An Around the World Valentine’s Day.

An Around the World Valentine’s Day.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and the Internet is full of posts about the most romantic places around the world. But, what if you’re stuck at home?

Sure, I’d rather be off having a candle lit dinner in Parisian café, or lounging with my loved one in a hammock on any island in the Caribbean, but travel during this time of year isn’t currently possible. However, last year, for our first Valentine’s Day together, Jeff solved this problem for me.


We hadn’t been dating for very long, but Jeff and I shared a love of travel. He knew that for me, it was one of my greatest loves. But, since bringing me abroad to celebrate just wasn’t in the cards, Jeff told me to get dressed up, but our plans were a surprise.

When I got to his apartment, he met me outside, and I figured we would just be heading out to eat, but he said he left his wallet upstairs. He was a good actor, but I felt like something was up. Still, I was not prepared for what was in store for me.

While on the elevator up to his apartment, he asked me how I would spend my ideal Valentine’s Day. I responded, “Anywhere but home.”

He laughed, knowing that was exactly what I would say. As soon as he opened up the door to his place, I was immediately transported.

Thai music was playing, there were lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and a table was set and lit up with candles. A globe was strategically placed near the table, and I noticed that there were X’s on different countries. Since Jeff couldn’t actually take me around the world, he decided to bring the world to me.

For each country, there was music, an activity, food, and/or alcohol; it was the perfect way to spend the night. While, Jeff said he could have gone on and on with many different countries, he decided to leave it at just a few, so he chose the ones whose traditions he liked best.

In Slovenia, Valentine’s Day is started by working in the vineyard, which meant that the celebrations would be kicked off with a bottle of wine. Not a bad way to start the night!

Photo Credit: GQ Trippin

Photo Credit: GQ Trippin

Boyfriends, lovers, and husbands are given chocolate, which is usually home-made by their loved ones. For this, Jeff did not make chocolate, but instead, he headed to a local Japanese store and bought Japanese chocolate. He also bought sake, which obviously made me fall in love with him, and Japan, a little bit more.


Though they have many Valentine’s Day traditions, Jeff celebrated by giving me a lover’s card, which is a greeting card for the holiday, and a white flower, traditionally called a snowdrop.

Photo Credit: I Live to Travel

Photo Credit: I Live to Travel

In Italy, most couples go out on romantic dates with their significant others. An older tradition was for young girls to pin their lover’s name on their sleeves, so Jeff handed me a cutout of his name to wear. Also popular, giving Baci Perugina, a favorite candy of mine. These chocolate-covered hazelnuts are not only delicious, but they also contain a small slip of paper with a romantic quote in four languages. The Italians sure know romance.



Jeff couldn’t find much for Valentine’s Day in India, as it is more of an American holiday, but since I have always dreamed of visiting India, he had to include it. He decided to make his own tradition, so he handed me an apron, and we cooked Chicken Vindaloo. Little did Jeff know, that cooking wasn’t exactly a skill I possessed, but we had so much fun making the meal together, I stopped worrying and it actually came out great.

Photo Credit:  Captain and Clark

Photo Credit: Captain and Clark

In China, Valentine’s Day is also known as the Daughter’s Festival, and on this night, unmarried girls offer prayers to the Weaving Maid star. They also put a needle on the water surface and if the needle doesn’t sink, it means she is ready to marry. Jeff made me perform this task, which I must say was very brave of him, though I don’t remember what the result was. Then, we feasted on a dessert of Chinese pastries that Jeff had picked up from China Town.

Photo Credit: I Live to Travel

Photo Credit: I Live to Travel

I never wanted our night of foreign destinations to end, as this was a much better celebration than traditional red roses and chocolates in a heart-shaped box. Instead, it was a unique, and well-thought out celebration, of who we are and what makes our relationship so special. I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend a holiday.

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Comments (28)

  1. VMG

    Adores, just so adores!!! way better than travelling to one, you travelled to MANY DESTINATIONS!!!!! A Keeper:)

    1. The World Wanderer

      Definitely better than traveling! I’m a lucky girl. 🙂

  2. Jesse

    Love it! I’m going to have to direct any future valentines toward this post 🙂

  3. Gregg

    Can only imagine what jeff has in store for you tomorrow! Can’t wait to read your blog on Friday!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Well, Gregg, it was a little different than last year, but equally as wonderful. It will be in a future post at some point. 🙂

  4. Carol Perehudoff

    That’s one long and involved Valentine’s celebration. Must send fiance to this blog for ideas. Luckily for him, I AM abroad (solo) this Valentine’s Day so he doesn’t need to stress. Of course, he does need to miss me …

    1. The World Wanderer

      🙂 Yes, very involved and very sweet. Feel free to send him this way.

  5. Anita Mac

    I love it! What a magical Valentine’s night. So creative. So romantic. Thanks for sharing your special night from last year. Hope you have a magical Valentine’s this year too!

    1. Kevin Heslin

      Best Valentines story ever!

    2. The World Wanderer

      It truly was so special. 🙂 This year was great too! We went to a Caribbean restaurant – amazing!

  6. Michele Peterson

    Congratulations to both of you on creating and appreciating such a special Valentine’s Day celebration! Love it.

  7. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    Explains why we had so much wine in Slovenia.. lol. I’m all for the Italian kind of romance. 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, well, guess I’ll have to visit!

  8. @mrsoaroundworld

    Oh I love this!! So romantic and sweet 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      Very romantic. 🙂 I’m a lucky girl.

  9. lola

    super idea. may be stealing this one for the future! xo

  10. the lazy travelers

    this is SO CUTE. obsessed. well played, jeff.

  11. Pola (@jettingaround)

    What a great story and great boyfriend to this travel blogger!!! Cheers to you guys!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks! Yup, we are very lucky to have found each other!

  12. Tawny of Captain and Clark

    I’m going to have Chris read this post. I was “aww”ing all the way through it. What a sweet and innovative idea. He’s a catch, that one!

    1. The World Wanderer

      🙂 It was a very cute way to travel without leaving home. He was really thinking!

  13. D.J. - The World of Deej

    OK…so that’s a pretty cool idea, even for this guy who doesn’t “get” Valentine’s Day:)

  14. Transport Your Taste Buds Cooking Series. | The World Wanderer

    […] was until I met Jeff, and on our beautiful Valentine’s Day date, he surprised me with the idea that we would cook Indian food together. I wanted to be excited, but […]

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