I realize it’s not the obvious choice. But the truth is, I’m a mountain girl at heart. I grew up camping and hiking and wandering all over the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. So, when we were planning what would be our first real vacation together, it didn’t even occur to me to look at a beach. (You’ll be happy to know I’ve since expanded my horizons.) But for me, romance and adventure could only be found in the mountains, and what mountains are more breathtaking and romantic than the iconic peaks near Lake Louise in Banff National Park?
That week while we stayed in Lake Louise, we went hiking and canoeing and whitewater rafting. But my favorite experience was the day we went on a backcountry ATV tour. Now, being newly married and totally into PDA, we decided we’d ride the two-seater ATV so we could be together. My husband had *some* experience driving, and I was overjoyed at the prospect of sitting behind him, arms locked around his waist, snuggling as we meandered through the backcountry, breathing in the fresh air, snapping pictures of the views. I mean, how romantic is that? It turned out to be very romantic, but also thrilling. Instead of meandering, we raced through the wilderness dodging pine trees and tearing up the dirt path. As time went by, we got braver and braver until finally *we* decided to hit an embankment full throttle.
How many of you have ever ridden one of those roller-coasters that goes upside down? I haven’t. As much as I love adventure, I hate roller-coasters. But that day, my husband and I created our own little loop-de-loop. We hit that embankment and flew. I remember seeing trees, then nothing but sky as the machine beneath us catapulted into the air and proceeded to flip. My back hit the ground with a thud and I looked up. Just when I thought the ATV would land right on us, my new stud of a husband kicked the seat Chuck-Norris-style and sent it crashing off the side of the trail. You should’ve seen me swoon.
That was the day I knew I’d married the right man.
Seventeen years later, my husband and I still love chasing adventure together. It’s one of the best things we’ve done for our marriage. In the context of a relationship, adventure breeds intimacy. It teaches you to laugh together, to rely on each other, to remember the people you were when you fell in love. It adds a dimension of shared experience that bonds two people together. That’s why I tend to write books that incorporate adventure and romance. In so many ways, pursuing adventure helps you experience a reckless freedom to embrace life. All of my heroines experience this type of epiphany during their journey.
My husband and I no longer do aerial stunts. These days our adventures look a bit different. It might be trying out a new restaurant or sneaking away for an afternoon hike or a day of skiing. Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we take a whole weekend. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re stepping outside the chaos of our everyday lives to seek out a shared experience. Every time we do that, I feel like we’re newlyweds again, setting out on a grand adventure that somehow never fails to revive our connection.
I’d love to hear any fun honeymoon or vacation mishap stories you have! Leave a comment telling me yours and I’ll randomly pick one person to win a copy of my newest release True-Blue Cowboy! The winner will be chosen on Monday July 30 12p.m. MST.