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Romance for Active Couples: The Benefits of Sharing Physical Challenges

If the thought of trekking through a rugged mountain trail, bungee jumping off a desolate cliff, or skiing down a savage slope sends shivers of romance through your body, then taking a couple's adventure vacation just might be the thing to fuel the flames in your relationship. Not convinced? Consider this: Couples who participate in shared activities experience a unique bonding. Shared physical challenges give you a sense of achievement as a couple, hones a team spirit, bolsters unity, and increases your awareness of your partner's attributes and strengths. 

But what if hiking, bungee jumping, or skiing is just a little too tame, or perhaps those old standards of "adventure travel" are just a little outdated for you? You've been there, done that. Not to worry. We've got some exceptional ideas for your next romantic trip for two. 

Let's Go Sailing!

No, not off the coast of Florida. Let's try the more than 800 rarely-visited islands of Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago. Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is slightly smaller than Texas and hedged in between Bangladesh and Thailand in Southeast Asia. 

There are 10,000 square miles to sail through, pearl white beaches, and lush jungle mountains in the background to explore. One excursion agency offers two crewed yachts for charter. You'll get to meet curious villagers who will celebrate your arrival, spot a few sea gypsies, observe pearl farm buoys that pepper the northern bays, and take a dingy out to go exploring on your own. It's remote, and you'll need to be prepared because there are few modern supplies available on the islands. No Internet, no mobile phones, no film development, and no place to buy suntan lotion. This is not a tourist region. You will be among the few in the world who have ventured into these crystal blue waters. 

Climb Africa's Highest Peak

If you shy away from water, but love mountains, why not take on the highest peak in Africa? An archaic volcano, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain on earth. It's located in the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. 

Before you dismiss the idea as impossible, climbing Kilimanjaro is more of an extreme hike than it is a true alpine climb (although steep climbs are available for those skilled in it). This makes it a great adventure for those who ordinarily wouldn't consider mountain climbing.

Still, it's not a trip for the faint-hearted. You and your partner need to be in good health and in even better shape. One guide service offers a fitness program to follow eight weeks before you set foot on African soil. Experienced guides will journey with you up the 18,000-foot hike. The summit is snow capped so don't laugh at the idea of packing your parka for your trip to Africa! You'll start off at nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit, amid lush coffee plantations, and be in the single digits by the time you get to the glacier-covered peak. It'll take around five to six days to reach the summit.

With the right preparation, equipment, and an experienced guide service, this will give you a new definition of adventure romance!

Fly with the Russian Air Force

Yes, that's right. The Russian Air Force. They are offering pricey, but very unique opportunities to fly a MiG fighter, take part in combat aerobatics, and tour and participate in the aerospace training facility. You can experience no-gravity simulators, visit the Air Force Museum, and have your flights videographed to show off to your friends back home! With a variety of fighter jets to choose from and the option of touring Moscow landmarks, your adventure at the Ramenskoye Aerodrome in Zhukovsky (about 30 miles southeast of Moscow) is one that will rate in your top 10 travel adventures of a lifetime! 

Tour agencies provide three- to six-day Aerospace Excursions and will book your hotel, assist with travel visas, and arrange for transportation during your stay. Russian Air Force officers will instruct, equip, and prepare you for your flights. Who would imagine? 

Spies and More Spies

Up for a little espionage? Want to meet the real James Bonds of the intelligence world? Then head to Washington, D.C., where you will find former CIA, FBI, Department of Defense, and KGB (Russian State Security Committee) officers willing to take you on a grand tour of some of the most clandestine secrets of the Capitol. Hailed as having more spies than any other city in the world, Washington, D.C., will both capture your intrigue and keep you wondering what really goes on in foreign affairs.

The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies runs the program that offers a guided tour of the city. They also occasionally offer a cruise with lectures on security and intelligence by former professional agents with previous destinations of Hawaii and London. This will not be your normal patriotic trip to Washington. This is for those who want to know what really went on in the Cold War and what is still going on today.

A Photo Tour of China

Are you a shutterbug? Then grab your camera and your passport and head to China, Turkey, South Africa, Vietnam, or India with professional photographers who offer photo tours with experienced world-class photographers. This is a chance to hone your photographic skills, capture some of the best shots in the world (and rare ones too), learn from professionals, and explore another culture. 

You will find the guides very helpful and most tours offer a relaxed, easy pace so that individuals can have time to seek out their own unique shots. This is not the tour bus that stops at the landmarks and everyone hops off and takes an identical picture of the place .... this is for those serious about their cameras and their art. What better way to bond with your partner then to share some time developing your creativity? 

As you can see, (if you haven't already booked the flight for your next adventure!) there are many ways to explore adventure travel with your partner and increase your romantic bond with a wonderful, challenging trip. A little ingenuity with some online research and you're sure to find a trip that will take you out of your everyday and into the enterprise of a lifetime!