I found true love on the second day of my 6-month round-the-world trip 💖
In late 2007, I left my high-paying corporate role, packed a backpack and headed off on a trip around the world.
Part of the reason for embarking on my trip was to be braver, more fearless and discover more about myself. Finding love was not on the itinerary! 💖
But when I met a man on the second day of my sabbatical, it wasn’t only the next six months that would change – it was the rest of my life.
I was a 27-year-old singleton, working long hours at a job I loved in the UK, making great money. However, I was exhausted, struggling with insomnia and stress.
Travelling hadn’t appealed to me until now, but I wanted to do something different – see the world, meet new people.
After some research, I found an orphanage in Xi’an, China looking for volunteers to help care for disabled babies. I knew it was the right place for me, so I signed up and started making travel plans.
First stop, Beijing! I booked a round-the-world ticket, visiting China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand 🌏 For my second day in China, I arranged to meet up with a group of volunteers who would be joining me in Xi’an.
Meeting The One
Our group of volunteers met at Tiananmen Square and went for dinner. One of the group said he’d bring a friend he’d met on the Great Wall of China that day. As you do.
This guy wasn’t my type at all – quiet, wearing a skull hoodie and keeping his head down most of the time. Rude. He was, however, Australian and I liked his accent.
We all met up again the next day and after dinner, I stayed out with one of the girls and our new Aussie friend. After leaving a slightly dodgy club in the early hours, we hopped in a taxi home.
We dropped off the girl first, leaving the Aussie and I alone in the car. Having had a few cocktails, I decided he was worth a quick kiss #holidayromance 💏
A week later, I was working at the orphanage but something wasn’t right. My heart hurt. I talked to my friend about it, confessing that while I didn’t know why, I just missed this man. A lot.
If I’m honest, the kiss hadn’t even been that good!
I started Facebook messaging him and he invited me to the Philippines in the few days I had spare. I wanted to know if this man meant anything at all to me or if I could forget about him and go and enjoy the rest of my trip. So I flew to Manila.
And then I fell in love. The end.
In our two weeks together, we were glued to each other’s hips as he showed me the sights of Manila. Then, when it came to leave him, the heartache started once more. Only this time, it was worse and I was oh-so-unhappy to leave him.
I sat on the plane, listening to sad love songs and sobbing like a baby from the moment I kissed him goodbye until the moment I landed in Thailand.
We stayed in touch (hourly) and when he asked if I wanted to change my plans and head to Australia a few weeks early, I followed my heart and went.
We brought in the New Year together in Sydney and spent a few weeks travelling the East Coast, where he introduced me to his friends and family – all of them!
Emigrating to Australia
New Zealand was to be my next stop, but when he asked me to move to Australia and give our relationship a real go, I didn’t hesitate.
12 years later, we’re married with two amazing kids, living our happily ever after in Newcastle, NSW.
I guess you never really know where you next trip might lead to!