The dictionary definition of love is “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person” – a broad explanation that covers all manner of relationships, including our oft-forgotten friends. No matter how many times we watch The Notebook, the fact remains that some of life’s most intimate and rewarding relationships come not from The One (whoever that is) – but instead our closest buddies.
More often than not, they’re the ones left standing at the sharp end of a breakup, or in the face of a major life crisis. They are the reliable souls who will mop up our tears, walk us home at night, or make us laugh so hard we’re practically doubled over. Yet despite this heroic work, very little credit comes their way.
That is, until the dawn of Palentine’s Day. This legendary event, landing on 13 February, may sound ridiculous but its intention is sweet indeed. Evolving out of Leslie Knope’s “Galentine’s Day”, honouring the ladies of Parks & Rec, Palentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all your friends, in their many and dazzling ways of being. Arriving just before Valentine’s, it’s arguably a more authentic way of celebrating all things love.
So: how to salute the leading people in your life, and shower them with romance in the way they truly deserve? We’ve come up with five unique and spectacular ways, below, for a Palentine’s Day like no other. Saint Valentine, eat your heart out…
Write them a postcard
Kids with an analog heart will remember an age before Instagram and WhatsApp; when friendship meant more than simply hitting “like”. So why not hark back to this golden era by writing your friend a postcard? It doesn’t have to be long and epic. Just a quick, hand-written note will do, explaining why they rock your world. You could even go one step further and create a personal photo card with snaps of you two together. Cupid: your work here is done.
Create a personalised playlist
Remember when you were 14 and spent your whole weekend labouring over homemade CDs for your best mate? Now’s the time to revive that particular piece of nostalgia. Playlists are amazing because you can build them in a way that charts every step of your friendship. No-one but your best mate knows that Gina G features as a tribute to *that* night out at Butlins circa 1996, or that Feeder is a throwback to your last year of living together at uni. Shakespeare said music is the food of love, and that thesp was bang-on. A playlist is the ultimate act of romance.
Arrange a candlelit brunch
There’s something about candlelight that just makes everything that bit more special – even if it’s the middle of the day. Pay homage to the food world’s most decadent meal, with a bespoke brunch for you and the friend you love. Whether you’re tucking into homemade Shakshuka with sourdough, a stack of blueberry pancakes, or even takeaway pizza, this is a ritual that can’t fail to delight. Candles, fairy lights, bunting and a craft beer or two are all extras to up the ante.
Design an at-home cinema
Popcorn? Check. Projector? Check. A boat-load of cushions for the garden? Check, check, check. Creating an at-home cinema night is a winning formula because you can build it absolutely anywhere (your lounge, a backyard or the basement – you name it, the stage is set). And it doesn’t take much effort to conjure up a whole tonne of atmosphere. With creative use of lighting, plants and a throw or two, your cinema will come to life in no time. Then all that’s left is to choose the perfect film. Extra brownie points if you can put together a personalised invite beforehand.
Plan an adventure together
Flash Pack adventures don’t often involve friends who know each other already. That said, there’s no reason why two of you can’t book on one of our vibrant global getaways. You may want to search down octupi in the kelp forest of Cape Town, or go cave diving in Argentina. You could cycle through the Sacred Valley of Peru or master the art of sumo wrestling in Japan. Wherever you choose to travel, Flash Pack escapes will be brimming with daring and delightful activities, of the kind that’ll cement your Palentine’s bond. Better still, you’ll both get to make more friends within our like-minded group of strangers en-route.
Another way of thinking of this is that Palentine’s Day is not just about honouring your existing friends but also about making new ones, too. When you travel on a Flash Pack adventure by yourself, you’ll get to connect with a group of people of a similar age and life stage to you. This means that, while many of our travellers start off on a holiday as strangers, they end up making lifelong friends. In fact, we’ve already been the source of so many life-fuelling bonds that we’re now on a mission to create one million friendships via our adventures – so why not join the party?
Check out more Flash Pack adventures right here. Hurrah to the lifelong magic of friendship.
Photos: Flash Pack and Becky Phan on Unsplash