he was also self-centered, secretive, and moody. The kind of guy who sits in the corner of a bar, smoldering over a beer and a shot. For some reason I was drawn to "the difficult ones," and Kelly was as difficult as they came. A man who would sooner eat broken glass than tell you where he'd been, what his plans were, or if he loved you. I have no idea why I kept trying, when he'd wanted to go to parties on his own, stayed out late, kept a phone number with just an initial next to it.… In fact, for some reason it made me try harder. Over our five years together, as Kelly morphed into Clint Eastwood, I increasingly turned into Coco the Clown, pulling out all the stops to entertain him, make him feel involved, get his attention. I did the emotional equivalent of driving a small red pedal car around the ring of our relationship, frantically tooting on my little horn as bunches of flowers popped out of my shirt and small men in orange wigs emptied buckets of custard down my trousers and twanged my big red nose. It was not dignified. And, ultimately, it was pointless. I knew in my heart we would only ever share a "now." Never a future. Then I rang the number with the initial next to it, and our "now" was over.
As soon as I split up with Kelly, I went straight to the airport and got on a plane to New York City. The experience of being in New York is like stroking a man-eating tiger: As much as it scares the bejesus out of you, for those moments it allows you to touch it, you know you are blessed and immortal.
And on this occasion, like every other I'd been there, New York uplifted me. I lost myself in the markets, boutiques, and coffee shops around Greenwich Village and Harlem, whacked softballs in the batting cages over at Coney Island until my arms sang. Being in the city didn't cure my heartache, but it distracted me and stopped it getting worse, and for that I was grateful.