Travel and the nostalgia of first love

One fateful day in the school bus a boy disdainfully looks at a girl he has hated all these years. Their eyes meet and suddenly in a fraction of a second everything changes. A strange chemical reaction gets triggered and hate turns into love, first love!

On a crowded Metro, two strangers brush past each other and their eyes meet, strange waves of silent communication get exchanged in one glance which seems like eternity but is just a nano second, and love blooms.

Valentine’s Day is round the corner and love is in the air, this is an occasion to celebrate love of the kind described above. Love is such a difficult emotion to describe, it cannot be described, it can only be experienced. Love is a fragrance which you feel, but cannot see, it is the sweet caress of the breeze which you can feel, but again cannot touch nor see.

Love cannot be explained either, as it defies logic. Though this is an oft repeated cliche, love does lie in the eyes of the beholder. Many a times love happens at first sight and for no rhyme or reason. You do not even know the name of the person or what he or she does or where they stay, but one stolen glance is sufficient to catalyze unfathomable emotions resulting in a dazzling effect called love. And mind you this is something that hits you completely out of the blue.

If Love is a magic potion which can cast its spell on anyone at any moment, travel is a facilitator which ensures that you fall in love again and again!

I confess to being an incorrigible lover while traveling! I keep falling in love with places every now and then. There are cities, beaches, monuments and other attractions who over the years have been the objects of my unrequited love.

No sooner have I had a first glance at these places, I feel a strange ache in my heart and I feel as if I have a Karmic bond with these places and I fall head over heels in love.

Let me give you a peek into some of my ‘amours’, as we approach Valentine’s day, but I need you to promise that you would keep this to yourself!

My Passionate love affair with Venice

Oh my God! she is so beautiful, my mind screamed at me as I felt my heart reverberate with it own loud thumping.

I had just set eyes on what had been the object of all my dreams for many years now. Venice stretched out in front of me languorously, stretching out her arms, as if inviting me to bury myself in her beauty. I was intoxicated by love and everything in Venice seemed lovely and so romantic to me.


Travel and the nostalgia of first love - Venice

I fell in love with everything about Venice.

  • Its unique character, it is neither land nor water, it stretches out like a water nymph before your eyes
  • The iconic Gondola rides that take you gliding across serene waters of the Grand Canal while being serenaded by the Gondolier
  • The Baroque buildings battered by water and time but standing patiently like a faithful lover
  • The piazzas humming with humanity, spell bound and admiring
  • All of the above and much more, something indefinable about the character of the city which entices and then seduces you and makes you a lover for life


Paris, a romantic interlude

If Venice was all about passionate and wanton love, Paris for me was the quintessential elegant and romantic city I had ever set my eyes on. I was bowled over by its rich and sophisticated character. To me the city seemed to have a kind of controlled beauty, a beauty, just enough to lure you with the promise of many untold and unheard of pleasures. If Paris were a woman, it would be a sophisticated, elegant and beautiful woman with a taste for the good things of life, art and culture. These very traits, endeared me to Paris and I  fell unashamedly in love once again as I cruised on the river Seine with my eyes taking in the breathtaking beauty of the city.


Travel and the nostalgia of first love - Paris

To my eyes Paris was the epitome of Romance because of the following facts.

  • The beautiful and curving Seine river caressing the city’s best known sights including Notre Dame, The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay
  • The elegant grandeur of French architecture which comes alive all along the city
  • The famed sidewalk cafes where one can simply while away the time watching the world go by
  • The Art galleries and museums which are home to some of the works of the greatest artists of all time
  • Champs Elysee, one of the most famous streets in the world and an irresistible shopping haven
  • The Eiffel Tower, the signature icon of Paris which stands tall and is a silent testimony to the evolving beauty of Paris


My Obsession with Om Beach, Gokarna

I walked in pitch darkness to reach the tip of a cliff, careful not to miss a step, an event which would definitely have had drastic consequences as the fall would have been steep. I was not alone, we were a group of tourists and all of  us stood silently in the dark night craning our necks out in anticipation. The silence of the night was only broken by the collective sound of our breathing. I looked at my watch, anytime now, I thought.

Slowly the horizon took on a rosy hue signalling the rise of the sun in the far distance, I looked down and in the tender morning light, I was enthralled by what I saw, below me lay a white virgin beach shaped like an Om, which is a religious symbol of the Hindus. The blue waters of the sea cavorted and gently kissed the shores before moving away. The place had a tranquil beauty which I had never experienced before and I was swept away by waves of love for this beautiful place. I quickly half walked, half ran and half fell down the precipice like a desperate lover rushing to meet his beloved. I sat down excited and out of breath on the clean white sands and feasted my eyes on the lovely contours of the beach.

Travel and the nostalgia of first love - Gokarna

I then realized I was in love once again with this beautiful beach.

  • The beach has a serene and virginal beauty of its own and is relatively untouched by commercial trappings
  • The sea is gentle and soothing like a mother’s caress and one can bask in the water for hours together
  • The beach is shaped like the Hindu religious symbol Om, which itself is associated with inner bliss and meditation and the place in keeping with this is a wonderful place to meditate and dive deep into your inner consciousness
  • The beach is a great place for long and exploratory walks across some hills which flank the beach
  • The sun preens itself at sunrise here and one can drown in the intoxicating beauty of the sunrise here


The more I travel, the more and more I keep falling in love. When was the last time you fell in love? Which has been your most haunting and memorable love affair?




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32 thoughts on “Travel and the nostalgia of first love

  1. I struggle with finding personal romance in locations. Yes, like you I totally fall in love with places and sights, but I never think to myself “Ah, now this is romantic.” 🙂

  2. OMG! I know exactly how you feel about falling in love with cities and having to “break up” with them when you board that flight home. I always say Paris is my first love, New York City is my “hook up”, and London is my one, true, and ever-lasting love. *sigh*

  3. Been through all three places – Paris I loved the ride along Seine river, Venice I felt was a little over-rated and Gokarna…l just loved it completely…especially Kudle beach.

  4. This is a very lovely post. I felt the same way about Tallinn, Estonia…and my husband. Definitely love at first sight. I showed him off to all my coworkers, he told his friends he was going to marry me (at first meeting) and on our first date, my mom predicted I was going to marry him. I am a believer. This will be our 25th Valentine’s Day together. 😉

  5. Beautiful words! Yes I totally agree. I do fall in love in many places I travel. My heart leaps and I feel happy and free. Like a first love. Like when I was living for a few weeks in a house right at the beach of North Carolina. Waking up every morning with the sounds of the waves. Watching dolphins and enjoying the beach. Yes – love is a strange feeling…!

  6. “Love is a fragrance which you feel, but cannot see, it is the sweet caress of the breeze which you can feel, but again cannot touch nor see.” so beautifully written!!! Great post, really enjoyed it 🙂 I fell in love with ancient city Ephesus and Istanbul..I also adore Croatian coast 🙂 xx (adventurousmiles.com)

  7. Great post. I don’t really think of places as being romantic, but I often think they are gorgeous, intimate, stunning and to die for. Paris and Venice – two of my favourites. I still remember the first time I saw both of them. The memories have never left me even though I’ve returned many more times to them both.

  8. So many different things or experiences in countries can make you fall in love with them! Almost every place we have been so far has caused us to fall in love, but for many different reasons! Although Paris is probably the most “romantic”

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