Namibian-born Jo-Marie Harteveld is no stranger to planes, trains and automobiles. The Cape Town-based model chases summer around the world for her job, and she’s our kind of dream woman. Yes, of course she has sensational looks, but she’s also adventurous, funny, down-to-earth and has a soft spot for craft beer. She’s currently planning the rest of her modelling year, looking at 
Germany, Greece, Turkey and the US. While we can’t have the same kind of jet-set lifestyle as Jo-Marie and afford to visit exotic locations at this time of the year, we can learn from her travel tips to create our own local adventures with someone special. Read on to organise your next romantic getaway – ideally with someone just like Jo-Marie.

You Don’t Always Need to 
Plan Ahead. “Be spontaneous! 
I love just getting into a car and driving to explore. I love finding new places – it provides a real escape from your daily routine. You can stop at all the places along a route to find hidden treasures. Recently I got into my car with a friend, and we just drove to Cape Point and did some exploring of our own. We found a really great little restaurant that made incredible burgers in Simonstown (called The Meeting Place). If I’m not exploring, I don’t feel grounded 
or satisfied.”

Share an Adrenalin-Packed 
Activity With Her. “It always makes for the perfect date, as you both have an unforgettable experience that ties you together. I’d love to do something like bungee jumping, shark cage diving or paragliding as a date. You get to share the experience with someone, which is vital.” She’s done canopy tours, bridge swings and mud races like the Impi Challenge, but these dates don’t all have to be daredevil stuff. Jo-Marie has just invested in a surfboard and would love to take surfing lessons on a date. Next on her bucket list? Her diving license.

Keep Her Guessing. “It’s all about the adventure and trying something different. I can appreciate a cheap, fun bar with personality as much as an expensive restaurant with gourmet food – as long it has been chosen with some thought and effort. Flowers and chocolate are nice, but not if you use them every time. You’d never want it to feel like a routine.” Want to give her a thoughtful gift? An IPod with a well-researched playlist is the modern version of a mixtape. “I love discovering new music and getting new music from friends. I’m loving Sea Wolf and Mumford and Sons at the moment.”

Have the Right Attitude. “There’s nothing worse on a holiday than someone who is negative or in a bad mood. I’m constantly having fun and laughing, and can be dorky at times, but I make sure that I enjoy the experience. You have bad times too, but that just makes the adventure that much richer. You need to be yourself and have an open mind.”

It Doesn’t Just Have to be the Two of You. “I love doing group things, whether it’s cooking for a big themed dinner (like a Mexican night) or something similar. But quality time is still very important. So if you do go on holiday with friends, make sure you get quality time with your date. There needs to be a good balance.”

Don’t Forget a Bottle of Good Wine. “Not because you need to have courage, but just because I love wine. It’s perfect for celebrating the good times and helping you to relax. And it adds a little bit of class.”

Home is where the holiday is
Running short on cash and work leave? Here are some recommendations from Jo-Marie to make the most of your stay cation.

1. Visit Local Neighbourhood Markets
“I love any market, whether it’s the traditional farmers’ type market or the trendier ones with fancy food and stalls.” The good news is that there are markets all over the country. Check out the Neighbourgoods Markets in both Joburg and Cape Town, and The Litchi Orchard 
near Durban.

2. Concerts And Festivals
“You can have a great time outdoors and just be yourself. My all-time favourite is Rocking The Daisies but I also enjoyed the Kinky Disco parties.” For a complete list 
of concerts and festivals, check out computicket.co.za, webtickets.co.za and 
rockingthedaises.com.

3. Wine And Food Pairings
“I love doing wine tours, and trying out pairings and different menus at new restaurants.” Visit eatout.co.za for inspiration on where to visit.

4. Try A Different Type Of Getaway
Try an alternative kind of accommodation to your regular bed and breakfast or boutique hotel; and that’s close enough for a weekend escape. It could be an airstream trailer, treehouse, luxury tent or, like Jo-Marie in this shoot, a houseboat in Kraalbaai. “It felt like I was in Greece – it was incredible.”

5. Craft Beer Tasting
“Cape Town has gone big on these events and I love tasting these beers. I really love Weiss beers and my favourites are the CBC Weiss, the @Union Steph Weiss and the Darling Bonecrusher.” Like we said earlier, Jo-Marie is our kind of woman.