Archive: Romance on the Road
Travel is accelerated living, and that can mean close encounters of the romantic kind...from a brief fling with a charming local, to a honeymoon, to a long-planned wedding in your favorite Back Door. Here are your thoughts:
Part of the adventure of traveling...
Call me crazy but I usually have a little fling in each city that I travel in. Is that so wrong? It's not difficult meeting locals if you at least try to learn the local language, dress well, are are decent looking. My last trip to Paris I met up with a Romanian university student. We walked around 4 hours one night, had dinner and then walked around some more. I ended up spending the weekend with her and when I go to the French Riviera in March I'm flying her in. Ain't love grand?
USA, USA 02/03/04
Bring your lover
I toured Italy and Switzerland with my fiancee and it was great. During the day, I felt much safer and less worried when I was with her. And the nights were fantastic. Leaning out the window of an italian villa is definitely one of the best places we've done some loving.
NJ USA 01/08/04
I love Ireland
I'm not a hopeless romantic, and I had no intention of meeting anyone on my trip to Ireland six months ago. It never even entered my mind, but it happened. I had the kind of experience with a guy that I didn't even think really existed. I felt so drawn to him. The nice thing was he seemed to feel the same. I wondered if he was that way with all tourists, but he seemd a little nervous as if he wasn't use to it at all. We had 4 days in Ireland, which obviously wasn't enough. I think about it every day. I did not want to go home. When I found out that he has family here, I knew we could meet again. We talk on the phone and email, and we are planning on visiting. I really think I will see him again, but even if I don't, it was the greatest, most romantic thing that has ever happened to me. I feel very lucky.
Ode to Monterosso...
L'amo, la principessa: I lay here along the beach, My mind is out of reach, My comfort is the wine, Fruit of the vine, She makes me share it, Because it's not all mine, The soothing seagulls call, But if I tried to get up, I would certainly fall. Too much salami, Or is there such a thing?, Oh yeah I also hear the pesto sing, I love this life, But I love you more, You are my wife. My wife, my sweetie, Yes I am a man who is greedy. You took my heart, Right from the start, Then you took me to Monterosso, To listen to the Virtuoso, The music of the beach, All within reach, Such a life is this, One I am glad not to miss.
CO USA 10/17/03
Love in Paris
Ah, I just posted my love story on the Magic Moments branch before I saw this one. Well, to make a long story short, I finally got a chance to visit Paris in May 2001. I had been wanting to go my whole life. I was meeting a friend the day after I arrived. I made it to my hostel by noon in Montmartre to have a Sunday free to cruise around Paris.
As I was sitting having a smoke and a Diet Coke, a handsome and charming guy walked into the hostel and asked if he could join me. I knew he was speaking English but had no idea where he was from. He told me he was from Essex, England. We chatted for a bit and walked up to the Sacre Coeur and all around Montmartre. We spent about 18 hours together and capped the night at the Sacre Coeur. We had our first kiss on a park bench overlooking the entire city with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance.
He went back to England the next day and we e-mailed and phoned often. He flew to the US for 2 weeks in June 2001. I then flew to England for 2 weeks in July 2001. He packed up and moved here in Aug 2001.
We got married in Vegas at "Paris Paris" in Nov 2001. We now have a 1 year
old son who is the love of our lives. There were many factors that brought
us together for that wonderful day in Paris. I do believe in fate and
in love at first sight and it made my first trip to Paris better than
I ever imagined!
Tucson, AZ USA 10/09/03
Scenes from a Movie
This past summer, I spent one month traveling through Italy and found romance in Rome. Two and a half years earlier, I met this Roman man online, which is so unlike me because I never talk to complete strangers online. Something compelled me to chat with him, maybe because we were the same age and that he is half American, born in Italy, and I have 100% Italian blood born in the USA. We exchanged emails and pictures for the past few years and we finally met this summer!
We went out to dinner and then took a stroll up the Spanish Steps where we enjoyed a beautiful view of Rome by night. Its here where we shared our first romantic kiss. It was like something from a movie as I know he planned it. For 2 days we were like two love birds traveling around Rome. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Only time and fate will tell if there is more to this story! At least I know I have a great friendship, and who would of thought we would meet on the net and then in person!
Overall, maybe it's the heat, the smell of salt water in the air, the sound of ocean waves, or the olive oil that flows freely, but people in Italy are more sensual, more flirtatous, and in my opinion more beautiful than the majority of Americans. Young and old alike, sexuality is a great part of the culture. A wonderful part that we seem to hide or shun such as kissing in public.
So, along with sightseeing, do some people watching! Watch the way the women and men interact with one another at any age. Watch the men at the market, the couples on their motor scooters, couples or groups taking strolls in the squares. Flirting is a grand art form! (and a little more classy than the American bar scene).
Also, how they dress are big clues to their sensuality and flirtatious
nature. Women in short skirts, sundresses and sandals, and men in cool
linen pants and crisp cotton shirts. Even if you are not looking for love
or romance, you cannot escape it. So, look around and enjoy. You decide
if you want to participate.
Milwaukee, WI USA 09/25/03
Romance in Munich
I was recently vacationing in Munich with my family, and one night we ended up in the infamous Hofbrauhaus. As I sat with my mother (I am in the mid-20's) a man kept looking over at me and smiling. My mother noticed too and encouraged me to talk to him. So I did. He and I spent hours talking, and then a few more hours kissing under the Glockenspiel. It was very romantic and unforgettable. I plan on seeing him again for Oktoberfest.
Denver, CO USA 09/12/03
Love in Barcelona
Reading all these stories makes me so happy! I traveled to Spain from the States for Christmas break last year with my best friend. We were in a club in Barcelona where I met an awesome guy who was on vacation from Italy. We spent the next 3 days together and on New Year's Day I left for Madrid. He went to the train station to say good-bye to me. For some reason I felt that he was really special and I knew that I would see him again. We kept in touch and 7 months later he came to Florida to see me. He was here for 2 1/2 weeks with 2 friends and we had an amazing time together! He left for Italy again on 8/25 and I am now planning on going back to Europe to spend a few months next year. He thinks it is fate that we met,and so far I am very happy!
FL USA 09/04/03
I was in the Ukraine, in Sevastopol, to meet a woman I had been "fixed
up" with by a friend I have who lives there. At the end of the weekend,
and after only three days, it was mutualy agreed upon that there was no
"romance" there. So I began to wander around the city alone, going to historical
sights, museums, and seeing the city. On 9-11, a woman came to meet me!
She had been encouraged to meet this "American" by a friend of hers. She
was reluctant at first, but her friend insisted that we meet. So she came
to meet me. I have always thought that "soulmates" were pure rubbish. And
then, it happened to me. We fell in love when we weren't looking. It has
taken 8 months to obtain visas to bring her and her daughter here; we will
be back together in 3 days! Love will take you on unforseen journeys...
Whitewater, WI USA 08/25/03
I met a woman in Thailand through a website called www.trekshare.com
before I even left for my trip. I intended to just have a guide, but it
turned out to be something more. Now I'm home and it's difficult to get
her to the States.
NYC, NY USA 08/03/03
I just got home, and I reread my post below, from when I was still
there, and I totally ignored my own advice. When I got to Germany, I fell
in love, and as cliched as it sounds, I think it might just work out. I'm
going back to study in a bit. Even if it does not go according to my wishes,
I'm glad I allowed myself to get too emotionally involved!
CA USA 07/31/03
As a solo male traveller on my first day in Prague, I purchased a ticket for a city tour from a downtown ticket kiosk that offered a variety of guided bus tours. While waiting for the bus to arrive I chatted with the young man working the kiosk. Later that day I met a lovely American woman and we hit it off. We had drinks that evening and agreed to do some sightseeing together the next day. I told her about the tour company that I had found, and that they offered a tour to Karlstein Castle. We decided to go on the tour together the next morning.
After meeting for breakfast, we set out for the ticket kiosk. Just as
we were about to round the corner to the kiosk, my new friend excused
herself to go to the cash machine and I proceeded alone to the kiosk to
buy the tickets. The same young man that had served me yesterday was working
the ticket counter. He recognized me, and after exchanging pleasantries,
I asked for two tickets for the Karlstein castle tour. He looked confused
because he could see that, like yesterday, I was alone. He said in heavily
accented English, "You want ONE ticket, yes?" I said carefully, "No, TWO
tickets." He still looked confused, so I explained that since yesterday
I had met a nice lady friend and that she would be accompanying me on
the tour." He tisked, and while shaking his head with mock disdain said
slowly, "Yesterday you were one...today you are two...tomorrow you will
be family." His prediction didn't come true, but I did spend ten memorable
days travelling Europe with my new "travel buddy."
Alcala de Henares, Spain
I was studying abroad last summer in a cute little town called Alcala de Henares in Spain. We had a little "conversation partner" program and I met the sweetest guy ever. He was part Ecuadoran and part Spanish, and he had this incredibly handsome dark look accented by green eyes. There's so much I could say . . . but I'll just say that it was more of a "special friendship" than anything close to a "whirlwind romance." Even so, I will never forget him and still keep in contact with him every once in a while.
I will always remember the very last day--he came to bid us all good-bye as we were boarding the bus that morning. I tried not to get too emotional, but I couldn't help it. "Chantell, no llores," he said. Don't cry. When I finally got on, and the bus began to roll away, we held each other's gaze until we couldn't see each other anymore. I was smiling and waving, but my heart was heavy and sad. Ah, well . . . however, I got a very lovely invitation from him, so if all goes according to plan, I will return to Spain for a semester in the spring, and have the chance to visit him while he's studying abroad in Paris.
To all my fellow college students out there: Study abroad! These are
the best years to have such wonderful experiences in another country and
culture, and since we're students, we can easily get money (and discounts,
etc.) with which to do it. Go for it!
Montgomery, AL USA 06/25/03
Going to Europe? Read this
Before you go to Europe and fall in love, read this. http://www.theonion.com/onion3510/european_romantic.html
R.S.M. , CA USA 06/23/03
Finding Love in France
I have been married for three years now and I will never forget the day I met my husband in the Youth Hostel in the South of France while backpacking solo around Europe . We spent the day together and never left each other's side ever since. If you can go solo, it is a great experience and good possibility of meeting other people!
CT USA 06/17/03
Strangers with roses
My 15-year-old cousin went to Europe for the first time last year and actually got to spend Palm Sunday near the front of St. Peter's in the Vatican. While this is one of her favorite memories, the one she talks about the most is the cute Italian boy who gave her a rose and told her, "Bella!"
Clayton, MO USA 06/14/03
Romance is easy!
At first I thought the language barrier would be difficult, but it wasn't. Once guys learned I was from Southern California, they fell all over themselves (something I don't understand). In Barcelona, a much older man came up to me and started talking to me and would not leave me alone, but I was rescued by four very nice German guys. In Florence and Salzburg, I met two English-speaking guys, who were a lot of fun. In any case, I now have a place to stay in Germany and some great friends. My only advice for others is to not get too emotionally or (especially not too) physically involved. Have fun!
CA USA 04/24/03
A Romantic Souvenir
My husband and I spent a whirlwind two weeks traveling from Paris down through Tuscany last April. Partly planned, partly flying by the seat of our pants, the trip was a fabulous mixture of interesting people, stunning places and wonderful surprises. The best surprise of all, however, was discovered two months after our return. We are expecting our tiny European "souvenir" next week!
MO USA 01/21/03
A word of caution
Going to Eurpope for a single fling is a fun and educational experience, but- in general, I found the men to be very aggressive and they presume a lot! I cautiously accepted a few dinner or coffee invites and felt additional expectations around every corner. There was not very much door opening or overt displays of male/female courtesy; more of a "we get there together" theme. I witnessed many men throughout both France and the Iberian Penisula treating women generally as accessories. I met a few nice ones as well, but, for my money, give me an American. I think many women from Europe would immediately fall in love with the overall treatment they would receive in the US.
Salem, Or USA 11/23/02
Love in Europe
Megan, I can't belive my good fortune to have met you. I have a transfer lined up to Brussels on December 15! For those of you looking for love, don't take one to Europe, find one there! It only took 3 weeks in Europe and a side trip to Scotland to find it, and I wasn't even looking. I decided to go for a personal adventure and ended up making many new girl-friends and meeting the new love of my life. I am moving there and would strongly recommend that any single man at least travel there by himself. Doesn't matter where, just pick a point on a map and get there. Walk around, open to new experiences and it can happen for you too!
Plano, Tx USA 11/23/02
My Most Perfect Moment
Romance is everywhere on the backpacker circuit. I've seen so many love connections first hand, and have had one myself....
My most perfect moment came while traveling from Bern to Interloken, Switzerland. I had been backpacking (solo) and staying in hostels for a month at the point in which I met this special girl (also traveling solo). I had just arrived in Barcelona, Spain from Paris when I checked into the Kabul Hostel (my favorite hostel during a 3 month trip, by the way) early in the morning. I passed a beautiful girl on my way to sitting down to wait to check in for the morning. As I walked past her we exchanged smiles, and then she started speaking to me once I sat down. We went dancing together along with a bunch of other people from the hostel. Romantic sparks flew and we wound up spending the rest of our time in Barcelona together. From Barcelona we decided to go to Bern, Switzerland and from there to Interlaken. We were both traveling by train via Eurail Passes.
The day we left Bern it was rainy and overcast which is usually depressing
for me, but as the train wound it's way through the countryside, alps,
and valleys - my magic moment came to me in a sort of epiphany. I watched
with a happiness I cannot fully explain as the rain was falling lightly...the
beautiful countryside scenery kept changing after every turn and tunnel
passage...my beautiful traveling partner was sleeping peacefully like
an angel...another beautiful girl across the aisle kept giving me a most
wonderful, flirtatious smile...and I had my favorite neo-classical music
and band (piano, cello, other strings, and some vocals) playing on my
portable cd player. It was one of those rare moments that everything came
together at one time perfectly, and is etched into my memory for a long,
Washington, DC USA 10/02/02
My friend and I are two average guys. We traveled in Europe from mid-May until July and met many women. Here are our impressions:
UK women were fun, drinkers, but tended to be very class sensitive.
Ireland was awesome. Met three separate groups of fine lasses our first night in the Temple Bar area of Dublin and spent the weekend with one group.
Belgium was beautiful but the women here were untouchable. Most bars were filled either with locals, tourists, or money. These ladies had a very elitist attitude.
Spain wore us out. We extended our stay in Madrid. The first night at 6 PM the Plaza Del Sol had a few chairs around the outside. By 12:30 AM we were dancing to street musicians with women who did not care if there tops were falling off. This place was most excellent. 4 days of bliss with two wonderful girls from Avila.
Germany and France kind of blend together: nice, but we did not have the money nor the language skills to make it work out.
Amsterdam was another story...Mecca! We stayed 2.5 weeks in Amsterdam, met scads of friendly women from everywhere including the U.S. We ended up flying home with 2 ladies (they changed their flights so we could travel back through NY together.) I talked for almost 9 hours with Claire from Rochester. She is coming to visit me in San Francisco next week.
Moral: forget Paris, go to Amsterdam for love!
Mill Valley, CA USA 07/05/02
Married in Scotland
We got married on June 7th in Gretna Green, Scotland, where there are no residency restrictions. Gretna, in my opinion, is the mini Vegas of Europe. If anyone is interested, go to www.gretnaonline.org. This was where we planned the whole event from clothing, flowers, to B&B's before we even left home! They have a link to everything you could possibly think of to make your day as intimate or as grand as you like! Our day was spectacular & hope anyone wishing to elope to Europe goes to Gretna Green! They try to break their marriage records every year and claim they hosted 5201 marriages there last year!
Victoria, BC CAN 07/02/02
Engaged, Married & Honeymooning in Europe
I met an Australian man on the internet; our first trip together was to England and Ireland (my first trip overseas). He proposed to me on the awesome Eiffel Tower six months to the day after our first correspondence on the internet. We got married on May 1 (last week!) at a civil ceremony in Marlborough Town Hall in England, followed by a handfasting ceremony at Stonehenge. (In between, we hired a coach as recommended by Rick Steves -- and it was wonderful, one of the drivers even acting as impromptu tour guide --and we carted our friends and relatives all over southern England, providing them with guided tours of Glastonbury Abby, the Chalice Well, and Salisbury Cathedral.) After the private access at Stonehenge, we ferried them to the Red Lion Inn inside Avebury Stone Circle for a warm and delightful reception. It was a truly magical day! (I even saw a rainbow -- what an excellent portent!)
For our honeymoon, we spent 2 days on a charming narrowboat traveling between Trowbridge and Bath. This was more fun than I dreamed it could be -- and just what we needed after all the whirlwind of preparing and pulling off the wedding. I decorated our vessel with white tulle and wedding bows, so everyone who passed called out, "Congratulations!" One gent even ran over with a bottle of wine to honor us. Sadly, our honeymoon was cut short by my husband's job -- they sent him to Milan, Italy for a week.
So now we
are here in rainy Milan and I enjoy my honeymoon while he works... But it's
alright -- life has been a honeymoon since I met him!! I'll update my Wed-page
with pictures when I get back home. www.domni.com/Wedpage
Hollywood, CA USA 05/09/02
easy link to culture
studying abroad in scotland for 6 cold and sort of solitary months, a girl learns how to make friends -- fast. the scottish and english boys are shocked at the american girls' forwardness. we don't wait around for the men to come to us -- we see what we want and take it! i had a great time, casually dating (and i do mean dating!) chefs and bankers and DJs, each of them showing me their own Edinburgh. i did have a more serious relationship with a beautiful messy-haired Scottish boy, meeting his family and getting accepted into his circle of friends. the relationship fizzled, but i won't regret a minute of it. dating was an easy way to see new parts of the culture. so many American students spend their whole time abroad with other Americans, having fraternity-style parties in their "dorm" rooms or drinking in loud, brightly colored groups in local pubs. and i hate to bring the wall down, but PLEASE always be cautious with your heart and your body. i've got friends who've had horrible experiences, physically and emotionally, while living abroad.
an american in scotland
claremont, ca USA 03/13/02
Romance in Tuscany
Five years and three trips to Italy later I finally completed my book about a summer long romance in Tuscany: http://www.degeneratepress.com/postmodernlove More travel tales, tips and such at http://www.degeneratepress.com/travel
Atlanta, GA USA 02/21/02
An overnight train ride
My husband and I had been married 12 years and took a month long trip to Germany and Italy in October. We used Rick's books to find a small, charming hotel in Florence. But the memory I cherish (and slightly blush over) is our overnight train ride from Basel Germany to Rome. We had decided to splurge and get an overnight compartment. While I waited at the train station, he went out for provisions. As the train started to pull out, he unpacked his treasures: Bread, cheeses, salami, wine, bottled water and chocolates. Somewhere, he had even found a small bouquet of flowers. It's a long overnight trip, through the Alps, to Rome. A rocking train, a full stomach, Swiss chocolates and an adorable husband made for an incredibly romantic trip through the mountains. Our advice to our married friends who visit Europe: Find a reason to take the train.
IL USA 02/18/02
Meeting your soulmate abroad...it could happen.
In 1996, I took my first backpacking trip through Europe. I've never been a promiscuous person, but I must admit that one of my goals was to let loose, have fun and "get to know" different people, with no strings attached. I was doing a pretty good job of it too (I'm not ashamed to say). For someone who was never much of a casual dater, Europe has a way of bringing you out of your shell.
I met several people during my journey. All of them continue to hold a special place in my memory, but one of them holds the most important place in my life. I met my husband in Chamonix in the French Alps. He was from England, I was from the States. Within less than a year of our meeting, he moved to the U.S. and we were married. We've been living happily ever after for almost five years now and we're planning an aniversary trip to Europe later this year. It'll be our first time returning to Chamonix since we met.
It's definitely true what they say about finding it when you're not looking
for it. I had set out for a series of casual flings and ended up with
the love of my life. My advice is to be smart, be safe and keep an open
mind. You never know who you might meet.
Chicago, IL USA 02/15/02
I met my boyfriend when he was here in the States. I went into it as "a fling". Three years later we are still very much in love. He's been back to the States a second time & I am visiting him in Britain in the spring. Love usually happens when you're not looking...
Love in Spain
So I go to Spain to spend the my Christmas holiday break. I have 2 weeks and I'm travelling alone. Well, initially anyway. My trip begins terribly as my flight to Bareclona is delayed for hours because of a technical problem, so instead of arriving around 4pm, I arrive at 9pm. Ugh! But I get to my hostel, claim my bed and sleep. The next few days are fun-meeting new people and seeing the beautiful sights of Barcelona. Christmas day rolls around. We spend the evening getting drunk (as every other night) on the cheap hostel beer in the vending machine, and I strike up a conversation with a guy who is sitting there in the midst of it all, caught up in a book. So we talk and talk and talk, and well, one thing leads to another. Unfortunately, he was leaving for Madrid the next morning, but as I was heading there the next day, he agreed to meet my train. And when I got to Madrid, he was waiting for me!
So we spend the next 2 weeks traveling together and learning about
each other. It was wonderful. I had to leave a week before his vacation
was over as I had to get back to teaching, but he decided to come spend
his last week at my apt in France! I never thought I would meet and fall
in love with another American while living abroad but I did. It's been 10
months and we're about to move in together and we plan to get married in
the future. Plus we both love to travel so we'll be spending lots of time
in Europe together!
Sterling, VA USA 10/24/01
a continent away
I met the most special person in my life while he was traveling through my country. We spent the most wonderful 4 months together. I knew he had to leave one day and he did. It was a very romantic experience which probably won't result in nothing more than e-mails for many years...but even then, I dont regret a thing
SS, Sal 09/30/01
Just a word of advice especially for women. Many European men think American
women are easy and very open. Though this may be true for some, they will
try to sweep you off your feet and make a whole romantic scenario. Fortunately,
I never fell for this. However, I have met too many people who did. One
woman made what she called "love" and the next day he was sitting in a cafe
with his wife and didn't even acknowledge her. Yes, it's fun to have a fling,
but just use your brain. What are the chances of seeing them again? Another
thought, if they do it to you, what makes you think they don't try to do
it to every other woman they have an opportunity with. I have found Europeans
to be more open than Americans. Good luck
NJ USA 08/28/01
Like many parents, my husband and I enjoy the chance to get away together,
just the two of us. Although we look forward to spending most of our holiday
together, we have found that scheduling a little individual sightseeing
into our itinerary does wonders for our trip. We share many of the same
interests and want to visit many of the same sites. However, no two people
are exactly alike. We pick a day (about midway through our vacation) and
go do our own thing. We split up after breakfast and then regroup for a
late lunch, ready to exchange adventure stories. We have found that this
is not only a more efficient use of sightseeing time for us. It helps us
to gain a greater appreciation for the time we spend together.
Richardson, TX USA 08/23/01
I've found that I have a lot more "success" in Europe than in
the US. Maybe it's because I am the "exotic Southern Californian," maybe
it's because I have more than just a small clue when I go over there,
maybe they think I'm rich. Whatever, it doesn't matter. I have also discovered
that the pitfalls of a relationship with a European (Roman, mostly) woman
are probably greater than with one back home. The communication barrier
(not the English barrier necessarily, but the cultural ones) are more
difficult to get over and the expectations are often different, too. Having
said that, when I have managed to get past all that we both seem to have
a really great time! It's fun to suddenly be a local yourself, with this
"girlfriend" who lives there and takes me around to places no one who
isn't a local knows about. Finally, for a very funny "Point-Counterpoint"
editorial at "The Onion" (a parody/comedy web site) go here: http://www.theonion.com/onion3510/european_romantic.html
Oceanside, CA USA 08/21/01
Italy, 1975: I was 21 and my 2 friends and I all found Italian boyfriends at the ristorante where we ate every day. Some of my most wonderful memories in my life are the one of my "Gigi" (Luigi) and the trips around Rome on a motorbike, or opening the shutters of our pensione to Gigi serenading me below. I still have pictures of a picnic high above Rome and it's true, we were "frolicking" in the truest sense of the word! When we had to leave Rome, we all stayed up all night, eating brandied cherries and having passionate moments. The day we had to board our train, it was like a movie, much kissing, weeping and embracing. I can still see Gigi weeping, touching his heart, running beside the train, waving, waving, jumping up on the benches, waving and weeping and crying "Ciao, Popona!" as we sobbed our goodbyes out the train windows.
It's something unforgettable, that handsome Al Pacino lookalike
-- with those slim Italian hips and those luscious lips. I can't smell train
grease without that memory returning instantly. I later wondered, though,
if "Popona" was really the endearment I thought it to be, but I treasure
the romance, the personal tours of the city and nights spent in high-ceilinged,
ancient rooms. I couldn't have asked for more, at that age and time! An
Italian song was "our song" and I had to go sing it phonetically in an Italian
record store in order to buy it to bring home. I will return, as the song
says, but it'll never be like it was with Gigi, when I was free and 21 in
Not San Angelo!, TX USA 08/19/01
It seems like whenever I travel abroad my accent is an attraction to
women. I am a fairly average guy, average build but you wouldn't know from
my dating success in other countries. Dublin, London, and especially Denmark
have all been wonderful for my romance life. One thing that is different
about dating in Europe (et al) seems to be the directness of well intentioned
women. You know when you are being romanced. From warm embraces after a
day at the Prada in Madrid to some heavy passion around St. Stephen's Green
in Dublin, you can't beat Europe for interesting romantic adventures.
Beulah, ND USA 08/19/01
I fell in love with and married a woman that was
not American: shame on me is the feeling I get from our immigration department.
About the time we were to be married, her and her mother had to return to
Poland for a number of reasons both here and there. It's been almost a year
since we were married and she still doesn't even have a visa yet. Maybe
I did something wrong but I did the research and I didn't see any other
option. I wish I was rich enough to hire a lawyer, then she'd be here by
now. Does this process which should be pretty simple as most Americans believe
it is, have to be so long, drawn out and expensive? Just some thoughts to
share for those who might seriously fall in love on the road.
St Louis, MO USA 08/19/01
Two years ago I asked my girfriend to marry me in Paris under the stars
on the Pont Neuf at 2am. In two months we'll be married and honeymooning
albany, ny USA 07/20/01
In Copenhagen this May I had a wonderful time. I went to a bar called Drop In near the town hall to listen to music. I ended up dancing with the most beautiful girl and then talking with her at another bar. It is amazing how direct and down-to-earth she was about her life and curious about mine. Denmark is definitely not a country of small talk. She was intimate and sincere without being fake.
We spent three days together after that in what I would call a fairytale romance. How can such down-to-earth people be so romantic? There was never any talk about love or commitment or future plans. At the end, she just said she hoped she could find a guy as sweet as me, and hurried off to her job to take care of young children. I have never been paid a more supreme compliment.
If this is typical of women in Denmark, I can only say that I have the
greatest respect for them. There must be lots of proud moms and dads in
Denmark to turn out such honest, sincere and independent women.
Boston, MA USA 06/08/01
I left my heart in Vasteras, Sweden! The romance soured, but at one point
I danced under the stars on a very large cruise ship headed for Helsinki,
in the middle of the Baltic Sea, with Finns, Russians...and one very drunk,
very badly behaved Swede. Oh well--what an amazing adventure! Something
to talk about in 40 years at the old folks' home...
St Paul, MN USA 05/17/01
You never really know a person until you travel with them! I don't care how many fun experiences you've had in the comfort of your own town--on the road makes or breaks a relationship.
My new husband and I spent the first three months of our relationship getting to know each other while traveling from Denver to Michigan and back again. He came from Sweden to see the U.S. and study for the summer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We met on the internet, and I was willing to show him a bit of the good old U.S.
Although we really liked each other a lot and had much in common, the fact that we were able to travel so well together, combining our different styles with no major hiccups, showed us that perhaps we had more of a future than we thought.
I have now been living in Sweden for the last year, and we just completed
our first trip together after marriage by spending 2 weeks in Crete, exploring
Írebro, Sweden 05/16/01
Sabine, I hear you! Same thing happened to me, though my boyfriend
who lived in Italy, and supposedly "spoke" Italian, did the same thing all
over Italy! What a loser. We broke up 3 weeks after returning. I'm looking
forward to going to Paris this year, ALONE. Amen!
Lynnwood, WA USA 05/15/01
Europe to me is synonomous with romance. Even getting lost on a train
with my fiancee was one of the many romantic experiences we shared in Italy.
Austin, TX USA 05/07/01
My husband and I spent 3 years in Germany while we were serving in the U.S. Army, arriving shortly after we were married, and except that we had to go to work, it was like an extended honeymoon. I think Germany is one of the most romantic places on earth. I've met other people who feel the same way.
During our weekends and leave time, we traveled extensively throughout Germany and the rest of Europe. We went on lots of volksmarches, tried every kind of local specialty in the restaurants, went to every festival or market we heard about. We were lucky to be in Germany during Passion Play year, so we went. What an experience!
We attended many cultural events, concerts, and even plays put on in German. When an English drama company came to Mannheim, we got tickets to see the play, not even knowing if it would be in English or German. Since it was Shakespeare, we thought it might be in English (it was) but if it had been in German, we would have managed!
The Army had a required 40-hour class when you were a new arrival, to teach you a little about the language and customs of the country. Then we took more German classes on our own.
Our daughter was born in Heidelberg near the end of our stay. I tell
her she was born in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
VA USA 03/19/01
I just got back from London and Paris on a ten-day trip with my girlfriend. We had a wonderful time with the help of Rick's books.
On our last night, we took a late walk through the Champ Du Mars park to say goodbye to the Eiffel Tower (we were staying at nearby Rue Cler), when out of my pocket I pulled something I'd been hiding for the entire trip, a diamond engagement ring. It was a total suprise; I never hinted that I was thinking about asking her. I'll never forget the look on her face when she said yes!
I want to thank Europe Through the Back Door for helping to provide
such a memorable trip leading up to this wonderful occasion which makes
us both so happy. (I've also ensured many return trips to Paris!)
love in the city of lights
NC USA 03/18/01
I am American but grew up in Germany and my relatives all live there. A few years ago, I decided to take my yearly trip to visit them, and asked my (then) boyfriend to come along. I thought it would be fun for the both of us.
First of all, all he did was complain. As in most traditional German households, my relatives eat their main meal at lunch time, and in the evening, eat a lighter meal. Well, every night, after we had had our evening meal, my boyfriend insisted on having a "proper" dinner! So, instead of relaxing every evening with my relatives, I had to trudge into town with him so he could eat another meal!
If that wasn't the worst of it, he complained about the lack of ice, the fact that he couldn't understand the language, and their uncomfortable beds. The last straw for me was that he didn't even allow me to talk with my relatives for 5 minutes in German without loudly sighing and sarcastically saying, "Gee, I'm glad I can understand the conversation!"
I was stuck with him for the two weeks and it ruined my trip. I thought he would at least take a little time by himself, to wander around town--whatever--so I could visit with my relatives. I took him to many places, but it was all the same--just complained because things weren't like in America (sigh).
Needless to say, we broke up shortly after we got back to the States. I knew that I didn't want to be in a relationship with someone who was too uptight and inflexible to experience or enjoy a new culture.
So I want to tell the women out there, you really get to know a man
when you travel with him! I suggest you take a trip within the US with
your boyfriend before taking a "first" trip overseas, because it might
not be the romantic trip you thought it would be, if the two of you
have different values! I know this applies to guys too! Make sure you
and your partner see eye to eye about being in a different culture, or
it could be a disaster!
VT USA 03/15/01
Rick, I love your TV programs. I watch with extra attention programs
detailing Germany, specifically Bavaria. On my travels through Bavaria I
met a beautiful fraulein and decided the duration of my trip would be spent
there. I was not disappointed. It did not take much pleading and she has
visited my country twice within the same year. Who knows what our future
holds, but I'm working on my German, such as "Ich lieben dich." Thanks,
Mission, British Columbia Canada 03/09/01
Three years ago I was in St. Mark's Square in Venice, backpacking with
a fellow American woman I had just met in Prague. I was about to take a
picture of her when this guy came up and asked if we wanted him to take
our picture. The last thing I wanted while traveling around Europe was to
meet another American...but 3 years later, he's still my boyfriend (we only
live 2 hours apart). It sounds more romantic than it was but it was still
a very cool way to meet someone!
New York, NY USA 03/07/01
I have Rick Steves to thank for the trip of a lifetime, and for meeting my husband too!
Many people thought I was nuts when I decided to travel to Europe "back-door style" with a total stranger I'd met on a womens' travel message board ("Take a tour," my friends said--UGH!). Not only were Rick's tips and tricks invaluable, we also used Rick to order our railpasses and made use of all the extra goodies he sent (maps, country info, even a free book and video!).
We had the time of our lives, and met people, especially men, in every city. It pays to know a few friendly words in each language. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and be ready with a smile. We found almost everyone we met to be really helpful and eager to make friends.
When we got to Florence, we ventured into a local favorite, the Fiddler's
Elbow, an Irish bar. An adorable Italian greeted me with a heavily accented
"Hello Beautiful." Well, although my Italian was not the greatest, his
English was even worse, and an exciting, fascinating, whirlwind romance
began. We carried on a long-distance romance for one year, and are now
married. This summer, we will return to France and Italy together "back-door
Lori Shaw Palmieri
Reisterstown, MD USA 01/18/01
After proposing in Paris in June 2000 behind the Notre Dame, we couldn't
resist - we had to go back when our family showed interest in a wedding
abroad. I can't wait to see black & white wedding pictures taken throughout
Paris! And don't be fooled - getting married there isn't much more expensive
than a standard wedding back home...plus there are a lot fewer people to accommodate.
So to anyone thinking of getting married in Europe, it's a tough road but unquestionably worth
Edmonton, Ab Can 01/15/01
Met someone on the internet in advance. Could I tell you some stories
about last summer. Also gets you into places you would never get into. It
elevates you from tourist to local guest.
I am not Telling
North, Fl USA 01/03/01