Tag Archives: romance

Travel | 20 romantic experiences every travelling girl should have

11062_10152623571112617_7178081394249079839_nI’m a bit of a romantic at heart, just like most girls I love being swept off my feet and can find something beautiful in the smallest gestures. When you’re travelling, it’s easy to be caught up in the romance of your very existence, the transient nature of your life brings romance to the simplest moments. With tropical temperatures, sandy beaches and stunning sunsets at every turn, Asia is the perfect setting for a travelling romance, while Australia provides the incredible landscape to get lost with your newfound love. Europe is just perfect for those warm summer evenings drinking wine together or exploring a city of culture, there’s romance of years gone by haunting the streets you walk. When you travel it’s easy to fall for people and to fall hard and fast, you get swept away by the romance, the freedom and the excitement of it all. Add in the ticking time limit of that plane ticket home and things can get pretty intense. The important thing for travelling girls to remember when things come to an end, is not to feel broken-hearted over the love you lost but to enjoy the memories of what you had. Every single perfect second of your time together whether it was just one night, a few weeks or months together. Those precious memories of your fleeting romance will stay with you in years to come and will shape your travelling stories.

When travelling I love meeting couples who met on the road, couples who have managed to make things work beyond travelling. I love seeing people in the grips of romance who cannot imagine a life without the person they just met two nights ago. It’s beautiful and pure, it’s love in it’s own right and even if it doesn’t last, it doesn’t mean you didn’t feel it at the time. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing couple  who have become my very good friends, they met while volunteering together in South America and now several years later they have traveled the world together. In Thailand, I met an Australian girl who was crazy in love with an English guy and two years later they are still travelling the world together. It’s amazing when you hear these stories and so lovely to know that travel doesn’t have to stand in the way of finding love. But for every success story, there are a hundred stories of heartache and of lost loves – so for all of these, here is my list of the 10 romantic moments you need to experience when you are travelling:

  1. Watch a perfect sunset with the most amazing person, hold hands and watch the sun dip below the horizon. Don’t speak a word, let the colours and the moment speak for itself.
  2. Get lost together – go off exploring somewhere new and don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten path, getting lost can be fun it will give you more time to get to know each other.
  3. Camp out or lay in the back of a truck under the stars – some of the most romantic nights of my life were spent counting shooting stars with someone special.
  4. Go for a massage together – if you’re in Asia, this is a must. Cheap massages are the perfect way to spend a relaxing evening together. Try a foot massage for a less naked option.
  5. Go on a road trip together for a day, a week or a month. Nothing will teach you more about a person than spending 24 hours a day with them in a car but if you come out the other side, it must be special.
  6. Try something new together – snorkeling or diving could be an exciting first date, or try a cooking class, surfing lesson, wine tour, white water rafting. Sharing a fun experience can be an amazing way to bond.
  7. Teach each other something whether it is a language, a card game or a party trick. It’s amazing to have a beautiful memory of a person you met and to know that they taught you a new skill.
  8. Change your plans. When you’re a solo traveler, you’re always up for changing your plans if something – or someone – exciting comes along. So throw off your guard and give in to the moment.
  9. Have those really deep conversations where you share your soul with someone you barely know. The ones that leave you feeling like no-one has ever understood you like this before, or will again.
  10. Go skinny dipping, it’s cheeky, it’s silly and it’s fun. Let your inhibitions go and do something a bit wild, something a twenty-something who is travelling the word shouldn’t be afraid to do. It’ll be a great story one day.
  11. Have a date night – it could be dinner out or something wacky, but make the effort for each other, dress up and enjoy a little luxury together.
  12. Write a love letter, or receive one. There’s something so special about a hand-written note that you can keep forever. It can be a goodbye note you leave on his pillow on the way to the airport or a letter you send across the world.
  13. Make wild, crazy plans for the future. Lay in bed together talking about all the places you want to go and the things you want to do. Share the fantasy, even if you’ll never do them together.
  14. Be naughty – break the rules together. Take that how you will but trust me – it’s fun!
  15. Take cheesy cute tourist photos together as you explore a new city.
  16. Don’t listen to reason – so what if you live on opposite sides of the world? So what if you only have two days? Declare your love, fall head-over-heels and make those two days something to remember.
  17. Spend a holiday together – Christmas or New Year, even Oktoberfest! Celebrate something together and share a kiss at midnight in a foreign country – it’ll be one of those cute little stories that stay with you for life.
  18. Sit on the beach and watch the sun rise after an epic night out together, don’t stop until you’ve danced and laughed your heart out, then find some calm as the sea laps against the shore and the skies go pink.
  19. Have that moment when you look at this person and realise men aren’t all bad no matter how much you’ve been messed around, when you realise that you can love like this and you will again.
  20. Have an emotional goodbye at an airport. Every girl should walk through security with tears in her eyes at least once after a sad farewell to an amazing person.

imageDon’t get caught up in why it didn’t work, just make beautiful memories with that person and enjoy every moment of your time together. In twenty or thirty years would you rather remember bitter heartbreak from the guy you met on that beautiful Thai beach, or would you prefer to remember that night you held hands and watched the perfect sunset together?

Tell me about your most romantic travelling moments – what is your favourite memory? Which country holds the most romance for you?

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10 signs your relationship needs to go offline

boom1I don’t talk about my relationship often. My friends always say they know something is really wrong if I actually talk about what is going on, because the rest of the time I like to keep my cards close to my chest. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no problem with talking about the good stuff as well, I just like to keep my relationship private. I’ve always thought that what goes on between a couple should stay between the couple – I know that isn’t always the case, but for the most part I believe it should stay that way. Just like I don’t tell all my other friends about all the stupid stuff me and my best friends get up to and all the rubbish we talk about, I don’t see the need to tell everyone about the moments that mean the world to my boyfriend and I – because quite honestly, who cares other than me and him? After well over eight years together, we have no need to tweet how much we love each other, we don’t need to publicise every romantic moment on Facebook, and I certainly don’t need to blog about every argument I win.

I realised not long ago that we’re not actually even listed as “in a relationship” on Facebook and I’m not even sure how long it has been that way… Pretty funny that I still get complete strangers coming up to me sometimes asking if I’m Wolfy’s girlfriend! But it made me realise that no matter how Facebook official things are, it isn’t proof of a good relationship, nor are soppy tweets or sickly sweet Instagram pictures. For me, the proof comes in radio silence. The happiest couples I know are the ones who barely communicate on social media because they’re too busy talking face-to-face. The ones who you could almost miss are a couple until something big happens like an engagement, a new home or a baby. They are the ones whose love transcends the world of social media, which is basically just communication on performance-enhancers, and they are the ones who happily go under the radar. Amusingly, all those pictures and quotes that are posted about what women want, holding out for a hero and all that tosh, are usually the things posted by the ones who wish they were in relationships like the ones splashed across our newsfeeds and rammed down our throats at every opportunity.shanns-planOf course it is wonderful and great to be in love, to have someone who cares about you and wants to make you happy. But does that mean you have to status update every meal at Nando’s, every date at the cinema, and every lazy Sunday spent in bed together? If you ask me – that’s too much OPDA for my liking (Online Personal Displays of Affection) and you need to step away from your phone. If you’re spending more time checking in on Facebook and tweeting about your date than talking to them, or if you’re thinking about the Instagram photos you’ll post later while he’s talking about how much he loves his dog – you need to sort out your priorities. I’m not saying keep everything off social media, it is a place for sharing of course, but when your relationship updates are the only thing you post, or people start commenting on how much you’re flooding their newsfeed – perhaps it’s time to take a step back.

10 signs your relationship needs to go offline:

  1. Your relationship status is always the first thing to change when things get rocky, and you’ve been known to use “it’s complicated”
  2. You’ve had Facebook friends comment on a post saying “u ok bb?” or “inbox me bbes”
  3. The first thing your friend says to you when she sees you is “TELL ME EVERYTHING” about a cryptic relationship status/post
  4. You’ve posted a status or a photo of your beau captioned “my world” or “my everything”
  5. You’re sharing everything, from stories about the wart on his bum to pictures of you both lying in bed together…naked
  6. You spend all your time together on your phones, or your other half actually has to ask you to put your phone down during a date
  7. You check the pair of you in on every single date, supermarket trip, and even your phone calls…. when you are NOT even in the same room!
  8. You row on Facebook or Twitter, and even involve your friends
  9. EVERBODY knows your business, even the postman
  10. You have a joint Facebook account. Need I say more?

facebook-relationship-statusNow I have to be honest, being a blogger I spend a lot of time on social media and there have been times when my boyfriend has had to tell me to put my phone down. But I love that he does that. He is the complete opposite of me, he never posts on Facebook or Twitter, I think he’s forgotten he has Instagram, and that is so refreshing for someone who spends a lot of time blogging or sharing online. So it is nice when we go on dates, or have an evening together, that he makes me put my phone down and stop talking to the rest of the world so we can spend time just the two of us. Because that’s what a relationship is – just the two of you. And when it comes to those lasting memories – nobody remembers the time they tweeted about a date, but they do remember the way you made them feel and the laughs you shared. Priorities – that’s what it comes down to and, if you ask me, if social media comes first, you need to question whether you’re really meant to be together. So next time you head out for date night, try leaving your phone in your bag. Stop snapping every moment for Instagram and start appreciating the time you have together – you never know when it could run out.

Are you guilty of having an online relationship – how do you strike the balance? Do you have too many OPDAs crowding your newsfeed?

Ab Lucy sign off

PS. I’d love it if you would vote for me in the UK Blog Awards by following this link!

Fairy tales shaped my life, but does that make me any less of an independent woman?

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Just some of my favourite childhood books

I was reading something about Valentine’s Day and the way that successful marketing campaigns have raised women’s expectations in terms of material possessions while lowering them when it comes to emotional attachment and the treatment they deserve. It was an interesting piece – certainly thought-provoking and it stuck in my mind. I’m not really sure how much marketing campaigns have really changed other than making us think we simply must have those roses, chocolates or mini-break – we all scoff and say it’s a load of rubbish invented by Clinton Cards (as an ex-Clinton’s worker I am the first to laugh at the mugs who buy £10 boxed cards) but let’s be honest, we all melt at the thought of our men sweeping us off our feet and treating us to a romantic night.

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But this all started long before we had a clue about romance or roses, before we even considered the possibility that boys were not gross and smelly. From birth, my parents read to me constantly – fairy tales about princes who rescued princesses from dragons and from towers, who fought long and hard for their women, who would let nothing stand in their way. As I grew, I read to myself and to my parents, more stories about boys who would take you to Neverland, where you could soar above the clouds and be young and happy forever. Even the tales about animals told stories of love, kindness and happy couples like Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet. My expectations were raised throughout my childhood as I grew up thinking this was how all men behaved, to this day I still have those high expectations and even after seeing how some men actually behave, I still believe in true love, soul mates and fate.

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What concerns me is that so many women out there are devaluing themselves by settling for less than the romance, the kindness, the thoughtfulness and the faithfulness that should come with a relationship. I know so many woman who have put up with terrible treatment, with boyfriends who have constantly let them down, been late, been selfish, said thoughtless things, even manipulated them and tried to control who they were friends with, many have been cheated on, some repeatedly. It is sad to see it happen, especially when you are the friend who keeps trying to save them from themselves, but only the woman can make the changes needed to find the man who will really treat her as she deserves.

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It makes me wonder if we are lowering our expectations, or whether they were always around the same level – perhaps the marketing campaigns are just finding more ways to make us feel like we are missing out on something. At the end of the day, each relationship is very different and we all go into them with different expectations. Something that could play a big part in this is how much more independent women are now compared to in our parents’ and grandparents’ generations – we have our own money, our own homes, jobs, cars, friends and lives. So many barely have time for a boyfriend and often choose to be single now because they actually prefer to focus on themselves and their own careers. That’s true, but only for a while. I don’t know a single girl who deep down doesn’t just want someone she can cuddle up to on the sofa or go out on dates with. many girls may try to deny this, but at the end of the day, all of us just want to be loved. Does that make us any less independent?

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I don’t think so, but there are two types of girls. There are those who have their own lives even when they are in a relationship – the ones who don’t crumble when it all falls apart and the ones who still have incredibly full lives when a relationship ends. And there are those who are left a ghost of the girl they used to be, who have forgotten all their friends in favour of a man who has now left them high and dry and who realise their whole life centred around their man. I like to think of myself as the first of these and I think it is important to be this girl. Just because you are a romantic who dreams of being whisked away on a magic carpet, doesn’t mean you have to give up who you are – in fact, a healthy relationship is one where you should never have to give this up. A healthy relationship should encourage you to follow your passions and indulge your hobbies with friends, family and colleagues as well as each other. It is easy to get caught up in the honeymoon stages of a relationship, but when things steady out it is important to remember to spend as much time with friends. Having that fairytale romance should never stop you from being an independent woman – if anything, being that independent woman is more likely to secure you the man of your dreams.

What do you think? Leave me a comment and share your thoughts on the subject..

A day of vintage shopping and exploring off the beaten track in my favourite city

After a week of stressing about lots of little things, it was time to unwind over the weekend by spending a little time with my loved ones and trying something different. Saturday was spent in Norwich with my boyfriend, after waking up first thing, we decided to head to the city for a day of browsing the lanes – neither of us needing to buy anything just fancying a look around the city in the sunshine.

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First of all we went to the Patisserie for a drink and some gateaux – I indulged in the double chocolate, while Mark went for the chocolate mousse combined with fruit smoothies and chocolate milkshakes. Absolutely delicious – I can never resist this place because all of the cakes look so gorgeous.

After, we headed into the lanes where we wandered among the cobbled streets for hours, popping into little boutique and vintage shops, found adorable cafes and delis that we had never seen before, including one that was selling a type of venison salami. The sun came out in force and it was a beautiful day, which only added to the feeling of being on holiday – I love when you rediscovered a place so familiar to yourself just by wandering off the beaten track.

After a few hours, we suddenly came across this huge vintage and antiques shop, Looses Emporium, which looked incredible. We were instantly sucked in and began to explore the enormous warehouse and its contents. We found some amazing items – mainly furniture that made me wish I were moving out so I could fill my home with these unique pieces – but also books, clothes, ornaments and much, much more. Here are some of my favourites:

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A vintage Lotto machine..

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A throne!

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Obviously need one of these for above the mantlepiece!

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Still in perfect working condition – such a beautiful tone to the music that you just don’t get from iPods etc…Image

As suggested by my friend – a sex gong! Haha

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And my favourite item of the day – a classic novel..

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Then, after two and a half hours of exploring (which included a flea market we found upstairs where Mark bought the purple 50’s bowling bomber as pictured above and an original 1960’s kimono), we moved on to Aladdin’s Cave, which was just down the street where I had to persuade Mark not to buy a life-size statue of Jesus for his new living room.

Both stored were amazing for one-off pieces and for finding something a little different, something we both love to do. Mark is moving into a new house, that his mum and step-dad are renovating in order to rent out, with one of his mates at the start of November and he is really excited to furniture shop for his own home. The place he shares now with two friends is filled with furniture and items that don’t belong to Mark, either to the others or they were given to the boys. He is definitely getting to that point where he wan’t to have a home to call his own and to have all his own things, rather than just a room in a house.

It was an amazing day and nicely rounded off with a meal in a Tapas restaurant we discovered which had the most amazing food. We shared a selection of dishes including Patatas Bravas, prawns in garlic and oil, mozzarella sticks in breadcrumbs with garlic mayonnaise, meatballs in a tomato sauce with peas, and a phenomenally tasty chorizo, bacon, and pea stew in a smoky tomato sauce that fired up my taste buds.

It was so nice to spend a day with Mark, just the two of us, exploring somewhere we both love. We haven’t had enough couple time lately and haven’t appreciated each other as much as we should so it was nice to be together away from everything and everyone at home.