In the countdown to Valentine’s Day, they did a survey about the most romantic cities in Canada and Victoria B.C. topped the list. Keep in mind this survey was done by Amazon and based on ‘romantic things’ people bought on line, like romance novels and romantic music and…ahem…sexual wellness products. So in other words, the findings are entirely scientific. (Our hometown came in 9th most romantic; they obviously have not taken into account the fact my kindle is stuffed with romance novels.)
Magazines all compile their own lists and tout the romance of Buenos Aires or Kyoto. Everybody has their own definition of romance and thus, their own idea of the most romantic places on the planet. There are odd people who enjoy hiking and would say that a tent atop Mount Kilimanjaro is romantic. Or those who go the more overt route and focus on the sexy side of romance like Kim Kardashian. I confess, I don’t even know what one of the items on her wish list is for. As for the stripper pole, it’s just another thing to dust.
I think romance is captured in milliseconds, like a sunset. So it could be a laugh shared over a horrible meal in a local cafe in Moscow where they plunked down glasses of vodka instead of water unasked with lunch. (Given the state of the glasses, vodka was probably a better idea.)
Or romance could be watching orangutans having lunch in a jungle in Borneo. We were both sweaty and sticky from the climb, both actually stinking to high heaven, but the shared experience is what made it romantic.
Romance is tough to pin down, like mercury. It scuttles away whenever you try. That’s why there are so many iterations of romance novels and movies because there it is so personal. Something as simple as a summer Sunday afternoon in the backyard with the dogs happily panting. Brunch with friends. A shared silence over a good glass of wine. To me, that’s romance. That’s what I try to capture in my novels. For all their fancy settings and heightened reality; for all the movie stars and billionaires; for all the yachts and private villas; you really can’t put a price tag on romance. It’s not the grand gesture or the bouquet of flowers. It’s the sharing of a moment, the thoughtful gesture, the carrying the laundry basket upstairs, the having my filthy car washed.
Still, if you want something more over the top: Check out the new box set of my first four novels.
Or, you could name an insect after your lover. In case Alan’s reading, Deal Breaker.