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Off The Rock | Romance, take me away

Traveling seems to always start a romance. I once met a boyfriend on a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles. My first fiancé (yes, first—don’t judge) was a pilot. My current husband loves to whisk me away to far away places. I think traveling can absolutely be seen as a type of foreplay. Preparing to travel is almost like getting ready for a date. So pick out a few cool getaway outfits, pack up a couple of hot cocktail reads to get in the mood, and get ready to travel to the romantic places of my dreams.

Romantic travel may seem like a paradox for some. I know for some of you, traveling is anything but romantic. The expense, the lines, the uncomfortable seats, the bad food. And that’s just the plane ride. But let me show you a few romantic destinations that may take the sting out of economy travel. These are places guaranteed to get you some quality R & R. Children are not invited to these spots. I checked.

The places I’m highlighting are great for couples—someplace to just get away with your significant other and just relax and eat and drink and get some much deserved private time.

A few places I have personally been to and can vouch for their romance level—a few are dream spots where my husband or friends have been and have sworn they are places I need to add to my long “places I need to visit” list.

Tropical romance

I’ve taken you off the rock to Guam and shared a few pictures of my homeland Hawai‘i with you, but here are a few other places right off the top of my head which I think are perfect tropical romantic spots. I call them the three B’s—Bali, the Bahamas, and the Big Island.

Bali, Indonesia:  

Bali: A perfect spot to forget your work, your kids, heck, maybe even your name. (Photo Credit: Frontierofficial under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

Bali: A perfect spot to forget your work, your kids, heck, maybe even your name.
(Photo Credit: Frontierofficial under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

You can spend your day enjoying interesting history, hiking, surfing, snorkeling or diving, or you can just lie on the beach and enjoy a breezy beach nap. In the Kuta District, specifically on the Nusa Dua peninsula, there are several resorts; complete with spa treatments, delicious delicacies, and where the swim to the bar could be the hardest thing you do all day.

The culture and entertainment is mainly Balinese Hindu, so if you need a dose of local color, the Balinese dancing and costumes are visually stunning. Or you can just find a sunny spot to forget everything back in reality and escape on a white sand beach. Cabana boys are optional.

The Bahamas

Green Turtle Cay: Looking out over the Sea of Abaco, which is known as "the Passage." (Photo Credit: Bert Hayling)

Green Turtle Cay: Looking out over the Sea of Abaco, which is known as “the Passage.”
(Photo Credit: Bert Hayling)

If flying for two days is not really your cup of tea, because that is how long it will basically take you to get from Hawai‘i to Indonesia—you may want to visit somewhere a tad bit closer to home. So for those of you in North America, the Bahamas in the Caribbean may be the tropical paradise just for you.

My friend Bert Hayling, who lives in Nassau, sent me a huge pile of magazines and tourist brochures and let me tell you—besides beautiful beaches, good fishing, snorkeling, and diving, you can eat and drink your way into nirvana as well. I can’t think of a single ocean activity you cannot do in the Bahamas, nor can I see in all the literature a drawback to staying at one of their mega resorts like the Atlantis or even heading out on a cruise ship.

Hayling suggests visiting Green Turtle Cay, Abaco which is “sometimes referred to as a sail boater’s paradise, because it is fairly close to Florida and offers a lot of options for sail boaters in the way of little cays to visit, trade winds to sail by, calm seas, and clear, easily-navigated waters.”

But no matter what your pleasure—ocean sports or indoor sports, pack your swimsuit, and know that you will be in the perfect spot to soak up the sun and sea as you melt into a tropical coma. You’re welcome.

The “Big Island,” Hawai‘i Island

Hawaiʻi: Madame Pele rising in the flames. (Photo Credit: Makuahine Paʻi Kiʻi under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

Hawaiʻi: Madame Pele rising in the flames.
(Photo Credit: Makuahine Paʻi Kiʻi under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

If you are not a beach person, or you need more to do than just ocean sports and trying to get rid of your tan lines during your romantic getaway—perhaps the island of Hawai‘i could stimulate your romance nerves in a different way.

As a native Hawaiian, I suggest Keauhou and Volcano as places to visit, as both areas are steeped in Hawaiian legend and history. Volcano is home to the actively erupting Kīlauea Volcano, so you can hike through the Thurston lava tubes, take your sweetheart into the dark Kaumana Caves with just a flashlight to steal a kiss, or take a long walk out to where the lava meets the sea. Romance may not always be framed by a multicolored sunset—perhaps viewing the beauty of nature’s power as red-hot lava splashes into the vast Pacific will help create a few sexy sparks.

Classic romance

When I was a little girl I never dreamed about my wedding, just where I would honeymoon. Yes, I know, I’m a strange one, but I always wanted to travel it seems, so I always never imagined walking down the aisle, but instead I saw myself sitting in a gondola in Venice or standing on the latticed tower of La Tour Eiffel. Yet, when I finally did get married—my choice for a quickie honeymoon was to spend the weekend at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, riding roller coasters. So even though I’m not much of a traditionalist—here are my two choices for some classic romance.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague: Take a long romantic walk and get lost in time. (Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

Prague: Take a long romantic walk and get lost in time.
(Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

You thought I was going to write about Venice and Paris, but I decided to go with a place a little more mysterious and perhaps off the beaten path. Whenever I think of Prague, I just imagine beautiful castles, arching bridges, cobblestones, and being surrounded by history and medieval Europe. Prague is known as a “walking city,” so take a long walk from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square, to Charles Bridge, and then onto the Castle District. Find one of the historic Prague cafés to enjoy a coffee and a sandwich and wonder what it would have been like to see Vaclav Havel walk through its doors.

Hold hands and share a wish under the Astronomical Clock, or perhaps plan your wedding at the Gothic Týn Church. The beautiful architecture alone will make you think you are in starring in your own romantic fairytale, only at midnight you won’t turn into a pumpkin. Promise.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio: You can be the girl from Ipanema here. (Photo Credit: Cyro A. Silva under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

Rio: You can be the girl from Ipanema here.
(Photo Credit: Cyro A. Silva under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License)

You don’t want to wait until 2016 to attend the next summer Olympics to visit this sexy city. The images of Cristo Redentor, Carnival, and Brazil’s famous beaches, should already fill your mind with romance.

If Brazil knows anything, it’s how to party, so after you’ve soaked up the sun, there will be lots of nightlife and most likely, a lot of dancing. So samba yourself down south and party your brains out with the one that you love. Or the one you love at the moment.

I could go on, and believe me, I had a long list! And I’m sure many of you could add to these five spots. So tell me, where would you go for a romantic get away? Tell me about places you’ve traveled to that you loved, where you’ve had a great romance, or perhaps where you’ve had the best time with the man or lady of your dreams. It’s your turn to make me jealous about your travels. Give a girl something to dream about.

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About Wendie Burbridge (15 Articles)
Wendie Burbridge is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She also writes the popular Hawaii Five-0 blog “The Five-0 Redux” for The Pulse, the online magazine for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Her fiction, poetry, and plays have been published several times in different literary journals and textbooks, most notably by Bamboo Ridge Press, ‘Ōiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, Fat Ulu Productions, and Autumn House Press.

10 Comments on Off The Rock | Romance, take me away

  1. my mouth is watering!!!

  2. Ahh, a romantic getaway sounds heavenly right about now! To just about anywhere warm, I might add!

    I met my husband on a trip to Montana many years ago now. We took long walks in fields of wheat, laid on a blanket looking up at the stars in big sky country, and held hands riding a massive combine together during the harvest! That was pretty romantic for a San Francisco girl!

    Bali sounds great, but the Bahamas sound better! I’d love to visit our friend, Bert, too!

    • Chief and I have talked so much about going to see Bert in the Bahamas. After this winter- I’m with you Lynnette! I need some sunshine and some beach very soon!

      As for your Honeymoon- that sounds incredibly romantic! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story:) Aloha, Wendie

  3. Oh man….with another winter storm on the way this week, any and all of those places sound like heaven. I am partial to places with beaches, sunshine, and warm, blue water. After the winter we’ve been having I might just show up on Bert’s doorstep and never leave!

    • LOL Linda- I just wrote to Lynnette above that I was in agreement about visiting Bert in the Bahamas after this awful winter. 🙂 Let’s all go together and have a big ole slumber party! I’m sure Bert won’t mind. LOL Thanks for reading hon:) Aloha, Wendie

  4. Our most romantic vacation was during Dean’s leave from Iraq. We packed a few clothes, gassed up the car and headed for the coast (we lived in Corona, CA). No reservations, no plans, just drove north and stopped wherever and whenever we felt like it. Stayed the first night in Santa Monica. Got up early to walk out on the pier and watch the sunrise. Stayed the next few nights in Santa Barbara at the Spanish Garden Inn. I highly recommend http://www.spanishgardeninn.com/m/

    Then just took our time heading back. We were gone for 5 stress-free days and it’s truly a time we will never forget!

    • That sounds like an amazingly romantic trip Nanci:) Thanks for sharing your story:) I love Santa Barbara and have good memories of spending many happy weeks there. One day I’ll go back:) Thanks for the suggestion! Aloha, Wendie

  5. Travelling is along with reading my very own means of escape..Whether it is an exhausting 26 hour flying from Greece to Hawaii or a quick trip from Athens to our amazing Santorini island, one thing is the same…It is only the travel that matters..

    The people you meet, the places ,the smell, the light…nothing can be compared to that. I ‘d like to share with you my favourite poem of a Greek poet, Konstantinos Kavafis , ‘Ithaka’.

    As you set out for Ithaka
    hope the voyage is a long one,
    full of adventure, full of discovery.
    Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
    angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
    you’ll never find things like that on your way
    as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
    as long as a rare excitement
    stirs your spirit and your body.
    Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
    wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
    unless you bring them along inside your soul,
    unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time;
    may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
    to buy fine things,
    mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
    sensual perfume of every kind—
    as many sensual perfumes as you can;
    and may you visit many Egyptian cities
    to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

    Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
    Arriving there is what you are destined for.
    But do not hurry the journey at all.
    Better if it lasts for years,
    so you are old by the time you reach the island,
    wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
    not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

    Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
    Without her you would not have set out.
    She has nothing left to give you now.

    And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
    Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
    you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

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