(NewsNation Now) — What began as a way to fill time during lockdown has turned into an epic road trip as 23-year-old Matt Wurnig is on a mission to go on 50 first dates in all 50 U.S. states.
Wurnig said it all began when the pandemic first reached the U.S. and he was stuck at home. Bored, he decided to sign up for the dating app Tinder and set up dates with women across the country.
“Once I started getting matches I couldn’t ask them to go to dinner, I couldn’t ask them to have drinks, so I basically thought, since Zoom is on the rise and everything is going virtual, what if I went on a virtual date with everyone?” Wurnig said.
After settling on the goal of organizing a virtual date with a woman in every state, he began posting updates to TikTok which slowly gained popularity. Now he has over 200,000 followers and eight million likes on the platform.
Seeing the success of his idea online, Wurnig decided to take things on the road and meet the women in person. As of Thursday, he has been on 37 dates, although some are with women other than those he met online due to conflicts with time, new boyfriends or concerns about COVID-19.
He says he lets the dates set up what they want to do, from ziplining in New Hampshire to salsa dancing in Arkansas to go-kart racing in Arizona.
“They’ve all just been a lot of fun and great for the most part, some are more eventful and we’re doing more things and some we’re connecting better,” Wurnig said.
While he says he hasn’t met “the one,” he’s making many friends along the way.