Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate…

Happy Valentine’s Day to our friends and family all over the world

Today is Valentine’s Day, celebrated in one way or another throughout the world. I found this website listing how a few countries celebrate this day of love, a few of which I am sharing below using their photos:

Finland and Estonia

“While Valentine’s Day is celebrated with cards, candy, and flowers in North America, other places around the world put their spin on the holiday. They may celebrate a little differently now to ensure social distance, but people still find ways to show their love during this holiday.

box of chocolates

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

In Finland and Estonia (both countries in Northern Europe), February 14th is less about romance and more about friendship. In fact, these countries celebrate Friend’s Day rather than Valentine’s Day. During this holiday, people exchange cards and small gifts with their friends.”

In 2019, we visited both of these beautiful, historic countries in our travels. While there, it was evident they are kind and friendly people, certainly impacting how they celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Wales

Valentine's Day wooden spoon

“Photo Public Domain by Jose-Manuel Benito

Wales, part of Great Britain, has its version of Valentine’s Day. On January 25th, the Welsh people celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day. For centuries, men gave women a “love spoon” as a token of their affection. These wooden spoons were carved by the men and had elaborate designs on the handle. Today, love spoons remain a popular gift on St. Dwynwen’s Day and are even available in chocolate.”

We visited Wales in 2019, while in the UK as we will be again in only a few months. Their rich history, fascinating ruins, and points of interest made our two weeks there memorable and special. Of course, we’ve spent Valentine’s Day in nine countries over the years.

Following is a list of each of the countries where we spent Valentine’s Day over the past nine years of world travel:

2013: Placencia, Belize

Valentine’s Day sunrise photo of the Caribbean Sea taken by Tom this morning while standing less than 10 feet from our veranda. See the link here.

2014: Marloth Park, South Africa

Honey, if I can’t make your favorite butterscotch pie for Valentine’s Day to celebrate. Instead, I present you with this photo of one that I had made many moons ago in the days when we ate sugar and flour and ingredients were available. See the link here.

2015: Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

This parent and chick sit close to one another until the chick becomes more confident, and the parents feel more at ease. In time, the chick will be left behind on its own, most likely in June or July. Although Cathy explained that on occasion, a fledgling won’t leave the nest until August, at which time, she can go on her vacation. She won’t leave until they have all left the area and her job of overseeing them for the years is over until next November, when many will return to the area. See the post here.

2016: New Plymouth, New Zealand

Here’s my Valentine’s Day date, smiling as always. See the post here.
It was fun to be out to dinner. See the post here.

2017: Huon Valley, Tamania, Australia

Statue in Franklin commemorating World War I soldiers. See the post here.

2018: Marloth Park, South Africa

There she was yesterday,  a pretty kudu, standing by the watering hole in the yard of our holiday home. She nibbled on pellets and hung around for some time. Female kudus usually weigh 463 pounds (210 kg), while male bulls may be well over 661 pounds (300 kg). Only the males have long spiral horns. We’ll share male kudus we spotted while out on our nightly drive tomorrow. See the post here.

2019: Nelspruit, South Africa

There was no post on this date. I was in the hospital in Nelspruit, having had open-heart surgery two days earlier.

2020: Amritsar, India

Town after the town became a picturesque view as we wound our way down the mountains from Shimla to Amritsar in India. See the post here.

2021: Marloth Park, South Africa

Due to WiFi issues, there were no photos posted on this date. See the post here.

That’s the list, folks. We left Minnesota in October 2012 but didn’t celebrate our first Valentine’s Day on our journey until February 2013. We hope all of our family, friends, and reader/friends, have a lovely Valentine’s Day celebrating those you love, near and afar.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 14, 2021:

As mentioned above, there was no photo on this date in 2021.

Happy Valentine’s Day!…A special day for many throughout the world…How are we celebrating this year?…

A pretty pink rose with Happy Valentine’s Day wishes for all of our readers both today and tomorrow, depending on which side of the International Dateline you’re residing.

As the years of world travel literally fly by, the special occasions and holidays become less important to us. Instead, we focus on the exquisite joys of daily life, simple in their execution and complex in the layers they represent in our world journey.

View from the car while driving on Highway A6 in the Huon Valley.

Valentine’s Day is another of those special occasions that we’ve gradually lost interest in celebrating with gifts, flowers, or lavishly prepared meals. Tonight, we have delicious leftovers, which are quite fine with us.

In our old lives, it was an entirely different scenario. Tom would always come home from work with a big bouquet, an embellished greeting card with handwritten loving words contained therein. 

Apple ripening, ready for the picking.

I’d bake a heart-shaped cake (yes, I had two heart-shaped baking pans), decorated with a loving touch (no, I wasn’t the best at decorating cakes) along with the special dinner, a beautifully wrapped gift, and of course, a card.

Church in a small town.

Around this “holiday” and others (seemingly perpetrated by Hallmark) lie a certain number of expectations. Easily, these types of celebrations may result in a degree of disappointment and heartbreak if one or the other of a couple doesn’t hold up their end of the deal. 

Huumm…another vehicle atop a roof of a fuel station. It must be a trend here in the Huon Valley.

We’re way beyond setting ourselves up for such potential disappointment. Besides, in many parts of the world, particularly less developed countries where we’ve spent considerable periods of time, it’s simply not possible to shop for such items when Valentine’s Day isn’t celebrated worldwide.

Splendid scenery.

As in this statement from The History Channel at: (click the link for the origins of Valentine’s Day:

“Typical Valentine’s Day Greetings    

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century.

By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.

Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.”

An unusual fishing boat.

As it turns out,  Valentine’s Day, my birthday (February 20th), and our wedding anniversary (March 7th) fall within a three-week period.  Were we to make a fuss over each of these occasions, we’d be in a predicament. 

This fuzzy fruit left us curious. What could it be? Shaped like a pear, fuzzy like a peach. Any suggestions?

A warm embrace, a kiss, and a loving smile are all either of us needs or wants on these otherwise celebratory occasions. Besides, neither of us has any room in our luggage for any superfluous items. Therefore, we strive to keep it “light” in every way possible.

We took this photo through the water-marked window to the end of the dock to find this Black Faced Cormorant. She/he stayed at the end of the dock for a few hours in the rain.

By no means does this diminish our love and devotion to one another, which we revel in each day. How many couples spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week in each other’s company and still adore each other after almost 52 months of traveling the world (and together, almost 26 years)? We’re blessed. We’re grateful.

However you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, have a loving, fulfilling, and meaningful day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 14, 2016:

Love comes in many forms. This year ago photo was posted on Valentine’s Day in 2016. For the birth of a new little cria, please click here for the story.