Article by Lauren DeWet An Ode to the Romance of Adventure Does today have you seeing red and pink, maybe with a stomach ache? Here at NEMO, we know the feeling (our office is one floor above a beloved local candy shoppe, and the sales team pretty much subsists on gummy bears). And while we might all be daydreaming about wild, idealized acts of love, the fact is that the typical conversation-hearts version of romance is pretty tame. Here’s a confession for you: I generally like to think of myself as “above” these Hallmark holidays, more focused on things in life that certainly wouldn’t include trivialities such as flowers or boxes of chocolates. So, for example, on my wedding anniversary last fall, I told the hubs, “hey babe, don’t feel like you need to get me anything.” And, well, interpreting things at face value … he didn’t get me anything. Insert slightly sad face emoji here. Not-Cheesy Date Idea #1: Sunset Walks on the Beach (Preferably With Dogs) I hate to break it to you, my maybe similarly cultured readers who are “so over Valentine’s Day”, but while overpriced bouquets and overcooked steak dinners might not be your jam, a little bit of romance should be, even if you don’t have a special someone in your life at the moment. (Clearly expressing your needs within a relationship should be too, but that’s a topic for another day.) There’s nothing wrong with the core of these saccharine holidays, it’s just time that we take them back to their roots. Take the dictionary definition of ‘romance’ for example: Romance (noun): A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. I’m not sure about you, but this is my exact feeling every time I start up a trailhead. There’s an anticipation, wonder at what you might see and what the day will bring. Not-Cheesy Date Idea #2: XC-Ski to an Off-the-Grid Dinner Arguably, it can’t be a real adventure without a bit of unknown — without a bit of romance. (And for the sake of my many amazing single friends, I would also like to point out that this definition carries no mention of a “significant other”). Hallmark didn’t invent hiking. Or climbing. Or skiing. Or whatever adventure helps you find the real romance in your life. So don’t let Hallmark holidays turn you into the sad-emoji-face cynic that I’ve been before. Not-Cheesy Date Idea #3: Evening Hike to a View (Bring a Flask of Wine) Celebrate with some fresh air, some therapeutic nature, maybe a few sips of our favorite whiskeys. Make a fire. Do something new. Take a moment to truly enjoy how amazing it is that we’re alive, spinning on a giant blue-and-green ball in a universe that is inherently full of mystery, and that we get to contemplate the meaning of romance and how to best share it. …And if you really want to buy something for the occasion, we can help (our buttery-soft Puffin™ camp blankets happen to make a great gift!). Lauren de Wet is NEMO’s Digital Marketing Manager and has been married for two full years, which obviously makes her an expert at giving relationship advice. To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, she’s looking forward to skiing at nearby Stowe, VT.