Author Guest Posts

5 Off The Beaten Track Romantic Destinations


5 Off The Beaten Track Romantic Destinations

Debut author Karina May’s book takes its will-they-or-won’t-they couple all the way to Peru! To celebrate its release we asked her to tell us her favourite five unexpectedly romantic holiday destinations.

While the bright lights of Paris have a firm hold on lovers the world over, there’s another type of travel destination that’s sure to get hearts racing – adventure travel!

If you’re game enough to swap caviar and swilling champagne for something more daring, you’ll be rewarded with meaningful memories and stories that last a lifetime.

I’ve rounded up my favourite off-the-beaten-track destinations for you to wander, explore and sweaty-kiss in!

Machu Picchu, Peru   

Machu Picchu is at the top of my adventure travel list! In Under the Influence, Louise and Blake are completely mesmerised by this awe-inspiring world wonder. As the Incan citadel is located up high in the Andes Mountains, it’s certainly a case of the journey being just as rewarding as the destination. You can choose to hike the four-day Inca Trail or follow Louise and Blake’s lead and do a shorter walk that allows you to experience the breathtaking surrounds but ensures you have energy for lots of handholding and kissing! Nothing beats the magical feeling of standing with your lover at the summit of Huayna Picchu with the ruins at your feet, watching the sun set in the distance. This experience is guaranteed to leave you feeling light-headed (in the good way!).

Havana, Cuba

Havana’s energetic vibe makes it the perfect destination for couples seeking an experience to remember. The high-charged Cuban city simmers with salsa, cocktails, cigars and city cars. There is nothing sexier (or funnier depending on your skill level) than taking a salsa dancing lesson together. After class, you can take your new routine out for a test spin on the rooftop of one of the many bars, then cool down with a mojito or two. My pick is the rooftop of Hotel Ambos Mundos, home to Ernest Hemingway for seven years during the 1930s. You can also stop by his favourite bar, El Floridita, for a delicious daiquiri.

The Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hire a jeep and hit the open road and 90-degree hairpin bends of Maui’s Road to Hana. You’ll be rewarded with lush rainforests, dramatic coastlines, countless waterfalls and pools to plunge in, and untouched towns with quaint chapels. When you’re done dreaming about your tropical destination wedding, stop for a snack at one of the colourful roadside food trucks. There’s nothing quite like sampling local delicacies together, then washing it all down with a refreshing rainbow shaved ice. If you want to stay along the route, you can book one of the romantic oceanfront campsites. Drift off under the stars with the sound of the ocean lulling you to sleep.  

Berlin, Germany  

Paris may be the city of love, but Berlin is the city that plays by its own rules – which means you can, too! Have your own rom-com movie montage moment rummaging around for treasures in vintage shops or at the Sunday flea markets, then find one of the city’s old-school photobooths to document the fun! If you feel like a frothy beer by the lake, head to Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten park, or cycle (or go tandem on an electric scooter) to one of the city’s many historical landmarks. Then you can dance the night away at one of the hidden boho bars or countless nightclubs. You’ll have a hard time keeping your hands off each other once you experience the thrill of talking your way into Berghain!

The Northern Lights, Iceland

The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, are on most couple’s bucket list.Part of the appeal of this dazzling phenomenon is its elusiveness – it can be hard to spot, so there’s lots of fun to be had chasing down an unspoiled view! Nothing compares to the mystique and beauty of a celestial ballet of light dancing across the sky, so if you’re lucky enough to witness this surreal display, you’ll be bonded for life by this moment. Thanks to Iceland’s wild and remote landscape, there are plenty of opportunities to cosy up by a lodge fire while touring the country’s spectacular fjords and glaciers. Besides the popular Blue Lagoon, Diamond Beach is also a must-visit spot. The dramatic black sand is scattered with shards of ice that sparkle like diamonds (hence the beach’s name) and provides the ultimate setting for a unique proposal!

So, whether you’re after a pristine beach or a city escape, hopefully one of these gems has inspired you to spice up your holiday plans.

I’d love to hear what’s your favourite spot for an off-the-beaten path romantic adventure?! 


Sydney-based Karina May is a former magazine journalist turned digital marketer, avid romance reader and writer of lively love stories that span the globe.

When she’s not dreaming up her next shirtless love interest, you’ll likely find her rescuing her kindle from the bath, or out guzzling espresso martinis in the name of research (someone’s gotta do it!).

Chat reading & writing with Karina at, or catch her on Instagram (@karinamaywrite) or Facebook.

And don’t miss Karina’s debut rom com Under The Influence!

Will dislike at first sight turn into the trip of a lifetime? A sparkling enemies-to-lovers rom com from a talented new voice.

From Peru with love, (wander)lust & loathing…

Blake Goldfield is ‘the guy who broke Tinder’ while raising funds for his overseas charity. High-flying banker, Louise Lane, isn’t buying his hot, eligible philanthropist act. In fact, it’s dislike at first sight when she encounters Blake working the bar at her office Christmas party.

Both are at a life crossroads: Blake has begrudgingly left his not-for-profit to deal with Goldies, his family’s embattled restaurant; Louise has just split from her perfect-on-paper fiancé.

Blake may be in control of the drinks, but Louise has the power to reject the loan necessary to keep Goldies open…

As Blake and Louise watch their lives unravel, their paths seem to be inextricably tangled. Torn between the weight of expectation and her heart’s desire, Louise searches for a fresh perspective in Peru. First stop: Machu Picchu. Final destination: Love?

A sparkling enemies-to-lovers rom com about the things we want, the things we think we want and the things that really count.

Find it here

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