Romance isn’t something I think about when I travel as most of the times, I’m traveling solo. When I travel with my partner, it’s an entirely different trip as every activity we engage in, whether we’re looking at art, admiring the architecture of an old building or sharing a meal, is infused with the passion we have for each other, and romantic feelings bloom.
That’s not to say that when I travel solo I don’t notice places that evoke romantic feelings or ooze romance and make me wish he’d come with me – I do – but I focus on what interests me. So in celebration of romance and Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing some of the places and things that, to me, scream romance.
Sunrise, especially those moments when night is slowly giving way to day, always stir romantic feelings. I was halfway up Jamaica’s Blue Mountain as the glow of the moon receded and the sun began to stain the sky with a muted palette of colors that made me feel just warm and fuzzy.
Nothing spells romance to me more than a leisurely walk along a deserted beach at sunrise.
It wasn’t difficult to imagine sitting in these chairs and sipping a chilled glass of lemonade.
A beautiful garden, the color and sensuous curves of the orchid, all bring romance to mind.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Certain foods, like raw oysters and chocolate, put us in a romantic mood. But if you’re like me and don’t like either, don’t despair. As long as you’re with that special person, even pizza can be romantic.
Watching the sun as it falls gently behind the horizon mesmerizes me. I never tire of experiencing it and feeling the soft glow that it envelopes me in.
Music sometimes makes us remember places we’ve been and the love we’ve shared. I always remember Merida whenever I hear Love’s Theme by Barry White. Jill Scott’s He Loves Me, Damian Marley’s There for You and Cassandra Wilson’s Until all remind me of Harlem, and Bob Marley’s I wanna love you recalls Ottawa.
No other poet moves me romantically like the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi. Here’s a favorite.
A Moment of Happiness
A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
Movies / Books
Wouldn’t it have been lovely if we’d met before? – Lara, Doctor Zhivago
I rarely go to the cinema when I travel but when I’m home these movies transport me to a romantic destinations and fills my heart with love.
- Doctor Zhivago
- Like Water for Chocolate
- Sleepless in Seattle
- The English Patient
- Midnight in Paris
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- The Lover
- Swept Away
“Despite the time that had passed since that evening, she remembered it perfectly: the sounds, the smells, the way her new dress had grazed the freshly waxed floor, the look Pedro gave her…That look!…It was then she understood how dough feels when it is plunged into burning oil. The heat that invaded her body was so real she was afraid she would start to bubble—her face, her stomach, her heart, her breasts—like batter…” Like Water for Chocolate
Happy Valentine’s Day!