Our Secret Valentine’s Celebrations… at Home!

I’ve never really been fussed at all for Valentine’s Day, at least not until recently, as the occasion always felt forced, and it can be costly both on the walled and the relationship if you manage to get it wrong. Which normally I would do. There’s also the pressure to dress up smart, and to go taxiing around, queuing, waiting, squeezing into packed venues… and, for me, Valentine’s Day was very much the opposite of romance. As I know we’d both be much happier spending Valentine’s at home all snuggled up in bed.

But to abide by social convention, we too celebrate Valentine’s Day, only these days we will celebrate the occasion often days or even weeks earlier, on a day of our choosing. Celebrating romance on our own terms as romance is intended. We’d then take lots of photographs, and wait for Valentine’s Day to come around, before posting it all across our media channels… in keeping with social expectations. And now it has become an annual tradition, that not only brings a bit of romance to our relationship, but also a bit of creative entertainment. It’s a fun tradition for us.

Celebrating an Early Valentine’s Day

So this tradition came about after I actually did attempt to be romantic for once, promising a Bangkok Dinner Cruise for our first ever Valentine’s together as a couple, a candle-lit dinner on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, with the backdrop of the city’s iconic temples and landmarks, like the Grand Palace and the temple of dawn. Anyway, you kind of need to make the effort at the beginning of the relationship, just in case… So Fanfan picked out a nice dress, and I reluctantly browsed through malls to find some nice jewellery to present to her on the night, and, long story short, I forgot to book the cruise in time.

So our first ever Valentine’s Day appeared to have been ruined, and, of course, I was lumped with the guilt that this somewhat sadistic celebration entails. But to not miss out entirely on what was an unlikely romantic gesture on my part, we instead rearranged the same dinner cruise only for a few days earlier, and we ended up enjoying a more relaxed, yet still very romantic, Valentine’s celebration together.

This has now become a secret Valentine’s tradition for us, one that crosses over to other occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries. It is also handy given we often travel at these times, and it’s just not easy to schedule exact dates when on the move. So it has freed up our lifestyle and travel schedules and made our live’s fairly flexible for these events. Either way, we will always be celebrating a more intimate occasion together on the actual days. Normally at home and in bed.

What we Actually Do on Valentine’s Day

With travel and moving around a lot, the opportunity to be at home, in your own bed, often feels more like the holiday. It’s a luxury, and we like to make the most of it when we can, and TV Beds are like the ultimate luxury when we can catch up and escape with all our favourite movies and series. And this is where we will likely be on Valentine’s Day, at home, escaping the world, without the hassles of a forced celebration or night out.

But I do still make an effort, and this is something that came more through lockdown when I invested in an extra-large helium canister, which has come in handy on many occasions. I’d then dress the bedroom like it’s been hit by a bomb of romance, with chocolates, champagne, strawberries, and, all the cliches expected of a romantic Valentine’s Day Celebration.

But much of the overall fun in the ruse comes in the overall sneakiness of our secret Valentine’s. And while we may look to be the most romantic couple spending Valentine’s beneath the backdrop of Mount Fuji, or in a private pool villa on a Thai island, the reality is that we are probably just snuggled up in bed with movies and no one around to disrupt us. Until it’s gatecrashed by the cat.

Going the Distance for our Valentine’s Traditions

One of the more recent examples was when we were living in the rice fields of rural Thailand, miles away from anything that could ever be deemed close to romantic by most people. But Valentine’s has now become a bit of a game for us, a challenge, where we really go out of our way to trick people into thinking that we really are passionate about celebrating the occasion. So we hired a car and drove 200kms to the nearest resort area of Thailand known as Khao Yai.

Khao Yai is a region of Thailand best known for its irritable elephants, cool mountainous climates, and European-styled resorts. But most importantly, it is styled towards selfie-obsessed Thai people looking to share all the romantic cliches of Europe. So for the night, we stayed at a beautiful French chateau, with a guestroom overlooking a shimmering lake, and surrounded by quaint country farmland. A whirlwind of romance then ensues.

Instead of buying flowers, we go to the flower gardens, instead of buying wine, it’s wine tasting at one of the region’s vineyards, and instead of grabbing a punnet of strawberries from the local supermarket, we pick
strawberries together in an adorable English garden. Some Italian fine dining in between, and we even got to pet some adorable sheep along the way. It was the perfect day of romance.

In reality, it was just extremely tiring, and I would drive more than ten hours between fairly far-flung attractions on that day. We had also arrived just after a heavy downpour, so we were trudging through fields of mud, and half the time my shoes looked like Worzel Gummidge. So this is why I am not really fussed for the dated cliches of Valentine’s Day, as it’s really not that romantic, despite the stories painted on social media. Meanwhile, the real romance will be at home and in bed.

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