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How to Lock your Love

love locks in paris-2

How to Lock your Love
Feeling butterflies in your stomach? Do your eyes light up when thinking about that one special person? Hey, seems like you’re in love! And with Valentine’s Day coming closer you might be thinking about a special way of sealing this love. We might have some ideas…

Love Locks around the world
Love padlocks are definitely the most famous version of ‘locking your love’. It started around 20 years ago, all over the world couples took a regular padlock, sometimes with their names engraved on it, sometimes decorated with all the kitschy stuff you can imagine, and locked it to a bridge or gate;  threw away the key and with this, their love would be locked forever. Nowadays, you can find these locks everywhere, especially in Europe and the US. But also in Guam, Chile, Taiwan and Russia. Here’s a map where you can see all the love locks places around the world:

But Paris, the city of love, is for sure the capital of this tradition. You don’t even have to bring your own lock anymore, as street vendors fill this market niche on popular bridges with selling locks, decorations and pens to write on it.

The Story behind Love Locks
No one really knows where this tradition came from. Some say it’s an old Chinese tradition. Others say it started in World War I, when a Serbian girl died from a broken heart after her fiance fell in love with another girl he met in Greece. To prevent themselves of suffering the same fate, young Serbian women started to affixing padlocks on the bridge, where the lovers once met, to protect their love before their partners went to war. Another theory is that Frederico Moccia invented it. Well, actually, he himself says he invented it, in his book “I want you”, when Step and Gin are locking their love on Milvian Bridge in Rome.

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Are Love Locks ruining bridges?
Although some bridges are safe (for now), you can’t be sure your love lock will be there forever as many cities are thinking of removing them and some already have. The main concern is that these bridges might collapse because of the weight. In Paris they started an anti-love-lock campaign in 2014, inviting the lovers to take a selfie instead of locking a padlock to one of the many bridges. When using the hashtag #lovewithoutlocks the pictures will appear on a special page dedicated to safety of the Parisian bridges. Since August 2014, around 600 pictures where uploaded to this page. Not a huge success in my opinion. City hall said in a press conference, they are still thinking about a ban.

love locks in paris

Should you still ‘Lock you Love’ with a padlock?
Yes, it is a lovely tradition. But instead of locking your love with hundreds and thousands of other padlocks that you never know if it will be removed or destroyed (just imagine what could happen to your love because of this…); I would suggest trying something else. Carry your love lock with you! So let’s start this tradition right now! Buy a padlock (Pacsafe has some fancy ones over here), engrave your names on it (if you want), lock it to your favorite piece of luggage and throw the key away (don’t lock your luggage with it, just place it somewhere safe). Through this you can carry your love with you around the world. This way, you can be sure the only one who can remove it is you; and your love will be locked forever.

Well, sort of, you know it’s a symbol and not a real thing, right?

#pacsafetravels

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