By the time you read this, it will almost be February 14th, and hopefully you’ll find a place to celebrate the occasion the way it deserves. Valentine’s Day is a great time to think about a romantic getaway with your significant other.
For me, Valentine’s Day is kind of like a second Thanksgiving. For those lucky enough to have a significant other in their lives, it seems fitting and appropriate to set aside at least one day a year to be thankful for the good fortune of having someone to love and to honor the person with whom you share that special kind of relationship.
I can hear someone say. “Why shouldn’t every vacation be romantic?” And why not, really? But surely the great gift of romantic love, whether brand new or lasting, deserves its own special day of appreciation. And it’s Valentine’s Day. But it should not be limited to February 14.
Because of my personal bias, there is no better way to celebrate or rekindle romance than to travel. Absolutely, and I’m sure millions of others feel the same way. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than traveling together.
It doesn’t matter which day. It’s the feeling and the intention that counts. February 14 is just a calendar date. Love lasts through the seasons, changing form with them. When it comes to “romantic travel”, the more often the better, right? Why not? Life is short.
When I hear the word romance, one of the first things that comes to mind is travel. Romance is not just about the love between two people. Historically, it has a larger meaning that includes romantic love, but also includes adventure and mystery.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives two meanings for “romance”. The first is “a sense of excitement and mystery associated with love.” Pretty much what you’d expect. But the second definition refers to the way the word was used more than now: “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and detachment from everyday life.” Ah! Just what you go looking for when you travel.
The word originated as a description of stories written in languages that evolved from Latin in the Roman provinces and became French, Spanish, and Italian, the Romance languages. Because these stories were usually about love and adventure, these qualities became associated with the word “romantic.”
The concept of romance is not only about “romantic love”. It’s also an adventure. It is a quality that envelops love, nurtures it, nourishes it. Love and adventure are inseparable. I would add travel to that equation.
Nothing embodies the essence of adventure like travel. When one talks about adventure, it usually involves travel. And adventure is a big component of romantic love. When people fall in love and sigh in that first tender, careless rapture, what do they imagine doing? More often than not, when lovers first discover each other and fall under their spell, they imagine themselves traveling together on grand adventures. Some say romantic love is the greatest adventure. So in that sense, when you travel with your sweetheart, you get a double dose of romance.
Where is the love?
How do you choose the best destination for a romantic getaway?
There are standard ideas for romantic vacations, such as honeymoons by the beach or in overwater bungalows in a remote, private location. It works. But I think the range of possibilities is much wider, perhaps as wide as travel itself. A romantic trip is a trip with an additional driver. a romantic passion between two people that makes everything more exciting.
For many, a great travel experience is only complete if shared with a special travel partner. Traveling alone is also its own special kind of powerful experience, but having someone to share a great travel experience with can enhance and expand the experience. And it can reinforce memories when you talk about it together later.
Choosing a destination is as personal a matter as love itself.
The couple hopes to choose a location where their individual passions converge.
I’ve been looking for the most romantic spots, and sure enough, it’s literally “all over the map.” Travel magazines list this year’s trendiest romantic destinations, and they’re pretty diverse. One thing they all seem to share is great beauty, but even beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is the stunning natural beauty of Santorini, a Greek island or the high cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, and then there is the natural beauty in the urban setting of Paris. And then there is the exotic beauty of Marrakech. All are listed as top romantic destinations and each has its own type of beauty.
I would say a romantic place is a place that touches your soul. This is definitely an area where you should “follow your heart”. There are certain ingredients that are necessary for a trip to qualify as a romantic getaway. It should be exciting, stimulating, luxurious and comfortable.
Even if partners have great differences in their types of pleasure, there are some things that almost no one could be indifferent to. This is true of places of natural beauty.
I was recently in the fjords of Patagonia, Chile, and the views of the mountains above the wave banks were of such stunning beauty that they were stunning. There is no way to express the feeling that such a scene evokes. It was overwhelming. All you can do is accept it and absorb it as thoroughly as possible in the rare opportunity you have. It’s a feeling too deep to describe, but it can be shared.
I can still see vivid flashes of scenes from journeys long past in my memory as they come up by association.
When two people share a memorable experience, it cements memories, fills them with extra dimensions. When a memory is brought back into conversation, it should be savored like a fine wine or a warm dish of your favorite delicacy.
They are the experiences that are imprinted in our memories. Although the memory may be buried by the thousands of other impressions that flood us, they can be called up one by one. And that’s one of the sweetest parts of my life right now.
While a remote bungalow can be very romantic, for some it is romantic to be in a bustling city full of culture and things to do, such as Paris, which is called the “City of Love”.
For some people, a museum can be a romantic place. What if it was the fulfillment of a lifelong desire to visit and see the Louvre? Mona Lisa? It can be very romantic to share with someone. Whatever excites you as individuals can be great to do together.
It could be a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go. Any place that captures the heart can be a good place for a romantic getaway. A view overlooking the Grand Canyon, where the mind is irresistibly drawn to sublime thoughts, can be very romantic.
Romantic destinations are as individual as anything, but finding a vortex of shared interests is part of the challenge of maintaining a romantic relationship.
So go for it! Love is all you need.
Your humble correspondent,