A Middle of Nowhere Valentine’s Day
The middle of nowhere is the most romantic place to be. Whether it’s wide open plains, a rugged mountain side or a deserted beach, the middle of nowhere dares you to be deliciously isolated. Inviting someone to share in this wind whipped or sun baked setting is inviting them to be the focus of your attention for however long you’re there. Forget the city scene of overpriced rose petal clichés, the middle of nowhere is the spot to travel to this Valentine’s Day.
This weekend I witnessed romance in the middle of nowhere. I went up the west coast of South Africa to camp in Langebaan. In December Langebaan hops with tourists. But for the other eleven months it settles down to a fairly non-descript beach town whose main attractions are fishing and kite surfing. I was there to do both, and managed to do both poorly. As I walked along the beach during the daytime downtime I stumbled onto a beach bar, complete with broken ships and a million seagulls hunting for scraps. Sandwiched between the splintery picnic tables and old buoys was a wedding. At first it seemed like a strange place to get married, but when I turned to look out at their view I understood. The backdrop to the couple’s special day was beach and waves, interrupted only by giant granite boulders. There were no ornate flower arrangements or mile high wedding cakes to distract from what the day was all about. The beauty and simplicity of the surroundings were the only decorations needed to set the mood. It was the nicest wedding I’ve ever crashed.
Today might not be your wedding day, but it’s a day dedicated to love in all its corny, sappy wonderful. Just like the Langebaan wedding, you can make the middle of nowhere the backdrop to a romantic evening. Here are some ideas to make your Valentine’s Day special.
You know the intersection where you always turn left? Turn right. Pack a few snacks, an extra can of gas and hit the road with your honey for your own Bonnie and Clyde adventure (bad example). Drive for however long you feel like and see what’s out there. Stop at whatever pretty, intriguing or weird spots you find. Leave plans, busy schedules and bedtimes at home and see where Valentine’s Day takes you.
Make Your Own Fancy Restaurant
You know what’s romantic? Food. A nice dinner sets the tone for a nice Valentine’s Day. Bring all the luxury of a fancy pants restaurant into the middle of nowhere with you by packing a picnic. No, not a peanut butter sandwich picnic; a cheese and wine and smoked salmon and lemon and seasoned green beans and fresh rolls and chocolate cake picnic. Make it yourself, hit the fancy section of the grocery store (it still costs less than a restaurant) or even order take away. Who cares how you get the food, just get it. Then spread out a picnic basket in the middle of nowhere and enjoy!
Camp the Night Away
If you can’t take tomorrow off work, then plan this one for the weekend. Experience the middle of nowhere at night with your Valentine –in the dark it’s twice as spooky and romantic as during the day. Pack extra warm blankets for the nighttime chill (especially if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere!), and fall asleep to the sound of nothingness –or lots of frogs.
Sometimes the middle of nowhere is just too far away. Maybe driving an hour out of the city won’t be possible tonight. But no worries. You can have the next best thing by creating what feels like the middle of nowhere. Take that picnic basket up to the top of your apartment building and Valentine the night away from your rooftop. Or surprise your Valentine with a “night away” by putting the tent up in the backyard. As an extra bonus you won’t even have to pee outside.
Why spend your Valentine’s Day inside a generic restaurant when you could be out in the romance of the middle of nowhere? What are your Valentine’s plans?