True, romance can be found anywhere, regardless of location, budget, or alcoholic consumption… as long as you’re with the right person. It’s crept up on me in the most random places, but I’ll admit Dear Romantic Reader, that there are some places I’ve travelled to where I’ve uttered the words ‘if you don’t find love here, you just aint trying. Let me share a few of my faves…
1. Bay Of Fires, Tassie. I may loathe camping, but throw in an awe inspiring coastline, a few days of gentle walking, some of the worlds best food and wine at mealtimes and wrap it up with an award winning eco-lodge at the finish line… I can take it! All that fresh air, puts a smile on anyone’s dial.
2. Savai’i – Samoa A tropical island paradise appeals to many of us, what’s not to love? White sandy beaches, coconut palms, clear waters, fresh seafood, it’s all lovely. But for those who love a basic, secluded, bungalow over that said white sandy beach, you should explore Savai’i. It’s officially on the ‘big island of Samoa’ but it’s not overwhelmed by tourism. It genuinely has that lost in paradise vibe and the locals are equally wonderful. There’s something beautiful about the bare basics.
3. The Beachhouse Hamilton Island – Lets go to the extreme opposite end now, total luxury, OTT indulgence, but equal seclusion. The Beach House at Qualia. A ‘lil slice of heaven. Now, personally, I swoon over any trip to this Whitsunday island, but venture into one of the worlds most magnificent resorts, then ask for this room if you’re truly after privacy in paradise.
4. Hoi An – Vietnam. My boyfriend and I signed up for a World Expeditions bike riding trip through Vietnam and it turned out to be one of the best holidays of our lives, I totally recommend anything with this company. But I gotta tell you, we adored the World Heritage town of Hoi An. The mood is like stepping into the (positive) pages of The Quiet American, so much tradition, incredibly delicious food (sign up for a cooking class), great nightlife, a range of hotels, budget shopping and fab nightlife. What can I say, the boyfriend is now the Hubby and we agree this laid back location beautifully enhanced the love vibes.
5. Aitutaki – Cook Islands. So, before I’d even met the above boyfriend, I already had my Honeymoon location picked. The worlds most beautiful lagoon can be found on this exquisite South Pacific Island. I loved the locals, the markets. Visit a church service on a sunday and enjoy barely moving from the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. Oh and yes this is where James and I went for our Honeymoon and he adored it just as much as me. That’s why I married him!
6.Werribee Mansion – Victoria. Only half an hour from the city, but a world away in mood and magnificent surrounds. I don’t mean to sound cliched, I promise, but I’ve always loved this place as an easy peasy escape plan. The grounds are gorgeous to wander through, there’s Australian pastoral history galore, fantastic restaurants and I’ve even been known to just go for some timeout at the Spa. It’s pretty devine.
7. Scipper a Clipper – Hawkesbury River. I love any boat trip, but The Hawesbury still offers the chance to head out on your own in an easy to operate boat (my personal fave is a Halvorsen, but any craft you can comfortably sleep over in and operate is great) and find bays that are truly private and isolated. So romantic! I can’t believe this is so close to Sydney, yet completely…uncluttered on the water. Even in bad weather this is still lovely. Try a meal at Peat’s Bite, or even stay there if you’d like some solid land…just promise me you and your love will hang a little on the Hawkesbury.
8. Top of the Rock, New York City – Oh, c’mon guys, let me throw in one totally cheesy, touristy, suggestion that I promise will make you smile. When James came to meet me for 24 hours in NYC, we decided to soak up this electric, buzzing city like the daggy tourists we are. We got our first bearings with a quick chopper ride over the city, ate pretzels with the lot on the sidewalks, sampled a gallery or 2, ate in small local restaurants which were filled with locals, then danced all night in some random hopping bar. Loved it all. But the photo that’s still on the fridge (you should see my fridge!) today, is us lovestruck goons posing on The Top of The Rock. Just trust me, it’s so touristy, but so fun, just go with it.
9. Rome – Italy. Right, I’d like you to just get lost here. Yep, you have my permission, to grab your favourite guidebook (every inch has a story here in Rrrrroma!) and wander. Down the Spainish steps, through the cobbled streets, stopping for a cheeky gelato or vino and soak up this romance infused city. You’ll all feel amazing as Italians compliment anything that moves, the city is flat so easy to walk for miles and it’s just outright gorgeous. Promise me though, you’ll throw 3 coins from your right hand over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. 1 coin ensures your return to Rome, the 2nd for new romance and the third leads to marriage. What’s not to love.
10. Ayana Resort, private bungalow, Bali. I know many of you love a sumptuous resort, in an idyllic locale, impeccable service, great food…my point is, take it to the next level and book yourself into a private pavillion. I recently filmed here and went a bit weak at the knees over this dollop of OTT extravagance. I can see you now, on the cliff edge, your private plunge pool, maybe a candlelit dinner. Bring on Valentines Day! I’m there already.
WHAT TO WEAR