Planning a romantic date while traveling may seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Look around: use unpredictability and the locale to your advantage. In Asia, you’ll never run out of ideas for exciting things to share!
Whether wanting to treat your partner for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or just because they deserve it -- use these six basics to seed ideas for a sexy, unforgettable date.
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Sure, you could buy your partner a heart-shaped box of high fructose corn syrup and a sweatshop-sewn teddy bear, but why not invest in something less cliché and inanimate?
For the price of a nice piece of jewelry, you could literally spend days in a romantic bungalow on some islands in Southeast Asia. Or if already traveling, you could do an activity together that would ordinarily be considered too expensive (e.g., a scuba trip, sailing boat rental, etc).
We’re programmed to stay vigilantly frugal, hence the reason unnecessary purchases provide such a juicy dopamine hit. But don’t waste it at the mall: experiences and memories will be talked about long after the last candy is secretly thrown out.
Dinners, drinks, movies, and performances are great, but they all have one thing in common: you’ll both be sat on your posteriors for the entire evening.
Physical activity raises the heart rate and produces feel-good endorphins. Scientifically speaking, endorphins restrict pain signals and produce euphoria. But more importantly, they’re a serious turn-on.
Instead of sedentary entertainment, do something to get the blood flowing. Dancing, jumping around in front of a live band, indoor climbing, horseback riding, skating -- your activity could be as extreme as paintball or as simple as walking along a waterfront. The most important thing is to get out of that chair!
Shake It Up
Exercise-induced endorphins may increase intimacy, but adrenaline is the sexiest hormone of all. You don’t necessarily have to go bungy jumping together, although that will certainly do the trick. Doing something for the first time -- especially correctly -- releases epinephrine (adrenaline).
Opportunities to tickle those bored receptors in your date’s brain abound; they could be as simple as choosing a completely different restaurant, hitting a new trail, going a different way home, or wearing a new fragrance.
Do something you’ve never done together before; bonus points if it’s something that scares the two of you. Adrenaline increases sensitivity levels and helps establish long-term memories.
Get Uncomfortable Together
Call it a combat bond; people grow closer together when they’ve been uncomfortable together. Putting your date under duress may seem like the least romantic thing you could do, but once it’s thankfully over, you’ll both share laughs and shudders when recalling the experience.
Physically uncomfortable situations (e.g., crammed Jeepney rides in the Philippines, camel safaris in Rajasthan, squeezing into Thailand’s fun-but-obnoxious Full Moon Party) become memories that will survive the years. For better or worse, it’s fairly easy to find temporary discomfort while in Asia.
Couples who travel together experience high highs and low lows on the road, a trial-by-fire that often strengthens romance.
Hold a Little Back
Don’t show all of your cards at once; keep the pleasant surprises coming. If you’ve splurged on an upscale room or isolated bungalow with a view for the finale, keep it a secret for as long into the date as possible. Just when excitement levels start to return back to baseline and your partner is already content with the date, drop the big one on them to fire things up again.
If you’re devious enough, you could pack (or buy new) whatever your partner needs for an overnight stay. Instead of taking transportation home, proceed straight to the secret spot!
Be Where You Are
Being mindfully present is harder than it sounds, but the reward is certainly worth the effort. Making a serious attempt to “be where you are” shows great respect to your date and increases the feeling that something exciting is unfolding.
Even if intentions are good, smartphones have a way of stealing from the moment. Your social network can wait a day or two for that photo you just took. During downtime when standing in line, waiting for food, or when taking transportation, keep your eyes and attention where they should be: on your date.