UNT alumna Clara Bensen recounts memorable date in the book "No Baggage"

Clara Bensen ('10) and Jeff (Photo by Jeff Wilson)Clara Bensen ('10) turned one unusual date into a book.

That adventure was a 21-day trip from Istanbul to London with a man named Jeff she met online. That experience led to an article on Salon.com in 2013 that went viral and was turned into a book called No Baggage (Perseus Books). The book, released this year, has been optioned as a possible movie.

"The last few years have been a wild ride," she says. "It's been a crash course in writing and the publishing industry."

Bensen lives in Austin, where she is a freelance writer and is still dating Jeff. Would she encourage others to go on similar dates?

"I'm always a little hesitant to say, 'Yes, you should quit your job and run off into the sunset with some stranger you just met online,' for obvious reasons," she says. "But I do believe that the basic philosophy behind our adventure is something that has the power to inject energy into any relationship. Exploring together, letting yourselves be vulnerable and introducing a little playful chaos is a great way of keeping the dynamic fresh and evolving."

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