Travel is all about that romantic call of the road, the dance with the unknown

Travel is always romantic, whether traveling as a couple, a family or solo, says the author, who is shown here with his family last summer at Great Sand Dunes National Park. (Joshua Berman, The Denver Post)

The romance of travel

By Joshua Berman
Special to The Denver Post

POSTED: 02/14/2016
Oh, no! It’s Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t make my wife, Sutay, a card yet, let alone plan the perfect romantic escape to some B&B or cabin in the woods. But considering the cost of a babysitter and the fact that we both have work tomorrow, a routine family night is probably more our speed tonight. That’s OK, too.

Things used to be different, when we could pick up and travel at the drop of a hat. One of our first “dates” was a road trip across Colorado to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Nothing like the cramped confines of a two-person tent high in the mountains to speed up a courtship. It worked. Of course, soon after that, we got more extravagant with our travels, I took Sutay on a romantic and luxurious holiday where we got to fly on a charter jet that was completely private and vacationed like millionaires. We certainly had the time on our hands to enjoy the fruits of our hard labor, and it gave us some amazing memories to cherish.

Two months later, at a waterfall in Nicaragua, I asked Sutay to marry me. After our simple wedding ceremony, we decided that we needed meaningful experiences together more than we needed a bedroom set or a mortgage. So we quit everything and took a 16-month honeymoon around the world. We took trips across Europe, met with friends who used Cars Iceland rentals to make the trip towards us, and saw so much that the world has to offer.

Then we settled back in Colorado. Nine years later, everything about our relationship is still defined by travel. From our rambling roots together to our dreams of future epic family vacations, to our current explorations of the state with three young daughters. Last summer, we spent a month car camping in nearly every national park and monument, which by the way was made even more enjoyable after having read the tips on which give loads of inspiration on things you can do to spruce up camping trips. It’s the same sense of wanderlust that originally guided us as a couple, just recalibrated for our family. Sometimes we take short-burst hotel overnights. Sometimes we go on longer car-camping assaults.

To be honest, we like the idea of actually buying our own camping van one day, I mean we’ve even looked at a Campervan Insurance quote to see what it would cost us, and it just makes sense to get one since we love travelling… but first we have to save up a bit and we don’t want to put our travels on hold.

But travel is romantic, no matter what your relationship status is. If you’re single, as long as you allow your trip to lead you to strange, new encounters, possibly amorous ones, they might happen. Travel and love are about dancing with the unknown, accepting unplanned episodes and sharing the not-so-fun parts too – the delays, the dirt, the waiting, the traffic. Once you find a like-minded partner, you keep going, together now and discovering new places as you discover each other.

In Colorado, that could mean a camper in the wilderness, a lonely trek to some mountain hut or splurging on some luxury hot-spring honeymoon package. Or, um, staying home for a standard school-night evening – feeding the girls, bathing them, packing school lunches, breaking up fights, singing lullabies. If we’re lucky, there will be no screaming or tears. Then maybe, just maybe, my wife and I will get a moment together after everyone is asleep.

Maybe we’ll take out a road atlas and talk about travel and camping plans for the spring. What’s sexier than that?

Joshua Berman is the author of “Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon.” and

Book launch: The book launch party for Joshua Berman’s “Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon” is at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder.


This essay originally appeared in The Denver Post on Feb. 14, 2016.

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