Most of us have experienced it by now – whether with an intriguing stranger in a tropical paradise, or with a current SO somewhere far away from the stresses of the daily grind.
There’s a distinct, magical feeling to vacation romance.
Things like clear turquoise water, breezy salt air, palm trees, warm blue skies and flowing tropical concoctions in coconuts set a pretty solid recipe for love, spiritual connection, and passion. A soothing, picturesque escape from the realities of life inspires an inevitable loosening of inhibition and an open, carefree state of mind.
Naturally, this creates an intense, strong energy that attracts others in the same head space.
As I recently relaxed on a gorgeous, white-sand beach in Cuba, Lana Del Rey blasting on my earphones and a plastic glass of crisp white wine in hand, this couldn’t be more apparent once I noted the couples around me.
I’ve been there. Earlier this year, I was one of those vacation-drunk couples making out and falling in love by a sun-kissed ocean myself.
With a stunning backdrop, the Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa in Varadero, Cuba is an obvious choice for the filming of the final two episodes of the first ever The Bachelorette Canada.
The blonde mega babe bachelorette – Kenora, Ontario’s Jasmine Lorimer – joined her final two men and family in Cuba for the show’s two-part season finale. Of course, as we saw on this week’s final episode, the visit culminated with a gorgeous beach engagement for Jasmine and contestant Kevin Wendt.
A few weeks back, I joined Sunwing – the exclusive travel sponsor of The Bachelorette Canada – on a whirlwind trip to Cuba to follow Jasmine’s footsteps when she and her two remaining bachelors ate, explored and frolicked their way through the country back in May.
As I discovered, everything about the Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa facilitates romance – from the fact that it’s adults-only (as much as I love them, screaming and splashing kids can kill the mood) to the stunning beach sunsets, blissful spa and romantic dining ambiance at the restaurants throughout.
They even offer private romantic beach dinners for couples.
Not to mention, the Diamond Club makes for the ultimate in pampering (complete with your own butler), so the only thing you really have to focus on is enjoying the scenery and each other.
On vacation, the conversation isn’t about your boss, your deadlines, or your horrible TTC commute. Whether you’re in a relationship or you find a week-long one on vacation, there’s something about the beach-filled vacation vibe that inspires a deeper, more meaningful dialogue where two people actually share goals, fears, hopes and desires, as opposed to the typical surface banter.
Of course, they also share one another’s bodies in a way that’s somehow more lustful, passionate and savoury than anything that usually goes down in your bed at home.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bring some of that sweet, soulful, moment-appreciating romance into everyday dates and relationships?
After all, if there’s anything that tends to suck the pleasure out of life, it’s the perpetually fast pace of the all-consuming city. City life – coupled with the ever-popular dating app phenomenon – has seemed to kill old school romance and many a quest for deeper connections.
Tapping into a vacation mindset on the regular could be all we need to save the modern dating scene.
For many young professionals, the typical week is consumed with work, dates akin to job interviews and worries about whether you’ll ever meet your soulmate and fall in love again. The thing is, the relaxed, positive state of mind that accompanies a vacation is more likely to attract that soul mate (even if it only lasts a week).
It’s the reason why most of the deepest and most connected moments we find with another person tend to be on those dreamy days of vacation.
We often sabotage our own spark in our relationships over time, as we fall into a perpetual ‘Netflix and chill’ routine, peppered with the occasional dinner out in a place where you’re often more preoccupied with who is there than on one another. We assume it’s a normal progression of a relationship and accept it.
But achieving that vacation connection on the regular is actually easier than you may think.
It involves an ability to live in the moment with another person like you do on vacation – whether that means taking a moment to appreciate a city sunset in your car as opposed to a beach, or allowing yourself to savour the time spent with your date or SO at a casual brunch on Queen West instead of over lobster on a catamaran.
It also means adding a sense of adventure to your life.
Just like Jasmine and Kevin explored the vibrant, colourful streets of Havana together, make it a mission to discover something new with your SO on the regular – whether that means a new restaurant or a cute little town a few hours away from your front door at home.
Another thing that tends to add to the intense vacation love bond is the fact that the two of you often share adrenaline-pumping experiences that bring you closer – from going scuba diving for the first time to a tennis match filled with some healthy competition. From simulated skydiving to an ice skate, there is no shortage of ways to incorporate adrenaline into your life at home.
Most importantly – whether on a first date or home with your husband or wife on a Sunday after a Home Depot run – take the time to disconnect. Seriously, put your phone away. Faced with the prospect of a sky-high phone bill, I had no choice but to part with my phone – and doing so was almost as refreshing as the post-snorkel lobster ceviche.
Of course, the first step in all of this is to find a way to relax IRL like you do on vacation – whether this is achieved through yoga and meditation or a simple hot shower.
Of course, sometimes the best way to get into the vacation mentality is to actually go on one. Perhaps a revitalizing trip to reignite the passion of your honeymoon stage is all you really need to get over a relationship slump. Fortunately, Sunwing has teamed up with exclusive local experts NexusTours to create the ultimate Bachelorette-themed romantic getaway just like I experienced with their new ‘Beyond the Rose’ package.
The ‘Beyond the Rose‘ package is available from 23 gateways across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton for selected dates between December 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017.