Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day can be a seriously stressful event. Should you buy your partner flowers or chocolates? What if they’re lactose intolerant and allergic to roses? Or, if you’re single, how do you avoid Valentine’s altogether?
Instead of spending time and money organising another date night, or stressing over the whole affair because you don’t have a special someone to spoil silly, imagine what else you could be doing (and where you could be) on 14th February… Here are my picks:
1. Surfing in Cape Town or Costa Rica
Learning how to ride the waves is challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Nothing looks cooler than coasting down a monster wave, and places like Costa Rica and Cape Town, South Africa are world-famous for their stellar surf spots. Yes, there’s a risk you might meet a shark or two, but personally I’d rather be nose-to-nose with a Great White than pay some of the prices your local Italian bistro will charge you for a Valentine’s menu.
2. Hiking in Honolulu
The Hawaiian island chain is one of the most stunning places on earth, and the town of Honolulu on Oahu Island is one of its crown jewels. Not only are you spoilt for choice with beaches and restaurants but if you step outside the city you’ll find incredible hiking opportunities like the Koko Crater trail and Diamond Head State Monument. Who knows – you might even stumble off the trail, meet another lost tourist and find romance after all.
3. Shopping in London
One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities also happens to be one of the most trendsetting, which is reflected in its endless supply of clothes shops – everything from bargain chain Primark to boutique upon boutique selling vintage fashion in East London. If you’re travelling with your partner, treat them to a new outfit; if you’re travelling alone, buy everything for yourself instead. I know which one I’d choose.
4. Sunbathing in Sydney
February 14th might be rather chilly in the northern hemisphere, but in the southern half of the globe it’s actually summertime. That’s how the residents of Sydney ensure they’re either tanned and ready for romance (essential for singletons down under), or tanned and holding hands with their equally tanned lover while strolling on Bondi beach.
5. A bretzel date in Berlin
To be frank, most of us would take a date with a warm, freshly-baked bretzel over a real person any day. Still, if you do have an actual person in your life and you want to spoil them with culture and delicious food, why not spend a weekend in Berlin? It’s the cultural capital of the German-speaking world, offering fascinating insights into what happens when a city is split in two. It’s also a mecca for (single) night owls looking to party until the sun rises (and even beyond). Also there’s currywurst, which is so yummy you’ll probably want to split up with your partner and date that instead.