“Passport Bros” Trend Sparks Controversy on TikTok


Key Takeaways

  • Western remote workers dubbed “passport bros” travel and date abroad, sparking social media controversy.
  • He highlighted the accessibility of dating overseas, citing cultural exploration and cost-saving as perks.
  • Responses varied—support for lifestyle vs. criticism for potential exploitation and socio-economic disparities.
  • While exploring cultures and saving costs are valid, ethical engagement and respect are crucial in such experiences.

Trend of “Passport Bros” Emerges

New York, NY–A trend among digital nomads, dubbed “passport bros,” has led to a social media divide. Passport bros are typically Western men who work remotely while traveling the world and dating foreign women, with the hashtag #passportbros amassing nearly 420 million views on TikTok.

According to an Insider report, one self-proclaimed passport bro, Austin Abeyta, posted a video arguing that dating overseas is more accessible for several reasons, leading to a split in audience reactions.

The report noted that in the video, which has been viewed approximately 1.7 million times, Abeyta, a data analyst by profession, cited the “exotic” appeal of foreign men, the excitement of being shown around by locals, and the impression of wealth as critical factors contributing to the perceived ease of dating abroad.

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Controversy and Countering Arguments

As per the report, the video prompted various responses, with some users supporting Abeyta’s lifestyle, while others criticized it as exploitative. Critics argued that such behaviors resemble a “mail-order bride” scenario, exploiting socio-economic disparities. Some also expressed discomfort about explicitly targeting women in poorer countries because of the individuals’ American status.

Abeyta countered these critiques, arguing that the experience isn’t solely about dating but also about exploring different cultures and saving money through geographical arbitrage.

What We Think

The “passport bro” trend underscores the intersection of remote work, travel, and dating, but it raises ethical considerations. While the allure of exploring new cultures is valid, the manner in which it’s portrayed and practised matters.

Austin Abeyta’s emphasis on cultural exploration and cost savings aims to rationalize the trend, but it’s essential to navigate such experiences ethically and respectfully.

Engaging with diverse cultures should prioritize mutual respect and genuine connections rather than perpetuating stereotypes or exploiting socio-economic differences.
Learn more in the full Insider report.

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