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."