The best way to get over a nasty break up? Get under someone else, and if you can, on a vacation far, far away from home. Vv Magazine’s relationship expert, Jen Kirsch, recently jet off to Aruba for some fun (and love) in the sun to prove travelling is the ultimate post-break up activity.
Last summer after my live-in ex and I broke up, I decided to head out to BC for a month, Eat, Pray, Love styles. Hella cliché, but it was just what I needed at the time to get space, regroup and do my thing. Moving forward ain’t easy, but travelling always seems to help and, as a relationship expert, I figured it was high time to take my own advice.
We lived together for months after our split until our lease expired. I then moved out on my own to a new place and was challenged with getting used to starting anew. I felt stuck. It was time to pack my bags, a handful of itty-bitty bikinis and catch some Vitamin D in Aruba, a place whose motto is “One happy Island.” How fitting.
Since I’m pretty spontaneous and a bit lazy when it comes to planning, I aptly booked the trip through Signature Vacations. It was a one-stop-shop where I could take care of my flight through Sunwing Airlines, hotel and excursions through NexusTours, all in one easy place. Win! I booked the Riu Palace Aruba, one of the only all-inclusive resorts on the island and one that Signature Vacations offers exclusively from Canada. I was all set and ready for take off at the click of my manicured fingertips.
As I touched down in Aruba, I immediately took my phone off airplane mode, opened up my usual-suspect of dating apps (think Tinder, Bumble and happn) and started swiping. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet, and I was ready to embark on an amazing experience and a love affair to boot.
Riu Palace Aruba was right on the ocean. I was a bit hesitant about the hotel since it was a family hotel, but it turns out there was an on-site daycare and play place for the kids – it was actually much calmer than the adjacent adults-only Riu. That said, the Riu next door housed a casino, which is how I ended up matching with my “Aruba boyfriend,” a professional poker player and charming Swede who was out in Aruba to test his luck at the casino on Riu property. Cha-ching.
We matched on happn and met for drinks at what became my fave date spot on the island, Bugaloe. It’s an outdoor bar on the pier that has live music, laid back vibes and was less than a minute walk along the beach from my resort. Aruba is so-very-safe, but going to a bar so close to the property made me feel even safer, especially when meeting a stranger. It was also all-too-convenient if I chose to bring back said stranger back to my place, cough cough.
And now that’s where the beauty of my room at the Riu Palace came in. It housed four premium bottles (vodka, scotch, brandy and whisky), a mini bar with all the mixing accoutrement you could ever dream of, and a view of the most exquisite sunsets and the green, electric ocean from my private patio. If I didn’t have the skills to seal the deal with my “Aruba boyfriend” on my own, all this definitely helped. Not to mention the emperor sized bed and walk-in shower. All Aces (see what I did there?).
Having pre-arranged excursions gave me the independence from the boy and made sure I didn’t waste all my time sunning and sipping at the resort. NexusTours set up a full-day Jeep Safari, where I visited the city’s most notable sites, spots and destinations.
The treat about dating a fellow tourist, was getting to leave the resort, in the name of romance. One evening I got dolled up and hit up Papiamento, an outdoor restaurant surrounded by trees lit with clear Christmas lights, a bunch of round tables circling a pool, and a band playing live music. It’s by far the most romantic spot I’ve ever been to in all my travels, and it comes with the most decadent vibe.
But of all the things I did and of all the places I saw, I really valued my connections and relationships most. With the welcoming and witty resort staff to the people from the island, I found Aruba a place filled with so much passion; a place filled with so much love.
Leaving wasn’t easy. Tears were had as my plane took off. But it wasn’t because I was sad; it was because I was so very happy. I struggle so much with having to say goodbye after developing such personable relationships, romantic and otherwise. But I can wholeheartedly say it was one happy island that left me with one happy ending.
Will you plan a trip to Aruba for your next escape? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.