Despite the long-held scepticism regarding Valentine’s Day and commercialism, I believe that as long as we are devoting a day each year to our mothers, our fathers and our anniversary of birth, we are also entitled to devote one day a year – if not the other 364 – to our significant others, be that romantic partners or best friends… And what better way to celebrate that than by travelling the world.
Although a cliché, the Lovelock Bridge in Paris is a classic, as long as you’re not too superstitious: with concerns over the bridge collapsing, your lock may be cut down before the second visit. Another classic is hiring a gondolier in Venice or a Horse Drawn Carriage around Central Park, New York.
Also in New York, a man called Tom Galle has brought the ‘Netflix and Chill’ meme to life in the form of an Air BnB complete with mini bar and huge Netflix screen. Alternately, you could sleep in a 14,500 litre casket of wine in Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren in the Netherlands. For the complete set – film, wine and chocolate – take a trip to the world’s largest chocolate fountain in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas. 27 feet tall and 2,100 pounds of chocolate. Wow.
Before we get distracted by food, and what it would be like to swim in a fountain of chocolate, I’ll bring you back to the romantic with a trip to Waitomo Cave, lit by thousands of glow worms; a New Zealand alternative to candles. And if you are really after some alone time with the love of your life, try Huacachina Oasis, located right in the middle of a desert.
Romantic traditions differ all over the world; on January 25th in Wales – St. Dwywen’s Day – a gesture of love is the giving of engraved spoons, whereas in Japan women are in charge of handing out chocolate to all the men in their life – be that friends or co-workers – with either ‘obligation chocolates’ for those they have no romantic interest in, or ‘prospective – winner chocolates’.
But for those still not sold on the idea of Valentine’s Day, take a trip to South Korea on April 14th – Black Day – which is a day of single appreciation, in which singles dress in black and eat jjajang myeon (noodles in black bean paste). I think I’ll opt for the chocolate fountain, though.