Date Differently: Date Night Ideas to Spice Things Up

Honeymooning is  not a destination; it’s a journey, and hot dates are key to staying in love long-time.

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Love is a many-splendored thing and deserves revelry– making that amazing “honeymoon phase” last. But How, you ask? Two words: date differently. This might seem like a no-brainer, but so many of us (we’re guilty, too) are sometimes too quick to get stuck in our routines: laundry, Netflix binges, or going into the office on a Sunday.  Instead, try carving out a solid block of time to spend exclusively with your love, doing something different. If you need more of an incentive, this week we’re offering 20% off your Wanderable Date Nights with code DATENIGHT20.

Here are some of our favorite San Francisco date night ideas (don’t worry, east-coasters, we’ll be getting to you in later posts) that you could do even this weekend to spice things up a little bit.

1. Get Photographed

Have you ever wanted to recreate your favorite moments or just needed an excuse to get dressed up? Well what about a candid photoshoot of you and your love playing around your city in your Sunday best? Win.

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2. Wine taste on the Bay

Hailed as a wine- therapy voyage, this is the perfect escape for those wanting to stay in the city but still enjoy some epic wines. We get it, Napa is far. And with this beautiful weather we’re having, why not take advantage of the ocean front.

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3.  Take a hike

This may seem like an obvious choice living in SF, but if we’re being honest, when’s the last time you were really in touch with nature? Hike the mountains of the Presidio with your love and feel rooted in your body

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4. Picnic

So worth the effort, a picnic is luxurious because once you’re set up, you can sit for hours and nibble, read, chat, nap, etc. Pick your favorite locale (beach, park, forest, lake) and prepare food, activities, and perhaps a little surprise gift for your love.

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5. Go on a Food Safari

There are so many restaurants in SF that sometimes it can feel overwhelming to choose just one. Also, “going out to dinner” while important, can get boring. Why not try an actual Food Safari where you get to sample a little bit of everything?  Another plus, you’re not sitting in one spot for 2 hours.

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So get out there. Have a good time. For more California date ideas (Southern California, too) check this out, and let us know how you #DateDifferently. Plus– enjoy 20% off date night with code DATENIGHT20. You’re welcome.

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Wanderable Gypset: Mike & Anne of HoneyTrek

Wanderable Gypset: Mike and Anne Howard from the incredible travel blog, HoneyTrek! 

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On this #TravelTuesday, we caught up with Mike and Anne (also known as HoneyTrek), two American newlyweds who thought a one week honeymoon wasn’t nearly enough to celebrate a new life together.  They quit their jobs, rented their apartment, and set out on a 675 day honeymoon around the world. They’ve been featured in Conde Nast Traveler, Mail Online, The Los Angeles Times, and now, the Wanderable Blog! We’re obsessed with these two: they truly embody everything we’re about. Read on to hear about their incredible journey, their travel essentials, which Wanderable experience they would love to try, and how they really travel for adventure, and live for love.

Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.

Mike & Anne: We spent 675 days running around the world on our honeymoon, trying to soak up, see, and do as much as humanly possible in all 33 countries we visited. Since we got “home” we are still very much nomadic; however, we move at a much slower pace and live longer in the places we visit. For example, we just did a six-week house-sitting gig in the Mazatlan, Mexico and an average day went something like this: Wake up in our apartment in Spanish colonial beach town, walk our two pups along the malecon/promenade and ocean cliffs…stop at our local market for papaya, pineapple, guava, and banana to make a tropical fruit salad, work on our blog HoneyTrek, and help our students plan their dream honeymoons and long-term travels with Trip Coach, take a bike ride to our favorite taco stand for lunch, work until thirty minutes before sunset, grab a Pacifico Ballena beer to watch the cliff divers against the fabulous pink skies, eat freshly made Tostiloco ceviche, chat with locals in Spanish, listen to some live banda music in Plaza Machado, and call it a great day!

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W: How did you come to lead such a life? Did you always want to be a traveler, or did you just fall into this?

M&A: It all started at Oktoberfest in Munich when a German couple told us they had just returned from a 12-month journey around the world, for less than our rent payment!!!…and our jaw hit the floor. So when it came to thinking about where we would go on our honeymoon, our list of destinations was endless, and that German couple’s trip kept crossing our mind. Then we thought, “We’ve got some time to inflate our savings account, we don’t have kids yet, there’s a lot of world to experience, and heck, we’re only young once…will there ever be a better time to travel?!” That night we set the HoneyTrek around-the-world honeymoon dream in motion.

W: Which Wanderable Experience would you most love to try?

M&A:  Hawaii Forest & Trails twilight volcano adventure tour! We’ve always wanted to see the lava run on the Big Island of Hawaii. Walking through a lava tube, volcanic formations and hunting for active lava flows…that would be amazing! 

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W: What is the difference between somewhere you’d want to live & somewhere you’d want to visit?

M&A: You can have the most beautiful mountains and beaches, but unless you connect with the people on a real human level, it’s just a visit. Myanmar, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, and New Zealand had the warm hearted spirit, plus the natural beauty, that made them feel like a place we could someday call home.

What are you feeling/loving/eating/reading right now?

M&A: Day of the Day Dead! We happened to be in Mexico for this holiday where everyone honors their ancestors with this nation-wide party. In Mazatlan there is massive parade where everyone dresses as skeletons decked out in feather boas, floral hats, and elaborate face makeup. They then walk through historic center, along with the donkeys carts pulling kegs of free beer, stopping at the altars of important figures who’ve passed, and dancing all the way. We got dressed up and joined in with the best of them! But this is just the half-way mark. The next day everyone heads to the cemetery to visit their ancestors and pay homage with a picnic of their family’s favorite foods, drinks, and music. We love this attitude towards death. Rather than mourning a person, remember and celebrate their amazing lives!

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W: What do you miss about “home?” (Where you’re from.)

M&A: Pineapple cottage cheese on whole-grain waffles with Vermont maple syrup! Our friends and family are by far what we miss the most, but pineapple cottage cheese is one of our favorite breakfast foods and it can’t be found anywhere in Africa, Asia or South America.

W: Advice for aspiring Gypsets? Go.

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M&A: The world is massive and you can’t truly explore it on ten-day vacations. You have to carve out the time, open your mind, and mobilize. To get ready to set off into the world, here are some of the most important things you could do today:

Evaluate your savings. Divided your savings account by $40/day, and that will give you a ballpark of how many days you can spend on the road. That was our budget per person…all in: flights + food + drinks + overland travel + visas + gear + lodging + excursions + everything else…so it’s entirely possible! And if you don’t have anything saved, start putting $20 a day for the next two years and you will have enough to travel the world!

School yourself in the art of mileage hacking. Whether your trip is in three months or three years. We read books, blogs, and even signed up for a course to learn how to maximize our miles and we were able to earn 430,000 frequent flier miles in the eight months leading up to our trip. It was no small task but considering it saved us $11,8834 in flights, it was well worth it!

Join the travel community! It’s a big step to put your life on pause, but talking to people who’ve already done it is a big support! Meet Plan Go is a great community that hosts meet-ups for anyone considering a long journey, and if you need someone to breakdown the essentials of traveling the world and help you make real plan of action, reach to us: TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com. We’d love to help!

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W: What location is on your bucket list, and why? 

M&A: We would love to go to Egypt and explore the ancient civilizations, camel through the desert, scuba dive the Red Sea, and cruise up the Nile river!

W: What are your go-to travel essentials?

M&A:

STERIPen. This UV-light water purifier allowed us to make our own water in every country, and not consume a single plastic water bottle (yes, we don’t even drink the free ones) since April 2012. It has saved us over $2,190 and kept approximately 4,400 plastic bottles from a landfill.

A good smart-phone is the best gadget you can have on your hip. From GPS applications, to currency converters, to language translators, to passing the time on long journeys….the uses are literally endless.

Our own pillows and sheets. It might sound like a space-splurge but it makes every single place we rest our head feel a little closer to home

A jar of peanut butter. It is the perfect travel food, high protein, no refrigeration needed, and oh so tasty.


W: What are your favorite & least favorite words (one each, and they can totally be in another language)

M&A:

Favorite Word: “Delicious”  We learned this word in every country we visited. When you can tell the grandma cooking at the street stall that her food is delicious it will brighten her day and always spark up a friendly interaction…even if you don’t know a single other word in that language, learn delicious!

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Least Favorite: “Touristic”  It usually means: A fabricated experience in “authentic” clothing. When we hear that word we usually walk in the other direction until we find a side-street with a yummy street stall, pull up a small plastic chair, and get ready to say delicious :)…that’s when the authentic experiences really happen.

W: What has recently taken your breath away?

M&A: The Starlight Aromatherapy Bath at Verana in Yelapa, Mexico. It was unlike any couples spa treatment we have ever experienced through 675 days of honeymooning. The hostess showed us into the outdoor spa on the cliffs and 100s of candles were shimmering around the steaming bath, massage tables, and flower-covered bed. Then she said, “It’s yours for the night, Enjoy!” Unbelievable. Giving each other massages, soaking in the fragrant tub, sipping tea, and counting shooting stars (we saw 14!)—literally took our breath away.

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W: What was the last thing you bought abroad?

M&A: In the adorable Mexican town of El Quelite there was a lady with a sweets stand on the corner of a cobble stone street. She was selling Cajeta, a treat similar to Dulce de Leche but not as sweet and with more vanilla and a crispy topping. She packaged them in homemade pine boxes wrapped in red ribbons that were so cute we brought 12 to bring home as gifts.

W: What was the best thing you recently ate?

M&A: Chiles en Nogada from La Hacienda in Durango, Mexico. It is a poblano pepper stuffed with cinnamon spiced meat, dried apricot, and nuts then topped with a walnut sauce and pomegranates. Delish!
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W: What is the best part about traveling with the one you love?

M&A: Exploring the world, seeing awe-inspiring sights, discovering other cultures and trying new things will give you memories and learning experiences for ten lifetimes together. No one else could possibly understand the magnitude and intricacies of what you’ve seen, but as a couple who’s been through it together, you’ll always have this intensely special connection.

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W: What have you learned about each other?

M&A: Mike likes to push the boundaries of adventure and frugalness, while I enjoy a few more creature comforts, so we’ve learned to find a happy medium. Traveling around the world has brought us more in tune with each other’s needs and desires…nothing can shake us now!

#WanderOn

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California Dreamin’: Enter to Win Wanderable Credit!

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Good morning, dreamers & adventure seekers! Today we woke up and realized something: there is always an excuse NOT to do something, right? Well, now there’s NOT, because we’re giving away $100 Wanderable Credit for you to use on one of our California Partners.  We know you’ve been eyeing all those amazing experiences on our homepage, so now it’s time to take the plunge and actually go experience life. Don’t have time to make it to Cali? Don’t worry: you can use the Wanderable Credit on any Wanderable experience of your choice. Pretty sweet, huh?

Some of these California experiences include:

  • Hot-air balloon rides
  • Custom perfume-making classes
  • Tequila & tacos tasting
  • Wine tasting and food paring
  • Much, MUCH more!

All you have to do is enter now (details are also on our Facebook). Come on, it’s Monday. Go big or go home.

 

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#WanderOn

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The Wanderable Gypset: Nicole Anderson

Wanderable will be featuring wanderlust-y individuals literally living their dreams in our new feature, The Wanderable Gypset.  Nicole Anderson is the inaugural bohemian tastemaker in this brand new series.

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What is a gypset?

A gypset is a gypsy-jetsetter, a free spirit who is young and heart and leads an unconventional career and life, traveling the globe and wandering through life at her own pace, in her own style.

Who is Nicole Anderson?

Nikki is a professional wedding photographer (check out her drop-dead gorg portfolio) who studied Russian literature at Harvard and lives in Singapore with her fiance. Her itinerary this month includes Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Marrakech, London, Glasgow, and Singapore.

We picked her brain with this lovingly curated questionnaire, and we are happy to reveal the responses to you.

Wanderable: Walk me through an average day in your un-average life.

Nicole: As a wedding photographer, I’m lucky to have a very flexible workday and really no two days are the same. But on most days, I’ve likely gone out for coffee, done some photo editing, made time for reading, thought about going to yoga and then thought up excuses for not going, spent way too much time on Instagram/Style Me Pretty/100 Layer Cake, and somewhere along the way opened a bottle of wine.

W: Did you always want to be a traveler, or did you just fall into this lifestyle?

N: My family spent a summer in Austria when I was 16, and I remember the wild sense of freedom I had wandering around Salzburg. I loved being able to create each day, get lost, hop on a bus, see works of art, discover hidden cafes, and read all afternoon. After college, I had a great job in marketing but I just wasn’t happy tied to a desk. I had no idea if I could make it as a photographer, but I knew it was worth trying. Being able to spend a month in Paris last February during the wedding off-season or book a last minute flight to Culebra with a friend without asking anyone for vacation time definitely confirmed that this was the job for me.

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W: What are you feeling/loving/eating/reading right now?

N:

  • Feeling: blessed
  • Loving : my fiance Daniel
  • Eating: In the past two weeks, Spanish tapas to Moroccan tagines to my friend’s delicious Pakistani food
  • Reading: The Savage Detectives by Robert Bolano and The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

W: If you could bring anything/anyone from home, what/who would that be?

N: If I have Daniel and a good book with me, I don’t need anything else.

W: What location is on your bucket list, and why?

 N: One of the many reasons I love my fiancé is that even while we were traveling on our engagement trip (I asked for a trip instead of a ring!), we couldn’t help talking about all the places we want to go together. There’s such a lot of world to see. For our honeymoon we have already tossed around wildly different ideas, like beaches in Greece + Albania + Croatia OR a wine + cycling tour of Italy OR Iceland adventuring!

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 W: What are your go-to travel essentials?

  • ONA Bowery camera bag
  • Canon Mark III
  • Journal/book
  • A great necklace (currently alternating between a gold and white 31 Bits necklace and a colorful one scored at an Anthropologie sale)
  • Flowy maxi dresses
  • Comfy but cute walking shoes (currently tribal patterned Toms and trusty Birkenstocks)
  • MAC red lipstick and sunscreen
  • A scarf that can double as a picnic blanket when the occasion calls for it

 W: What has recently taken your breath away?

 N: In Madrid, some of Goya’s later paintings at the Prado Museum. In Cordoba, the stunning Mezquita Cathedral. In Seville, the Puente de Triana at night. And in Morocco, an incredible Berber village perched atop a mountain in Ouirgane.

W: What have you learned about your Significant Other other through your travels?

 N: He’s learned that I wait to eat sketchy street food until the last day of a trip in case I get sick and that when I have my game face on I’ll haggle toe to toe with any Marrakech shop keeper! I’ve learned that his shoulder is my favorite travel pillow, he has a way better sense of direction than I do, and that when I’m sick he’ll rush out to get me tea and lie with me in bed reading Borges stories aloud to keep my mind off my stomach ache. And together we’ve learned that we will both shamelessly tie our sweaters around our waists when the forecast has fooled us.

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W: Advice for aspiring Gypsets? Go.

N: There’s always a way to satisfy your wanderlust. I once took a semester off college and was practically broke, so I worked on a farm through WWOOF in Cornwall, crashed with a cousin in London, and Couchsurfed in Italy and France. That trip cost me very little, but it was one of the best of my life. Make friends that live in other cities and countries. A hundred times better than staying in a hotel, and a heck of a lot cheaper too. Be bold in what you ask of the universe.

Follow Nicole’s adventures at www.sorella-muse.com and on her Instagram

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ImagineAsia: A Hidden Gem Situation

ImagineAsia and Wanderable have created four customized itineraries, just for you.

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Have you ever been gotten lost in your own city, wandered down a cobblestone alley and ended up in a little shop? It has no sign on it, but you see intriguing jewels in the window, so you head in and end up finding the necklace that will soon become your everyday staple; your good- luck charm.

Well, ImagineAsia is the travel equivalent of this little daydream. A complete white-glove luxury service, they plan your entire trip, tailored to the vibe and focus you want. Every moment of your travels, espeically its energy and aesthetic, is tailored to your desires.  The thing that’s magical about ImagineAsia is “ ‘forty-five minutes here and back on the bus’ is not part of [their] vernacular, nor will it be part of your travel experience.”

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For the nervous traveler, they leave absolutely nothing to chance: the company is off-the-beaten-path and small enough that they care about each traveler on a human level. They have no social media presence, and we only found them ourselves through word-of-mouth raving of their stellar approach and attitude. We also love their hipster mentality of traveling: “Our experts have lived and traveled throughout Asia since 1982. We know where to go years before the crowds arrive.”

Their guides are cool locals, not wannabe ex-pats, and they travel with you as much or as little as you desire. It’s a new thing for us to offer a complete pre-designed trip, rather than relying on you to be your own honeymoon architect. It’s because we really trust and love these guys.

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Together, we have designed four gorgeous trips for you, and they are all in the Kingdom of Thailand (a.k.a. paradise).

The first is Bangkok, Chiang Mai, & Phuket, where you can gaze at Buddhist temples, adopt an elephant, and learn how to cook like a Thai Nigella Lawson.

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The second trip is Bangkok Golden Triangle & Phuket, with focus on roaming city streets after a stop at the mythical Emerald Buddha.

The third is Bangkok & Koh Samui, a chance to catch up on some history…and then hop back into the present, shopping for keepsakes & snorkeling in lagoons.

The fourth option is Bangkok & Khao Lak, where you’ll indulge in a culinary taste fest then hop on a boat for Thai music & dancing. ImagineAsia appeals to the different travelers within each of us…the student-at-heart, the food lover, the art groupie, and the overworked A-type.

Eleven days of bliss tending to each of these hungry parts of my heart, and I think I’d feel like a brave new human. Which of these trips appeals to you most? Leave your musings in the comments section below, and let’s continue the conversation.

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