Call me crazy, but I enjoy dating while traveling in new cities. I love the feeling of being anonymous in a strange place and immersed in an exotic culture, while at the same time experiencing the excitement of meeting someone new. When you’re armed with a list of sights to see and restaurants to try, travel seems to always be conducive to a little romance, and love in Europe abounds.
Numerous films like Lost in Translation, A Room with a View, Titanic, and others have perpetuated a beautiful memory: two strangers fall in love during a chance encounter, spending all of their time together and realizing that they are each other’s soul mate. The accidental meeting, the fleeting passion, and the sad parting of ways – this is part of the allure of travel.
Some of my own travel moments felt like these movies: standing on the precipice of a yawning, majestic bay in breathless awe; holding hands while wandering the cobblestoned streets of an ancient town; stealing kisses between bites of pastries. It’s not as if I can’t experience the same things back home, but there’s something about travel that sparks spontaneity and openness. It penetrates your consciousness in a way that is downright irrational. Travel and romance are intertwined, in more ways than you would expect.
Even if you are not looking for romance, there are some places where you simply cannot escape it. Sometimes it is the place itself that you fall in love with. “I didn’t go looking for love,” is a cheesy cliché, but it’s often true. Wandering through museums, lingering at coffee shops, plunging into new restaurants and clubs – a week in a new place can feel almost like a lifetime in itself. You don’t need movie magic to make it happen. After returning home from a trip, I often feel the need to head back almost immediately. Even places where I’ve been before still feel like strangers, with many parts yet to meet. In the same way, it takes some time to figure out what true romance really means – and hopefully some return trips can help!