Unexpected Adventures: Travel Tips for the Romantic in You
Bfeore my husband and I were married, we traveled to Paris. We stayed in a quaint hotel, posted up in a with a spectacular a view of the Eiffel Tower. We toted a guide book with great maps, a list of must-see places, and of course, my camera.
Paris is a city for lovers: lovers of romance, of history, of cuisine; of architecture and art. And of each other. My then-boyfriend hadn’t yet travelled to France, and though I had made a fairly brief visit a few years prior, we had a shared list of sights essential to our carefully-drafted itinerary.
As most tourists do, we ascended to the apex of the Eiffel Tower. We gazed at the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and seemingly a thousand other works of art housed at the Louvre, snapping photos until we were bleary-eyed. We climbed the narrow spiral steps of Notre Dame, the steep hills of Montemarte, scaled the stairs of the Sacre Couer. We combed through Cimetière Père-Lachaise, somberly gazing upon the graves of Jim Morrison, Isadora Duncan, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, photographing the famous resting places while attempting to be respectful. After several days of serious sight-seeing on our feet, consuming in the wonders of the city began to wear on us. And then, everything changed.
One rushed morning, we scurried out of our hotel without eating to get an early start on our day. Tired from navigating, we mistakenly jumped on a train headed in the opposite direction of the our planned destination. Emerging from the underground, we encountered a lovely café where we agreed to stop for coffee while we reconsulted our map. Our coffees were served. We sipped and sat. And watched. We observed passersby, and in turn, observed ourselves. It was the first peaceful moment we had shared since our arrival. We sat next to one another, enjoying the bustling of the cars on street, the hustle of the people walking past. We realized that we finally felt ‘together,’ rather than two random tourists in a mad rush to conquer the sights of Paris.
Our plan for the day was foregone, and in the end, turned out to be the most magical day we had in that fair city. After the last drops of coffee cups were drunk, we wandered through the neighborhood, turning on side streets when the mood struck. We stumbled upon a tiny pâtisserie next to a little market situated across from a gorgeous park. With a box of fresh pastries and a bottle of rosé, we crossed the street and parked ourselves on the green grass. Our impromptu picnic was the most romantic time of our trip, allowing us the opportunity to get back to ‘us.’ Time no longer mattered, train schedules and cards boasting museum hours stashed in our bag went ignored. Itinerary: obliterated.
Once we’d licked the final bit of chocolate from our fingers and finished our wine, we began to walk toward the center of the city. To our surprise and delight, we encountered an installation by street artist, Invader, whose work we love. His 80s video-game inspired mosaics span the globe, including a few in our neighborhood in Los Angeles, which was where we first came to know his work. It was quite a treat to find, something not listed in guide books made for the masses.
As the sun began to dip into the sky, we found ourselves along the Seine. Settling into a quiet spot along the river, we watched the boats drift by, almost lazily, as we sat together, hand in hand.
Now when we travel, we make a point of designating “exploration days,” to wander aimlessly. It’s nearly impossible to gain an objective view of a city when surrounded by only tourists, in the most well traveled-to destinations. So step away from the crowds. Enjoy the quietness of the city. Being immersed in a foreign country can make you feel like the only two people in the world. It’s so very romantic. Certainly, travel to see the sights of a new place, but don’t forget to see each other while you’re there.
Now we gaze upon the photos from that trip with such fondness. I adore the shots we took our Parisian adventure. No matter where you go, or what you do, always bring your camera! A high-quality camera, like a Canon EOS is an absolute must when traveling together. It’s compact enough to tote all day, and takes such fantastic shots. Once the trip is done, all you have to look back on are the photographs of your adventures. Don’t have one? Register for one! It’s the best way keep the memories of your adventures together to look back on for years to come.
Have you taken a trip that brought you closer together? Share your stories with us in the comments below!