Much has been said about the virtues of travel. Inspiring travel quotes abound on the internet and there are plenty of Instagram shots of a lone hiker staring into the distance from atop a mountain. It’s all convincing enough to make just about anyone want to pack a bag. And when you decide to travel with your significant other, it becomes so much more than seeing the sights and trying new food; it’s a meaningful opportunity to strengthen your bond with each other.
Ernest Hemingway famously said, “Never travel with anyone you don’t love.” And he’s right—true travel experiences are both adventurous and a bit unpredictable. Choosing to leave your comfort zone with your partner will give you both an extraordinary chance to grow closer, while also growing personally. Here’s our list of seven international trips that are perfect for couples.
1. MARVEL AT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN FINLAND
If you are a couple that loves to watch the sunset, take your sky-viewing up a notch by traveling to the Arctic Circle and witnessing the famous Aurora Borealis. This stunning celestial display occurs when solar particles collide with atmospheric gases, resulting in a mesmerizing light show if you are close enough to the North Pole.
The lights are best in springtime, so pack some layers and book a cozy Airbnb or—better yet—an igloo with a glass roofand take in the beauty of our natural world from a very memorable location.
2. SAVOR SOUTHERN FRANCE BY FOOT
If you and your partner like to hit the trail but also want to spoil yourselves with the best food, wine, and lodging, then consider the Grande Randonnée. The Grande Randonnée (GR for short) is an extensive network of walking and hiking trails throughout France. Traveling around France by foot is a particularly alluring example of slow travel—your pace will allow you to experience entering towns as people did when they were built in the middle ages.
At the end of each day, you will have earned your weight in fresh cheese, pillowy bread, and bottles of Côtes du Rhône. Plus, all that time walking with your partner allows for a breadth of conversations.
3. STRETCH YOURSELF IN BALI AT A YOGA RETREAT
A yoga retreat is a relaxing way to give your relationship a restart. Deliberately choosing to separate yourself from the daily grind and concentrate on your mind, body, and relationship will do wonders for you long after the retreat is over. Bali is the epicenter of the yoga phenom for a reason—it is both breathtakingly gorgeous and unquestionably spiritual.
Couples yoga retreats here typically offer healthy meals, bungalow accommodations, and yoga tailored for couples. If you are interested in deepening your relationship on your next adventure, this is a wonderful option.
4. GET FACE-TO-FACE WITH GORILLAS IN RWANDA
Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? How about being a stone’s throw away from a 400-pound gorilla in the wild? Of all the interactions you can have with wildlife in their natural habitat, trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is probably the most emotionally impactful, and couldn’t be more different than the zoo.
Perhaps it is because we share 98 percent of our DNA with these apes and observing them in their home is like peering through the looking glass at human life. Either way, once you share this experience together, you’ll remember it for the rest of your lives.
5. TRAVEL INTO THE HEART OF THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
If you and your partner are interested in contributing to conservation efforts while also exploring new lands, consider joining a citizen scientist expedition in Peru. These expeditions, led by companies such as the Earthwatch Institute, will train travelers to assist with field researchers on population surveys of species like macaws, caiman, and river dolphins. In addition to learning more about conservation issues first hand, you will know your trip contributes to continued scientific research in a critical ecosystem.
6. TRY A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING ON VANCOUVER ISLAND
Vancouver Island, Canada, boasts just about every activity that an adventure-loving traveler could hope for: mountain biking, skiing, hiking, surfing, and cycling, to name a few. If that makes you feel tired already, don’t worry, there are also world-class wineries and quaint fishing villages to wander.
This range of activities is sure to keep any couple happy, whether they love the same sports or are willing to try a hand at the other’s passion. Choose from a diverse range of lodging options, including modest yurts, opulent inns, whimsical treehouses, and cozy bed & breakfasts. You’ll have no problem finding something unique to enjoy together.
7. SEE (NEARLY ALL OF) ASIA BY TRAIN
For a truly epic cross-continent adventure, hop the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway and travel 5,772-miles from Moscow, Russia, to Beijing, China. The train journey alone takes six days, but it is recommended to take stopover days to see parts of these countries that few travelers make the time to see. The route runs year-round, with the fall being a beautiful time for golden leaves or a winter trip to witness the beautiful snow-laden landscapes. Pack a deck of cards and get ready for a lot of quality time with your travel companion.
–Written by Julia Rogers for RootsRated Media in partnership with Royal Robbins.
Featured image provided by Heikki Holstila