Falling in love when we travel makes perfect sense, because our minds and hearts are more open to people and experiences than ever. As we step out of our comfort zone, we are more likely to see people for who they are instead of the job titles they hold, and are also in the company of people from all regions and walks of life, which increases the chances of finding someone that suits our style. Don’t just take it from me. Science tells us that falling in love while on holiday is easier because the physiological stimulation we experience can create a stronger initial romantic bond.
For couples who love each other and also love to travel, there’s no better answer to the question “where did you two meet?” than a romantic travel moment. Watching the sunrise after a long hike, sunbathing at the beach, or dancing at a party – these are all perfectly lovey-dovey experiences. But romance on the road can be a little unpredictable, too. The following paragraphs describe a few scenarios that may not seem like the recipe for love at first, but have everything it takes to turn the trip of a lifetime into a lifetime of happiness.
The road to your heart: Taking a romantic ride
When we think of a long bus or ferry ride, the last thing that comes to mind is romance, but trust me when I say that this is the perfect setting to meet someone. The conditions are ideal because you spend a great deal of time in the same place and have plenty of time to chat. A 10 hour ride from Ninh Binh to Sapa in Vietnam is long enough to get to know the cute girl on the bus. Long rides also include sleeper buses, like the one from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville in Cambodia, which allows you to share more intimate moments as you get ready for bed or wake up to the morning view from the bus window.
Don’t worry, love doesn’t end when the bus ride does, because as you arrive at your new destination, chances are that you’ll need a somewhat familiar partner to explore the city with and find a decent hostel for the night.
Crazy in love: Extreme experiences for couples
We’ve mentioned before that traveling makes our heart beat a little faster, which allows love to come in when we least expect it. That’s what makes extreme sports experiences a great opportunity to meet someone while we travel. A study conducted in 1973 by psychologists Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron showed that our reaction to scary experiences influences our sexual attraction levels as well.
The producers of reality shows like “The Bachelor” have known this for years and always make sure to include a date that features some sort of extreme activity. On your next trip, be your own love producer and go swimming with sharks or rock climbing for the chance to meet the love of your life (or at least your trip). Here are a few suggestions for fun and adventurous activities in Thailand and Vietnam.
Learn to love: Taking classes while you travel
Traveling the world is always a learning experience, but certain activities make it more educational. Learning to speak the local language and cook traditional cuisine can help us enhance the travel experience, but may also create opportunities for romance.
If you will, this is the travel version of bumping into someone in the hallway and helping them pick up their books, when suddenly, your eyes meet… Taking a class while you travel should give you plenty of time to interact with other travelers who are just as eager to learn, share the same interests as you, and are perhaps looking for a study buddy. The road from class to romance is shorter than you think!
A good heart: Volunteering for a cause
If you’re looking for that special someone who has kind eyes and a giving soul, why not focus on activities that would normally speak to people with such good character? Volunteering for a cause will not only add incredible value to your trip and make the time you spend exploring the world more meaningful, it will also allow you to meet like-minded people who care about others and are happy to help. From teaching in Cambodian schools to farming in Thailand, the world is unfortunately in desperate need for your help. There’s so much love already in donating your time and skill for a worthy cause, that even if you don’t meet your significant other you’ll walk away with a full heart.
Love really is all around us. We just have to look and keep an open mind. It’s more than possible to feel at our most beautiful during a sweaty hiking trip, and find someone nearby who can appreciate exactly who we are. Sure, not all travel love stories turn out to be our happily ever after, but they may include some of the sweetest memories we will forever carry with us. This Valentine’s, let your heart lead the way, anywhere in the world.