You don't need a date to feel the love this Valentines Day (or commercial love day). Nor should you feel obligated to spend money on tacky red gifts, and overpriced flowers because it's time to take back February the 14th and make it about the one who truly matters, YOU!
There's no need to wait around for Mr Charming or Miss Perfect. Show yourself all the love you deserve, and never again feel miserable about commercial love day.
Here are 14 fun things to do with the $100 you would have spent on overpriced red things:
1) Book yourself a two hour massage - these days you can easily find a fantastic Thai massage for $50 for an hour. You'll feel relaxed, energised, and revitalised.
The Light Between Oceans. Image by Jade Jackson.
2) Have a date with a book and a block of chocolate - Big W, Kmart and Target all have reasonably priced books, or order ahead of time from the Book Depository. I recommend The Light Between Oceans, The Atlas of Remote Islands, or a classic like Picnic at Hanging Rock.
3) See a movie, in gold-glass, with all the trimmings - drinks, snacks, dessert. Australian Comedian Will Anderson sometimes books two seats, just so he can be guaranteed to have no-one sitting next to him. It may sound overindulgent but wouldn't you rather have your bag and jacket next to you than some loved up couple being all smoochy? That way there's also plenty of room for your food.
4) Show the love to someone who really needs it. In NSW alone, there are over 20,000 children in foster care (up to 100,000 Australia wide), through no fault of their own. Usually they arrive into foster care with minimal clothes or equipment for school. You can make a one-off tax deductible donation to help make the transition less traumatic for them through Foster Care Angels.
5) Write an anonymous love letter to yourself (or your best friend), include a Westfield's Gift Card (so it can be used at multiple shops) and post it. Highlight all the amazing accomplishments you or your recipient have achieved. Loving words and a gift card to buy anything, makes for a wonderful day.
Head to the Blue Mountains this February 14th and enjoy the serenity, on your own. Image by Jade Jackson
6) Head out of town. There's no better way to escape a commercial day than to book a room, in a remote cottage, or a boutique hotel; ideally with a pool, spa, and a view. Oh, and room service is compulsory. The Blue Mountains, Newcastle, or the South Coast are all feasible.
7) Grab a coffee and wander the rose garden in the botanical gardens. Flowers are far more beautiful growing in nature. Be sure to smell all the flowers you encounter.
Pohutakawa flowers on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Image by Jade Jackson.
8) Explore an unfamiliar suburb and appreciate being anonymous; discover new restaurants, shops and monuments. It's like travelling, only cheaper. Blacktown, Liverpool, Auburn, Cabramatta, and Fairfield are all hotbeds of multiculturalism with exotic eateries, festivals, and attractions, offering a totally different ambience compared to other parts of Sydney. Think of it as Eat, Pray, Love. - in a day.
Explore Indian and Middle-Eastern jewellery shops in Fairfield, and Liverpool. Image by Jade Jackson.
9) Hike the coastal cliff walk from Clovelly to Bondi. Even if you've done it before, it's an easy walk, it offers incredible views the whole way. The fresh ocean air and exercise will get those endorphins rippling through your body. Nothing embellishes love like a sunset, a beautiful view, and the sense of accomplishment at having completed a long walk.
Explore the Coastal Cliff Walk from Clovelly to Bondi, and finish it off with a dip in the pool. Image by Jade Jackson.
11) Visit an independent art gallery, and buy a piece of art to decorate your house. Here's a list to get you started. You'll be supporting an independent artist, you'll have something unique and beautiful to display in your home, and you'll feed your soul with the beauty of art as you peruse each gallery.
12) Grab some takeaway and binge some top notch comedy on Netflix like Brooklyn 99 or The Good Place. Laughter is said to cure any woes or ailments.
13) Hide $100 somewhere at home (in a book, drawer or behind a picture on the wall) well before the 14th February. Set a calendar reminder to pull it out, and then spend it on whatever you desire like a whole new set of activewear or snorkelling gear from Decathlon, for when you do the coastal cliff walk. Best surprise ever.
Use your surprise $100 to indulge in some new sports gear. Image by Jade Jackson.
14) So this goes above the $100 budget but for just $39 more you could fly to New Zealand, (which is what I'm doing). Hot springs, laid back vibes, and empty beaches like Cape Palliser, near Wellington. It's sweet as, bro.
Fly to NZ for commercial love day for only $139. Image courtesy of www.jetstar.com