“How did you guys meet?”

It is the question couples get asked all the time, especially when they are from two different countries.

Uriel and I are no exception. He is American and I am British, and we get asked ALL the time. So here is our travel love story, for all of you who wish for a little travel romance break in their day.

First, let me take you to the beginning…

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I used to work as a yacht stewardess. I worked on a whole host of fabulous super yachts, from 70 metre motor yachts, where I waited on the guests and cleaned their marble-cladded cabins, to small sailing yachts where I was more of an integral member of the family. I tried it all, and saw a great deal of amazing places along the way.

On the last boat I ever worked on, we had just sailing through the Panama Canal, and we were anchored off Panama City before the boat was due to head to the Pacific. This was my final destination working with this boat, and I had a flight booked for me back home to England. I packed up my bags, with far too much stuff to do anything with, and stepped ashore.

travel love story

The entrance to the Panama canal

travel love story

Going through the Panama canal at night

Then the travel bug bit hard.

I was in Panama! I had been to Panama before several times on visa runs from Costa Rica, but never to Panama City, and I felt that goose-pimply, independent, excited feeling creep over me.

There was no chance I was going home.

After a few emails back and forth my flight was changed, and I had a whole 3 months ahead of me to explore. I had absolutely no idea where I was headed, but I knew it was the right decision.

It felt right.

I settled in to Panama City’s infamous backpackers hostel Luna’s Castle, and immediately fell head over heels with the cobbled streets of Panama City’s ‘old town’. I was determined to have some me time… to while away a few weeks in coffee shops, writing, and escaping everything for a while.

travel love story

At Panama City Fish Market

But that didn’t happen!

As a reminder to anyone who is worried about meeting people when travelling solo, don’t worry! If you are staying in a hostel it is pretty hard NOT to meet people. Within a few hours of being in my dorm room I had made friends. We are still friends today. You can avoid people all you want, but when you are backpacking people find YOU.

That was okay. I was more than happy to socialise. What I definitely did not want to do was step foot on another boat for a while.

Skip forward two weeks and I’m sitting on a catamaran headed for Colombia.

After a whole host of “I’m not going to go.” followed by “You should come!” followed by sudden excitement, and then quick backtracking again, I bit the bullet and decided to say YES to an adventure.

Because, why not?

travel love story

On board ‘The Jacqueline’ in the San Blas islands

travel love story

On board ‘The Jacqueline’ in the San Blas islands

travel love story

On board ‘The Jacqueline’ in the San Blas islands

I headed off with my new found group of travel friends and was onboard a small, overly-crammed catamaran. Just as we were about to set-sail, the last group of travellers arrived.

“Not more people!” I thought. The boat was overcrowded enough.

Little did I know one of these late arrivals was going to become my husband.

People say ‘When you know, you know.’

This wasn’t in the forefront of my mind at the time… I wasn’t looking for someone else. I was looking for myself. But there was something strong that drew me towards this other person, as though we were destined to meet that day.

It wasn’t so much that I just fancied him, or we just got along well, but more that we were in-sync… we knew each other before we actually knew each other. There was a draw.

I thought: this guy is on my wavelength.

travel love story

Due to the limited amount of bunks and maximum amount of us, everyone happily slept on deck. It was relaxing to sleep under the stars, and a lot cooler than down below. The first night, without more than a few short conversations, Uriel and I lay side by side on the hammock, and for some reason I felt more peaceful than I have in a long time. He even said since that he was tempted to put his arm around me at one point, but we hardly knew each other so he thought it would of been weird.

Over the next week we talked for hours.

Everyone would hang out together and then at some point in the evening, whether we were dancing or having a bonfire party on a desert island, or playing cards, him and I would suddenly notice that it was just us left, that everyone else had gone to sleep one by one. That we were completely unaware of everything that was going on around us.

We travelled together as part of a group for a few weeks. Then came our time to part. He was headed to Venezuela. I was now set for Peru. He had been to Peru the year before, and had headed back to South America in order to travel to Brazil via Venezuela for the World Cup.

He never got there.

As the group began to trickle off one by one, as our itineraries began to go their separate ways, him and I remained inseparable.

Then it was just the two of us.

travel love story

travel love story

travel love story

One day, overlooking Quito, Ecuador, he asked me to marry him. With the entire city below us going about their days, we stood still and got engaged.

My family hadn’t met this man. I never even wanted to get married. We’d only been together for 2 months. Everything pointed to it being the wrong thing to do. Everything except this overwhelming feeling that it was all so right.

In the year that followed, we both pursued our own goals: Me by moving to London and him in signing up for commercial diving school in Texas. We were both doing our own thing, pushed only further by the support of each other. Despite us being apart, we were closer than ever and as soon as he graduated he moved to London.

travel love story

We now live in Florida, but consider ourselves continuous travellers.

And although our relationship runs so much deeper than our shared passion for travel and adventure, that is at its very core. We found in each other our travel buddy for life.

So that is our story. And in many ways just the beginning. Who knows where our next adventure will lead us to.

Thank you for reading! Let me know your travel love story in the comments below!

travel love story

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