Why Your Most Exciting Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Involve Making Any Plans
Words & Photos by Katherine Oakes Englishman
Sometimes having a plan is a bad idea.
The art of adventure lies in the unknown and is often a direct result of not having it all figured out. Spontaneous, impromptu and spur-of-the-moment ideas that require you to throw caution to the wind and just go for it are necessary characteristics of an unforgettable date night. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it’s just got to be a little (or a lot) less predictable than usual. So, if you’re up for making memories might I suggest picking at least one of the traits mentioned above this Valentine’s Day?
‘Cause if you asked for my advice, I’d say don’t make any plans this Valentine’s Day — unplan instead. My husband and I spent our second official date taking a road trip together and haven’t stopped winging it since.
Cancel all your reservations, here are 5 ways to turn a traditional date night on its head.
1) Let Someone Else Pick Out Your Restaurant
If you’re not quite ready to ditch the Valentine’s Day dinner but are still interested in spicing things up, the answer is simple: Don’t pick out your restaurant, let a friend or trusted source pick one out instead.
While this is still somewhat of a low-risk option it could very well turn out to be a high-reward situation, especially if you let your date order for you (cue the adventure). Still, there’s something exciting about breaking out of the normal routine, having no expectations and just going for it.
2) Go Winter Camping
You know what can really make a couple feel closer to each other? A double sleeping bag… literally. Grab your warmest gear, pack layers upon layers and then some, pick a campsite that you can drive to and get out there. Bring out your inner camp chef and cook up a gourmet meal for two under the stars. Sip hot toddies or mulled wine and enjoy being outside in the cold together.
Whether you wimp out and retreat to the warmth of your own bed or decide to stick it out for the night, I promise you’ll have a good story and even better time than a night at that overpriced hotel suite.
3) Buy Tickets to See a Band You Don’t Know
This sounds risky and something of a disaster waiting to happen, right? Good, we’re on the right track. Remember the less known factors and more variables there are in the equation the better, which means taking a chance and possibly blowing money on tickets to a horrible concert.
Stick to the theme of adventure and you can’t go wrong — or maybe you could, are you starting to get the gist of it now? Hey, the alternative ending could very well be discovering your new favorite band and getting every penny’s worth out of that show. We have had more successes than failures in this realm and trust me, the failures always leave us with the best stories to look back at and laugh about together.
4) Take a Mini Road Trip
Have I mentioned that I like roadtripping? Take your romance on the road for Valentine’s Day and leave plenty of room for the unexpected. Here’s how to do it: pick a destination, pack a bag and then don’t plan a single thing.
The freedom of having no plans lets you and your hunnie live totally in the moment. Stop at that waterfall on the side of road, hit up an old-fashioned diner and chow down on extremely unhealthy (yet totally delicious) diner menu items, or take a detour in the wrong direction, whatever your free-spirited hearts desire. Resist the urge to plan and you will certainly be the better for it in the end, I promise.
5) Do That Big Thing
Or medium, or small, or simply plan it for now, but in any case what have you been talking about doing for eons yet haven’t actually followed through on? Do you have travel points waiting to be used; a mountain you’ve wanted to climb? Or, maybe it’s simply putting that pasta maker to use and cooking up your own Valentine’s Day dinner (I’m raising my hand).
Whatever your brand of adventure, look it straight in the eye, together, and start right where you are. I can say from experience that some of our most romantic and adventurous moments have been manifested from putting all other responsibilities aside and deciding to pack a bag or throw down for that trip. It might just be living off the intoxicating air of anticipation that makes this fun but that’s what adventures are all about. Even if it’s not a game changer, per se, it will be the beginning of something new and unknown.