Valentine’s Day will always be received with a mixed reception, depending so much on your “Relationship Status”, a term I hate in itself.
When I was single, I sort of half-loathed, half-loved it because despite all indications to the contrary I would hope against hope that come 14th February I would get a mystery Valentine through my post box. I did once… aged 11. I thought it was a sign of every year to come, but it sadly never happened again. But there was something in that hope, as bittersweet as it was, that made me realise I was a little bit of a romantic, despite myself.
And now that I’m in a relationship and celebrating my fourth Valentine’s Day with the same man (yes, you can applaud that) I still have mixed feelings. Why should we need a day to celebrate our love? Why should business profit from personal love? Shouldn’t we be showing the ones we love that we care more than once a year? I think Valentine’s Day should actually be a celebration of self-love as much as anything.
In many ways, we’ve had it lucky as we’ve managed to avoid the commercial side of Valentine’s Day thanks to spending much of our time together travelling. My partner and I have spent all four of our Valentine’s Days in very different places (London, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Marrakech and this year we’ll be in Amsterdam). Travel is a huge part of our relationship, and there is no doubt that travel has influenced our love as much as being a couple has changed how we travel.
To honour this and to honour both single ladies and loved-up couples on Valentine’s Day, I’ve created two lists documenting things I love and hate about travelling with my boyfriend. You can read the one that will make you happiest today!
10 Things I HATE about Travelling with You
1. No matter where we go, where we stay, how swanky the hotel is, you always leave your clothes in several piles across the floor, like you were forced to strip at gunpoint while entering the hotel room… which has never, ever happened.
2. Why is that the place we have been most in Amsterdam since we got here is that huge electronics department store… and yet, you just told me you want to go there again at the weekend!?!
3. That you don’t like museums so I have to go on my own.
4. That you often rely on me to do the talking in foreign countries because I studied languages at university. But my Italian degree isn’t that useful in Thailand.
5. That we have to try and find a local source of Vegemite wherever we go. (My partner’s Australian.)
6. That you’re never very keen to set an alarm and watch the sunset in a new city with me.
7. How you never let me travel with more than one notebook. “I am a writer, you know,” is what I say to that. Your reply; “Evernote.”
8. How you know I’m a last minute packer, so you will begin nagging about us getting ready for a flight approximately 24 hours before we’re supposed to be at the airport.
9. When you don’t realise what a great navigator I am (and a few wrong turns in yet another foreign city will not disprove this, despite you clinging to these mistakes rather than the time I got us through the centre of Marrakech without a map or that summer in Europe when we drove across four countries in two days.)
10. That I always have to take your opinion into consideration when I ask myself the most magical of questions: “Where next?”
10 Things I LOVE about Travelling with You
1. No matter where we go, where we stay, how crappy the hotel is, you (and your socks on the floor) are always there beside me.
2. That three years ago you bought me a new e-book reader so that I could take hundreds of books with me when we left to travel indefinitely… just not in the way I perhaps wanted. (I’m now a complete Kindle convert – it’s one of my essential travel items).
3. That you don’t like museums so I get to go on my own and spend as many hours as I like there.
4. That proud smile you give me when I manage to hold a conversation in my terrrible Dutch, and you tell me how much I’ve learned.
5. That you love Europe more than your own continent but you still have undeniable Australian traits. (It’s not just the Vegemite thing, but the wearing shorts when it’s February, albeit thankfully inside the house.)
6. That you will always be happy to watch the sunset with me and you’ll confiscate my phone and camera so that we make it a real memory by “watching it with our eyes not a camera lens” as you’ve had to tell me way too often.
7. That you don’t get angry when I buy a new notebook in every new city we travel too and hide it in the bottom of my suitcase.
8. How you always triple check everything before we embark on a new journey; I’ve never known a man be so thorough and organised. Though it probably doesn’t encourage me to speed up my own packing process.
9. That you are happy to share the driving with me on road trips because as great a navigator as I am (and I am, do you hear me?!?) I also love to drive.
10. That even though you are happy for me to travel on my own and go on my own small adventures from time to time, whenever you ask that magic question “Where next?”, you’re always looking at me.
This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.Tweet