Seeing as today is Valentine’s Day (which despite my cynicism at most things in the world, is a holiday I actually thoroughly enjoy. Regardless of being the proud girlfriend to the least romantic man in the world…), I thought it’d be criminal not to write about something romantic.
I’ve only ever written about travel and romance once before because, well, until I started to write this post, I didn’t really think there was too much of a link between travel and romance… unless you are desperately trying to live out – at least the nice bits – of the story line of Eat. Pray. Love. Travel is for seeing the world, temporarily removing yourself from your comfort zone and experiencing things you never even knew existed. It’s not for smushy, vom-inducing love moments, spending all your time gazing into another person’s eyes and letting the whole world (the world that you had set out specifically to see, I may add) pass you by. I mean, that kind of stuff can easily be achieved in the confines of your home town in a nice enough restaurant or cosy enough sofa… Right?
Well, not exactly. Joking and cringe-y-ness aside, travel and romance are undoubtedly two things that go absolutely hand in hand. Of course you may not have set out to grab at any romantic opportunity you are presented with and spend the majority of your trip besotted with some girl or some guy, but travel is the perfect backdrop for romance, no matter which way you look at it. Okay, granted, a lot of travel ‘romances’ are nothing more than a fling at best, and an intoxicated misjudgment at worst, but travel sparks something inside you that brings out the best you can be – in every sense – which can lead to some of the most memorably unreal romantic moments you will ever experience.
In terms of romance and relationships, this stands for people who are in a relationship just as much as it does for people who are single. The taken travellers are sometimes forgotten about in the constant ‘Is travel better single?!’ debate, with, more often than not, people who travel with a significant other being branded as boring, safe and omitting a sense of ‘togetherness’ that sickens every non-committed person in a five mile radius. Hence the general consensus that YES, travel is better single. You do what you want, meet who you want, and generally have a lot of more fun. As a result, the fleeting flings that you encounter, or the 3 month long companion you learn you can’t live without, are much more rose tinted, sparkly, romantic experiences than could be achieved when you’ve embarked on an adventure with someone you already share your life with.
But romance isn’t exclusive to the single traveller. In fact, trips away are some of the things that breathe life into a relationship, allowing you to escape the monotony of most people’s reality. Two years after my boyf and I’s first trip away and one year after living in Amsterdam together, romance in my household was well and truly dead. Or at least hibernating. Let’s just say it didn’t raise it’s beautiful little head very much anymore, anyway. But experiencing one perfect day in Barcelona after being separated for a week or two brought all the romance flooding back. Okay, okay, so it wasn’t a scene out The Notebook, that’s for sure, but being somewhere new and exciting and doing things that were completely out of our daily routine made both of us (hopefully) appreciate each other more and remember why we’re together in the first place.
So my advice with love, relationships and travel? Screw the whole debate of whether or not travel is better single or in a relationship. Everyone knows the pros and cons of both. The real point is that all travel is awesome – regardless of whether you’re single or not, and one of the things that makes it so awesome is that it brings out the best in you, which is reflected in the relationships that you surround yourself with. It enables you to be shed away the constraints of everyday life, all the stresses and unnecessary conflicts, all the boring crap that you don’t want to do, and replace it all with a sense of peace, serenity and affinity for everything and, more often than not (unless you come across any particularly intolerable travel stereotypes) everyone. Hurrah. Love is in the air, bitchez.