Truth you may not realize when you read glowing write-ups of sexy couples destinations: Said reviews were quite likely written by a single, bitter potentially slightly jaded travel writer. Someone, say, such as myself.
My heart isn’t inherently very dark and twisty. I’m happy for my happily betrothed friends. But every so often, I find myself on a press trip to a “romantic” “couples only” “honeymoon oriented” resort, and I just want to gag. Or, rather, strangle those blissful people in my midst.
A reflection on several so-themed trips over the past few years.
December 2010: I spend my birthday weekend at Rendezvous Resort in St. Lucia -- this beautiful resort is so dedicated to romance, there is no televisions OR Internet in any of the rooms. Question for anyone reading: Have you ever been so in love that you don’t need to check your e-mail? Personally, I’ve never known a love that precludes my nightly soap opera fix.
Then again, most loves I’ve known were so inherently dysfunctional that soaps were required in order to add levity. Over the course of the weekend, as I came back to my room (of solitude), I’d be greeted by heart shaped chocolates and bottles of champagne. Eventually, the only other single girl on the trip and I decided to take an archery class. (Figured it was our best chance of catching a man, right?)
Summer 2011: Spend much of the summer on wine tours of South America, visiting Argentina and Chile within a few weeks of each other. Mingle with some of the most beautiful men in the universe. Drink wine at all hours of the day. Spend my time taking ironic street style poses rather than canoodling with any. I fail at life.
Fall 2011: Visit Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Scotland –- reflect on how it was most of the most romantic countries I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Drink alone in hotel bar. Strike up a conversation –- over scotch, obviously –- about whether being a single journalist compromises one’s desire to explore the inherent romance of an exotic getaway. Score bartender’s Facebook friendship –- take that, marrieds!
Summer 2012: I realize to those not in my shoes, this will sound like the extreme first world problem but I go to not one, but TWO couples centric trips back-to-back. First, the gorgeous Live Aqua resort in Cancun, and direct from there, a visit to South Beach, Florida. Aside from mosquito bites and sunburns, I had a Jacuzzi (for two, of course) in my room, chocolates on my bed, and cocktails delivered to our (err…MY) balcony nightly. I used the opportunity to write Sylvia Path-like poetry.
December 2012: Vail, Colorado –- a press trip centering on outdoor sports as romantic couples activities. Ski with your love and then enjoy an après ski! It’s romantic, healthy and great exercise! I’m sure. I opted for snowshoeing with a woman on the trip who recently had a hip replacement. But, no worries, I found a prince on our journey! Except even he’s giving me the silent treatment.
Winter 2013: Attend a press trip to Seattle, among two dozen mom-centric writers. Every woman on this trip is pregnant or has small children. They are lovely, but seem rather confused by my status as not only childless but husbandless. (Truth be told, my own mother is very much a victim of the same confusion.)
“But. Wait…will not someone pick you up from the airport?” Alas, no. Unless it’s the taxi driver you speak of! I comfort them -– and myself –- that while I shall not have my bags carried or my tearful airport reunion, I will be having as many dirty martinis as I wish. CHEERS.
Spring 2013: On a food and wine tour of Israel which is not only geared toward newlyweds –- BUT there are newlywed journalists on my trip! Ironically, they themselves met on a wine trip to Spain a few years before. Obviously, they are worlds better at this gig than I am. As we embark on the long drive from the northern to southern tip of the country, they canoodle in the back seat.
I spend the drive bemoaning not my lonely heart but the conundrum of having to (out of respect0 wear a skirt to holy sites and yet engage in ceaseless hours of walking a day. Sneakers and a dress? Or blisters on my feet? It’s the eternal question. No wonder I’m alone.
The adorable (they were sweet, really, but I hated them) couple goes on holding hands and whispering giggles. I comfort myself it’s probably not about sexy rendezvous, but my shoe issues. Eventually, I find a sexy young soldier to pose with. He seems not all that into me either.
So next time you read a breathtaking travel report about a romantic destination, keep in mind what that writer may just have gone through. Actually, stay single. There are way better drinking opportunities.